THE political map of Tameside would alter dramatically if the Boundary Commission’s latest proposals for reshaping parliamentary constituencies are implemented for the next General Election.
Jonathan Reynolds’ Stalybridge and Hyde constituency and Andrew Gwynne’s for Denton and Reddish would disappear.
The Commission’s latest proposals for reshaping parliamentary constituencies is to try to produce a more uniform number of electors in every seat.
The House of Commons will retain 650 MPs, as now, and Greater Manchester’s allocation remains at 27.
However, because of a new rule meaning there can only be a five per cent variance from the average quota of electors per seat (around 73,000), this has resulted in major changes across the city region.
Here is how the changes would affect Tameside:
• The current Denton and Reddish constituency will no-longer exist
• Reddish North and Reddish South will be placed in an enlarged Stockport constituency
• Audenshaw will be added to a new Failsworth and Droylsden constituency along with Gorton,
Openshaw and Newton Heath
• Dukinfield will be added to a greatly redrawn Ashton-under-Lyne constituency which also includes Mossley and most of Stalybridge
• Denton will be part of a new Denton and Hyde constituency which also includes Longdendale and Stalybridge South
Mr Reynolds said: “The initial suggestion for our area is for a Denton and Hyde constituency, including Longdendale and, slightly oddly, Stalybridge South, and an Ashton-under-Lyne constituency that would include the rest of Stalybridge, Dukinfield, and Mossley.
“The new proposals from the Boundary Commission do significantly change the Tameside constituencies.
“These reviews are unfortunately just a part of the parliamentary process and it is important for fairness that constituencies are broadly the same size.
“I don’t like the way that the Government have set criteria so tightly that towns get broken up, as Stalybridge would be under this plan. Historic town identities are important.
“However, there is a long way to go, and these plans often change between drafts.
“My focus will just be getting on with the job of representing Hyde, Stalybridge, Longdendale, Mossley and Dukinfield.
“I’m proud of the job I do representing all parts of the constituency and I think with everything that is going on right now that’s what people want and expect.”
Mr Gwynne added: “The proposed boundary changes will significantly change the electoral make-up of Greater Manchester.
“My own constituency of Denton and Reddish would cease to exist and instead I would be eligible to stand in the new Denton and Hyde constituency which would also include Longdendale and Stalybridge South.
“Reddish North and Reddish South would be moved into an enlarged Stockport constituency and Audenshaw would be added to a new Failsworth and Droylsden constituency. Dukinfield would be added to a redrawn Ashton-under-Lyne constituency.
“These plans will now go out for extensive public consultation. Whatever happens though, until the next General Election, I will remain the MP for Denton and Reddish.
“It is my honour to represent all the communities of Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield, Heaton Chapel, Heaton Norris and Reddish. I will continue to do my very best to serve and stand up for these amazing areas.”
Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, said: “The review is a crucial democratic step to ensure constituencies are broadly the same size and the boundaries reflect the communities within them.
“However, the rigidity of the criteria for constituency size enforced by the Conservative Government will inevitably lead to historic community ties being broken to make the numbers add up.
“Locally we have seen this manifest itself in the splitting of towns like Stalybridge across two constituencies and the creation of a new Failsworth and Droylsden seat that straddles three council areas.
“Electoral equality is important, but a one size fits all approach to achieving it must not come at the expense of respecting historic township boundaries.
“We will engage fully and constructively with the consultation on the new boundary proposals.”
The 2023 Review started in January 2021 and a guide was published on May 10.
A public consultation started on June 8 and ends on August 2.
The publication of these representations and a further six-week consultation, including public hearings, takes place in spring 2022.
The revised proposals will be made public in autumn 2022 following by a four-week consultation followed by the deadline for final recommendations set for July 1, 2023.
BCE are encouraging as many people as possible to have their say. The best ways for people to make their views known are:
• The online consultation website www.bcereviews.org.uk
• Email email@example.com
• Written submissions to 35 Great Smith Street,London SW1P 3BQ.