Spen to be lost under government boundary proposals?

SPEN would be wiped off the political map under ‘outrageous’ government proposals that are ‘an insult to local people’.

And the Guardian this week kickstarted a campaign to preserve the name of Spen in Parliament.

Plans to change the way local people are represented in Westminster have been unveiled by the Boundary Commission for England this week, leading to widespread condemnation from political leaders in the Spen Valley.

Lib-Dem leader and Cleckheaton councillor Kath Pinnock said the plans were insulting to local people who faced “being lost in the political quagmire”.

The proposals would mean that Cleckheaton, along with Birstall and Birkenshaw, would be represented by the newly created Bradford South and Cleckheaton constituency. Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Gomersal would come under the new Mirfield constituency, which would include parts of Batley and Dewsbury as well as Kirkburton.

Spen would not be recognised as a named constituency for the first time since 1885, and two MPs would represent the valley.

A consultation will take place into the proposals, which the government believes would save £12m per year by reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood said the plans were ‘more radical’ than expected.