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Decision to retain Pendle constituency is welcomed
12:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
West Craven politicians have welcomed the Boundary Commission’s revised proposals that will not see the controversial breakup of Pendle’s Parliamentary constituency.
The Boundary Commission, whose task is to ensure every MP represents a similar number of people (an electorate of between 72,810 and 80,473), set out its initial proposals to revise England’s Parliamentary constituencies in September last year.
The Coalition government wanted to reduce the cost of politics, by reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
This generated considerable concern with more than 2,000 Pendle residents writing to the commission to object to the plans.
The revised proposals, published following an extensive public consultation, mean that all the existing parts of Pendle would remain together in a constituency called Pendle.
To bring the seat up to the correct number of voters, the Burnley wards of Briercliffe and Cliviger with Worsthorne would be added, creating a constituency with 75,413 electors.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I am delighted that the Boundary Commission have seen sense and are proposing that Pendle is kept together.
“The House of Commons ought to be smaller, it ought to be less expensive and MPs ought to represent a similar number of people. We will be putting that argument to Parliament and I think the other parties should come forward and vote for these proposal.”
Pendle Labour Party also welcomed the revised proposals, but a spokesman said: “Although the Boundary Commission was obliged to carry on with its work and produce these recommendations, it has been known for some time that the Liberal Democrats will not allow the boundary changes to be passed into legislation, because the Conservatives voted down Lib Dem proposals for reforming the House of Lords.
“Local Tories are cock-a-hoop of course, because the Boundary Commission's original proposals for Pendle had meant that the proposed Burnley North and Nelson constituency would have included a number of Labour wards in Burnley, making Andrew Stephenson’s seat much less safe.”
Barnoldswick councillor Marjorie Adams (Lib Dem) said although the revised proposals would benefit the Conservatives, the original proposal would have resulted in Pendle losing its identity. “We want to remain in Pendle,” she added.