Wakefield’s political map may not be redrawn - boundaries plan falters

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to rip up the district’s political map look to be in doubt.

Boundary changes which would see the district divided into five new constituencies under plans to cut the overall number of MPs from 650 to 600 were announced last 
September.

The government claimed the move would save £12m a year and make sure all MPs represented a similar number of voters.

But it was accused of carving up the district to engineer more votes for the Conservatives as all the district’s MPs slammed the move, which would come into force at the next election.

But now Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Leader, has withdrawn his party’s support for the plan. He will instruct Lib-Dem MPs in the coalition government to vote against it after Tory MPs were blamed for the collapse of his party’s plan to reform the House of Lords.

But Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron said he would press ahead with a vote on the boundary changes next year.

Under the plans, Mary Creagh’s constituency would be split into a new Dewsbury and Wakefield West ward which includes Ossett and 
Horbury.

She said: “The government’s cynical plan to get rid of 50 MPs would cause chaos in Wakefield, replacing the historic parliamentary seat of Wakefield with a constituency called Dewsbury and Wakefield West, splitting the city, breaking community ties and ignoring our history.

“I voted against these boundary changes in parliament as it’s expensive, time consuming and a way for the Tories to get more seats in the Commons.”

Crofton, Walton, Wakefield Rural and Wakefield South would be part of Hemsworth and Wakefield South under the changes.

A new Wakefield East and Pontefract ward would include Featherstone, Normanton, Knottlingley and parts of Selby.

Altofts and Whitwood would become part of the huge Selby and Castleford constituency.

Morley and Outwood ward would split between a new Leeds South and Outwood ward and Leeds South west and Morley.