Thursday, 3 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Merseyside

Merseyside is more complicated to deal with in terms of North West areas, particularly due to the ward sizes in Liverpool and Sefton (NB: Southport is covered under Lancashire). However, the decreasing population means that the city of Liverpool will no longer have to share any constituencies with another authority. Given that the Wirral peninsula is really in Cheshire (ceremonially, most of this area was in Lancashire), on the other side of the River Mersey, and not connected to the Liverpool area except via the artificial Mersey Tunnel, I will be reviewing the Wirral area with the rest of Cheshire instead, where it belongs.

The substantial population decline in this area in the last 50 years is notable in terms of how much representation it has lost. In 1979, Liverpool had eight seats to itself (Edge Hill, Garston, Kirkdale, Scotland Exchange, Toxteth, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby); under the rules for the 2018 review its electorate entitles it to only four seats today. This also means that the Garston & Halewood seat, which was only created in 2010 when Liverpool's electorate was no longer enough for five seats, should be discontinued and Liverpool Garston restored. It is quite surprising that the Boundary Commission's initial proposals recommend this, given that it also means Bootle intrudes into northern Liverpool when this is not necessary or desirable at all. Nor is there any rational reason to completely dismantle Liverpool Walton; Liverpool Wavertree is an easier 'victim' of boundary changes. One unfortunate and unavoidable problem is the splitting of the town of Kirkby in the Knowsley area.

My alternative proposals for constituencies in the Liverpool urban area are:


Liverpool Wavertree is abolished.
Formby & Kirkby West succeeds Sefton Central and has a more appropriate name. It cannot revert to its old name of Crosby as this town has been moved into the Bootle constituency here.
Huyton & Kirkby East succeeds Knowsley and has a more recognisable name.
Liverpool Toxteth & Wavertree succeeds Liverpool Riverside, incorporating the community of Wavertree and otherwise being mostly composed of what was covered by the old constituency of Liverpool Toxteth from 1950 to 1983.
Liverpool Garston succeeds Garston & Halewood and effectively restores the 1950-2010 constituency of the same name.
St Helens North, and also St Helens South & Whiston, are unchanged.

Next in this series: Cheshire.



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