Lancashire

Hyndburn and Pendle seats could go in boundary changes

Lancashire could lose two seats in changes to election boundaries proposed by the Boundary Commission.

The Commission is considering cutting costs by amalgamating some constituencies to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

Hyndburn and Pendle would disappear in the plans and be incorporated into two Burnley seats, North and Nelson and South and Accrington.

The changes would reduce the number of constituencies in the county to 14.

Only one seat, West Lancashire, would be unaffected by the proposals.

Rossendale and Darwen would become Darwen and Haslingden and a new seat of Rochdale North and Rawenstall would be created featuring a mixture of voters from Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

And Blackpool North and Cleveleys will go back to its former name Blackpool North and Fleetwood.

West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, was relieved her constituency would stay the same.

The Labour MP said: "For several months there has been speculation about what the Boundary Commission might come up with. There were even academic studies suggesting other ways to alter this constituency.

"As I said before the proposals were announced, whatever the West Lancashire constituency looks like at the next general election, I will continue fighting hard in the best interests of all local residents."

As well as a cost cutting measure to reduce MPs, there are new rules specifying that constituencies must have electorates no smaller than 72,810 and no larger than 80,473 resulting in the loss of two Lancashire seats.

Seven seats would be lost across the North West region, reducing the total to 68, if the plans, which are subject to a two-year consultation period, are approved.

The Boundary Commission will publish revised proposals next year, with finalised plans being submitted to Parliament for approval by October 2013.

The commission's chief executive, Simon James, said: "Parliament has set clear rules on what we can and can't do when it comes to developing our initial proposals.

"The commission was given clear principles and from that starting point we have found a solution that we think best meets Parliament's rules.

"Now we want to know what people think of our initial proposals."

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