DORSET could see changes to its constituencies under proposals for an electoral shake-up across the country.

The Boundary Commission has today released its initial proposals for England and Wales, cutting the number of MPs from 533 to 501 in England.

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The process would save taxpayers £66 million over five years by cutting the number of MPs.

The number of constituencies in the South West must reduce from 55 to 53, the Commission says.

There are currently 13 constituencies in the sub-region comprising Dorset and the unitary authorities of Bournemouth, Poole, and Wiltshire. The initial proposals allocate 12 constituencies to the sub-region, a reduction of one from the current arrangement.

South and West Dorset contituencies are being realigned slightly.

Unofficial reports had suggested West Dorset would be abolished, but this is not the case.

West Dorset required changes to realign constituency boundaries with local government ward boundaries, the Commission says.

The proposal for West Dorset is to include all of the divided West Dorset district ward of Puddletown within the West Dorset constituency, and to include the whole of the divided West Dorset district ward of Broadmayne & Crossways in the proposed South Dorset constituency, providing a connection between the Weymouth and Portland borough part of the constituency and the Purbeck district part.

In Purbeck, three Purbeck district wards of Bere Regis, St. Martin, and Wareham would be part of the South Dorset constituency.

Christchurch as it is now would be abolished, with the Christchurch borough included in a constituency with five wards from north Bournemouth.

The proposals say this constituency would be named Bournemouth North and Christchurch.

A Bournemouth South constituency would also be created containing ten wards from the south of the borough.

And the whole of the Poole borough wards of Alderney, Branksome East, and Branksome West, which are divided between the existing Bournemouth West, and Poole constituencies at the moment, should be included in the proposed Poole constituency, the reform recommends.

A Broadstone, Ferndown and Kinson constituency containing three wards from Bournemouth borough, four wards from East Dorset district, and five wards from Poole borough would also be created.

And a Blandford and Wimborne constituency is also proposed, containing 12 wards from East Dorset district, including the town of Wimborne Minster, seven wards from North Dorset district, including the town of Blandford Forum, and three wards from Purbeck district.

The remaining 12 North Dorset district wards, including the town of Shaftesbury, would be included in a cross ‑county boundary constituency with 12 wards from Wiltshire unitary authority, including the towns of Warminster and Westbury. The suggested name is Warminster and Shaftesbury.

The initial proposals for England and Wales, announced Today, follow those for Northern Ireland which were disclosed last week. Plans for Scotland are due to be published on October 20. Final proposals are due in October 2018 for use in the general election scheduled for May 2020.

The number of MPs will be cut from 533 to 501 in England, from 59 to 53 in Scotland, from 40 to 29 in Wales, and from 18 to 17 in Northern Ireland, with the aim of ensuring that each constituency - with a couple of exceptions in the Isle of Wight, the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland - have broadly similar populations.

Constitution minister Chris Skidmore said the Government was "committed to ensuring fair and equal representation for the voting public across the UK is in place by the next general election". The process would save taxpayers £66 million over five years by cutting the number of MPs.

"Our democracy and our parliamentary system need to represent everyone equally," said Mr Skidmore. "That's why the independent Boundary Commissions are proposing measures to achieve equal-sized constituencies that will ensure an equal say for each voter. As it stands, some constituencies have twice as many electors as other constituencies and that cannot be right."