Sunday, 6 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Cheshire

Let me be clear: the River Mersey is a boundary between Cheshire and Lancashire, not a 'unifying estuary' of any kind. In fact other large rivers often served to determine the county lines within Britain. Therefore, I am counting the Wirral as part of Cheshire for this exercise.

The Boundary Commission has been rather careless with many of its proposals here, despite taking the wise move of reuniting the Wirral with Cheshire. 'Bebington & Heswall' does not even contain Bebington itself, but a seat can be created based on Wirral West which actually contains Bebington. I also desire to separate Runcorn and Widnes, and Warrington and Lymm, but unfortunately the strict limits on deviance from the average electorate make this unviable. Warrington should also be rearranged, not only due to Warrington North being under quota and Warrington South being over quota but also due to the links within these current constituencies.

One main problem is that further reorganisation, which created the current authorities of Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East, means that most wards in Cheshire are now large in both population and geographical size; the old districts, whilst not perfect by any standards, were better in this regard. This means that realistically one ward split is needed to create sensible constituencies.

Part of Greater Manchester needs to extend into Cheshire-there is no realistic way to avoid this given the quotas the BCE must use. However, there should only be one constituency crossing the border between Greater Manchester and Cheshire-not two or three. The outskirts of Altrincham, once part of the old Knutsford constituency, is the best place for such a constituency.

My alternative constituencies in Cheshire are therefore:

Wirral South is abolished.
Bebington & The Wirral succeeds Wirral West.
Widnes & Runcorn succeeds Halton.
Northwich & Winsford succeeds Eddisbury, which was called Northwich from 1950-1983.
Warrington West succeeds Warrington South in practice.
Warrington East succeeds Warrington North in practice; within Hatton, Stretton, and Walton ward it has polling districts SKC and SKD (comprising Walton) making its actual electorate 71,305 and the changed Weaver Vale's actual electorate 75,746.
Wilmslow succeeds Tatton.
City of Chester is unchanged apart from internal ward adjustments.

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