Archive for the ‘Leeds’ Category

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Unsplit Leeds!

In boundary changes,Leeds,Yorks/Humber on November 2, 2011 by dadge

The City of Leeds has 7 and a half constituencies: Central, West, North West, East, North East, Pudsey, Elmet & Rothwell, and Morley & Outwood (shared with Wakefield).

A review of the constituencies is going on, and with the national reduction in the number of MPs from 650 to 600, Leeds will only be entitled to 7 MPs. This is good news in a way, since it means that the city doesn’t have to share an MP with Wakefield or anywhere else. Or so you would think…

(The city boundary is shown by a thick black line. The proposed constituencies are shown by thick blue lines. The red numbers refer to the notes below.)

For reasons best known to itself, the Boundary Commission has proposed a complete redrawing of the constituency map of Leeds, including FIVE seats that include parts of neighbouring authorities:

1. The most ridiculous proposal is to combine Alwoodley and parts of Allerton with various villages across the Wharfe: Huby, Spofforth, Killinghall, Summerbridge…

2. The towns in the north west of the borough are put together with Baildon and half of Idle.

3. The other half of Idle is in a Pudsey seat that also includes Armley.

4. Half of Batley is combined with Morley and parts of the inner city.

5. The Outwood district of Wakefield has been put with Leeds city centre.

Could they have done a worse job?

How has this happened?

Under pressure from politicians, the Commission has decided that, rather than respect our cities and communities, it will, for its own convenience, and the convenience of the politicians, split our cities apart. This is not just happening in Leeds – several other cities are affected, including Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle.

What can we do about it?

We can tell the Commission and the politicians: “Split my ward, not my city! Let’s make democracy make sense.”

If we split two or three Leeds wards we can keep the city together and keep the changes to the constituencies as small as possible. It’s not rocket science. Here’s one suggestion:

Elmet & Rothwell 77,994
Leeds East 79,242
Leeds North East 78,529*
Pudsey & Aireborough 76,157*
Leeds North 79,095
Leeds West 78,736*
Morley 75,585*

*Estimates

The two split wards are:
Otley & Yeadon: Otley is in Leeds NE; Yeadon is in the Pudsey seat
City & Hunslet: Beeston Hill and the city centre are in Leeds W; Hunslet is in the Morley seat

That’s the best suggestion I can come up with at the moment, but there are other possibilities – you could maybe suggest an alternative. The main thing is that all the seats are in Leeds, where they belong.

Act now!

Sign the petition

Email the Boundary Commission
Email the Chairman of the Commission

Email the Conservative Party
Email the Labour Party
Email the Liberal Democrats
Email your MP

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Consultation week 8

In boundary changes,Humberside,Leeds,News,Yorks/Humber on October 31, 2011 by dadge

Hearings are under way today in Northampton, Crawley, Wandsworth and Colchester. I can’t see the Crawley one being very interesting, but there are still plenty of issues to discuss in London and Essex, and the main issue in Northamptonshire is which bit of the county to combine with a part of Leicestershire: Daventry, Corby or the east.

Here in Birmingham I’m looking forward to Thursday, when the West Midlands boundaries circus gets under way. A small hint of what’s in store from the Labour Party in this article from the Great Barr Observer:

***

Last night BBC Radio 4’s “The Westminster Hour” featured the boundary review. Mandy Baker went to the hearing in Leeds and produced a very interesting report about the politics of the Review. Some quotes:

Roger Pratt (Conservative strategist): “[Three seats in West Yorkshire] are some of the strangest constituencies I have seen from the Boundary Commission.”

Fabian Hamilton MP (Labour, Leeds NE): “The consensus has gone and I think that’s tragic.”

Greg Mulholland MP (LibDem, Leeds NW): “If the Boundary Commission are given daft rules you’re going to end up with some daft seats.”

Labour’s Greg Cook offered no counter-proposals because even though the Yorkshire proposals are plainly ridiculous, he thinks they will deliver Labour an extra MP. (The Tory party’s position vis-a-vis Nottinghamshire was essentially the same.) Hopefully, come the next election, local people will punish the main parties for this attitude.

(Notice that if the Commission are persuaded to restore the Elmet & Rothwell seat, which is one of the easiest changes they could make, the extra Labour seat that Greg is dreaming of will go up in a puff of smoke.)

