Anwyl homes - Janet Clowes, Conservative group leader cheshire east council 2019

Cheshire East will not take action at this time regarding the review of parliamentary constituencies, saying the suggested changes don’t impact significantly on the borough council, writes Belinda Ryan.

But the local authority does believe it may have to make representations during the second round of consultation, once Cheshire West and Chester Council makes its views known to the Boundary Commission.

Brian Reed, Cheshire East’s head of democratic services, told Tuesday’s meeting of the corporate policy committee at Crewe Municipal Buildings: “Back in 2017 there was the beginning of a parliamentary constituency review but that didn’t result in any changes. It was effectively abandoned.

“But very recently the Boundary Commission for England have opened up a consultation on new proposals.”

The Boundary Commission is looking to retain the same number of 650 parliamentary constituencies but, under the first round of proposals being consulted on, each constituency would have between 69,724 and 77,062 parliamentary electors.

Mr Reed said: “The details in brief summary… is that no changes are proposed for the Macclesfield constituency, very minor changes are proposed in respect of Congleton constituency, Tatton constituency and Crewe and Nantwich.

“However, it is proposed that there be significant changes with regard to Eddisbury, effectively the abolition of the Eddisbury constituency and the creation of a new South Cheshire constituency.

“This proposed constituency covers a very wide area stretching right from parts of Chester through to the likes of Wrenbury and Wybunbury in Cheshire East.”

Cheshire East officers had recommended the corporate policy committee may like to appoint a sub-committee to consider the consultation proposals in detail and put in a formal response to the consultation.

But Cllr Janet Clowes (Con, Wybunbury – pictured) asked Mr Reed: “Bearing in mind what you said and the relatively minimal changes to Cheshire East and the fact it doesn’t have any impact on Cheshire East boundaries itself, is there anything, if we choose not to do this now, that stops us perhaps taking part in the second consultation when perhaps changes might be made that are more impactful?”

Mr Reed confirmed the council would still be entitled to take part in the second round.

Cllr Nick Mannion (Lab, Macclesfield West and Ivy) then proposed the committee receive the report “but take no further action at this point in time”.

This was seconded by Cllr Clowes and later approved by the committee.

Knutsford councillor Stewart Gardiner (Con) said: “I think that’s a wise course of action because I think there are significant problems for our friends in the West [Cheshire West and Chester Council] in terms of a proposal to break up the ancient city of Chester into separate constituencies.

“And also a significant change to Winsford, which is a major town in the West.

“And they may have significant representations to make and the Commission may then decide to make changes to us in order to compensate for those, so I think we need to keep ourselves in readiness for there being further changes that we may wish to respond to.”

But Alsager councillor Rod Fletcher (Lib Dem) wasn’t convinced.

He said he was concerned councillors might get representations from residents who would then be told Cheshire East is doing nothing at the moment.

“That would worry me, so I can’t support this proposal,” he said.

Cllr Clowes told the committee: “I think, if there were some fundamental material changes to Cheshire East, I would support Cllr Fletcher’s concerns, but there are not.”

She added there was nothing to stop residents responding to the consultation themselves if they wished.

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