Parties unite in Save our Spen fight

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THE three main political parties in Kirklees have united against plans to change our constituency boundaries.

The leaders of Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats put a joint motion forward at Wednesday’s council meeting, calling for the Boundary Commission for England to look again at the plans.

Under proposals released last month, Cleckheaton, Birstall and Birkenshaw would form part of a new Bradford South constituency.

Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Gomersal would be part of the new Mirfield patch, which would include Dewsbury West. Dewsbury East would be part of a new Wakefield constituency.

The councillors agreed to ask the commission to disregard its stance on making every area equal in size, or else risk destroying communities in Kirklees.

Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib-Dem, Cleck) branded the plans ‘simply not acceptable’.

“All three parties have agreed that we need to keep Dewsbury together, keep Batley as a unit and the Spen Valley together as a unit.”

Coun David Hall (Con, Liv/Gom) said: “It’s vital that we have all party support for this motion.

“If we don’t then it will not have any weight with the Boundary Commission.”

His fellow ward councillor Margaret Bates added that such changes happened every few years, but the council should take a stand if that was what the public wanted.

She said: “It’s good we are working together on this.”

If the Boundary Commission proposals go ahead the name Spen would disappear from Parliament for the first time since 1885.