Council to debate boundary changes at meeting

Morley Town Hall
Morley Town Hall

Councillors will discuss proposals to carve up the current Morley and Outwood parliamentary constituency under plans to re-draw the country’s political map.

Morley Town Council will debate the proposed boundary changes at its next meeting on Wednesday, November 7.

Under the plans published by the Boundary Commission for England, the town, currently part of the Morley and Outwood seat which Conservative Andrea Jenkyns won from Labour’s Ed Balls in 2015, would join a new Batley and Morley constituency.

The planned changes, initiated by David Cameron, will reduce the number of House of Commons MPs from 650 to 600, with roughly the same number of voters per constituency.

The recommendations are based on electoral data from last December and Labour has criticised the proposals, stating they do not consider two million people who joined the register after that date.

Councillor Neil Dawson, for the town council’s Morley Central ward, said: “Although the Labour Party thinks the current proposal is flawed as it reduces the number of democratically elected MPs and omits two million voters, we do believe that the proposal to link Batley and Morley is reasonable.

“Batley and Morley should be linked as there is cross boundary linkage between schools, the NHS and good transport between the two towns.

“In addition we have a common West Riding heavy woollen heritage and Batley and Morley were linked for 65 years as a parliamentary constituency until 1983.”

The current Batley and Spen seat would be abolished under the plans. A new and separate Spen seat would include Birstall as well as Wibsey and Wyke.

The current Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford seat, held by Labour MP Yvette Cooper would be split. Outwood would join up with Normanton and Castleford while Pontefract would become a constituency in its own right and include South Kirkby and South Elmsall.

People can have their say on the planned new constituencies by visiting www.bce2018.org.uk The changes will then be finalised in time for the 2020 general election.