Labour attacks Tory 'naked self-interest' in boundary proposals row

The Labour group on Ribble Valley Borough Council has responded to proposed parliamentary boundary changes that had been met with anger from local Tories.

Monday, 17th September 2018, 1:09 pm
Updated Monday, 17th September 2018, 1:12 pm
David Hinder

Conservative MP Nigel Evans and council leader Ken Hind spoke last week of their displeasure with the changes proposed by the Boundary Commission to redraw the Ribble Valley’s constituency boundaries.

The proposals would see Colne, Trawden, Barrowford and Earby merged into a new Pendle and Ribble Valley constituency.

But David Hinder, the 2017 Labour Party parliamentary candidate for the Ribble Valley, has criticised their response.

He said: “Yet again we have to endure entirely predictable bleating from Ribble Valley Council Leader Ken Hind and Nigel Evans MP. The Parliamentary Boundary Commission announcement comes after two separate consultation periods in the two years since the initial proposals were circulated.

"The only change affecting the Ribble Valley constituency from last year's first revision is the entirely sensible unification of Bamber Bridge as part of the welcome transfer of seven South Ribble Borough wards to the South Ribble parliamentary constituency.

"Once again the Tories conveniently ‘forget’ that it was David Cameron’s Government that set the criteria for the Boundary Commission to reduce the number of parliamentary constituencies from 650 to 600.

“With the Ribble Valley borough split between the new Pendle and Ribble Valley and North Lancashire seats and an overall reduction in the number of Lancashire constituencies it is unsurprising that Nigel Evans does not fancy the prospect of having to face an open selection contest against current MPs Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) and Ben Wallace (Wyre & Preston North).

"The Tories also conveniently neglect to mention that local government will be entirely unaffected by these changes, with county, borough and town councils' structures and responsibilities continuing as before.

"Sadly, as in so many other matters, Ribble Valley Conservatives' kneejerk reaction to the Boundary Commission proposals are a reflection of naked self-interest and doubtless a desire to divert attention from the fractured Conservative Group on Ribble Valley Borough Council."