Articles

Conservative counterproposals – North West England

In Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester, North West, redistricting, Tories on October 16, 2011 by dadge

Although the Tories’ ideas are, on the whole, a bit better than both the Commission’s and Labour’s, it’s still disappointing that they’ve endorsed the Commission’s methodology. I suppose it’s difficult for the governing party to discredit in any way a supra-governmental (or is it extra-governmental?) body, but on the other hand they are the people who are best placed to do something about the incompetence of the Commission.

Endorsing the Commission’s methodology brings them into direct conflict not only with common sense, but also with their local organisations and MPs. At the Chester hearings, MPs and party members lined up to criticise their own party’s counterproposals regarding Poynton, Henbury, Ellesmere Port, and Chester itself, inasmuch as those counterproposals endorse the Commission’s plans. Shame on their craven central office for hanging them out to dry! Why leave it to your individual MPs and councillors (as well as those few members of the public who understand the process) to suggest that the emperor is parading in the altogether?

Because of Cheshire’s unique position at this Review (a non-metropolitan county with wards of over 10,000 electors each) the counterproposal is bound to be a failure if it doesn’t split any wards. Without splitting wards, the obvious idea of moving the Groves, Weaver and Boughton Heath wards clockwise into the seats they really belong in is made impossible by the fact that it would give Chester an electorate of  80,769. The Guide to the Review does say that ward-splitting may be justified under exceptional circumstances and Cheshire has the most exceptional circumstances in England!

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I had to laugh when, after reading this:

“We disagree with the principle of crossing the Mersey at a point with no transport links. The proposed Mersey Banks seat appears to be in conflict with the Commission’s own guidance, contained in the Guide to the 2013 Review, on detached parts. Our plan enables the Mersey Banks seat to extend eastwards
towards Runcorn rather than crossing the Mersey at a point with no links.”

…I noticed that their Warrington South seat has two unlinked parts! And their Tatton seat almost does as well, the only link between Runcorn and the rest of the seat being Newton Lane. It’s also difficult to see the link between Cliviger and Pendle, but the general pattern in East Lancs is good.

Their proposals make some headway on addressing the excessive border- and town-splititng of the Commisssion’s proposals, but they leave some new problems: Reddish, Chadderton, Royton, Clayton and Bredbury are all split, and arrangements in North Manchester are not ideal.

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One Response to “Conservative counterproposals – North West England”

  1. The non-contiguity of Warrington South was picked up pretty much immediately at the Manchester hearing.

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