Council

Altrincham and Knutsford to merge… under constituency boundary review plans

By David Prior at

The Altrincham and Sale West seat could be consigned to history as part of a review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries.

The Boundary Commission’s proposals would see the constituency – which re-elected Graham Brady as MP in the 2015 election – replaced by a new Altrincham and Tatton Park seat.

The seat would be made up of eight Trafford wards – Altrincham, Bowdon, Broadheath, Bucklow St Martin’s, Hale Barns, Hale Central, Timperley and Village – plus three Cheshire wards – Knutsford, Mobberley and High Legh.

The latter three wards currently fall under the Tatton seat represented by former Chancellor George Osborne.

Altrincham and Sale West MP Graham Brady

Altrincham and Sale West MP Graham Brady

The plans are part of an attempt to reduce the number of parliamentary constituencies by 50 to 600.

The law requires the size and shape of parliamentary boundaries to be periodically reviewed to keep with up demographic changes influencing the number of eligible electors in each area as well as other factors such as local administrative arrangements. The last review took place in the mid-noughties in time for the 2010 general election.

Should the Altrincham and Sale West and Tatton seats merge, it could mean a battle between Brady and Osborne for the right to represent the seat at the 2020 election.

Brady said: “There will be two further drafts and previous experience suggests that the final recommendation might be very different from the first draft. I will be consulting with constituents and considering what submissions might be appropriate.

“The principle of equal numbers of voters in each constituency is obviously fair and in the interests of democracy.”

The draft proposals will now go out for public consultation, with final plans going forward for ratification in October 2018.

Osborne told the Knutsford Guardian: “It’s very important that the boundaries of constituencies are changed periodically to reflect changes in the population – and it’s very unfair at present that not all constituencies are of equal size.

“So I fully support the Boundary Review as a part of our democracy. We’ve now seen the first draft of the proposals. It involves big changes for my constituency. I’m going to consider carefully whether they can be improved upon and whether to make representations. Whatever the final boundaries, I look forward to putting myself forward to voters for re-election for Cheshire in 2020.”