Archive for the ‘Manchester’ Category


Save Denton!

In boundary changes,Manchester,North West on November 22, 2011 by dadge

One of the quickest campaigns to get going in response to the boundary review was Andrew Gwynne‘s campaign to “Save Denton”. Not that the Commission has recommended splitting Denton, you understand, but I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I’m afraid Denton is split under my counter-proposal, and being a reasonable sort of chap, I’ve had a look at how that might be avoided.

It would involve crossing the Stockport-Tameside border twice instead of once, but there are two three reasonably good solutions:

Version 1

Ashton 79,780
Longdendale 77,000 (est.)
Stockport West & Denton 79,038
Stockport East 77,549 (est.)
Cheadle 72,826

Dukinfield and Mossley are in the Ashton seat:

The Longdendale (a.k.a. Stalybridge) seat includes Marple, whilst Bredbury, Romiley and High Lane are in the Stockport East seat.

Version 2 is almost the same except Bredbury is in the Longdendale seat and Marple is in Stockport East:

Update: Version 3

Ashton & Stalybridge 79,814 (includes Dukinfield & Mossley)
Denton & Reddish 74,223 (includes Droylsden & Audenshaw)
Hyde & Marple 76,309 (includes Bredbury & Romiley)
Stockport Central & Hazel Grove 79,543 (est.)
Cheadle 76,304 (est.)

North East Cheshire in 1922



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!


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.


Labour counterproposals – North West England

In Cheshire,Labour,Lancashire,Manchester,Merseyside,North West,redistricting on October 13, 2011 by dadge

After another eye-straining session with MS Paint, I’ve done maps of Labour’s proposals for constituencies in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire:

There are a few minor innaccuracies in their report (e.g. I’ve already found a couple of electorates that are wrong) but this their list as they presented it:

Bootle & Kirkdale 74046
Knowsley* 79334
Liverpool Riverside 76061
Liverpool Walton & Edge Hill 78563
Liverpool West Derby 74732
Sefton Central 77093
Southport** 77555
St Helens North* 75688
St Helens South & Whiston* 78612
Wavertree & Halewood 79659
Birkenhead 74605
Wallasey & Hoylake 76171
Wirral South 77735
North West Cheshire 75507
Congleton* 73820
Crewe & Nantwich* 78845
Ellesmere Port & West Runcorn 76208
Macclesfield 78711
Mid Cheshire 73971
North Cheshire 74092
South West Cheshire 73436
Warrington North 74877
Widnes & Warrington West 80283
Altrincham & Sale West 74199
Cheadle & Poynton 74618
Hazel Grove & Bollington 73260
Ashton-under-Lyne 73668
Blackley & Broughton 79909
Bolton South** 78550
Bolton West 80265
Bury Central & Heywood 74646
Denton & Reddish 74223
Leigh* 77001
Makerfield* 74856
Manchester Central 78616
Manchester Gorton* 74681
Manchester Withington* 73656
Oldham East & Saddleworth 80433
Oldham West & Middleton 80295
Bury South* 75140
Rochdale* 77699
Salford & Eccles* 76863
Stalybridge & Hyde 80177
Stockport 72884
Stretford & Urmston** 77813
Wigan* 76779
Worsley & Eccles South* 73409
Wythenshawe & Sale East* 75602
Bolton North & Darwen 80132
Rossendale & Ramsbottom 78380
Blackburn 78049
Blackpool North & Fleetwood** 80400
Blackpool South** 80402
Burnley & Nelson 80105
Chorley** 79612
Clitheroe & Colne 79877
Fylde** 78304
Garstang & Carnforth 80344
Hyndburn & Padiham 79376
Morecambe & Lancaster 80278
Preston 79330
South Ribble 80058
West Lancashire 79205

Labour’s counterproposal is a curate’s egg: good in parts. As I was drawing the map, now and again I’d think “That’s a good idea”, but a minute later it’d be LOL OMG YCBS…

Labour’s mantra may be “minimum change”, and their proposals may indeed be less radical on average than the Commission’s, but it seems that beacsue they’ve been concentrating on getting certain areas the way they want them, some areas have been left to go hang. The mincing of Runcorn is a case in point, and their Middleton seat vies with the Commission’s as to which is more risible. I thought the idea of putting Cheshire’s northern boundary back to where it was before 1933 was quite sweet, until I noticed there’s a big hole in the seat where they’ve tacked Lymm onto Altrincham.

