Bradford MPs urge Government to drop plans to change constituency boundaries (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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David Cameron urged to stop 'waste of taxpayer money'
11:00am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
Plans to re-write the political map of Bradford should be abandoned, MPs have said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has confirmed his party will not support the plans to re-draw boundaries and slash the number of MPs after the Government abandoned plans for a mainly-elected House of Lords. A deal between the coalition partners meant the Lib Dems would have Lords reform in return for the Tories changing the Parliamentary boundaries and reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
Now it looks unlikely any changes will be supported in Parliament, but despite widespread opposition the Boundary Commission will release its second set of proposals next month for consultation.
The controversial proposals see the current five MPs representing the Bradford district whittled down to four. and re-modelled constituencies of Bradford Central and East, Bradford South and Cleckheaton , Bradford West, and Keighley , with Shipley disappearing. Parts of the district also would fall under a Calder Valley MP and a Guiseley and Yeadon MP.
Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies said: “Nick Clegg could not have been clearer. I know the Prime Minister may want to cobble something together with the nationalists but it would be best for the PM to accept what is inevitable.
“These proposals not going through Parliament would be good news for my constituents who do not want to be shoehorned into other areas they have no affiliation with.”
Bradford South Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: “It was a botched-up process from the start in the sense government did not talk to anyone. It has been a waste of taxpayers’ money and not about democracy but creating new boundaries to secure a Tory government.”
Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward said the policy was “dead in the water” and there was no point wasting more money on the plans.
“Now we can get on with the job we are elected to do and represent our constituents on the boundaries we won on in 2010,” he said.
Under the proposals each constituency would have an average 75,000 voters.
Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway said: “These proposals are dead in the water since the spat over Lords reform. Am I in favour? Yes, I think that boundaries do periodically need to be revised and the number of MPs looked at.”
Keighley and Ilkley Tory MP Kris Hopkins supports the changes but does not want the Worth Valley moved into the Calder Valley ward.
He said: “The boundary changes were about achieving fair votes, something I think all political parties should be in favour of, even the Liberal Democrats.”