Boundary changes uncertain
9:09am Wednesday 8th August 2012 in News
PLANS to change Bolton’s political boundaries could be scrapped after Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he would withdraw his backing in a bitter coalition spat.
Under the original Boundary Commission plans, Bolton’s parliamentary constituencies, currently all held by Labour, were due to be reduced from three — Bolton West held by Julie Hilling, Bolton South East, held by Yasmin Qureshi and Bolton North East held by David Crausby — to two.
Bolton South East and Bolton North East would have been effectively renamed Bolton South and Bolton North.
Bolton South would have comprised Bolton South East’s seven wards plus Breightmet , while Bolton North East would have lost Breightmet, but gained Heaton and Lostock , Horwich North East and Smithills , while Bradshaw would have moved to Bury North.
The defunct constituency of Westhoughton , axed in 1983, would have been revived to include Hindley and Atherton, Blackrod, Horwich, Westhoughton North, Chew Moor and Leigh West — a decision Leigh MP Andy Burnham, said would “tear apart” his constituency.
The changes would have removed 31 constituencies and reduced the number of MPs by 50 to 600. But now, Mr Clegg has withdrawn his backing for the proposals after the Lib Dems were defeated in their quest for House of Lords reform.
Ms Hilling, who holds a 92 majority in Bolton West, said: “I’m really pleased because it means I keep my constituency which I love.”
Ms Qureshi said: “The Prime Minister’s weakness in not being able to control his party and deliver on the coalition agreement shows he is lacking the leadership our country deserves.”
Mr Crausby said: “I’m sure the people of Bolton are better represented by three MPs than they would be by just two.”
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