Leigh MP James Grundy has spoken out strongly against proposals by the Boundary Commission for England, which will split the town of Leigh between the Makerfield seat and a proposed new 'Leigh South and Atherton' seat which will replace the current Leigh constituency.
Speaking about the proposals, Mr Grundy said:
“Whilst I welcome some aspects of these proposals, particularly the unification of Atherton within a single constituency, and recognising the town of Atherton within the constituency name, there are some severe flaws within the proposals overall.
“The Leigh constituency as it is now has grown considerably since the last review due to vast amounts of new development in the area, and as a consequence needs to be reduced in size, however splitting Leigh unequally between two constituencies is not the right approach.
“Taking the Leigh West ward from Leigh and putting it in Makerfield in exchange for Ashton ward creates an absurd situation where you have a Leigh seat where large parts of Leigh town centre would be in a seat made up primarily of Wigan suburbs, and a Makerfield seat without Ashton in Makerfield. I predict these proposals will generate strong community opposition on that basis alone.
“This is why I will be strongly advocating for my constituents in the Leigh West ward to remain within the Leigh constituency where they naturally belong, and for Ashton to remain in the Makerfield seat.
“I also have concerns regarding the proposed boundary between Astley and Tyldesley. The boundary as proposed splits Astley between two constituencies, the Leigh seat and the Worsley seat. While this is currently a ward boundary, it is not a natural one.
“I have reached out to both the Labour MP for Makerfield, Yvonne Fovargue, and a senior local Labour councillor in the hope that, just as the last time the Commission proposed a similar split of Leigh, we can present a united front from all political parties on this issue.
“I'll be fighting to 'Keep Leigh in Leigh', and I hope everyone locally, of whatever political persuasion, will back me to the hilt on this, and fight with me to keep our town together.”