Advertising

Revised boundary changes plan unveiled

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The Black Country would lose two MPs under revised plans to change the boundaries of their constituencies published today.

The Boundary Commission for England today reported changes to sweeping proposals for parliamentary constituencies aimed at cutting the number of MPs by 50 to 600.

Scroll down to see how the boundary changes affect you.

However the scheme faces stiff opposition in the House of Commons next year with Liberal Democrats – angered by Tory backbench rejection of Lords reform plans – vowing to vote against it.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has categorically ruled out the party's support for the proposals.

The review and a major national consultation led by QCs has cost £12 million and there were calls today for it to be scrapped and for the remaining budget to be ploughed into public services.

Under the new plans one of Wolverhampton's three MPs would go along with one of Sandwell's four MPs.

Originally, the Commission planned to carve up Bilston, part of Wolverhampton South East, between four constituencies.

But a major campaign and petitions signed by thousands of people has successfully persuaded the commission to leave it intact.

Advertising

Instead of a new Wolverhampton North and Wolverhampton South, there will be a Wolverhampton East and Wolverhampton West.

The new boundaries now carve up Emma Reynolds' Wolverhampton North East seat three ways – between the remaining Wolverhampton seats, with Wednesfield moving to a new Walsall West seat.

The changes would only affect which MP represents people in Parliament, not the council they are served by.

Miss Reynolds, Labour's shadow Europe minister who was elected in 2010, today said she was not concerned about the proposals.

Advertising

She said: "It is academic now because Nick Clegg appears solid in his opposition to the plans." West Bromwich East and West Bromwich West would still be merged to form a new Wednesbury constituency, potentially pitting MPs Tom Watson and Adrian Bailey against one another. Some parts of West Bromwich West would be merged with Dudley North, which could see Mr Bailey having to go up against current MP Ian Austin to win the Labour nomination.

It would result in Sandwell losing one of its four MPs.

Stone in Staffordshire, held by Tory Bill Cash, was due to be absorbed into Newcastle-under-Lyme but will now go into a new West Staffordshire seat, part of Stafford and Staffordshire Moorlands. The new seat also contains a large chunk of Labour-held Stoke-on-Trent South.

Warley would become a new Smethwick constituency and take on parts of West Bromwich. Halesowen and Rowley Regis had been due to merge with Stourbridge but will now stay separate. Instead Stourbridge will take in part of Tory Chris Kelly's Dudley South constituency.

Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: "I pay tribute to everyone in Bilston who attended a hearing or campaigned to change the proposals. The new proposal shows much more respect to Bilston's history and identity."

Dennis Turner, now Lord Bilston, the constituency's previous MP, said: "Even though the next election is most likely to be fought with the current constituencies, at least Bilston is proposed to be kept together should the boundaries be reviewed at a later date." Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, said: "The real scandal is this review is costing taxpayers' millions of pounds and the Deputy Prime Minister has already said it's not going ahead. The sensible thing is to bin it now and invest the money in services." Lichfield would be changed slightly but the Commission kept to its original plans that Hammerwich should be transferred to the Tamworth constituency and that Haywood and Hixon should be transferred from Stafford to Lichfield.

A counter proposal that Whittington should be moved into Tamworth instead of Hammerwich was rejected by the Commission. An eight-week consultation has begun.

How your constituency will be affected

Aldridge, Brownhills and Bloxwich

Current Aldridge-Brownhills constituency takes in Bloxwich from current Walsall North. Current MP Richard Shepherd (CON).

Cannock Chase

No major changes. Current MP Aidan Burley (CON).

Lichfield

No major changes. Current MP Michael Fabricant (CON).

Dudley East and Oldbury

Replaces Dudley North and part of West Bromwich West. Current MPs Ian Austin (LAB) and Adrian Bailey (LAB).

Dudley West

Takes in part of current Dudley South and parts of Wolverhampton South East. Current MPs Chris Kelly (CON) and Pat McFadden (LAB).

Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Staying as it is, having originally been earmarked to merge with Stourbridge. Current MP James Morris (CON).

Smethwick

Takes in Warley and parts of West Bromwich East. Current MPs John Spellar (LAB) and Tom Watson (LAB).

South Staffordshire

No major changes. Current MP Gavin Williamson (CON).

Stafford

No major changes. Current MP Jeremy Lefroy (CON).

Stourbridge and Dudley

Current Stourbridge takes in part of Dudley South. Current MPs Margot James (CON and Chris Kelly (CON)

Walsall South

Takes in Great Barr from West Bromwich East. Current MPs Valerie Vaz (LAB) and Tom Watson (LAB).

Walsall West

Mostly old Walsall North but takes in Wednesfield from Wolverhampton North East. Current MPs David Winnick (LAB) and Emma Reynolds (LAB).

Wednesbury

Merges West Bromwich East and West Bromwich West. Current MPs Tom Watson (LAB) and Adrian Bailey (LAB).

West Staffordshire

Replaces a large amount of Stone and takes in a lot of Stoke-on-Trent South. Current MPs Bill Cash (CON) and Rob Flello (LAB).

Wolverhampton East

Mostly Wolverhampton South East but takes in part of Wolverhampton North East. Current MPs Pat McFadden (LAB) and Emma Reynolds (LAB).

Wolverhampton South

Mostly Wolverhampton South West but takes in Oxley and Bushbury from Wolverhampton North East. Current MPs Paul Uppal (CON) and Emma Reynolds (LAB).

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News