Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson welcoms Liberal Democrats opposition to boundary changes
FORMBY’S Labour MP Bill Esterson has welcomed the news that the Coalition’s plan to split Formby has been blocked in Parliament.
Last week the Liberal Democrats said they would vote against the redrawing of constituency boundaries after the Conservatives blocked Lords reform.
The boundary review is part of a Government drive to reduce the number of MPs by 50 and make all remaining constituencies a similar size.
Ten thousand voters in the affluent Harington ward – which envelopes Freshfield and the western half of Formby – would be merged into an enlarged Southport constituency.
A new Aintree seat would incorporate voters in Hightown and the rest of Formby with the electorate in east Sefton and Knowsley.
MP Bill Esterson’s Sefton Central seat would no longer exist at the 2015 General Election.
Mr Esterson said: "People here in Formby are rightly concerned about these plans. But despite vocal public opposition to the plans, David Cameron is continuing to fight for the boundary changes and splitting Formby.
"The community of Formby is one of the most historic communities in the region and it is simply bizarre to think that it could be arbitrarily split up by these boundary changes.
"Formby needs to remain together and that is what I am calling for.
"Splitting Formby in two is in no-one's interests apart from to enable this Tory-led government to instigate changes to the current boundaries to reduce the number of Labour MPs in this region.
"This is clearly undemocratic.From the point the Conservatives proposed these boundary changes I have opposed the plans on the ground that Formby would be split in two.
"I made the point at the Boundary Commission's hearing earlier this year in Liverpool when I argued that the plans would be detrimental to Formby.
"The Conservative plans would have seen this community split in two.
"So I am obviously delighted that the plans are now in disarray.
"Although he had originally backed the plans, Nick Clegg has now ditched the plans not for any ideological reasons, but because he has fallen out with his Conservative mates.
"But, whatever the reason, this is great news for Formby and great news for democracy here in Sefton."
David Cameron has now signalled his intention to press ahead with a Commons vote on redrawing the parliamentary boundaries.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced he would be ordering his MPs to oppose the new boundaries after a vote by Tory backbenchers derailed his plans to reform the House of Lords.