Opposition to Wirral boundary shake-up

Wirral Globe: Alison McGovern MP Alison McGovern MP

BOUNDARY Commission plans to scrap the South Wirral parliamentary seat and create a complex cross-river constituency have met with an avalanche of opposition.

The proposed new Mersey Banks seat would see New Ferry, Bromborough and Eastham grouped with parts of Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Helsby and Weaverham near Northwich and also include Hale Village and Ditton, near Widnes on the north side of the Mersey.

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller described the plan as "boundary madness."

And sitting Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said reaction from ordinary members of the public indicated they were "overwhelmingly against them."

She said: "People like to know who their MP is. They want them to be local and easily accessible.

"They want them to know what the problems are in their area and deal with them.

"I think that this is why there was such a backlash."

Lionel Bolland, chief executive of Port Sunlight Village Trust is among those opposing the proposal.

He said Mersey Banks would straddle three different council areas and was "too arbitrary."

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that the number of MPs at Westminster will be cut from 650 to 600 and the Boundary Commission are working at creating constituencies with electorates of around 76,000.

All of Wirral's constituencies are below that mark – Wallasey has 66,800 voters; Birkenhead 66,450; Wirral South 57,800 and Wirral West 56.000.

The Mersey Banks plan has sparked opposition from all political parties.

Eastham's three Liberal Democrat councils are against it and Labour MPs Ms McGovern and Mr Miller firmly oppose it along with Conservative MEP Jacqueline Foster, who said she had concerns about a constituency crossing the Mersey.

Mrs Foster said she preferred her party's alternative suggestion to extend the seat towards Runcorn.

The Boundary Commission's last proposals to re-shape Wirral parliamentary boundaries – a suggested merger joining Wallasey wards with Everton and Kirkdale in Liverpool- provoked fur from local people and politicians alike on both sides of the river.

Almost 10,000 people signed a protest petition in Wallasey and over 1200 letters of objection were lodged with the Boundary Commission.

The proposals were dropped after a public inquiry.

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Comments (14)

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3:21pm Fri 23 Mar 12

bigfoot says...

The Blundery Commission did the same stunt when they organised the Metropolitan Counties in 1974. I doubt if the set foot in the area or even consulted a map.
The Blundery Commission did the same stunt when they organised the Metropolitan Counties in 1974. I doubt if the set foot in the area or even consulted a map. bigfoot

5:14pm Fri 23 Mar 12

johnhardaker says...

Never mind parliamentry boundary changes what we need to do is reduce the 22local area's & down to say 8 & get rid of 42 of the 66 local councillors & save the ratepayers of wirral somewhere in the region of £750.000.00 enough to pay for at least 3 more AKA reports or repay the £632.000.00DASS stole from the regeneration budget or have 5 £150.000.00 payouts for useless council managers fellow bloggers your comments please
Never mind parliamentry boundary changes what we need to do is reduce the 22local area's & down to say 8 & get rid of 42 of the 66 local councillors & save the ratepayers of wirral somewhere in the region of £750.000.00 enough to pay for at least 3 more AKA reports or repay the £632.000.00DASS stole from the regeneration budget or have 5 £150.000.00 payouts for useless council managers fellow bloggers your comments please johnhardaker

6:01pm Fri 23 Mar 12

David Scott says...

We could easily cut the number of MPs, especially as most of our laws no long come from Westminster. One for Wirral would be sufficient. Similarly, we don't need 66 councillors in Wirral.
We could easily cut the number of MPs, especially as most of our laws no long come from Westminster. One for Wirral would be sufficient. Similarly, we don't need 66 councillors in Wirral. David Scott

7:58pm Fri 23 Mar 12

Jimrob says...

"They want them to know what the problems are in their area and deal with them"

Quite right Alison.

WIRRAL BOROUGH COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF ADULT SOCIAL SERVICES.

Sorry to shout but you appear to be a triffle deaf, just like the other 3 Wirral MP's.
"They want them to know what the problems are in their area and deal with them" Quite right Alison. WIRRAL BOROUGH COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF ADULT SOCIAL SERVICES. Sorry to shout but you appear to be a triffle deaf, just like the other 3 Wirral MP's. Jimrob

7:26am Sat 24 Mar 12

Ben Beaconsfield says...

Spot-on analysis from johnhardaker.

One councillor per ward is quite enough, thank you.

And when they stand for re-election, they must declare in a leaflet delivered to every house in their ward exactly how much they have been paid by us, the taxpayers, in allowances and expenses during their previous four years in office.

