WIRRAL could lose an MP under controversial changes published by the Boundary Commission England.

The planned shake-up - designed to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 - could see Wirral South and Wirral West merge.

It is proposed the two are replaced with a single voting area to be known as "Bebington and Heswall."

The two seats are currently held by Labour MPs Alison McGovern and Margaret Greenwood.

The changes would also see the existing Wallasey and Birkenhead constituencies enlarged - Upton ward would move into Wallasey and Bebington ward could join Birkenhead.

Other changes would see Eastham move into the Cheshire seat of Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field said he welcomed the changes in part, saying they will "protect Birkenhead's integrity."

He believes adding Bebington ward to the constituency makes sense, saying the two share strong historical links and it would "re-establish the old Wirral county borough."  

The BCE study says: "We did investigate other configurations of constituencies that did not result in the Bebington ward being included in the Birkenhead constituency, but considered that the alternatives did not better reflect the statutory factors.

"We suggest the other constituency covering the Wirral be named Bebington and Heswall.

"Although it does not include the entirety of Bebington town, we consider this name reflects the composition of the constituency. We welcome feedback on whether an alternative name would be more appropriate."

Eastham councillor and leader of the town hall Liberal Democrats Cllr Phil Gilchrist said: "It looks as though my community has become just a piece of a jigsaw  or a pawn moved round a chess board.

"It’s more than 30 years since a much larger area was once part of Bebington and Ellesmere Port.

"There has to be a coherent case for change -not what fits for convenience.

"Just because the numbers don’t fit, we don’t expect to be lopped off for administrative convenience."

The publication of the BCE review marks the start of 12 weeks of consultation as the dramatic shake-up of the country’s electoral map moves to alter the constituencies of more than 500 MPs.

The results, which will equalise the number of voters in each constituency, will pit MPs against each other in a battle for survival.

The planned reduction of the size of the House of 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 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 based on populations recorded in the electoral roll for 2015 and missing two million voters who signed up to vote in the EU referendum.

The Conservatives claim the changes will address a historic imbalance that favoured Labour unfairly.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's Islington North constituency is to be abolished at the next general election under the proposals.

And former Tory chancellor George Osborne's Tatton constituency is to be axed, with a small remnant going into a new Altrincham & Tatton Park seat.


In 2005, the Commission's proposals to re-shape Wirral parliamentary boundaries - a suggested merger joining Wallasey wards with Everton and Kirkdale in Liverpool - provoked fury from local people and politicians alike on both sides of the river.

Almost 10,000 people signed a protest petition in Wallasey and more than 1,200 letters of objection were lodged.

The proposals eventually were dropped after a public inquiry.

Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood told the Globe: "I think the government needs to call a halt to this process and start again.

"They are using out-of-date data, failing to take account of around two million voters who have registered to vote since the end of last year; around 700,000 of these voters are under 25.

"It is vital that we encourage young people to vote, and I think that many of those who have registered in the last six months will be disappointed by the government’s actions.

"The process must be a credible one.

"The North West would lose more MPs than any other region if this goes ahead, so it's particularly important to the region that the government gets this right.

"The government is seeking to reduce the number of elected MPs from 650 to 600, yet David Cameron has created 260 extra unelected peers in the House of Lords, costing £34 million.

"It is clear then that this is not about saving money.

"Even some Tories are critical of the government’s actions, warning that increasing the number of Lords and decreasing the number of MPs could bring the country’s democracy into disrepute.

"Our democracy is too important to be founded on inaccurate data. The government should think again."