Royton ‘move’ to Saddleworth parliamentary constituency has ‘merit’ says Boundary Commission

THE current Oldham East and Saddleworth parliamentary constituency could include two new areas at any elections after 2023.

The Boundary Commission of England (BCoE) don’t propose to alter the boundaries for the seats held by Debbie Abrahams or Oldham West and Royton (Jim McMahon).

However, they have put forward alternative proposals to the make-up of both areas they say have “merit”.

MP Debbie Abrahams

If accepted, Royton North and Royton South – currently part of Oldham West – would come under the Oldham East constituency which would lose Alexandra and St Mary’s wards to Oldham West. This would result in a change of constituency names.

The Oldham East seat was established for the 1997 general election from parts of the former Littleborough and Saddleworth and Oldham Central and Royton constituencies.

At the 2019 General Elections Mrs Abrahams retained the seat for Labour but with her majority reduced to 1,503.

The BCoE’s report states: “This (change) would provide a more compact urban constituency to the west, which would contain a greater proportion of Oldham town centre, and a constituency to the east that would have a more suburban and moorland character.

“While our initial proposal is to retain the existing two constituencies unchanged, we would particularly welcome representations on this alternative.”

An independent and impartial non departmental public body, the BCoE is undertaking a nationwide review of constituency boundaries. to take back to Parliament by July 1, 2023.

The North West region has been allocated 73 constituencies (including 27 in Greater Manchester) – a reduction of two from the current number.

Proposals leave 10 of the existing 75 constituencies unchanged. A further three constituencies are unchanged, except to realign with new local government ward boundaries.

The BCoE has now launched an eight-week public consultation to finish on
August 2, 2021.

They add: “The more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals.

“Our consultation portal at www.bcereviews.org.uk has more information about our proposals and how to give us your views on them.

“You can also follow us on Twitter @BCEReviews or at facebook.com/BCEReviews.”

Responses will be published early next year, followed by a second consultation and public hearings in each region.

The final report is expected in June 2023.

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