Proposals to change boundaries of borough constituencies revealed

A shake-up of how parts of Wigan and Leigh are represented in the House of Commons has been released.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:10 am
Ashton could change parliamentary constituencies under boundary proposals
Ashton could change parliamentary constituencies under boundary proposals

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has released initial reports on its 2023 review of which areas MPs have in their constituencies.

The proposals for Greater Manchester would see some significant changes to the Makerfield and Leigh constituencies, although Wigan’s MP would continue to represent the same area as currently.

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This raises the bizarre prospect of a town whose full name in Ashton in Makerfield not actually being within the Makerfield constituency for its political representation in Westminster.

The Makerfield constituency would then gain the Leigh West ward.

The existing Leigh constituency would be renamed Leigh South and Atherton, with the latter ward being represented once again by an MP from the borough rather than its current arrangement of being part of Bolton West.

However, that would mean that the Astley Mosley Common ward would be represented by the MP for Worsley and Eccles South.

The BCE is an independent and impartial body which is periodically tasked with the job of reviewing the boundaries of the constituencies in the House of Commons.

The latest reshuffle involves a distribution formula which changes the overall numbers of seats England, Scotland and Wales have and also ensures that each MP, with a few notable exceptions, represents a more equal number of residents.

The local changes are prompted by the fact that the Leigh constituency is currently slightly too large to fit under rules requiring each constituency to have an electorate of between 69,724 and 77,062 people.

In its North West report the BCE admits there may be some issues with the conclusions it has currently drawn about how the borough should be divided politically.

The report states: “We recognise that the inclusion of the West Leigh ward in a Makerfield constituency, and the Ashton ward in the Leigh South and Atherton constituency, means that the towns of both Leigh and Ashton-in-Makerfield are now divided between constituencies.

“However, we consider that configurations of wards in this and the surrounding area mean that some division of communities is unavoidable.

“We would welcome, however, any representations with alternative arrangements in this area that result in less disruption, without resulting in consequential negative effects elsewhere in Greater Manchester.”

The proposals keep the number of Greater Manchester constituencies at 27 but reduces the North West total by two to 73.

Find out more at www.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk

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