Archive for the ‘Merseyside’ Category


Is Halton the whipping boy?

In Birmingham,Cheshire,Merseyside,North West,redistricting on October 20, 2011 by dadge

One of the consequences of the 5% Law is that particular communities get, what’s the best word, leeched? cannibalised? to satisfy the needs of the Boundary Commission. Depending on which metaphor you prefer, their blood or their body parts are removed to give life to constituencies in bigger neighbours. (The technical term I use for this is tacking.)

The relationship of Cheshire to Halton (a council formed from the towns of Widnes and Runcorn) is a case in point. In order to satisfy the requirement for electoral equality – and god forbid that anyone might split a ward instead – the Commission and the political parties have all come up with plans that butcher/drain the district.

Halton has an electorate of 92,550 so at least 12,000 voters do have to find a home in another constituency, and currently some Runcorn wards are in the Weaver Vale seat. That seat’s being abolished, so another home needs to be found. In my plan Cheshire is “full up” so I’ve put some Widnes wards in the St Helen’s South seat.

Whether you like that or not, at least I’ve maintained the principle of only dividing Halton between two seats. Dividing Halton between three seats, as under the Boundary Commission or Lib Dem plans, or four (!) seats, as under the Tory and Labour plans, is unfortunate to say the least, and is not a product of any deep thought about the ties that particular wards have with neighbouring areas*, but simply about making the numbers up in other seats.

*Notice that some of the areas that the main proposals link Halton with are hardly “neighbouring” at all, such is the desperation that is caused by the mania not to split any Cheshire wards. The Commission links Ditton with Bromborough (20 miles), Labour link Beechwood with Chester (15 miles), and the Tories link the eastern edge of Runcorn with Alderley Edge (20 miles).

And the same thing is happening around the country, where, for example, instead of reviewing Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds on their own, with a couple of split wards in each, the Commission is leeching their smaller neighbours.

If splitting wards causes a bit of suffering to the communities in these cities or in Cheshire, isn’t that at least fairer than causing suffering to the communities in their neighbouring areas, whose only crime is to live nextdoor, and where towns are being divided just in order to make life a bit easier for the Commission and its political allies?

If you’d like to make a comment to the Commission about its policy with regard to tacking, you can email them.



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


Greater Liverpool

In Merseyside,North West,redistricting on October 12, 2011 by dadge

This review area covers the following boroughs (TE=theoretical entitlement to seats):

  electorate   TE
Knowsley 111,388   1.45
Liverpool 315,865   4.12
St Helens 137,767   1.80
Sefton 206,323   2.69
Halton 92,550   1.21
total 863,893   11.27

Thus the area gets 11 MP’s with an average seat size of 78,536.

What’s more, Liverpool can be dealt with on its own, with 4 seats, and Sefton & Knowsley and St Helens & Halton can be paired with 4 and 3 seats respectively.

It’s unfortunate that Formby is split, but to un-split it would require the Southport seat to include some wards from West Lancs District, which would have knock-on effects up the Ribble valley, and there is no room to put the extra electors in another Sefton seat.

Ward sizes in Liverpool mean that it’s impossible to fit 4 seats of the regulation size in the city without ward-splitting. I did try! But much better to keep Liverpool as a single entity that to embark on a tacking exercise, adding bits from other authorities (e.g. the Sefton wards of Stockbridge and Netherton that the Commission has shoe-horned into Liverpools seats) to cobble together seats of the required size. 

Ainsdale 9,626
Birkdale 9,926
Cambridge 9,427
Duke’s 9,730
Harington 9,752
Kew 9,206
Meols 9,785
Norwood 10,103
Blundellsands 8,910
Church 8,897
Derby 9,125
Ford 8,985
Linacre 7,897
Litherland 8,307
Victoria 10,252
Netherton and Orrell 8,807
St Oswald 8,554
KIRKBY   80,294
Northwood 5,381
Park 4,999
Shevington 5,305
Whitefield 4,950
Manor 9,825
Molyneux 10,061
Park 9,702
Ravenmeols 9,412
Sudell 10,034
Cherryfield 5,617
Kirkby Central 5,008
HUYTON 80,128
Halewood North 5,098
Halewood South 5,357
Halewood West 5,066
Longview 6,281
Page Moss 5,081
Roby 5,803
St Bartholomews 5,373
St Gabriels 5,244
St Michaels 5,230
Swanside 5,228
Prescot West 5,244
Stockbridge 4,590
Prescot East 5,514
Whiston North 5,461
Whiston South 5,558
Fazakerley 11,161
Norris Green 9,969
Warbreck 11,198
Clubmoor 11,092
Anfield 9,381
County 9,498
Tuebrook and Stoneycroft 10,262
Everton 9,644
minus part of Tuebrook -3,000
Knotty Ash 9,756
Old Swan 11,124
Wavertree 10,172
Childwall 11,122
West Derby 11,033
Yew Tree 11,231
Croxteth 10,458
plus part of Tuebrook 3,000
Central 11,785
Greenbank 10,043
Picton 10,189
Princes Park 9,289
Riverside 11,047
St Michael’s 9,579
Kirkdale 11,173
Kensington and Fairfield 8,454
minus part of Greenbank -1500
Allerton and Hunts Cross 10,961
Church 10,618
Cressington 11,240
Woolton 10,380
Belle Vale 10,885
Speke-Garston 12,631
Mossley Hill 10,490
plus part of Greenbank 1500
Billinge and Seneley Green 9,070
Blackbrook 8,492
Earlestown 8,168
Haydock 9,138
Moss Bank 8,678
Newton 8,575
Parr 8,706
Rainford 6,721
Windle 8,140
Bold 7,636
Eccleston 9,375
Rainhill 9,118
Sutton 9,185
Thatto Heath 9,550
Town Centre 8,220
West Park 8,995
Birchfield 4,983
Farnworth 5,663
Hough Green 5,304
HALTON 76,600
Appleton 4,773
Beechwood 3,083
Broadheath 4,867
Halton Castle 4,496
Grange 4,971
Halton Brook 4,810
Halton Lea 4,628
Halton View 5,184
Heath 4,665
Kingsway 4,973
Mersey 5,053
Riverside 3,615
Windmill Hill 1,621
Daresbury 3,368
Norton North 4,917
Norton South 4,611
Ditton 5,404
Hale 1,561

Boundaries in the Liverpool area in 1954.