This will serve two purposes:-

a. It will dispel the impression many of them currently give to the affect that they are driven purely by altruism and that the care of their fellow men, not the money, is their number one motivation (yeh, OK).

and

b. It will give voters the opportunity to decide whether or not they are getting value for money.

Incidentally, when I say 'allowances and expenses' I mean from ALL sources. There are some councillors trousering an astonishing amount of money a year (I'm talking of many thousands of pounds) for also sitting on outside bodies such as the local Transport or Police Authority.
Spot-on analysis from johnhardaker. One councillor per ward is quite enough, thank you. And when they stand for re-election, they must declare in a leaflet delivered to every house in their ward exactly how much they have been paid by us, the taxpayers, in allowances and expenses during their previous four years in office. This will serve two purposes:- a. It will dispel the impression many of them currently give to the affect that they are driven purely by altruism and that the care of their fellow men, not the money, is their number one motivation (yeh, OK). and b. It will give voters the opportunity to decide whether or not they are getting value for money. Incidentally, when I say 'allowances and expenses' I mean from ALL sources. There are some councillors trousering an astonishing amount of money a year (I'm talking of many thousands of pounds) for also sitting on outside bodies such as the local Transport or Police Authority. Ben Beaconsfield

5:46pm Sat 24 Mar 12

johnhardaker says...

Ben Beaconfield, thanks for your vote & it's clear that you know where the monies are hidden in the councillors allowances ie' in the carefully seperated PDF files under mayoral expenses,travel,fire authority etc 'etc & these bunch are fleecing wirral ratepayers out of nearly£1.5million a year & I reckon the chimps in chester zoo could do a better job .Talk about funny suggest blogers take a look at the latest WIRRALLEAKS webpage & be proud to know the wirral has received a further accolade from Private Eye the third I understsnd for the worst performing council ,well would you expect anything else?. They say great minds think alike & it would appear that at two people on the wirral do.Cheers Ben
Ben Beaconfield, thanks for your vote & it's clear that you know where the monies are hidden in the councillors allowances ie' in the carefully seperated PDF files under mayoral expenses,travel,fire authority etc 'etc & these bunch are fleecing wirral ratepayers out of nearly£1.5million a year & I reckon the chimps in chester zoo could do a better job .Talk about funny suggest blogers take a look at the latest WIRRALLEAKS webpage & be proud to know the wirral has received a further accolade from Private Eye the third I understsnd for the worst performing council ,well would you expect anything else?. They say great minds think alike & it would appear that at two people on the wirral do.Cheers Ben johnhardaker

7:28pm Sat 24 Mar 12

Ben Beaconsfield says...

I've read the Eye since I was at school in the sixties. I hang my head in shame when I see items like the one to which johnhardaker refers.

Our lords and masters say they are perfectly open about how much councillors pocket, but that's simply not the case, as johnhardaker has highlighted above.

The actual figures are all over the place, deeply hidden in various sites and under various guises.

Every councillor has a personal profile page on the Wirral Borough Council website. It can't be beyond the reach of somebody to add a line: "Total Money Received To Date" which can be topped up quarterly.

And on the subject of these personal pages, there is a section for each councillor to declare any 'Gifts and Hospitalities' received. Many of these are simply blank. Others are months out of date. I think that prior to councillors offering themselves for re-election, their 'Gifts and Hospitalities' declarations should be completely up to date.

And to finish - a walk down memory lane.

When councillors allowances were first introduced, the summary was published monthly in the Wirral Globe. This went on for some time, but I understand that the councillors objected and their publication was quietly dropped.

I have a friend who stood for the council on behalf of one of the big parties. He sent a draft of his election address to his party leader, and it came back with loads of praise but with just one line struck out. The line read: "If elected, I will not accept any payment from Wirral Borough Council". When my friend asked why this alteration had been made, he was told: "Because you will spoil it for everybody else." !!!!
I've read the Eye since I was at school in the sixties. I hang my head in shame when I see items like the one to which johnhardaker refers. Our lords and masters say they are perfectly open about how much councillors pocket, but that's simply not the case, as johnhardaker has highlighted above. The actual figures are all over the place, deeply hidden in various sites and under various guises. Every councillor has a personal profile page on the Wirral Borough Council website. It can't be beyond the reach of somebody to add a line: "Total Money Received To Date" which can be topped up quarterly. And on the subject of these personal pages, there is a section for each councillor to declare any 'Gifts and Hospitalities' received. Many of these are simply blank. Others are months out of date. I think that prior to councillors offering themselves for re-election, their 'Gifts and Hospitalities' declarations should be completely up to date. And to finish - a walk down memory lane. When councillors allowances were first introduced, the summary was published monthly in the Wirral Globe. This went on for some time, but I understand that the councillors objected and their publication was quietly dropped. I have a friend who stood for the council on behalf of one of the big parties. He sent a draft of his election address to his party leader, and it came back with loads of praise but with just one line struck out. The line read: "If elected, I will not accept any payment from Wirral Borough Council". When my friend asked why this alteration had been made, he was told: "Because you will spoil it for everybody else." !!!! Ben Beaconsfield

9:22am Sun 25 Mar 12

hugo2008 says...

