CONTROVERSIAL plans for a dramatic shake-up of the electoral map have moved a step closer.
The overhaul would see Wirral lose an MP as two constituencies merge into one.
It would leave the peninsula divided into three voting areas - Birkenhead, Wallasey and a new Bebington & Heswall constituency.
The Boundary Commission has this week published results of public consultation about the radical proposals and is now asking for comments.
The planned reorganisation was announced last September and is designed to cut the number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600.
It sparked a row locally with recommendations for a merger of Wirral South and Wirral West.
The two will be replaced by a single voting area to be known as "Bebington and Heswall."
The seats are currently held by Labour MPs Alison McGovern and Margaret Greenwood.
Changes would also see the existing Wallasey and Birkenhead constituencies enlarged - Upton would move into Wallasey; Bebington would join Birkenhead.
Eastham would also be moved and could find itself in the Cheshire seat of Ellesmere Port and Neston.
Ms Greenwood said at the time new boundaries were based on out-of-date voter statistics: "Our democracy is too important to be founded on inaccurate data. The Government should think again."
Publication of the consultation results marks a milestone along a route that will alter the constituencies of more than 500 MPs.
The planned reduction of the size of the Commons is expected to hit Labour hardest with more constituencies abolished or merged in strongholds such as London, Wales, the North East and North West than in the Tory-dominated shires.
The party has signalled it will fight the "unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable" changes, stressing they are based on an "out-of-date" version of the electoral register.
Conservatives claim the changes will address an historic imbalance that favoured Labour unfairly.
A snap-shot of views published on an interactive map would suggest a degree of support for the reorganisation in Wirral.
However many appear to dislike the new name for the merged parliamentary seat of "Bebington & Heswall " believing it does not truly represent their areas.
Here's a selection of some of the Wirral views expressed:
I feel the proposed name for the new constituency of "Bebington & Heswall" is entirely inappropriate for the area contained within the proposed boundaries.
We are broadly in favour of the Commission's proposals for the Wirral peninsula.
However, we are unhappy about the name of "Heswall and Bebington" proposed, because it identifies only two of the communities which comprise the new constituency
The suggested name for this constituency is ridiculous. Hoylake is the most well known of the wards and it is not mentioned. The name of 'Wirral South West' would be more appropriate.
The largely Labour Woodchurch area of Wirral West that was hugely responsible for Labour winning the marginal seat from the Conservatives, will be moved to Wallasey constituency - a comfortable Labour seat - leaving only the Conservative voters in the new 'Heswall and Bebington' area, thus removing a tightly-contested Labour seat and replacing it with a comfortable Conservative seat.
This is clear gerrymandering.
Seems like a great idea to reduce the number MPs and save money, and also to make it fairer so numbers in constituencies are basically the same.
Unfortunately Wirral would have been better split less along the east/west we see here. Sections north to south would have been much better and mixed socio-economic groups better.
I strongly object to Upton which is a suburb of Birkenhead, being moved to the totally alien constituency of Wallasey with whom we have absolutely no connection historically, socially or culturally.
I support the proposals which seem reasonable given the mandate to have a minimum and maximum number in every constituency.
I do not care for the proposed name which ignores West Kirby and Meols and would suggest that Wirral would be more appropriate.
The proposal to extend Birkenhead into Bebington is ludicrous.
I feel that this area of Bebington does not have the same demographic profile as Birkenhead and will become overlooked when councillors and the local MP has to deal with serious issues in Birkenhead
Deadline is Monday, March 27.
2005 PLAN SPARKED FURY
In 2005 the Boundary Commission's proposals to re-shape Wirral parliamentary boundaries suggested a cross-Mersey merger joining Wallasey with Everton and Kirkdale in Liverpool.
It provoked fury from voters and politicians alike on both sides of the river.
Almost 10,000 signed a protest petition in Wallasey and more than 1,200 letters of objection were lodged with the commission.
The proposals were dropped after a public inquiry.