Burnley councillors will assemble at the Town Hall next Wednesday evening, 23rd November, for an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council.
The main business will be discussion of the changes to the parliamentary constituency boundaries that have been proposed by the Boundary Commission.
The Council will decide on how to respond to the current consultation on the proposed changes, which is running until 5th December.
The report which councillors will discuss sets out that:
· Proposed changes would be in line with a new law that requires that every parliamentary constituency (except four specified island constituencies) must have roughly the same number of electors: no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507. Burnley’s current electorate is 64,000.
· The North West has been allocated 68 constituencies – a reduction of seven from the current number. Due to the significant change required throughout the region, the proposals leave just 14 of the 75 existing constituencies unchanged.
· The proposed changes to the Burnley boundary are in part a consequence of the existing Hyndburn constituency requiring additional wards to bring its electorate to within the electoral quota. Having proposed that it should lose the Worsley and Greenfield wards to the Rossendale and Darwen constituency, the Commission propose to top up Hyndburn with the inclusion of the three wards of Gawthorpe (which includes Padiham), Hapton with Park, and Coal Clough with Deerplay in the east from the existing Burnley constituency. That proposed constituency will cease to be called Hyndburn and is instead being called Accrington. In addition to the loss of the three wards from the existing Burnley constituency to the proposed Accrington constituency, the Commission propose that the Burnley constituency, in order to increase its electorate, should extend north to include eight wards from the existing Pendle constituency (up to and including the town of Nelson).
Anyone with an interest and/or views on the proposals can respond to the consultation, and help shape the future constituencies. Information on how to do so is on the website www.bce2018.org.uk
The Boundary Commission is due to make its final report in September 2018. Any changes would come into effect at the next scheduled general election in 2020.