Constituency borders will be reviewed again ahead of the next UK general election, and proposed changes to more than 30 MP's seats in the Yorkshire & the Humber region were revealed today (Tuesday).
Constituency boundaries are reviewed every few years by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE), an independent body, with boundaries last reviewed back in 2014.
They mean that some constituencies could lose or gain wards to or from neighbouring constituencies, and could be the difference between a safe seat or swing seat – or even between a red, blue, yellow or green seat.
Under the new proposals, Headingley in Leeds would become its own constituency while Leeds North West - the constituency it currently is part of - would take on Horsforth from the Pudsey constituency.
Parts of south Kirklees which are currently part of the Dewsbury constituency will fall under new constituency 'Ossett and Denby Dale', and Don Valley's boundary would be moved to take in part of North Lincolnshire, becoming 'Doncaster East and Axholme'.
Don Valley Conservative MP Nick Fletcher said he had studied the proposed changes carefully and spoken to ministers and Parliamentary colleagues to raise questions and listen to initial reservations about the proposals.
"Yet it must be stressed that these are, as of yet, just proposals," he said.
"They are not set in stone, and any final changes decided upon by the independent Boundary Commission will be concluded in June 2023."
Other proposed changes would see the Selby constituency boundary moved just over the Leeds City Council ward border, taking in the village of Kippax, while Conservative MP Julian Smith’s Skipton and Ripon constituency would engulf Ripley but lose other villages including Bishop Monkton and Burton Leonard.
Fabian Hamilton, Labour MP for Leeds North East which would lose the Adel & Wharfedale ward, said: “The review of parliamentary constituencies is a crucial democratic step and Labour will engage fully and constructively in the consultation.
"My fear is that the Government’s inflexible approach to the exact size of constituencies has made this process much harder. If they are to carry out these changes, it’s vital that they do not break up our historic and close-knit communities.”
Overall, Yorkshire & the Humber will continue to have 54 seats in Parliament under the new proposals, although the 24 seats in Humberside and South Yorkshire would fall to 23 and North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire would have 31 instead of its current 20.
In line with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the next UK general election is to be held on Thursday, May 2, 2024, if running as scheduled.
The BCE is now consulting all voters on the proposed boundary changes, which can be viewed here, an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021.
"We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals," a BCE spokesman said.
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