Chester Labour MP Chris Matheson claims the Tory government aims to split the City of Chester constituency in two.
Mr Matheson says proposals would see parts of Ellesmere Port lumped in with Chester while other city communities would be moved to a new mainly rural constituency called ‘Winsford’.
Boundary changes would be necessary to achieve the government’s aim of slashing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
Mr Matheson understands 2012/13 proposals have been 'dusted down and taken off the shelf' for what he claims is ‘electoral advantage’ rather than the stated aim of reducing costs and making constituencies roughly equal in terms of the number of voters.
The plan for Chester was opposed by his Tory predecessor Stephen Mosley when first mooted.
Mr Matheson said: “If they used the same proposals as they did in 2013, which looks possible, and indeed likely, the resulting boundaries would mean that Chester gets completely sliced up – Vicars Cross, Huntington, the areas around Sainsbury’s, down Caldy Valley Road, Christleton and the Villages, would all get taken out of Chester and put into the Winsford constituency.
“The rest of Chester will be put in with parts of Ellesmere Port which includes Strawberry ward, Ince and also Mickle Trafford, so it carves up and splits the city asunder when the whole idea of the City of Chester was that it included all the areas of the city.”
Mr Matheson’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn referenced the proposed restructure in his party conference speech when he accused the Tories of wanting to ‘gerrymander electoral boundaries across the country’ in a plan ‘to strike millions of people off the electoral register’ based on the register being transferred from a household-based system to one where every voter is registered individually.
Mr Matheson continued: “We are going to get thrown-up constituencies that are meaningless to people and people just won’t feel that they say anything about the communities in which they live. There are reasons why the Conservative government is doing this, to give themselves an electoral advantage.
“One of the things that’s important now is that everybody registers to vote because the more people in those Chester areas can demonstrate that Chester can sustain a constituency on its own, the more chance we have of keeping the city together.”