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Opposition to Wirral boundary shake-up
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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