Boundary review could see end of Tatton constituency


The Boundary Commission for England has published their initial proposals for sweeping changes to the Parliamentary constituency boundaries which could see the Tatton seat disappear.

The review is being carried out after Parliament decided to reduce the number constituencies in the UK from 533 to 502 and achieve a more even distribution of electors. Each constituency, with the exception of two on the Isle of Wight, must have an electorate that is no smaller than 72,810 and no larger than 80,473.

Proposed changes include the disappearance of Chancellor George Osborne's seat with many of the wards currently contained in the Tatton constituency, including Alderley Edge and Knutsford, incorporated in the proposed Northwich constituency.

In addition some of the wards currently contained in the Weaver Vale constituency, namely Northwich and the surrounding area, and the area surrounding Siddington, which is currently located in the Macclesfield constituency, would move into the Northwich constituency.

The North West region has been allocated 68 constituencies which represents a reduction of seven and, due to the requirement for significant changes, only seven out of the 75 existing constituencies would remain unchanged.

Initial proposals for Cheshire and the Wirral reduce the number of constituencies from 15 to 13 with one constituency straddling the Cheshire–Greater Manchester boundary which would include Poynton in a constituency that predominantly contains wards from the Borough of Stockport.

Other changes in the local area include moving Wilmslow into the Macclesfield constituency which otherwise is largely unchanged.

The Boundary Commission are consulting on their initial proposals for a 12-week period, from 13th September to 5th December.

They are also hosting five public hearings in the North West, the nearest of which will be from October 11th to 12th at the Britannia Hotel on Portland Street, Manchester.

Everyone wishing to contribute to the design of the new constituencies can read the initial proposals report and accompanying maps on the Boundary Commission for England website. You can respond via the website, or you can email [email protected].

Once the consultation has closed, the Commission will collate all the responses received, including transcripts of the public hearings, and final recommendations will be made to the Government by 1st October 2013.

Thanks to Marc Asquith for alerting me to the fact the initial proposals were made available this morning.

Update: Having taken a closer look at the maps for the proposed new constituencies it would appear that Wilmslow would be split in two. The area south of Moor Lane/Chapel Lane and west of Alderley Road would be in the Northwich constituency with Alderley Edge, whilst the rest of Wilmslow would be in the Macclesfield constituency.

Tatton Constituency


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Dominic Brown
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 4:47 pm
It will be interesting to see what the counter proposals will be, I think it will be a shame if Alderley is not in the same constituency as Wilmslow.
Fenton Simpson
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 6:05 pm
Wilmslow to Macclesfield but Alderley to Northwhich ? Seems a bit odd. Unless your just looking a numbers and not using any common sense.
Dominic Brown
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 6:27 pm
I think one problem for me is that Alderley is not connected via public transport to any of the main area's of the proposed new constituency and that is something that should have been taken in to account when this was all drawn up.
Alan R Davies
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 7:21 pm
These proposals don't seem to respect the principle of having a strong representational link between communities, their MPs and Parliament. That is a far more important principle than fixing every constituency to the same size. In this case however the obvious solution seems to be to take Disley out of the Macclesfield consituency and replace it by Alderley Edge.
Vin Sumner
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 11:13 pm
Agree with Alan ,but to be honest don't feel well represented at moment having had great difficulty as an SME getting any response from our current MP
Graham Morgan
Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 11:39 pm
I don't wish to be associated with Northwich, am I being a snob?
Frank Keegan
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 9:43 am
Some good points on here. The review is based upon the old County Council divisions, when Alderley Division was Fulshaw Park, Alderley Edge, Henbury Marton Siddington Withington and Eaton.

Those Divisions were accepted as the Boundaries for Cheshire East, simply because the decision to set up a new Council was so delayed that we accepted the County Divisions. However, since then we have had a better split - by the Boundaries Commission funnily enough - and now it is proposed to lock us in to these old division boundaries for many years to come.

Henbury runs into Macclesfield, Eaton is right next to Congleton Town Centre; just two examples of how local communities will feel remote from the heart of the proposed new constituency.

When Marc Asquith represented Alderley Division at Cheshire County, Henbury to Eaton were in Alderley Division but in Macclesfield Constituency. When the new Cheshire East seats were drawn up, they remained in Macclesfield. Now they are proposed to be in Northwich.

I was in Northwich in 1994, I think, complaining about the last Boundary Changes. I don't think I have been back, but I have a poor sense of direction so I might have driven through it.

Perhaps Marc would like to give us some advice on how we can ALL complain about these proposals in a constructive way.
Marc Asquith
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 12:32 pm
Oh heavens ! This is going to be horribly complicated. Frank is correct, The Boundary Commission have not used the Ward Boundaries of Cheshire East Council, which was my first assumption, but have used the old Cheshire County Council Division Boundaries. One of the useful outcomes of the change from CCC to CEC was that the old Alderley Division was split across the Tatton and Macclesfield Constituencies. When CEC was created and the new Ward Boundaries introduced at the last election ( May 2011 ) that anomaly was removed. Bizarrely, the proposal from the Boundary Commission instantly re-introduces this anomaly by splitting the newly introduced Gawsworth & Henbury Ward into two portions, one in Macclesfield Constituency and one in Northwich Constituency. Further, the commission did attempt to move the old Macclesfield Borough Council Ward of Henbury - which is the villages of Henbury, Siddington, Marton and Eaton, into Tatton about 6 or 7 years ago. Following a public hearing held before an Assistant Commissioner in County Hall in Chester, it was decided to leave Henbury with the Macclesfield Constituency. Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Lisa is absolutely right in saying that the current proposals move the old MBC Ward of Fulshaw into Northwich.

