Tuesday, 8 November 2011

28 Days to send your Boundary Commission submission to save parliamentary seat of Hyndburn

Hyndburn has had an MP since 1875. The Government's proposals to change the boundaries in favour of the Tory Party are almost coming to the end of the consulation period. There are just 28 days left.

There are two arguments that are being made. Save Hyndburn as a seat. The Labour Party are the only party to keep Hyndburn together, including Padiham to make up the required numbers.

We have made the case that the regional map can be redrawn protecting many historic boundaries including Hyndburn.  We will carry campaigning for this with the rest of the North West who have been adversely affected as the preferred option.

However we also have to mindful the Boundary Commssion may reject that and that leaves a problem in Accrington where the Boundary Commissions proposal is perverse. It puts West Accrington in East Accrington and vice versa. For those affcted there is a sense that we have to make both cases.

The Boundary Commission are likely to be minded to reject alternate politically motivated boundaries (Labour/Tory/LibDem) which offer no flexibility to the Commission.

West Accrington is made up of Church, Central and Spring Hill which should be kept together and East Accrington of Baxenden, Barnfield, Peel and Milnshaw which also should be kept together - as natural communities.

The Commission have swapped Baxenden and Central and this makes no sense at all. Baxenden spans two wards, Barnfield and Baxenden and the village will be in two constituencies. Central has long had community links that span Church and Spring Hill both at local County and neighbourhood level.

Please take the time to fill in the online form and campaign for a unified seat of Hyndburn and secondly point out the error of the Boundary Commission in getting Baxenden and Central the wrong way around.


The text to submit could be something like this...

The Boundary Commission’s proposals only divide Hyndburn, but divide Accrington in a way that divides streets and neighbourhoods that share common identities and importantly structures. Parts of East Accrington (Baxenden Ward) are included with West Accrington and parts of West Accrington (Central Ward) are included with East Accrington creating a sense of confusion and that slices through every social, community and local government tie that exists as well as geographically leaving two islands disposed into other communities.

It is important to stress these two wards are of the same size. Switching these two wards, Baxenden and Central makes every sense.

West Accrington is clearly defined as Church, Springhill and Central
  1. It has a neighbourhood management and local government area committee structures which span this area.
  2. There is also a West Accrington Residents Association that covers part of the Central and Church wards.
  3. Its demographic represents the BME demographic with a sense of place and with community structures.
  4. Spring Hill ward wraps all around Central Ward.
  5. The Lancashire County Council electoral division (known as Accrington West) covers Spring Hill, Church and Central.
  6. The urban geography and road network links these three wards together.
  7. Major government programmes such as HMR and new LIFT health centre (ACORN centre) are built around exclusively the West Accrington area and constituents (similarly East Accrington)
East Accrington is clearly defined as Peel, Barnfield and Baxenden (and Milnshaw)
  1. Baxenden village is divided between two wards, Barnfield and Baxenden. The proposals split the village in to two differing parliamentary areas
  2. Baxenden has nothing in common with Church Central or Springhill
  3. The Lancashire County Council electoral division is Baxenden, Barnfield and Peel (known as Accrington South but covers most of East Accrington).
  4. There is no road that connects Baxenden to Spring Hill or any other part of the Darwen constituency which lies wholly within the Borough of Hyndburn, however under the Boundary Commission’s current proposals both wards are in the Darwen and Haslingden seat.
  5. In the village of Baxenden its community structures, both voluntary and at local government level, are connected to East Accrington such as Hambledon Moor to the east of the village and the old clough nature walk to the west, both which encompass the village and exist exclusively in East Accrington.
  6. Major government programmes such as HMR and new LIFT health centre (PALS centre) are built around exclusively the East Accrington area and constituents (similarly West Accrington).
  7. There is no doubt that Hyndburn is at risk of being divided but I would urge the Commission to accept that if such a division takes place it does so with great consideration to the natural social and economic boundaries that exist in Accrington.
  8. I would therefore urge the commission to include Baxenden in the Burnley South and Accrington seat where it naturally belongs and Central Ward in the Darwen and Haslingden seat.