Residents in Bridge of Weir and Houston are up in arms about “insane” plans for new UK Parliament constituencies which would see the tight-knit villages torn apart.

The Gazette revealed last week how the Boundary Commission for Scotland has drawn up plans to carve up communities across Renfrewshire in a bid to create constituencies that have roughly the same number of voters.

However, people living in Bridge of Weir and Houston have slammed plans to put the villages in two separate consistencies.

The UK Parliament plans to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600 and Scotland’s representation from 59 to 53.

To achieve this, it has been proposed that Houston would sit in a constituency called Renfrewshire West, meaning it would be lumped with communities as far away as Largs in North Ayrshire, and the isle of Cumbrae.

Meanwhile, Bridge of Weir, a few miles away, would be in a completely separate consistency called Inverclyde and Erskine, along with Gourock and Wemyss Bay.

The two villages are both currently in Paisley and Renfrewshire North, represented in Westminster by SNP man Gavin Newlands.

Robert Innes, who lives in Bridge of Weir, has branded the proposals “insane”.

He said: “People from Houston shouldn’t have to potentially travel to Largs to see their MP. I personally wouldn’t like to split from Houston. We are a tight-knit community and I feel the two areas have similar views on how we want our villages to be represented.

“The proposed boundaries are insane as Houston would be in the same constituency as Millport. I am opposed and if anyone else is they should make their voice heard.”

Councillor Andy Doig, who lives in Linwood and represents Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch and Howwood, also said he thought the plans were “a mess.”

Linwood would fall into the Renfrewshire West constituency with Johnstone and surrounding villages.

Cllr Doig said: “The price to be paid for these plans is a lack of democratic accountability. It is a mess and completely bizarre to put communities together which have no historical ties, economically or socially.

“The danger of having constituencies this size also is that MPs will not be able to do their job properly. How on Earth can they represent people when they are having to cover such a huge area?”

The public has until December 11 to take part in the public consultation.

A report will go to the Secretary of State for Scotland in September next year, so that the new constituencies can be considered for approval by parliament and be available for use in the General Election expected in May 2022.