Dewsbury and Mirfield to stay in same Parliamentary constituency?

SAVED?: Plans to split Dewsbury into two Parliamentary constituencies appear to have been scrapped. (d31051153)
SAVED?: Plans to split Dewsbury into two Parliamentary constituencies appear to have been scrapped. (d31051153)

PLANS to split Dewsbury in two and make Mirfield the centre of a new Parliamentary constituency have been scrapped.

The Boundary Commission has revised plans which last year threatened to radically reshape the political geography of the two towns.

It has been tasked with redrawing Parliamentary constituencies so that in future there will be fewer MPs.

In November the Boundary Commission suggested carving up the existing Dewsbury and Mirfield constituency.

Then, it was suggested that a new Mirfield constituency would be formed, comprising parts of Dewsbury, Batley and the Spen Valley.

The rest of Dewsbury would have formed a constituency with parts of Wakefield, bringing to an end a long history of the town having its own MP.

But now the Boundary Commission has published updated proposals which keep the Dewsbury and Mirfield constituency much as it is today.

In a report, the Boundary Commission recognised the widespread criticism that was levelled at the plan to split Dewsbury, and also Batley.

It said: “There were strong objections to the splitting of Batley and Dewsbury such that different wards of the towns would be in separate constituencies, breaking community ties to an unacceptable extent.”

Now Dewsbury’s three council wards will remain in a constituency with Mirfield and Kirkburton, though Denby Dale will be annexed.

The two Batley council wards will now also remain in the same constituency, but will share an MP with Morley.

A new Spen Valley constituency will be formed, made of Birstall, Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Gomersal, Royds and Wyke.

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell declined to comment on the updated plans. He said: “It would be wrong for individual MPs, who stand to gain or lose by the proposals, to influence individual proposals.”

However, he added that there was little prospect of the proposals being ratified by Parliament in any case, as Liberal Democrat MPs have withdrawn their support for them.

This leaves the government with too few votes to approve the proposed changes.