Fishwick would become an “orphan ward” under changes proposed to the Preston constituency by the Boundary Commission, according to MP Mark Hendrick.Advertisement
The move, which would see Fishwick become part of the neighbouring Ribble Valley constituency, was opposed by Hendrick as well as councillors Marytn Rawlinson and Tom Burns.
Speaking at a public meeting held yesterday at Fishwick Ramblers Working Men’s Club, Hendrick said: “It makes no sense whatsoever, Fishwick is adjacent to the Town Centre ward of Preston.
“In the 16 years that I’ve represented Preston, Fishwick has been an integral part of Preston, and should stay an integral part.
“Traditionally the River Ribble is the boundary line, to take Fishwick into the Ribble Valley, which is a rural constituency, would make Fishwick an orphan ward amongst a load of rural wards.
“It’s a bit of gerrymandering.”
Councillor Martyn Rawlinson said: “How interested is a Tory MP going to be in representing the Callon estate, no matter how conscientious he or she is?”
Local residents voiced their concerns about the proposed changes, with some saying that not enough publicity had been given to the issue. Councillors handed out a template letter (which I’ve uploaded below) for residents to sign and send to the Boundary Commission. We’re running a Facebook poll on the future of the Fishwick ward here.
A hearing will take place at Tickled Trout Hotel on Monday, beginning at 9 am. Several people have arranged presentations, including Preston Liberal Democrats, with Mark Hendrick due to speak at 3:30 pm.
Bob Fletcher, member of Friends of Fishwick & St. Matthew’s, said: “Everywhere I go in the Fishwick area, everyone I talk to about this particular situation all say that it’s a damn silly idea.
“The vast majority that I’ve spoken to say that they don’t want it to happen.
“Provided everyone gets involved and signs the petition that’s being drafted by the MP then there’s no way that the Boundary Commission can take it on, because the vast majority of people don’t want it.
“It’s up to the residents to get involved and get their names down on the petition and sign the letters saying that they want to stay within Preston’s boundaries.”
Photo by danielbentley on Flickr
Boundary Commission Letter