Local residents are being urged to have their say on the latest proposals from the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries, to be implemented ahead of the next general election.
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 equal, the BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be.
The initial proposals published by the Boundary Commission for England in September 2016 saw the Tatton constituency abolished and Wilmslow split between two constituencies.
The Macclesfield constituency was to extend to the north‐west to include most of Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and the Chelford ward from the existing Tatton constituency. Whilst Wilmslow Dean Row and Handforth would be included the Bramhall and Poynton constituency and Knutsford, Mobberley and High Legh were in the proposed Altrincham and Tatton Park constituency.
The revised proposals published last week have been described as a "step in the right direction" as Wilmslow is no longer split into two constituencies, however concerns have been raised about having a cross border constituency which includes some areas of Stockport.
The latest proposals would see Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Handforth and Styal in a new constituency with Bramhall, Woodford and Hazel Grove called Hazel Grove and Wilmslow constituency.
Nether Alderley and Mottram St Andrew would be in the Macclesfield constituency which stretches to Plumley in the west, north to Poynton and Disley and south to Wincle and Eaton.
Whilst Knutsford, Hale Barns, Mobberley, Pickmere, High Legh and Little Bollington would be in the new Altrincham and Knutsford constituency.
Speaking about the revised proposals, Councillor Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council, said "My personal view, given there has been no discussion within WTC, is that these revised proposals are a step in the right direction. They preserve Wilmslow as an entity deserving of the fourth largest Town in Cheshire East without unnecessary division. However, it still provides a cross border constituency where our differing needs are not being recognised. I also question the political will to see these proposals through Parliament in the proposed timescale."
Councillor Craig Browne, who represents the Alderley Edge Ward on Cheshire East Council, said "I think the main concern with this is that the proposed new constituency would include areas under the responsibility of two different local authorities (Cheshire East and Stockport). It is not too great a stretch of the imagination to see this leading to our potential transfer to Stockport MBC (part of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) in the future. Whilst this might carry some benefits, for example our inclusion within the GMPTE travel area and cheaper rail fares, I think it is move which should be resisted."
Cllr Browne added "Whilst I support the principle of making changes to ensure that each Member of Parliament is elected by and represents the same number of constituents, I am not convinced that reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 is necessarily in the best interests of improving democracy. The latter seems to me to be an expensive exercise that will result in (at best) a minor reduction in the costs of running Westminster. The question "what price democracy?" comes to mind."
Esther McVey, MP for Tatton said "It is important that local communities feel an affinity to the constituency they are a part of. So I would encourage any local resident with strong opinions in favour of, or opposed to the current proposals to make their representations to the Boundary commission before the deadline of the 11/12/17. One positive observation is that the Boundary commission listened to constituents' previous representations to keep Wilmslow together, along with Alderley Edge and Handforth."
People can go to the BCE's website to view the new plans. All the public comments received during the first two consultations will also published on the website. You have until 11th December to have your say.