Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Lancashire

Rural Lancashire (i.e. the parts of Lancashire not part of Merseyside or Greater Manchester) is relatively easy to deal with in terms of drawing new boundaries, and for the most part I accept the Boundary Commission's initial proposals, with a few tweaks and exceptions.

It is important small communities which can easily fit into one seat are not split in the process; Bamber Bridge and Scotforth are key examples; the same applies for integral parts of these towns. (An integral part is a suburb or village clearly connected to the town or city).
Wisely, the BCE has treated Southport as part of Lancashire, since extending the constituency southwards would split the town of Formby, and Southport has reiterated that it should never have been moved into the Merseyside area in the first place. Lancaster & Morecambe are at long last properly united into a constituency, since they are as together as Brighton & Hove, and are in some ways a northern counterpart of said Brighton & Hove.

In eastern Lancashire, there have been arguments about whether it is better to abolish Hyndburn (centred on Accrington) or Pendle (centred on the towns of Nelson and Colne). I can safely say abolishing Pendle is much more justified, since Nelson and Colne are clearly two separate towns (the predecessor constituency said as much) whereas Accrington is just one town. Both towns should be recognised within the names of their new constituencies. Rural connections are also very important, so disconnecting Lancaster and Fleetwood, which have no connection with each other and no common identity, is a smart move.

My proposals for Lancashire constituencies are:

Pendle is abolished.
Lancaster & Fleetwood is abolished.
Wyre & Preston North is abolished.
Ormskirk & Skelmersdale succeeds West Lancashire.
Accrington succeeds Hyndburn.
Burnley & Nelson succeeds Burnley.
Leyland succeeds South Ribble; Leyland is clearly the dominant town in this constituency.
Clitheroe & Colne succeeds Ribble Valley.
Blackpool North & Fleetwood succeeds Blackpool North & Cleveleys and restores the 1997-2010 constituency of the same name.
Lytham succeeds Fylde.
Lancaster & Morecambe succeeds Morecambe & Lunesdale in practice. Within the Bolton & Skyne ward it has polling district BOSC, making its actual electorate 73,165. I feel this ward split is necessary to avoid splitting other parts of the Lancaster & Morecambe conurbation.
Chorley is unchanged.
Lancashire North is a new seat. Within Bolton & Skyne ward it has polling districts BOSA and BOSB, making its actual electorate 72,480.

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