Letter: England left out

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The 3.9 million electorate in Scotland sends 72 MPs to Westminster and now 129 MSPs to Scotland's Parliament: a total of 201 generic MPs. Some 16 fortunate individuals will combine being an MP and an MSP, meaning that there are around 185 individuals representing the Scottish electorate at the two parliaments.

Take, by contrast, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, which between them have an electorate of just over four million. They send 59 MPs to Westminster. Assume that the number of constituency queries raised per annum by the average constituent is broadly the same in the Home Counties as it is in Scotland. This would mean that, on average, an individual who is a Scotland MP or MSP will have to deal with roughly one third of the constituency queries that his or her English counterpart has to deal with.

The real question - perhaps it could be dubbed the "Home Counties question" -is: how will these 185 individuals occupy their time?

MAURICE FITZPATRICK

Head of Economics

Chantrey Vellacott DFK

London WC1

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