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Boundary change proposals: Goodbye Leeds West?

The Leeds West constituency name could be lost, if initial proposals from the Boundary Commission become a reality.

The changes are part of a national review of the number of MPs in the UK and will reshape the way the city is represented.

Plans include a new-look Pudsey seat which would include Armley, Bramley Pudsey, Swinnow, Farsley, Calverley and the Tong and Holmewood area in Bradford.

Kirkstall, which currently operates under Leeds West, would come under the Leeds North West seat.

And Farnley and Wortley would move out of Leeds West and become part of a newly-named Leeds Central constituency, which would include the city centre and much of south Leeds. The lower part of Burley Road would also come under Leeds Central.

The plans published today are initial proposals and will be debated before they are finalised ready for the 2020 General Election.

Pudsey Conservative MP Stuart Andrew told The Dispatch:

“It’s important to remember that these are only initial proposals and there is still a lot to consider. There will be extensive consultation in the coming months.

“But I think it’s right that we do equalise the seats because at the moment some seats remain badly balanced, and I hope the outcome of the consultation is that seats become more balanced to enable MPs to serve their constituents more effectively.”

Armley Labour councillor Alice Smart Tweeted:

“New proposed boundary changes show #Armley going in with Bramley, Pudsey, Calverley & Farsley and Tong. Likely to remain Labour.”

The review has been launched following a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal.

Most seats will change in size and character for the first time in at least a decade.

Public consultation events are due to be held in Leeds on October 13 and 14, although venue and time details are currently missing from the Boundary Commission website.

Proposals can also be viewed here by typing in your postcode.

Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Commission, said:

“Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like.

“But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts – during the next 12 weeks we want people to take a look and tell us what they like and don’t like about our proposals.

“Parliament has set us tight rules about reducing the number of constituencies, and making them of more equal size, and we now need the views of people around the country to help us shape constituencies that best reflect local areas.

Use our website to tell us what you think, or come along to one of our public events to give us your views in person.”

UPDATED Wednesday, September 13, 5.05pm: Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said her focus was on representing her constituents. She added:

“Constitutional changes should be done fairly and consensually, to ensure that everyone given a voice. That is not the case with these changes, which are more about what is best for the Conservatives.

“The Labour Party nationally will oppose any changes that give the Conservatives a larger majority. Labour also has major concerns with the fact that the proposals are based on out-of-date voter registration figures and do not reflect the two million people who registered to vote in the EU referendum.

“There will be a long consultation period over these proposed changes and the review has a long way to run.

“Whatever happens, my focus remains on serving my constituents and representing them to the best of my ability in this Parliament and at the next general election, whenever it comes.”



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