Today the Boundary Commission published their proposals to redraw the parliamentary constituency boundaries.
I believe that the proposals to redraw constituency boundaries are unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable. They are based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing. Planning to reduce the democratically elected number of MPs from 650 to 600 at the same time as appointing 260 extra Peers to the Lords shows that this review is designed for the Tories’ own political advantage rather what is in the best interests of the country.
Locally, the proposals from the Boundary Commission are devastating for Oldham. We have been carved apart purely in order to meet the Electoral Commission’s size requirements for neighbouring seats. In my view it is essential that Oldham has a coherent settlement in the boundary review – something that’s completely missing in these proposals. The previous recommendation in 2011 left the borough with the ‘left overs’ splitting historic towns and communities, and this one is no better.
The current number of registered voters easily allows for two whole constituencies within the borough which respect historic towns and community ties. I am proud of the work we have done locally, from the Oldham Fairness Commission to the Oldham Education and Skills Commission, Dementia Friendly Oldham and our work on building a strong integrated community. These proposals are once again an insult to the people of Oldham and could have a divisive effect on our community’s representation in Parliament. I will be working constructively to try and ensure the final outcome reflects the identity of communities within Oldham.
Here is the web link to view the proposed changes.