In the north of the region they’ve done a better job, but what’s with the two new seats of Preston-Central-with-random-bits-of-South-Ribble and Preston North & Morecambe Bay?

towns split between 2 seats: Formby**, West Kirby, Chester, Ellesmere Port**, Cheadle Hulme, Bredbury**, Middleton, Rochdale**, Eccles*, Preston**

towns split between 3 seats: Runcorn, Warrington, Sale, Oldham, Bolton, Bury

orphan wards: Heswall (Wirral)**, Beechwood (Halton), Cholmondeley (Crewe & Nantwich)*, Lymm (Warrington), Poynton (Macclesfield)**, Bollington & Disley (Macclesfield), Atherton (Wigan)*, Tottington (Bury), Chipping (Ribble Valley)

districts divided between 4 seats: Wirral**, Halton, Warrington, Stockport*

districts divided between 7 seats: Cheshire East

* same as current constituencies

** same as Boundary Commission proposals


Manchester hearings report

In Manchester,News,North West on October 12, 2011 by dadge

They came, they showed their powerpoints, they weren’t entirely bonkers…
Well, except for some of Labour’s proposals, like these corkers:
That’s the two new constituencies of Ellesmere Port and West Runcorn (yellow) and North West Cheshire (green). NWC is a fine creation, one the Boundary Commission itself would’ve been proud of*, stretching as it does from Heswall in Merseyside, through rural Cheshire, picking up a third of the City of Chester on the way and ending with a suburb of Runcorn and a suburb of Northwich in the east. Labour may be forgiven for trying to make the “best” of a difficult situation vis-a-vis the ward boundaries in the county, but this seat is as classic an example of a gerrymander as you’re ever likely to see. And what the map doesn’t show you about EPWR is that there is no direct road link between the three main parts of the seat.
* joke
The LibDems (in the shape of blogger doktorB) were the only one of the three main parties to advocate the splitting of some wards to make the pattern of seats more acceptable, Labour and the Tories seemingly having been cowed by the Commission into playing it safe. The consensus is that the Tories have the best plan of the four main plans now on the table.
The major fly in the ointment for the Tories’ counterproposal is their plan to combine Salford with Stretford. Roger Pratt (who presented the Tories’ case) is an old hand at this game and I’m sure he knows it won’t go down well – read the transcripts from the 2005 hearings to get a feel for the popularity or otherwise of such a move…
Several speakers bemoaned the way the Commission had treated Salford, Leigh and Ashton, and the main parties appear to have bent over backwards (just as I have!) to ensure these communities aren’t split between seats.
Somewhere where there is less consensus is The Poynton Question, i.e. whether the Cheshire ward of Poynton should be added to Stockport to make more options available. I say no, it shouldn’t. Poynton shouldn’t be treated badly just in order to make life easy for the Commission. What’s more important is what makes life easy or difficult for the inhabitants and their MP. Greater Manchester is hardly short of voters, so there is no excuse for tacking Poynton.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much mention of any independent counterproposals. It has to be borne in mind that the parties have certain motivations, ulterior motives shall we say, for making certain proposals, and it puts the Commission in an invidious position to have to choose between them.
Some of Wednesday’s speakers:
Trevor Barton is director of Wigan Voluntary Services Council
Keith Barnes is pro-vice chancellor of Salford University
Barbara Spicer is chief executive of Salford City Council
Mike Hall is the former MP for Weaver Vale
Andrew Stunell is the MP for Hazel Grove
John Stockton is a Halton councillor @JStockton332
Kate Challender is a Bolton politician
Iain Lindley is a Salford councillor @cllrilindley
After Manchester, the public hearings move on on Thursday to Chester and Leeds.


Let battle commence…

In Manchester,North West,redistricting on October 11, 2011 by dadge

The first Boundary Review public hearing is under way and the apparatchiks from the political parties have weighed in with their counter-proposals for Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas.

DoktorB is live tweeting and there’s discussion on the Vote UK forum.


Greater Manchester and Blackburn

In Manchester,North West,redistricting on October 10, 2011 by dadge

It’s the eve of the Review Hearings, and Manchester gets first bite at the Commission’s cherry. Let me know how it goes – every evening I hope to bring you the latest gossip.

Is the fight back beginning against the Commission’s “daisy-chain” methodology?! It worries me to hear that the political parties will humour the Commission, in which case it’s even more important that ordinary local people point out the idiocy of some of the initial proposals.

To take an appropriate example, it’s ridiculous to treat the whole of the North West as a single amorphous blob, with communities split and seats crossing borders willy-nilly. Taking a leaf out of the Commission’s (old) book – back in the day when they did their job properly – I’ve split the region up into sensible review areas and dealt with each in turn.

Greater Manchester has a 2010 electorate of 1,957,990, giving it a theoretical entitlement (TE) to 25.55 seats.