The whole of the Wirral Peninsular warrants just two MPs and these two people to be elected by the Wirral Population.

The Wirral Peninsular should be divided 6 Population sectors, each sector to elect maximum 3 Representatives each.

The Wirral Population then elect a Mayor and a Deputy with full executive authority, charged with reducing the total cost of local government to a sustainable level.

The Total 20 Representatives or Councilors plus 2 national MPs oversee the total administration of the Wirral Borough Council and provide value for money to the rate and tax payers of Wirral.

These simple measures will provide full democracy and fair play for the population, plus cutting the costs of local government by more than one million pounds each and every year, with no loss of services or facilities.

Over 70% of the council duties and services are at present out sourced to private contractors and commercial consultants or QUANGOs so we certainly do not need 66 parasite , useless Councillors who have demonstrated little or no control over the Directors and Managements in Wirral Borough Council.
The whole of the Wirral Peninsular warrants just two MPs and these two people to be elected by the Wirral Population. The Wirral Peninsular should be divided 6 Population sectors, each sector to elect maximum 3 Representatives each. The Wirral Population then elect a Mayor and a Deputy with full executive authority, charged with reducing the total cost of local government to a sustainable level. The Total 20 Representatives or Councilors plus 2 national MPs oversee the total administration of the Wirral Borough Council and provide value for money to the rate and tax payers of Wirral. These simple measures will provide full democracy and fair play for the population, plus cutting the costs of local government by more than one million pounds each and every year, with no loss of services or facilities. Over 70% of the council duties and services are at present out sourced to private contractors and commercial consultants or QUANGOs so we certainly do not need 66 parasite , useless Councillors who have demonstrated little or no control over the Directors and Managements in Wirral Borough Council. hugo2008

1:19pm Mon 26 Mar 12

johnhardaker says...

Dear Leigh Marles editor why not request WirralCouncil's permission to publish coucillors allowances not just in their basic format but have sepertate colums showing the fire,transport, mayoral,police,& all their hospitality they have had over the last 12 months as well as the other jobs they are employed in addition to their council jobs.
I know there is a period of purdah before the local election but surely the people of wirral are entitled to know where our money is being spent.Well done ben for reminding me.
Dear Leigh Marles editor why not request WirralCouncil's permission to publish coucillors allowances not just in their basic format but have sepertate colums showing the fire,transport, mayoral,police,& all their hospitality they have had over the last 12 months as well as the other jobs they are employed in addition to their council jobs. I know there is a period of purdah before the local election but surely the people of wirral are entitled to know where our money is being spent.Well done ben for reminding me. johnhardaker

1:38pm Mon 26 Mar 12

Ben Beaconsfield says...

Our councillors hold the people of Wirral in contempt.

Fortunately, the feeling seems to be mutual.
Our councillors hold the people of Wirral in contempt. Fortunately, the feeling seems to be mutual. Ben Beaconsfield

9:24pm Mon 26 Mar 12

reliant22 says...

Typical response from Wirral South MP. Allison McGovern just because her job is on the line, not for any other interest in the local Community. It is a belief Allison is looking to take Frank Field`s seat should he decide to step down, hopefully not.
I really hope the Boundary changes will go ahead. We appear to have too many Councillors and MPs so please let us listen to the experts for a change.
Typical response from Wirral South MP. Allison McGovern just because her job is on the line, not for any other interest in the local Community. It is a belief Allison is looking to take Frank Field`s seat should he decide to step down, hopefully not. I really hope the Boundary changes will go ahead. We appear to have too many Councillors and MPs so please let us listen to the experts for a change. reliant22

7:54am Tue 27 Mar 12

bickyboy says...

Its high time that the gigantic gravy train which is political office in Britain was blown clean off the rails and into the real world. Reducing the number of MPs is the first step: having General Elections every three years instead of five would be a very welcome second one. Imagine how different the Budget might have been if this government had just one year of office left.
Its high time that the gigantic gravy train which is political office in Britain was blown clean off the rails and into the real world. Reducing the number of MPs is the first step: having General Elections every three years instead of five would be a very welcome second one. Imagine how different the Budget might have been if this government had just one year of office left. bickyboy

8:25am Tue 27 Mar 12

Ben Beaconsfield says...

