Proposals to change the Southport Parliamentary constituency which would see Ainsdale moved to Sefton Central and Southport gaining four new wards from West Lancashire have taken a step closer to being confirmed today.
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) published its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries on 8th June, with a view to ensuring that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal.
The Commission had the idea of Southport taking in four new wards from the District of West Lancashire in Banks, Hesketh Bank, Tarleton and Rufford.
However, Southport would be split under the proposals with Ainsdale becoming part of Sefton Central.
The proposals would see Southport increased to 10 wards, with the addition of: North Meols, Hesketh-Becconsall, Tarleton and Rufford Wards. They would add to: Birkdale, Cambridge, Dukes, Kew, Meols and Norwood Wards.
In Sefton Central, the new wards would be:
Ainsdale, Blundellsands, Harington, Manor, Park, Ravenmeols and Sudell.
Today the Boundary Commission for England published new revised proposals for constituencies across the country and opens a final month-long consultation, giving the public a last opportunity to send in their views.
It has revised the composition of 32 of the 73 constituencies it initially proposed in June 2021, and maintained initial proposals for the remainder – including Southport.
Southport MP Damien Moore said: “The Boundary Commission have now published their updated proposals for UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries.
“The Commission is rightly independent, which ensures that any decisions made are objective and free from party-politics.
“Under their plans, Ainsdale will unfortunately no longer form part of the Southport constituency. As too few people live – or wish to live – in the rest of Merseyside, the population does not match the number of constituencies in the region. As such Ainsdale has been taken away from Southport and attached to Sefton Central – purely to make their figures work.
“Whilst the constituency boundaries are due to change, what will not alter is Ainsdale’s place as an integral part of our town – and an area I have been proud to represent for the past five and a half years.
“I will continue to be the MP for Ainsdale residents until the next scheduled general election, when the changes are due to take effect, and am always on-hand to assist them in any way I can.”
The BCE has revised the name of 17 of its initially proposed constituencies. The revised proposals would leave 13 existing constituencies in the North West region wholly unchanged, and five unchanged except to realign constituency boundaries with local government ward boundaries.
The Commission is proposing comprehensive change in both Cumbria and the south of Lancashire, reflecting the evidence received in opposition to the initial proposals.
There are very few revisions across Merseyside.
The organisation is proposing four constituencies that would cross county boundaries: Southport; Morecambe and Lunesdale; Ellesmere Port and Bromborough; and Widnes and Halewood.
It is proposing no changes to the initially proposed composition of Southport.
The Commission is consulting on revised proposals for a four-week period, from 8 November 2022 to 5 December 2022.
A BCE spokesperson said: “We encourage everyone to use this final opportunity to contribute to the design of the new constituencies – the more views we hear, the more informed our decisions will be when we make our final recommendations and report to Parliament.
“Our consultation portal at www.bcereviews.org.uk has more information about our revised proposals and how to give us your views.”
The changes will see the number of constituencies in England increase from 533 to 543.
In the North West, the number of constituencies will decrease from 75 to 73
The Commission has taken into consideration over 45,000 comments sent in by the public during the previous two stages of public consultation, and has changed nearly half of its initial proposals based on this feedback.
The Commission is undertaking an independent review of all constituencies in England as requested by Parliament. The number of electors within each constituency currently varies widely due to population changes since the last boundary review. The 2023 Boundary Review will rebalance the number of electors each MP represents, resulting in significant change to the existing constituency map.
After this final consultation has closed on 5 December, the Commission will analyse the responses and form its final recommendations. These will be submitted to Parliament by 1 July 2023.
Tim Bowden, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said:
“Today we are announcing the publication of our revised proposals. Last year we published our initial proposals for new constituency boundaries – our first go at what the map should look like. We are delighted with the huge number of comments from members of the public on our initial proposals, many which included valuable evidence about local communities.
Today’s publication is the culmination of months of analysis and we have revised nearly half of our initial proposals based on what people have told us. We now believe we are close to the best map of constituencies that can be achieved under the rules we are working to.
However, we still want people to tell us what they think of this latest map before we submit our final recommendations to Parliament next year. This is our final consultation and I encourage you to participate in the 2023 Boundary Review.”