Lancashire boundary changes being reviewed

BOUNDARY Commission bosses are looking again at controversial changes to East Lancashire’s Parliamentary constituencies after a furious reaction to the plans.

The proposals which would split Burnley, Accrington and Rawtenstall in half when voters next go to the polls in 2015 were branded “a nonsense” when they were revealed last September.

Now after seven months of consultation the experts in charge are examining the proposed boundaries with a view to redrawing them after the angry criticism that the new seats paid no attention to existing community identities and local authority boundaries.

A special team of assessors for the North-West are now considering the responses to two consultations held for 12 weeks last year and another four this year, paying special attention to East Lancashire’s near-universal opposition to the plans.

New proposals will be drawn up over the summer and published this Autumn for a final consultation before the final plans for England are published by the end of next year for the 2015 General Election.

The Boundary Commission for England has to cut the current 533 seats to 502, shedding seven of the North-West’s 75.

In East Lancashire, Blackburn and Chorley constituencies would remain largely unchanged but Burnley would be split in two with the new parts combined with either Nelson or Accrington.

Hyndburn would vanish with a new Darwen and Haslingden seat created, Rawtenstall would be merged with North Rochdale and Ribble Valley would be redrawn including parts of Pendle and Preston.

A Commission spokesperson said: “We will be paying attention to what people said in the consultation, particularly in relation to East Lancashire.’’ The news has been welcomed across the political spectrum with Ribble Valley Tory MP Nigel Evans saying: “I am glad the commission is in listening mode because the people to Ribble Valley do not want their constituency redrawn.”

Graham Jones, Labour MP for Hyndburn said: “I think the Commission must understand that the people of Burnley and Hyndburn have had their own MP since 1885. They do not want new constituencies that pay no attention to local community identities and council boundaries. I welcome this move.”

Burnley Liberal Democrat MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “The Boundary Commission’s original proposals did not fulfil their brief. I am pleased that they are looking at it again.”

Comments (10)

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8:18pm Mon 21 May 12

Jack Herer says...

I can't believe that Burnley would get shafted like this. Again.

When I use the "Find A & E" feature on the NHS Choices website and put "Burnley" in the location it says the nearest one is Blackburn. Good old Labour eh.

If house swapping Kitty Usher was in charge this probably wouldn't have been looked at again - a final decision would have no doubt been decided over champagne and canapes then - but thankfully you've got Gordon Birtwistle and it will.
I can't believe that Burnley would get shafted like this. Again. When I use the "Find A & E" feature on the NHS Choices website and put "Burnley" in the location it says the nearest one is Blackburn. Good old Labour eh. If house swapping Kitty Usher was in charge this probably wouldn't have been looked at again - a final decision would have no doubt been decided over champagne and canapes then - but thankfully you've got Gordon Birtwistle and it will. Jack Herer

9:16pm Mon 21 May 12

mavrick says...

I don't know why anybody should be thankful they have Gordon Birtwistle as an MP. I think the people of Burnley may reconsider their choice at the next election.
As for the boundary changes, I said at the time it was the worst attempt at gerrymandering I have ever witnessed. As for the so called experts for the north west, who are they? what makes them any more of an expert than myself or anybody else that lives in the area? I really hope they do ask the people who live in the area and act accordingly
I don't know why anybody should be thankful they have Gordon Birtwistle as an MP. I think the people of Burnley may reconsider their choice at the next election. As for the boundary changes, I said at the time it was the worst attempt at gerrymandering I have ever witnessed. As for the so called experts for the north west, who are they? what makes them any more of an expert than myself or anybody else that lives in the area? I really hope they do ask the people who live in the area and act accordingly mavrick

9:45pm Mon 21 May 12

Dickiepayshey says...

Cut the number of MP's by 40-50% and then redraw the constituency boundaries !!!!!!!!

That would suit me and I'd probably 'turn out' in 2015.
Cut the number of MP's by 40-50% and then redraw the constituency boundaries !!!!!!!! That would suit me and I'd probably 'turn out' in 2015. Dickiepayshey

9:48pm Mon 21 May 12

english rose 1 says...

To be fair to the Boundary Commissioners they have a very difficult job. They are not the ones reducing the number of MP's by 50 and insisting on equal numbers of electors per constituency irrespective of historic communities & natural boundaries. It is the Coalition Government insisting on this. (apart from a few 'special cases' to appease the Lib/Dems and the Isle of Wight !).
*
The current constituency of Rossendale & Darwen is daft, - the proposals of the Boundary Commission make a bit more sense than the current situation.
To be fair to the Boundary Commissioners they have a very difficult job. They are not the ones reducing the number of MP's by 50 and insisting on equal numbers of electors per constituency irrespective of historic communities & natural boundaries. It is the Coalition Government insisting on this. (apart from a few 'special cases' to appease the Lib/Dems and the Isle of Wight !). * The current constituency of Rossendale & Darwen is daft, - the proposals of the Boundary Commission make a bit more sense than the current situation. english rose 1

9:53pm Mon 21 May 12

Clarets Mad says...

