The Weston-super-Mare constituency (Image produced from the Ordnance Survey electionmap service. Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and Land Property Services)
The Weston constituency is located south of Bristol and stretches from the banks of the Severn Estuary in the west to the Mendip Hills in the east. The constituency centres on the town of Weston-super-Mare and includes the surrounding villages.
Although predominately rural the constituency also has a light engineering base. The town of Weston-super-Mare is a tourist attraction famed for its beach.
Weston-super-Mare is a mixture of old charm and modern technology. The sea front is almost without modern high-rise buildings and tourism is one of the main industries. The town was one of the first in the country to advertise its allure on the internet.
The M5 splits the constituency in half and has helped attract distribution businesses as well as office developments moving out of Bristol City centre.
Outside the town of Weston-super-Mare, the constituency extends into beautiful Somerset countryside scattered with villages. One village, Bleadon, not untypical, was famously described by AA Milne:
Between the woods in folded hands
An accidental village stands,
Untidily, and with an air
Of wondering who left it there.
Four square upon a little hill
The Norman church is Norman still;
And on the winding road below
The ageing houses come and go,
Grey faced and wrinkled, in a long indented row.
The constituency stretches across North Somerset, up to the Mendip Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Agriculture, based mainly on milk, cattle and its support services, is still a major factor in local employment. There are 15 rural parishes within the constituency.
These include many quiet villages and rural and some commuter communities mainly traveling to employment in Bristol. Many retain a uniquely individual identity.