Anger over 'nonsense' Boundary Commission plans to 'carve up' Ribble Valley
Controversial proposals to move Ribble Valley villages into Hyndburn and merge parts of Preston into the rural borough have been slammed.
In a report released today (Tuesday), The Boundary Commission has published its proposals for changes to constituency borders across the UK .
The much-anticipated proposals are part of the Commission’s 2023 Review, with a public consultation now open until the beginning of August for people to give their views on the proposed changes.
By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors to make sure they are balanced in terms of voter numbers.
In the Ribble Valley it is recommended Whalley and Painter Wood, Billington, Langho and Read and Simonstone become part of Hyndburn, while Preston Rural East, Preston Rural North, Ribbleton, Fishwick, Frenchwood and Walton-Le-Dale West "merge" into the Ribble Valley.
The plans have been branded 'ludicrous and a complete nonsense" by Whalley and Painter Wood Councillor Ged Mirfin. He said: "These proposals threaten local identity and there is no way they should go ahead.
"Whalley has been part of the RIbble Valley parliamentary constituency for decades. To move it under Hyndburn makes no sense whatsoever. Whalley is a big part of the Ribble Valley - it's a symbolic, iconic location and there is a very distinct border with Hyndburn. To make it part of Hyndburn defies logic! I will be fighting these nonsense and ludicrous plans and urge everyone to express their comments on the consultation."
Disappointment has also been expressed by Ribble Valley MP Rt Hon Nigel Evans. He said: "I’m hugely disappointed at the proposals that would see large parts of the Ribble Valley being carved up, with several villages being taken by neighbouring constituencies. These villages are a core part of the Ribble Valley, and in my 29 years as MP, the district of the Ribble Valley has always remained intact.
“There is, however, a very extensive and lengthy public consultation regarding these proposals. The consultation process last time saw more than 50 per cent of the composition of constituencies change, and I would encourage residents throughout my constituency to make sure their thoughts on these proposals are heard”.
The consultation period will run for eight weeks. The commission is not due to make its final recommendations to parliament until July 2023.
Residents in the Ribble Valley can view and submit comments on the proposals by CLICKING HERE