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Boundary changes face Otley MP challenge
9:41am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Local news
Otley will be given its own constituency and Horsforth will be hived off from Aireborough under radical Boundary Commission plans to change the political map.
But Otley’s current MP claims the changes will never happen – and he is calling on the Government to concentrate on getting the economy back on track instead.
Greg Mulholland, whose Leeds North West constituency includes Otley, said sweeping new prop-osals still divided communities in an ill thought-out manner.
But he argued they did not matter because he believes the changes will not be implemented.
“Following the announcement in September from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that the Lords reform proposals have now been officially withdrawn, the Prime Minister David Cameron should follow Nick’s example and announce the now doomed bound-ary changes will also not be proce-eded with, which will prevent any further cost to the taxpayer,” he said.
“It is time for all Liberal Dem-ocrat and Conservative MPs to accept both these proposals will not be going ahead in this Parliament – which they clearly won’t – and instead concentrate on getting the economy back on track. The Prime Minister can help this by facing the fact there will be no constituency boundary changes this Parliament.”
If the proposals were to be voted in next year, they would result in a new Otley constituency, which would take in Adel and Wharfedale, Alwoodley, Guiseley and Rawdon, Otley and Yeadon, Burley and Menston.
The proposals would also see Horsforth split from Guiseley, Yeadon and Pudsey. It would instead become part of a Bradford East and Horsforth ward, which would include Bolton and Undercliffe, Bradford Moor, Eccleshill, Idle and Thackley, Calverley and Farseley.
Horsforth’s current MP Stuart Andrew, whose constituency would be effectively abolished, could be one of the 50 MPs facing the loss of their jobs – and possibly standing for re-election in a new constituency – if the proposals go through.
But he stressed: “Even if it means I lose my seat, I think we should be going ahead with this because it is right to reduce the number of MPs.
“Because of the financial situation we find ourselves in, we have had to make savings right across the board. People in the private and public sectors have had to make savings and it has been tough. For MPs not to take their share would be wrong.”
He added: “Also making all the constituencies the same size is a principle that seems fair.”
Mr Andrew said it was important to make sure new constituency boundaries brought together communities that related to each other. And he feels the proposed new Otley constituency is based around natural boundaries.