Boundary change plans put Salford in Manchester

Salford Quays Salford Quays borders the Manchester Central constituency

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Plans to change election boundaries could see Salford Quays becoming Manchester Central and the Chancellor's Tatton constituency disappearing.

The Boundary Commission is considering cost-cutting proposals to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 by amalgamating some constituencies.

George Osborne's seat would be split between a new Northwich seat and Tory-held Macclesfield.

Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears has branded the plans "a disgrace".

Some seven seats would be lost across North West England, reducing the region's total to 68, if the plans, which are subject to a two-year consultation period, go ahead.

Under the proposals, only Bury South and Wigan within Greater Manchester would remain unchanged.


The government asked for the review as it believes a smaller Commons will reduce running costs and the re-drawing of some boundaries will produce more uniform numbers of voters.

The University of Salford which is about to change its logo to incorporate "Manchester", Salford Cathedral and Media City UK, which is the new home of BBC North, would all be moved into Manchester Central.

The Boundary Commission's focus on equalising the size of constituencies, rather than maintaining historic links, is what's led it to propose some very unusual constituencies.

The North West will have 66 seats, compared to 72 at present, it's more if you include all of Cumbria. Only seven are totally untouched.

Across the region there is wholesale change as seats are renamed and redrawn.

MPs are calculating the political ramifications; indeed whether their seats remain at all.

There's been speculation about the Chancellor, George Osborne, whose Tatton constituency in Cheshire is disappearing. But most of it will be preserved as Northwich.

The real casualty is his Tory neighbour, Graham Evans, who finds his seat of Weaver Vale is dismembered.

Part of it becomes Mersey Banks, a proposed constituency of two parts divided by the River Mersey.

Two "cross-county" seats are being proposed for Greater Manchester, one incorporating part of Lancashire, the other part of Cheshire.

Salford will be totally broken-up with part of the city represented by neighbouring Manchester Central.

In Cumbria, there could be a high-profile fight for control of Kendal and Penrith between Lib Dem MP Tim Farron and Tory MP Rory Stewart.

The new constituency jigsaw might be fairer but voters may find their political identity is loosened.

Ms Blears said: "It's a disgrace that a significant part of Salford's identity can be considered for being pulled into Manchester.

"We shall be drawing up a list of counter-proposals for consideration."

The Labour MP said that large parts of her existing constituency would be taken into the Swinton seat.

She said that she was not concerned at this stage about how the changes may affect her vote, but was angry that the people of Salford were being asked to vote in a constituency from the neighbouring city of Manchester.

The Labour leader of Salford City Council, Councillor John Merry said that he was "absolutely appalled" by the proposals.

Elsewhere the University of Salford is to change its logo on September 19 to "University of Salford, Manchester".

Director of Communications, Chris Larkin said: "At the end of the day both nationally and internationally, people do not know where Salford is.

"The Manchester brand is hugely important in attracting students - We can't dismiss that and our research shows that most people don't understand what Greater Manchester is.

"The word Salford is more prominent than it's ever been in our logo, but we need Manchester as a locational device."

The Boundary Commission will publish revised proposals on constituencies next year, with finalised plans being submitted to Parliament for approval by October 2013.

The commission's chief executive, Simon James, said: "Parliament has set clear rules on what we can and can't do when it comes to developing our initial proposals.

"The commission was given clear principles and from that starting point we have found a solution that we think best meets Parliament's rules.

"Now we want to know what people think of our initial proposals."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    The Labour must be breathing a huge sigh of relief for two reasons:
    1. The recommendations aren't threatening - it could have been worse
    2. The party won't have to oppose the measures as long as individual MPs are in the spotlight.

    While not born or raised in Salford, I've lived and worked there. It always felt like part of Manchester.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    @ 28 Ushita - you need to do some history homework about rotten boroughs. And how do you define a "proper constituency"? One that returns an MP of your choice? It makes you sound like a poor loser.

    Also, I wonder if you knew that Tatton has one of the poorest areas of Cheshire within its boundaries with real deprivation. It's not all footballers' wives, Bentleys etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    "Bit of countryside, rich commuters and footballers and very smug." The voters of Tatton played a significant part in defeating the Tories and getting rid of Hamilton. Check your history before you open your mouth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Hazel Blears needs to 'calm down, dear'. The proposal to have equal-sized constituencies is a fair one and was always going to produce some interesting results.