There is no question that these changes will not go ahead, reliant22. Only a complete breakdown of the existing coalition will prevent them taking place.

The Boundary Commission has issued its preliminary recommendations and is now taking comments, prior to a re-examination by them of their proposals and the publication of a final plan. (Anybody can comment, by the way. just go to their website for details.)

One seat in Wirral will disappear. That's a 25% reduction. It should have happened last time round but they came up with a daft proposal involving putting Anfield (or was it Goodison - or was it both?) into the Wallasey constituency.

This time round the 'cross-river' proposal is for a new Mersey Banks constituency. Looking at the map, it makes a lot of sense and it's hardly the same 'cross-river' mad scheme as the previous one. At least this time round there seems to be some affiliation between the different areas.

Wallasey will get the North End of Birkenhead and part of the old Ford Estate in the shake-up (which will really make the seat Wirral North, so why not say so?). Interestingly, Labour and the Lib Dems are against this, one wanting to add Upton Ward instead, the other to add Hoylake and Meols instead. I say 'interestingly' because this suggests the opposition now regard the Wallasey seat as being a sufficient Labour stronghold now to absorb another 4000 Tory votes (1910 General election figures).

Oh how Ernie Marples must be spinning in his grave, and Lynda Chalker doing whatever the 'I'm still alive' equivalent is. The seat has gone from untouchable Tory to inpenetrable Labour in twenty years. Amazing.

All in all, the overall losers will be Labour, by one seat. This is the real reason why McGovern and Miller are moaning.
There is no question that these changes will not go ahead, reliant22. Only a complete breakdown of the existing coalition will prevent them taking place. The Boundary Commission has issued its preliminary recommendations and is now taking comments, prior to a re-examination by them of their proposals and the publication of a final plan. (Anybody can comment, by the way. just go to their website for details.) One seat in Wirral will disappear. That's a 25% reduction. It should have happened last time round but they came up with a daft proposal involving putting Anfield (or was it Goodison - or was it both?) into the Wallasey constituency. This time round the 'cross-river' proposal is for a new Mersey Banks constituency. Looking at the map, it makes a lot of sense and it's hardly the same 'cross-river' mad scheme as the previous one. At least this time round there seems to be some affiliation between the different areas. Wallasey will get the North End of Birkenhead and part of the old Ford Estate in the shake-up (which will really make the seat Wirral North, so why not say so?). Interestingly, Labour and the Lib Dems are against this, one wanting to add Upton Ward instead, the other to add Hoylake and Meols instead. I say 'interestingly' because this suggests the opposition now regard the Wallasey seat as being a sufficient Labour stronghold now to absorb another 4000 Tory votes (1910 General election figures). Oh how Ernie Marples must be spinning in his grave, and Lynda Chalker doing whatever the 'I'm still alive' equivalent is. The seat has gone from untouchable Tory to inpenetrable Labour in twenty years. Amazing. All in all, the overall losers will be Labour, by one seat. This is the real reason why McGovern and Miller are moaning. Ben Beaconsfield

9:27am Thu 29 Mar 12

bickyboy says...

Strikes me that the Cheshire Lines story brings a crucial issue facing the electorate of this country into sharp focus.

Wirral's senior council officers have allegedly been getting away with running the authority like a medieval fiefdom, and theyre allegedly getting away with it because the majority of councillors are either too badly briefed or simply too dim to ask the questions which would force those senior officers to become accountable for their decisions.
Extend the potential for that inadequate level of legal and executive nous to our MPs, and its not too hard to identify the likelihood that unaccountable senior civil servants are running this country, and running it badly, because MPs are too dim to ask THEM the right questions.

MPs:we need fewer of them, and they need to be better at what they do. Simples.
Strikes me that the Cheshire Lines story brings a crucial issue facing the electorate of this country into sharp focus. Wirral's senior council officers have allegedly been getting away with running the authority like a medieval fiefdom, and theyre allegedly getting away with it because the majority of councillors are either too badly briefed or simply too dim to ask the questions which would force those senior officers to become accountable for their decisions. Extend the potential for that inadequate level of legal and executive nous to our MPs, and its not too hard to identify the likelihood that unaccountable senior civil servants are running this country, and running it badly, because MPs are too dim to ask THEM the right questions. MPs:we need fewer of them, and they need to be better at what they do. Simples. bickyboy

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