Fears have resurfaced that parts of Ellesmere Port could be represented by the same MP as some voters in Widnes.
They first re-emerged earlier in the autumn when Chester’s Labour MP Chris Matheson claimed the Tory government aims to split his seat into two with parts of Ellesmere Port switched into the city under a review of constituency boundaries.
The Government’s aim is to reduce the number of MPs by 50.
Mr Matheson said he understood three year old proposals which were mothballed had been ‘dusted down and taken off the shelf’.
Under those changes to the 30-year-old Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency a new Mersey Banks seat would take on most of Ellesmere Port including the old county areas of Grange and Rossmore, Sutton and Manor and Central and Westminster.
Moving to Chester
But places such as Burton, Ness, Willaston, Elton, Mickle Trafford, Strawberry, Groves, most of Whitby and Great and Little Sutton to the west of the A41 would move into Chester.
At present Ellesmere Port, Neston and villages such as Burton, Parkgate, Willaston, Elton and Mickle Trafford are all included under an Ellesmere Port and Neston banner.
The Mersey Banks proposal included places such as Eastham, Bromborough, Frodsham and Helsby, Weaver and even Hale and Ditton across the Mersey.
In Great Sutton, the northern side of Green Lane in Ledsham and Manor ward would be in Chester but the other side of the road would be in Mersey Banks.
Neston, Parkgate and Little Neston would be in a new Hoylake and Neston constituency.
MP Justin Madders (Lab) said at the time: “If the Conservatives try to use the same proposals that they did in 2013, the current constituency would be sliced into three in a way that makes no sense to anyone.
“After introducing changes that resulted in millions being removed from the electoral register, we have to conclude that they are trying to introduce these new boundaries for political advantage.
“Neston would be thrown in with parts of Wirral which has a different council, police force, fire service and clinical commissioning group.
“Parts of Ellesmere Port, including Whitby and Ledsham and Manor would apparently now be part of Chester including key parts of the town like the police station and Whitby Park.
“There is a danger that the building blocks used would be on old local authority boundaries from the days of the County Council that are long gone.
“Worst of all is the ‘Mersey Banks’ constituency which puts most of Ellesmere Port together with parts of the Wirral, Weaverham and even parts of Widnes across the Mersey.
“This would lead to the Mersey Banks constituency covering three local authority areas with no physical connection between one end of the constituency and the other.
“Meanwhile, I would no longer be representing my own neighbours in Little Sutton. Any sense of a local representative would be destroyed by this.”
In his latest blog Mr Madders adds: “The issue of Parliamentary boundaries has come up again with the news that the Government intend to push ahead with another boundary review over the next few years.
“The intention is to equalise the number of electors in each constituency so that each is roughly the same size.
“Most constituencies are roughly the same size at the moment but a degree of latitude and common sense was applied so that natural boundaries were respected and communities kept together. “
He says there is ‘a risk’ that some voters in Ellesmere Port and Neston would end up with the ‘ridiculous Mersey Banks constituency’ again.
This would involve only about 40% of the current constituency and include part of Widnes ‘that you would have to cross the river Mersey to get to’.
Mr Madders has previously said: “I’ll be working as hard as I can to ensure that as many people as possible register to vote. These changes will be much harder for the Government to force through if the register represents the actual number of people living in the constituency."
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