Radical boundary shake-up planned for Rochdale
Reporter: Laura Wild
Date online: 13 September 2011
Proposals for new parliamentary constituency boundaries could see Rochdale undergo radical changes.
Plans launched by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) show that Rochdale would be split into two seats, namely Rochdale North and Rawtenstall and Rochdale South.
This will be the first time since records began that Rochdale would not have its own MP.
The current MP for Rochdale is Simon Danczuk, of the Labour party.
The seat for Heywood and Middleton, currently held by Labour’s Jim Dobbin MP, will also see changes, with a lone Middleton seat.
The wards incorporated into the proposed seats are listed below:
- Rochdale North and Rawtenstall: Rawtenstall, Bacup and Whitworth with the Rochdale Borough wards of Norden, Healey, Spotland, Central, Smallbridge and Firgrove, Wardle and West Littleborough and Littleborough.
- Rochdale South: The Rochdale Borough wards of Heywood North, Bamford, Castleton, Balderstone and Kirkholt, Milkstone and Deeplish, Kingsway and Milnrow and Newhey, with the Oldham Borough wards of Shaw, Crompton and Royton North.
- Middleton: the Rochdale Borough wards of Middleton North, South, East and West, Hopwood Hall, Heywood West, the Chadderton wards from Oldham Borough and the Charlestown ward from Manchester.
The review of constituency boundaries is being carried out after Parliament decided that there should be a reduction in the number of constituencies across the UK, and that there should be similar numbers of electors in each constituency. The number of constituencies in England is being reduced from 533 to 502.
Under the BCE's initial proposals 77 of the existing constituencies are unchanged.
The Leader of Rochdale Council, Councillor Colin Lambert described the proposals as "a dog's dinner.”
He said: “The mandarins of the boundary commission are to democracy what the bankers are to the economy. People will feel disenfranchised not just from the vote but from the whole process of parliament and laws
“It is dangerous; there will be no accountability for local communities. They have decided to split Heywood and split Rochdale into imaginary boundaries, people will have no affiliation with these areas – it is a kick in the teeth for democracy.”
The independent Boundary Commission for England (BCE) today launches a 12-week consultation on its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
Simon James, Secretary to the Commission, says the BCE is now open to feedback: "Now that we have published our initial proposals we welcome people's participation until the consultation closes on 5 December 2011. People can contribute via our website, they can write in or email us, or come and present their views at a public hearing in one of 36 venues around the country between 11 October and 18 November this year.”
The BCE website: www.consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk provides full information about the review and sets out how people can get involved and register for the public hearings.
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