Column by Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell:

ON MONDAY, I received a draft of the independent Boundary Commission for England’s 2023 review of parliamentary boundaries. Constituency boundaries haven’t been changed since the May 2010 General Election so they are ripe for change.

Overall, the review proposes to keep the same number of MPs but to even out the size of the electorate within each seat. Cumbria faces quite significant changes. Within Barrow and Furness, the proposal for our constituency is to lose High Furness (including Kirkby, Broughton and surrounding villages) but to regain Grange and Cartmel, both of which are within the historic area of Furness. Personally, I’d rather not surrender any of this fantastic constituency, but I’d be very interested to hear your views as to what could and should change (even the name of the constituency is in scope). Visit to fill in a 60-second survey to inform my response back to the Boundary Commission.

Last time the Boundary Commission for England made proposals, they changed radically during the consultation process, so what is proposed is not set in stone. Regardless, I will continue to represent every corner of our constituency until the next election.

On Monday, I spoke in Parliament about catch-up funding for young people whose education has suffered during the pandemic. In many cases, young people’s team-building and leadership skills have atrophied over the last year, and outdoor education centres like Kepplewray in Broughton - one of the many excellent outdoor centres in our area - play a crucial role in building those skills. I am meeting the secretary of state in two weeks’ time to see what support can be offered to those centres and the young people who use them.

As a member of the Northern Research Group, I spoke to the prime minister on Monday about his plans for levelling-up. Specifically, I asked how we can work better with the Government and its many different parts to better join up and improve the way we tackle poverty. The prime minister was very energised by this and I will be meeting the work and pensions secretary shortly to explore whether we could undertake some pilot work locally on this important issue.

On Wednesday in the Home Affairs Committee we held a session on domestic abuse and on how violence on women and girls is being addressed. The Government is looking at a new strategy, and the work being done on this is fascinating. It is clear that there are pockets of very good practice, but it is equally true that there are some definite gaps. It is those gaps that lead to failures in the system, particularly when individuals are in a state of jeopardy. This reminded me how lucky we are locally to have excellent facilities such as Women’s Community Matters. Nonetheless, there is bound to be more that we could do. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this important inquiry over the coming months.

This week has been the Great British Spring Clean. As vice chair of the all-party parliamentary group Keep Britain Tidy, this is a subject close to my heart. I’ve undertaken two litter picks this week, including one at Roanhead and another at Lindal. We all have a part to play in keeping our community clean and attractive and, in this weather, it’s even more enjoyable.