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Policitians plea: Don't axe Hyndburn seat

A number of politicians have spoken at a public inquiry into plans to axe the Hyndburn parliamentary seat.

A map of the proposed Burnley South with Accrington seat. The rest of the borough will fall into a new Darwen and Haslingden constituency

A number of politicians have spoken at a public inquiry into plans to axe the Hyndburn parliamentary seat.



The Observer is campaigning against the Boundary Commission’s proposals to split the constituency in two – to form two new seats, Burnley South with Accrington and Darwen and Haslingden.



A final round of consultation into plans has been opened as written submissions made on the proposals were published for the first time.



The plans, which would see neighbouring wards Spring Hill and Central with different MPs, have been formally opposed by Hyndburn council and the MP Graham Jones.



Council deputy leader Munsif Dad said the proposals will not only split Hyndburn in general, but divide Accrington streets and neighbourhoods that share common identities and, importantly, structures.



And he said Baxenden and Central wards had also been placed in the wrong seats.



He said: “Switching these two wards, Baxenden and Central makes every sense. West Accrington is clearly defined as Church, Spring Hill and Central.



“The urban geography and road networks link these three wards together. Major government programmes, such as HMR and new LIFT health centre at our Acorn centre are built exclusively around the West Accrington area.”



Clayton-le-Moors councillor Tim O’Kane emphasised the need to protect the Hyndburn identity of organisations such as Hyndburn Homes and Hyndburn Prospects.



He added: “Hyndburn has six cenotaphs and on every single one of those are the names of forces personnel who perished during World War One as part of the Accrington Pals. It is only just and fair that the strong bonds that we have here be emphasised and we want to stick together as much as possible.” 



Labour councillors Wendy Dwyer, Miles Parkinson, Munsif Dad and Tim O’Kane all spoke at the public inquiry, and Mr Jones sent a written submission.



A Boundary Commission for England spokesman said: “We are currently conducting the 2013 review and we would like views on the responses we received to our initial proposals.



“You can view and comment on any of the responses we received to our initial consultation, whether made in writing or at a public hearing.”



The Government wants to cut the number of MPs by 50 by standardising the size of Parliamentary seats. Labour-led Hyndburn council has proposed a new Hyndburn and Padiham seat instead, but has said if the seat is divided Baxenden should be switched with Central ward.



A first round of consultation closed last December. All the submissions can now be viewed on the Commission’s website until midday on Tuesday, April 3, and comments left online. To have your say visit

http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/

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