A number of Burnley and Padiham residents could be voting for an MP in Accrington and Pendle if radical changes to carve up parliamentary boundaries are enacted.
The third and final stage of a national review that could change the shape of the country’s parliamentary boundaries has started.
In the borough of Burnley the proposal is to move Gawthorpe, Hapton with Park (covering Padiham) and Rosegrove with Lowerhouse wards into what is now Hyndburn, but change the constituency name to Accrington.
The Burnley constituency would expand northwards, taking in eight wards currently in Pendle and stretching up to, and including, Brierfield and Nelson, creating a new constituency with an estimated 75,569 voters.
Burnley MP Julie Cooper said: “I would reiterate that these changes are unnecessary and unwelcome. They were originally the brain child of David Cameron.
“He said that he wanted to reduce the number of MPs to reduce the costs of democracy and then he went on to increase the number of very expensive unelected Lords. It was all clearly a PR gimmick.
“I am really proud to represent all the people of Burnley and Padiham. I am really upset at the prospect of losing Hapton and Padiham to Accrington and the proposal to take Rosegrove with Lowerhouse out of Burnley makes no sense at all.
“To split Burnley in this way is totally illogical. The residents of all these three wards feel no connection with Accrington at all.
“The current situation where the constituency boundary is coterminous with the borough boundary makes absolute sense and I will be fighting to maintain the status quo.”
Pendle and the Ribble Valley would also see huge changes if the proposals are enacted.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I am disappointed that the Boundary Commission has ignored the vast majority of comments from Pendle and Ribble Valley residents and are still proposing to split both boroughs in two.
“These proposals fail to reflect local communities in the area and would create a new seat stretching from Preston to the Yorkshire border.
“I will continue to urge the Boundary Commission to look again at these proposals.”
The Boundary Commission for England is considering constituency areas across England as part of a periodic review of the boundaries of all Parliamentary seats.
In Lancashire it is proposed to reduce the number of constituencies by two, to 14.
The overall aim is to have constituencies that have between 71,031 and 78,507 people eligible to vote living in them.
People can go to the BCE’s website, www.bce2018.org.uk, to view the new plans we have published.
All the public comments received during the first two consultations are also published on the website.
People have until December 11th to have their say.