Blackburn has an electorate of 101,809, giving it a TE of 1.33 seats.

I propose that the two areas be dealt with together (with a TE of 26.88 seats) and be allocated 27 seats with an average electorate of 76,289.

Combining Blackburn with Bolton and Bury is not ideal, but the border has to be crossed somewhere, and it is possible to create a reasonable seat in this area.

I further propose to divide the county into three review areas, as follows:

review area borough electorate TE combined TE seats average electorate
Greater Manchester East Tameside





















Greater Manchester South Manchester












Greater Manchester North West Wigan









  Blackburn with Darwen







Luckily, considering the average electorates, it is possible to create two seats wholly in Rochdale and two seats wholly in Oldham. I propose to do this, i.e. without any unnecessary cross-border seats. The existing (pre-Review)Rochdale seats can in fact just stay as they are. (The Commission’s proposals split the towns of Royton, Heywood and Chadderton, but that is completely avoidable.)

Combining Tameside and Stockport is problematic. It requires dividing a community (Denton) and a ward (Manor), but apart from these two drawbacks there are four advantages: Ashton and Bredbury aren’t split like they are the Commission’s proposals, and there is no seat crossing the Oldham border; and most importantly, there is no seat crossing the Cheshire border.

Central Rochdale 7,571
Healey 8,006
Littleborough Lakeside 7,795
Smallbridge and Firgrove 7,892
Spotland and Falinge 8,042
Wardle and West Littleborough 7,423
Balderstone and Kirkholt 7,234
Kingsway 8,161
Milkstone and Deeplish 7,594
Milnrow and Newhey 7,981
East Middleton 7,975
Hopwood Hall 8,314
North Middleton 7,949
South Middleton 7,771
West Heywood 8,559
West Middleton 8,391
Bamford 7,805
Castleton 7,668
North Heywood 7,410
Norden 7,794
Alexandra 7,434
Saddleworth North 7,638
Saddleworth South 7,900
Saddleworth West and Lees 8,385
St James’ 7,775
St Mary’s 8,544
Waterhead 8,214
Crompton 8,397
Shaw 7,962
Medlock Vale 8,110
Chadderton South 8,073
Failsworth East 7,941
Failsworth West 7,777
Hollinwood 7,503
Werneth 7,527
Coldhurst 8,514
Royton South 8,406
Royton North 8,135
Chadderton Central 7,921
Chadderton North 8,213
ASHTON 78,815
Audenshaw 8,794
Droylsden East 8,962
Droylsden West 9,063
St Peter’s 8,787
Ashton Hurst 8,853
Ashton St Michael’s 8,566
Ashton Waterloo 8,604
Denton North East 8,604
Denton South 8,582
Hyde Godley 8,485
Hyde Newton 9,974
Hyde Werneth 8,850
Longdendale 7,864
Mossley 8,665
Stalybridge North 9,565
Stalybridge South 8,551
Dukinfield 9,486
Dukinfield Stalybridge 8,737
Denton West 9,329
Brinnington and Central 9,934
Reddish North 10,555
Reddish South 10,334
Edgeley and Cheadle Heath 10,478
Heatons North 10,401
Heatons South 10,755
Manor 10,460
less part of Manor -2,000
CHEADLE 72,826
Cheadle and Gatley 11,402
Cheadle Hulme North 10,013
Cheadle Hulme South 10,469
Heald Green 9,833
Bramhall North 10,542
Bramhall South 9,831
Davenport and Cale Green 10,736
Hazel Grove 10,921
Marple North 9,818
Marple South 9,584
Offerton 10,365
Stepping Hill 9,707
Bredbury Green and Romiley 10,891
Bredbury and Woodley 10,843
plus part of Manor 2,000


The similarity in electorate in Salford and Trafford is remarkable, and means they both have to “give away” a couple of wards. That’s handy forManchester, which is a few wards short of having 5 seats. Where to cross the border? The existing crossing in the north is acceptable, but although there is continuous development between Wythenshawe and Sale, I’ve tried to avoid splitting Sale between 3 seats and 2 authorities by moving the cross-border seat to Old Trafford.

Although Manchester manages just about without splitting any wards, a small split is required in Sale.

