North Oxfordshire is set to be split into two constituencies with the area’s conservative association saying the decision is “important for democracy”.

The latest set of proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission are moving forward and would see the constituency effectively split in half, with the creation of a new Bicester and Woodstock constituency alongside Banbury.

READ MORE: Victoria Prentis confirms decision to run as MP again

Banbury constituency - which includes Bicester and a number of other towns and villages in north Oxfordshire – has a population of over 125,000 and an electorate of over 90,000.

It is one of the largest parliamentary constituencies in the UK.

Victoria Prentis, who has confirmed she will run as MP again this year, said: “We have always known that the boundaries of the current Banbury constituency would need to be revised.”

Councillors representing Bicester have shared their thoughts on the proposed boundary changes.

Councillor Dan Sames, who represents Bicester South and Ambrosden, said: “I think it is a very positive thing for Bicester.

“Bicester has seen tremendous growth over the last 20 years and is rivalling Banbury.

“It is therefore right that the significance of the town is recognised with its own parliamentary constituency.

“That said I’d always thought that we would be joined with Thame rather than going west to Woodstock.

“I know there have been some comments on why Kidlington is not in the new name, but they insist they are a village rather than a town, and villages are not generally recognised in the names of constituencies to my knowledge.”

Chairman of Cherwell District Council Les Sibley said: “It’s very good. It could have been better – given the growth in population it might only be a few short years before Bicester merits its own MP.

“This new constituency will actually be bigger than the Banbury constituency.

“And all the biggest developments - including Graven Hill and the ecotown – are taking place in Bicester; one of the fastest growing towns in the UK.

“As far as the new constituency is concerned, Bicester is the key town, and I welcome the day when Bicester will have its own MP.”

Ian Middleton, who represents Kidlington East, argued that as the second largest populated area in the constituency, Kidlington should be included in the name.

He added: “I still think it’s nonsensical that Kidlington will be ignored in the naming of this new constituency.

“It seems to me another example of Kidlington being literally overlooked by the council.

“For anyone who shares my concerns, there will still be a chance to make that point to the Boundary Commission during the public consultation.”

A spokesperson for the North Oxfordshire Conservative Association said: “There will be an internal party process to select a Conservative candidate for the Bicester and Woodstock constituency in due course.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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