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Bulk Ward to stay in Lancaster. New constituency boundary proposals unveiled

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Boundary proposal for a new Lancaster & Morecambe constituency
Boundary proposal for a new Lancaster & Morecambe constituency
Author: 
Chris Satori

Conservative proposals to move Bulk ward into the Morecambe & Lunesdale constituency were met with a certain incredulity when they were unveiled for the boundary commission review which began last year. (See report with previous maps). Even with a new road it would be quite a feat.

It held the dizzying prospect of David Morris MP claiming credit for gaining Morecambe two new theatres (probably followed shortly after by him making indignant claims that the the entire ward was a hotbed of Marxist extremism the moment any of them mentioned foodbanks, schools or hospitals). 

However ward councillor Lizzie Collinge reports that Bulk is Back, in the latest proposals (see map above, click to enlarge), which would reunite Lancaster & Morecambe into a single constituency.  

The proposed new constituency boundary would fall across Scotforth in the south, with Bailrigg and Galgate forming part of a new North Lancashire Constituency (see map below, click to enlarge) which would surround Lancaster & Morecambe on all sides (except the seaside). 

 

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Boundary proposal for a new North Lancashire constituency
Boundary proposal for a new North Lancashire constituency

 

Speaking of the previous plan, Cllr Lizzi Collinge said ‘This proposal from the Conservative party was an obvious attempt to gerrymander a safe seat for the Conservatives at the expense of our community but I’m glad the Commission listened to local people and rejected this ridiculous idea’

‘I want to thank all the people who helped me go door-to-door with the petition and who spoke at the live hearings. I also want to thank local shopkeepers who kept the petition on their counters.’

If the final recommendations are enacted by Parliament, the total number of MPs would be reduced by 50 and there would be new boundaries across the country.

The overall process, as mandated by the Government, has been criticised as an attempt to weight constituencies in favour of the Conservatives, by splitting urban areas (traditionally more left-wing) to fit the pieces into predominantly rural areas (traditionally more right-wing). 

The electoral roll information that was used to inform the review was taken when 800,000 people had fallen off the electoral register after registration rules were changed. 

Locally, in the case of the University, the stats were taken in a year of record non-voter enrollment by students. The shame of it led to an upgrade to the university's enrollment system, which resulted in lengthy queues outside the polling station earlier this year, painting a substantially different electoral picture. 

The proposed Bailrigg Garden Village development of up to 5000 new homes in South Lancaster would also fall outside the proposed Lancaster & Morecambe constituency. 

Given the current state of parliamentary democracy, it's touch and go whether the review proposals could get passed, as not every Conservative MP will feel confident in the proposals as they affect them directly. 

You can see the latest proposals at www.bce2018.org.uk and have until December 11th to comment before final proposals are submitted for parliamentary approval in 2018.

 

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Comments

Incredible that despite all the negative feedback from both current constituencies, and both sitting MPs, the Boundary Commission chose to ignore local people and still put their proposals forward almost unchanged.