Boundary plan is an ‘absolute travesty’ for Cockermouth
Last updated at 15:34, Friday, 19 October 2012
Cockermouth could be represented by the same MP as Penrith under plans labelled an “absolute travesty” by a leading town politician.
Cockermouth, Keswick and surrounding area would become part of a vast new Penrith and Solway constituency, stretching to Alston.
The radical proposals have been put forward by the Boundary Commission for England as part of a national review to cut the number of constituencies from 533 to 502 and balance out the numbers of voters in each MP’s area.
Alan Smith, Cockermouth town and borough councillor, said: “If it happens it will be an absolute travesty for the people of Cockermouth and surrounding areas.
“To have to travel 30-odd miles to meet your MP when there’s an MP eight miles away is crazy.
“We have no affiliation with Penrith. It bears no resemblance to West Cumbria.
“It’s just political gerrymandering of numbers so the Conservatives can drop 50-odd seats but keep the votes.”
Under the plan, villages including Papcastle, Dovenby, Broughton, Brigham and Bridekirk would also join with Penrith.
The constituency would include villages north of Maryport.
The sitting Penrith and the Border MP is Rory Stewart, a Conservative.
The remainder of the Workington constituency area would join with Copeland to become a single West Cumbria seat.
Previous suggestions would have seen Cockermouth remain with Workington and Keswick, which moved to Copeland two years ago, rejoin the constituency. They were revised after consultation.
Mayor of Keswick Andrew Lysser said: “We have certainly got more akin with Penrith and the Border than we have with Copeland or West Cumbria.”
First published at 11:52, Friday, 19 October 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Come off it folks; when did any M.P sent to parliament by the good people of Cockermouth ever do anything for the town? If you are going to elect someone who is only going to look after their own interests, do absolutely nothing for the area and only be seen at the times of elections; then they might as well be living in Timbuktu.
It is time that we had primary elections in Britain where the people of the constituencies have a say in who will stand for each party in the election. Currently the PM and leaders of the opposition do this; the result is that M.P's fawn and crawl to their leaders and disregard the wishes of the electorate, as we have experienced. We are not a democracy and it is time that we were
it's splendid, for the first time in my adult life I may be represented by someone I have actually have voted for. The old Allerdale predictability of returing in Labour member became so disheartening, anyone with a red rosette would have been elected. Cockermouth historically has been politically located with Keswick, so this isn't a new thing. The west coast towns were dominated by the old staple industries of coal and steel, Cockermouth never was and the local culture reflect this.
Alan Smith has worked hard and long, but this change is welcomed by many of us.
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