I am told that this all arises because the Boundary Commission, who do Parliamentary Boundary reviews and the Boundary Committee who do local government reviews, do so on a different cycle.

Apparently, the legislation that brought about this review was drafted such that the Commission are obliged to deal with the CCC boundaries. Because reviews are every five years, it is expected that this anomaly will remain in place for the next general election - expected in 2014 / 2015 and will be remedied in time for the subsequent general election in 2018 - 2020.

Given that it seems inevitable that George will become the MP for the Northwich Constituency, for the people of Wilmslow, it means a phased transfer to Macclesfield Constituency. The interesting question arises over the villages in the Siddington area as it would seem likely that having spent one parliament in Northwich, they may well return to Macclesfield for the next.

The consultation page for the Boundary Commission can be found at:

But if my information is correct, and the Commission were constrained by the legislation to use the old CCC boundaries, There seems little point in complaining about it now. It will have to be remedied next time round.
Alan R Davies
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 1:03 pm

I don't see why there is little point in complaining now. It is a fundamental issue that we as electors have a right not to be shunted between constituencies against our will without representation. Even if the Commission is constrained by legislation they still have a duty to propose the best possible solution with those constraints. Ultimately the Commission will only be proposing recommendations to Parliament, and I trust that our MP will vote against those recommendations if they are contrary to the interests of his constituents.
Dominic Brown
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 1:04 pm
The Labour party are having a NW meeting about it soon and I assume the other parties will be getting together quickly to discuss there proposals, I think the best chance for these changes to Tatton being avoided is if George Osborne holds any kind of sway with the Conservative review team. Other than that it is just down to constituents going to the meeting in Manchester and voicing there concerns. Looking at the map Alderley Edge will be quite isolated from the rest of the constituency.
David Hadfield
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 1:43 pm
To have Wilmslow split into two different constituencies is total nonsense.
Couldn't the Boundary Commission use a little common sense and treat Wilmslow and the surrounding area of Alderley Edge as being in the same constituency, namely Macclesfield, and not having half in Macclesfield and the other half in the Northwich constituency !!!
Grrrrrrrrr !
Malcolm McClean
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 4:07 pm
This boundary was clearly drawn by a statistician who has never been north of Watford Gap. Mathematically it may be elegant, but in every other way it is ugly. It shows no understanding of connectivity, community, history, culture, in fact its random in every way except the population adds up the the number they were looking for. I imagine a group of Year 7 students armed with a felt pen and a calculator would have done a better job.
Frank Keegan
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 8:10 pm

It is not quite correct to say they were "constrained" by the old boundaries of CCC.

Take Poynton; used to include Adlington, but that is now in Macclesfield, whereas it should have been Hazel Grove, if they were "constrained". So year 7 will have to go back to the drawing board!
Marc Asquith
Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 10:46 pm
Good point Frank - I was merely repeating the info i was given. If the Boundary Commission can deviate from the County Division boundaries - we should make submissions via the website. Its nuts that Fulshaw should be cut off from the rest of Wilmslow for 5 years.
Marc Asquith
Thursday 15th September 2011 at 12:37 pm
With all the boundary changes its easy to become confused. I checked and Adlington was not in the County Division of Poynton - it was in the Prestbury and Tytherington Division. So, in moving Poynton into Hazel Grove, the Commission has actually moved the old County Division in its entirety. So I am back to my previous position - if Parliament legislated that the Commission should deal with Cheshire in terms of its County Divisions, there is little chance that Parliament will deviate from that instruction when it comes to the approval of the order. In my view, we are stuck with these bits of insanity for 5 years.
Frank Keegan
Thursday 15th September 2011 at 1:15 pm
Unless of course the whole Bill gets voted down. Who wants Greater Manchester in Cheshire East? What next?
Marc Asquith
Saturday 17th September 2011 at 8:22 am
Is anyone really going to suggest that our MP, who is a government minister bound by collective responsibility, is going to vote against a government bill that will benefit the Conservative Party generally. Is anyone with any political understanding really suggesting that the government will let this bill fail ? If Labour vote against it they will be seen as voting against something fairer than the current split and which will save £ 12 million per year just for party political reasons. Past experience tells us that the Boundary Commission proposals are almost always effected without significant change. Let's not tilt against windmills.
Alan R Davies
Saturday 17th September 2011 at 9:45 am

You seem to have forgotten that this is a coalition government, not a Conservative government. If the 2010 election had been fought under these boundaries, the Liberal Democrats would have lost about 10 of their 33 seats. I can't imagine how the Liberal Democrats are going to be persuaded to vote for that, especially after having lost the transferable vote referendum. By the way, you assume that equal size constituencies would necessarily be fairer. That would only be the case if it was coupled with effective community representation. I'm all for the parties having a fair share of larger and smaller seats, but in my view the overriding directive for equal constituency sizes is making a nonsense of the whole process.