Public back MP’s fight

SPEN MP Mike Wood has launched a petition against proposed changes to how Spen is represented in parliament.

Two weeks ago the Guardian launched Save Our Spen – a campaign to protect Spen’s place on the political map.

Now Mr Wood has hailed the success of his own petition against the proposed changes by the Boundary Commission For England.

The proposals would mean 50 fewer MPs in parliament, which the government believe would save taxpayers £12m per year.

However, Labour politicians have said the changes would discriminate against their party.

Mr Wood said: “The response has been excellent – there’s a real sense of outrage at the idea Batley and Birstall could end up being represented by three MPs and the Spen Valley by two.

“I’ve been inundated with support for a campaign from individuals and organisations – all of whom agree, regardless of their own politics, that such changes are damaging, unfair and completely unreasonable.”

Mr Wood is keen for the Boundary Commission to look at proposals that would keep Batley and Spen together – under one MP.

“People who live in the centre of Batley would share their MP with people in Beeston in South Leeds while Cleckheaton, Birstall and Birkenshaw would be lost in a new Bradford South seat. What’s left of Batley and Spen – half of Batley, Staincliffe, Liversedge, Heckmondwike and Gomersal would be welded to Mirfield,” he said.

Kirklees Liberal Democrats are also opposed to the changes, while local Conservatives are also keen to look again at the plans. Public meetings will be held on October 13 and 14, at the Ramada Hotel, Leeds North, Millgreen View. Ring road, Leeds.

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