    If it's the name of the constituency to which she objects, fine. Propose an alternative. But I wonder if she realises that Salford City Council is merging certain services and departments with Manchester City Council.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Within a few years of any changes, the residents in Central Salford will be asking "why are we paying Council tax to Salford, when we vote in Manchester?". And before you know it, the boundary commission will be saying that Central Salford should be part of Manchester. Then, Salford CC will lose to Manchester CC all of the increased business rates being generated from its extensive redevelopment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Most constituents are badly served by their M.P.s. I don't care if we gain or loose M.P.s as long as the quality improves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Yes there needs to be changes. But they must take into account not just numbers, but local feelings and areas with which they identify/have things in common.
    The proposal is to change Portsmouth North and Portsmouth South, to Portsmoth East and Portsmouth West. This is tha area I know, and it's simply a barmy idea. North & South have differences, East & West don't.
    Is it gerrymandering?

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    As usual an utter disgrace - greedy cats in higher southern places in government and their puppet corporations creaming off the best parts of our beautiful city to make it a part of Manchester!!

    Salford is proud to call Media City its home and should stay with its own identity!

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Tatton is as near to a 19th century rotten borough as there ever was. Bit of countryside, rich commuters and footballers and very smug. I for one would be glad if we got to vote in a proper constituency. George Osbourne bye bye!

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    ive been saying this for ages but been labeled "out there" why share existing boundaries with somenody you havent had anything in common since 1968. All towns should be re-jigged to fit current economic climes, for example I work in hudds but live in batley (w.yorks) at current Hudds controls us when quite clearly we should be merged with leeds/wakefield with better transport links FREEDOM 1 DAY.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Changes to English constituencies are, perhaps, of lesser impact to the of the shape of the Commons than that expected from changes in Scotland and Wales - where the electorate of those constituencies are mostly smaller. If the aim of equal sized constituencies is to be achieved, many more Scottish and Welsh constituencies will be merged than will be in England.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Salford has no City Centre, and a very downmarket image, you can't have two cities right on top of each other without one being dominant over the other.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    I would like to see what research the University of Salford has undertaken in order to discover that "most people don't understand what Greater Manchester is". The University of Salford is not IN Manchester (Salford is a city in it's own right), so the logo is innaccurate and the staff at the University are in uproar. Another short sighted and narrow minded idea by the 'Communications Experts'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    The proposals contain 2 excellent proposals - reduce the number of MPs to 600 (do we really still need 600?) and create fairly equally sized constituencies.

    My only question is why we have a 2 year consult on this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    If this means Hazel Blears is out of a job, great news! Agree with other post she doesn't deserve to represent the local people.
    I'm currently part of her constituency and don't have any problem being part of 'Manchester Central', most people interchange saying they are from/live/work in Manchester or Salford anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Will Salford Quays become Manchester Central Quays? Will local services be run by Manchester City council or Salford Council? Will Salford Cathedral become Manchester Cathedral annex? Will Salford cease to exist? OR are these just political boundaries affecting only national politicians? If it is the last I don't see it will make any difference as MPs ignore most of their electorate anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Great idea.
    Salford people will always call themselves Mancunians when in say London or Glasgow or even Liverpool and certainly when abroad so why all the hypocrisy?
    Salford is also my roots and I love it but I'll say Manchester.
    Manchester's boundaries (signposts, sat-nav struggles etc) is very confusing and outdated and good it's finally being brought into modern times. International City OK

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    These are changes to election boundaries - it doesn't mean the name of the area changes! Those objecting do it because of nimbyism without thought to the positive advantages. Ms Blears is spouting rhetoric yet again instead of getting on coping with proper local issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Why does this not surprise me? I notice the South East is only losing a single MP? Let's not dare take away some representation of the rich!

    You may need to visit the South East, just the once mind, to appreciate the fact that not everyone here is rich !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    @15. They are too important to lose, you're effectively taking away what are, arguably, the biggest money spinning things in Salford. Obviously the Uni brings students who spend money and the Quays bring vital business. Take those away and Salford is left with nothing but a run-down shopping centre


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