The Con-Dem government and Birty and Stephenson supported the boundary reviews. Now that it doesn't suit their electoral chances they are going to 'fix 'it
I wonder how much Ashcroft will pay these assessors??
Burnley will still be split and Pendle will end up in a fix with ribble valley

Isn't it about time that we got rid of Countty Councils and cut down on the number of councillors ???
The Con-Dem government and Birty and Stephenson supported the boundary reviews. Now that it doesn't suit their electoral chances they are going to 'fix 'it I wonder how much Ashcroft will pay these assessors?? Burnley will still be split and Pendle will end up in a fix with ribble valley Isn't it about time that we got rid of Countty Councils and cut down on the number of councillors ??? Clarets Mad

11:32pm Mon 21 May 12

goz says...

Dickiepayshey wrote:
Cut the number of MP's by 40-50% and then redraw the constituency boundaries !!!!!!!!

That would suit me and I'd probably 'turn out' in 2015.
Spot on, lets start with merging Blackburn with the Ribble Valley a nice unsafe seat whereby the victor would have to work hard to keep it.
[quote][p][bold]Dickiepayshey[/bold] wrote: Cut the number of MP's by 40-50% and then redraw the constituency boundaries !!!!!!!! That would suit me and I'd probably 'turn out' in 2015.[/p][/quote]Spot on, lets start with merging Blackburn with the Ribble Valley a nice unsafe seat whereby the victor would have to work hard to keep it. goz

12:00am Tue 22 May 12

Pan-cake says...

It is good news that there will be a further review of the East Lancashire changes. The previous suggestions were, as Boris would say, bonkers.
However, Graham Jones comments are less than accurate. As the Hyndburn constituency has only been in existence since 1983, his suggestion that it has had its own MP since 1885 is an impossibility.
A significant portion of Hyndburn, namely Great Harwood and Altham, was represented by the Clitheroe constituency prior to absorption into the new Hyndburn seat in 1983. An arrangement very many Great Harwood folk would like to see restored by the current Boundary Commission review.
It is good news that there will be a further review of the East Lancashire changes. The previous suggestions were, as Boris would say, bonkers. However, Graham Jones comments are less than accurate. As the Hyndburn constituency has only been in existence since 1983, his suggestion that it has had its own MP since 1885 is an impossibility. A significant portion of Hyndburn, namely Great Harwood and Altham, was represented by the Clitheroe constituency prior to absorption into the new Hyndburn seat in 1983. An arrangement very many Great Harwood folk would like to see restored by the current Boundary Commission review. Pan-cake

9:09am Tue 22 May 12

mavrick says...

Sorry pan-cake, hailing from Great Harwood, it would seem only the Tories would like to a merger back to the Ribble valley.
Why not have one M.P for each county? It would make sense as local opinions are ignored in the main, except where there is money to be extracted from the masses.
Sorry pan-cake, hailing from Great Harwood, it would seem only the Tories would like to a merger back to the Ribble valley. Why not have one M.P for each county? It would make sense as local opinions are ignored in the main, except where there is money to be extracted from the masses. mavrick

1:17pm Tue 22 May 12

Your ferret stinks says...

Who cares? What difference will it make to anyone?
Who cares? What difference will it make to anyone? Your ferret stinks

5:00pm Tue 22 May 12

Pan-cake says...

mavrick wrote:
Sorry pan-cake, hailing from Great Harwood, it would seem only the Tories would like to a merger back to the Ribble valley.
Why not have one M.P for each county? It would make sense as local opinions are ignored in the main, except where there is money to be extracted from the masses.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of Great Harwood residents. To a person, when the subject was raised, they preferred the traditional connection with Ribble Valley.
In the recent consultation with the Boundary Commission there were 27 responses to the proposals from Great Harwood residents. All were in favour of a return to the Ribble Valley. Tory voters – indeed any voter – is entitled to an opinion.
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: Sorry pan-cake, hailing from Great Harwood, it would seem only the Tories would like to a merger back to the Ribble valley. Why not have one M.P for each county? It would make sense as local opinions are ignored in the main, except where there is money to be extracted from the masses.[/p][/quote]A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of Great Harwood residents. To a person, when the subject was raised, they preferred the traditional connection with Ribble Valley. In the recent consultation with the Boundary Commission there were 27 responses to the proposals from Great Harwood residents. All were in favour of a return to the Ribble Valley. Tory voters – indeed any voter – is entitled to an opinion. Pan-cake

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