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How Preston’s political boundaries could be radically changed

Posted on - 18th September, 2016 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics
The blue line shows the current split between Preston and Preston North - and the red line shows the new area of the constituency

The blue line shows the current split between Preston and Preston North – and the red line shows the new area of the constituency

The electoral map of Preston could soon be changing – and become far more politically competitive.

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Wyre and Preston North is to disappear – currently held by Conservative MP Ben Wallace – and Preston itself to expand.

The Fulwood wards would move into a newly enlarged Preston constituency – currently held by Labour’s Mark Hendrick with a majority of 12,067.

Traditionally Tory-voting wards such as Greyfriars, College and Sharoe Green would come under the Preston seat.

Read more: Fulwood library fight ‘not over’ as MP calls in decision

The Boundary Commission’s proposal states: “The very low electorate of the existing Preston constituency at 56,110 meant that we could propose that the whole of the city of Preston (though not the whole of the Borough of Preston) could be included in a compact urban consistency (we noted that the city is currently divided between constituencies). We considered that this improved on the current arrangement as well as enabling the electoral quota to be achieved.

Preston’s two rural wards – Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East – would become part of a newly created North Lancashire seat.

Lea ward would remain within the Fylde constituency – despite being a Preston City Council area.

In South Ribble there’s a major change to the way the political boundaries fall.

The new South Ribble constituency would expand in the East but shrink in the West

The new South Ribble constituency would expand in the East but shrink in the West

Currently Bamber Bridge and Farington is classed as Ribble Valley – despite being in South Ribble borough.

Seema Kennedy, a Tory MP, would lose a swathe of wards to a newly enlarged Southport constituency but gaining on the Eastern side of her seat.

Read more: Museum of Lancashire closure date decided

The Boundary Commission states: “We propose to increase the electorate of the existing West Lancashire constituency by the inclusion of the Rufford ward (from the Borough of West Lancashire), and Eccleston and Mawdesley ward from the Borough of Chorley.

“We also propose that the South Ribble constituency, while losing these two words and the three wards of North Meols, Hesketh-with-Becconsall and Tarleton to our proposed Southport constituency, would include six Borough of South Ribble wards in the east.

“We consider that this allows for most of the town of Bamber Bridge to be combined within this proposed constituency, rather than at the extreme western end of the Ribble Valley constituency, as at present. These changes would also result in more of the Borough of South Ribble wards being brought together in a single constituency. We also considered that this proposal results in the River Asland/River Douglas forming a physical boundary along the western edge of the South Ribble constituency.”

What’s happening with the political boundaries?

Across the North West the number of constituencies reduces from 75 to 68

Every constituency must be between 71,031 and 78,507 electors

Five consultation events are being held in Manchester, Chester, Carlisle, Liverpool and Lancaster for the proposals to be discussed throughout October.

Anyone can have their say using the Boundary Commission website – put in your postcode to see your political constituency.

If accepted, the new constituencies would be used in a 2020 general election.

What do you think of the proposed political boundaries? How does it affect you? Let us know in the comments below

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