Cheetham 13,255
Crumpsall 9,869
Harpurhey 11,384
Higher Blackley 9,077
Moston 10,903
Broughton 7,599
Kersal 7,818
Charlestown 10,004
City Centre 12,731
Hulme 11,347
Ardwick 11,633
Moss Side 10,913
Whalley Range 10,597
Clifford 7,324
Longford 8,551
Gorton North 10,574
Gorton South 11,753
Longsight 10,451
Rusholme 10,042
Ancoats and Clayton 11,219
Bradford 10,381
Miles Platting and Newton Heath 10,392
Fallowfield 10,531
Old Moat 10,641
Chorlton 10,531
Chorlton Park 10,720
Withington 10,948
Burnage 10,438
Levenshulme 10,733
Baguley 10,608
Brooklands 10,300
Didsbury East 10,402
Didsbury West 9,976
Northenden 10,733
Sharston 11,209
Woodhouse Park 9,594
Ashton upon Mersey 7,293
Davyhulme East 7,737
Davyhulme West 7,574
Flixton 8,410
Gorse Hill 7,921
Stretford 7,758
Urmston 8,063
Bucklow-St Martins 7,182
Sale Moor 7,488
Priory 7,762
less part of Bucklow-St Martins -500
Altrincham 8,242
Bowdon 7,244
Broadheath 9,313
Hale Barns 7,582
Hale Central 7,373
Timperley 8,392
Village 7,837
Brooklands 7,908
St Mary’s 8,732
plus part of Bucklow-St Martins 500
Irwell Riverside 8,525
Langworthy 8,995
Ordsall 8,197
Weaste and Seedley 8,181
Eccles 8,804
Winton 8,576
Barton 8,498
Cadishead 7,758
Irlam 7,218
SWINTON 75,520
Boothstown and Ellenbrook 7,638
Claremont 8,151
Pendlebury 9,055
Swinton North 8,654
Swinton South 8,301
Worsley 8,245
Little Hulton 8,857
Walkden North 8,445
Walkden South 8,174


Combining the southern part of Blackburn & Darwen council area with the northern wards of Bolton and Bury creates a Darwen & Ramsbottom or “Turton” constituency containing areas of similar character whilst leaving the main urban areas of Bolton and Bury largely intact. South of those two towns the towns of Farnworth, Kearsley, Whitefield and Prestwich form a new seat together.

In Wigan, my proposals mean that very little change is required from the current (pre-Review) constituencies. A split ward is required: Atherleigh, but this has the advantage that the towns of Atherton and Leigh will not themselves be split between constituencies.

Audley 5,665
Bastwell 5,125
Beardwood with Lammack 4,561
Corporation Park 4,803
Ewood 4,615
Fernhurst 4,356
Higher Croft 5,201
Little Harwood 4,391
Livesey with Pleasington 5,462
Meadowhead 4,392
Mill Hill 4,218
Queen’s Park 4,126
Roe Lee 4,653
Shadsworth with Whitebirk 5,348
Shear Brow 5,142
Wensley Fold 4,410
Astley Bridge 10,109
Bromley Cross 10,587
Bradshaw 8,853
North Manor 8,165
Ramsbottom 9,010
Tottington 8,045
Earcroft 3,281
East Rural 1,581
Marsh House 4,661
North Turton with Tockholes 3,518
Sudell 4,753
Sunnyhurst 4,464
Whitehall 3,083
less part of North Manor -4,165
Crompton 9,921
Halliwell 8,811
Tonge with the Haulgh 8,857
Great Lever 9,318
Rumworth 9,754
Breightmet 9,462
Hulton 9,756
Little Lever and Darcy Lever 9,702
Horwich and Blackrod 9,586
Westhoughton North and Chew Moor 10,956
Westhoughton South 9,592
Horwich North East 9,772
Heaton and Lostock 10,683
Smithills 9,903
Atherton 10,962
plus part of Atherleigh 4,000
BURY 72,839
Church 8,504
East 7,869
Elton 8,513
Moorside 8,955
Redvales 8,850
Radcliffe East 8,677
Radcliffe North 8,810
Radcliffe West 8,496
plus part of North Manor 4,165
Besses 8,215
Holyrood 8,775
Pilkington Park 7,854
St Mary’s 8,080
Sedgley 8,792
Kearsley 10,398
Farnworth 10,657
Harper Green 9,503
Unsworth 7,441
LEIGH 72,984
Astley Mosley Common 9,357
Leigh East 9,184
Leigh South 10,298
Tyldesley 10,161
Atherleigh 8,535
Hindley 10,059
Hindley Green 8,619
Leigh West 10,771
less part of Atherleigh -4,000
Abram 10,587
Ashton 9,144
Bryn 9,236
Golborne and Lowton West 8,990
Lowton East 9,705
Winstanley 8,871
Worsley Mesnes 9,035
Ince 8,806
WIGAN 77,278
Aspull New Springs Whelley 10,161
Douglas 9,694
Pemberton 9,789
Shevington with Lower Ground 9,349
Standish with Langtree 9,745
Wigan Central 9,276
Wigan West 9,959
Orrell 9,305