Meacher calls for halt to boundary plans

Date published: 07 September 2012

PLANS to rewrite Oldham’s political map should be abandoned, says Michael Meacher.

The veteran Oldham West and Royton MP has called for a halt after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed Lib-Dems will not support plans to redraw constituency boundaries.

A deal between the coalition partners meant the Lib-Dems’ bid for Lords reform would be backed in return for the party supporting the Conservative policy to change the boundaries, reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The Boundary Commission is to release its second set of proposals next month.

The current, controversial plan has only one parliamentary seat with the name Oldham — Oldham and Saddleworth, covering more than three-quarters of Labour MP Debbie Abrahams seat and part of that of Michael Meacher. The remaining 75 per cent of Oldham West and Royton would be split into three of the newly drawn constituencies - Middleton, Rochdale South and Ashton Under Lyne.

Mr Meacher said Nick Clegg had made his position very clear and it was “irresponsible” to keep wasting taxpayers’ money.

Final Boundary Commission proposals will be published next year. 

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