Interesting to hear Greg Mulholland attacking his coalition partners for framing the law to give themselves a political advantage, and Fabian Hamilton attacking his own party for its short-sightedness.

***

A bit further east, a surprising report from Hedon, where the town council has decided not to get involved in the boundary consultation, despite the Commission’s intention to move the town into Hull East. Apparently the council decided the matter was “too political” to be involved in. Idiots.

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From the archives

In Leeds,redistricting on October 16, 2011 by dadge

Quote of the day:

“Ed Balls suggested that wards could be divided between constituencies in order to allow some flexibility. The Commission confirm that they are not required by the 1986 Act to use local government wards as their building blocks for parliamentary constituencies. However, they have a long-standing policy of using them, which is supported by the three political parties.”

Report on Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, 24 May 2006, paragraph 23

 

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Leeds

In Leeds,redistricting,West Yorkshire,Yorks/Humber on October 13, 2011 by dadge

In Leeds, as in Birmingham, I advocate “doing an Edinburgh” and splitting wards in order to fit the seats into the city. Once you let yourself do this you can create whatever seats you like, within reason. I say “within reason” because I think wards are still important building blocks and we should use them whenever we can.

Leeds should get 7 whole seats in the current Review, not 3 whole seats and 5 bits of seats like the Commission is proposing. Leeds’ wards are problematic: 33 divided by 7 doesn’t go, and since they average 17,000 electors each, 17,000×4=68,000 and 17,000×5=85,000, so you can see the difficulty.

In the east of the city the ward average is on the low side, so we can build two seats of 5 wards each: either NE and SE, as the Commission have done, or East and Elmet & Rothwell, which would almost be identical to the current seats.

Now I don’t know Leeds very well, but the other 5 seats would seem logically to be: (1) North, (2) Otley, Guiseley, Yeadon and Horsforth, (3) Pudsey-side, (4) Morley-side and (5) Central.

My rough plan has the following split wards:

– Weetwood, where the Horsforth part goes into LNW (or “Aireborough” as I’ve fancifully termed it in the table below) and the Far Headingley side goes into LN

– Armley, which is in Leeds Central, except for Upper Armley in LWP

– Beeston & Holbeck: Beeston in LSM, Holbeck in LC.

It’s not rocket science, is it.

AIREBOROUGH 77,238
Guiseley and Rawdon 17,491
Horsforth 17,487
Otley and Yeadon 17,477
Adel and Wharfedale 15,863
Weetwood 16,920
less Weetwood South -8,000
   
LEEDS NORTH EAST (& WETHERBY) 78,867
Cross Gates and Whinmoor 17,210
Gipton and Harehills 14,935
Harewood 14,786
Killingbeck and Seacroft 16,527
Wetherby 15,409
   
LEEDS NORTH   76,269
Alwoodley 17,471
Moortown 17,105
Roundhay 17,032
Chapel Allerton 16,661
plus Weetwood South 8,000
   
LEEDS CENTRAL 78,521
City and Hunslet 19,030
Headingley 14,787
Hyde Park and Woodhouse 14,949
Kirkstall 15,778
Armley 16,977
plus Holbeck  6000
minus Upper Armley -9000
   
LEEDS SOUTH EAST (& ROTHWELL) 78,369
Burmantofts and Richmond Hill 14,500
Garforth and Swillington 15,945
Kippax and Methley 16,283
Rothwell 15,571
Temple Newsam 16,070
   
LEEDS SOUTH (& MORLEY) 77,847
Beeston and Holbeck 14,562
Morley North 17,855
Morley South 16,515
Middleton Park 17,871
Ardsley and Robin Hood 17,044
minus Holbeck -6000
   
LEEDS WEST (& PUDSEY) 78,227
Farnley and Wortley 17,961
Bramley and Stanningley 16,506
Calverley and Farsley 17,515
Pudsey 17,245
plus Upper Armley 9,000

If you’d prefer them, the electorates for the Leeds East and Elmet & Rothwell seats would be 79,242 and 77,994 respectively.

Email your thoughts to the Commission at yorkshumber@bcommengland.x.gsi.gov.uk

Leeds 1954