REVISED AND FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES IN WEST YORKSHIRE
THE CITY OF BRADFORD (see pages 2-3)
The Commission are proposing no changes to the five provisionally recommended parliamentary constituencies in the City of Bradford and confirm their provisional recommendations as their final recommendations for:-
Bradford East BC Bradford South BC Bradford West BC Keighley BC Shipley CC
The Commission's final recommendations take account of the recommendations contained in the report submitted to them by the Assistant Commissioner, Mr Peter Birts QC, who considered the written representations made to the Commission and the views expressed at the public inquiry held on 7 July 2005.
THE BOROUGH OF KIRKLEES AND THE CITIES OF LEEDS AND WAKEFIELD (see pages 4-15)
The Commission are to publish revised recommendations on 19 January 2006 for one parliamentary constituency. It is now proposed that Pontefract and Castleford CC should be named Normanton and Pontefract CC.
The Commission have not adopted the recommendations contained in the report submitted to them by the Assistant Commissioner, Miss Frances Patterson QC, who considered the written representations made to the Commission and the views expressed at the public inquiry held between 27 June and 5 July 2005.
The Commission are proposing no changes to the boundaries of the fifteen provisionally recommended constituencies in the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield, nor to the names of any constituencies, other than the one mentioned above.
THE BOROUGH OF CALDERDALE
The Commission announced final recommendations for the two parliamentary constituencies in the Borough of Calderdale in their news release issued on 19 January 2005. A local inquiry was not required into the provisional recommendations for this Borough.
THE CITY OF BRADFORD
1. The Boundary Commission propose to make no changes to their provisional recommendations for the five parliamentary constituencies in the City of Bradford and, today, confirm their provisional recommendations as their final recommendations. The Commission published their provisional recommendations on 23 September 2004.
2. Objections to the Commission's provisional recommendations for two of the five constituencies in the City of Bradford led to a public inquiry, which was held in Bradford on 7 July 2005. The Assistant Commissioner, Mr Peter Birts QC, who conducted the inquiry, recommended no changes to the Commission's proposals. Having considered his report and recommendations, as well as all the evidence submitted, the Commission have decided to accept his endorsement of the constituencies as provisionally recommended.
The Assistant Commissioner's Report
3. The Assistant Commissioner reported that one counter-proposal had been received which would place the Little Horton ward in Bradford South BC and the Tong ward in Bradford East BC: this would be an exchange of the wards between the provisionally recommended constituencies. The counter-proposal would also retain the existing name of Bradford North BC, in place of the proposed name of Bradford East BC. This latter aspect of the counter-proposal had some support from others at the inquiry. However, the Assistant Commissioner reported that the proponents of the counter-proposal did not attend the inquiry.
4. The Assistant Commissioner rejected the counter-proposal to exchange wards on the basis that the provisional recommendations had support and that no substantial reasons were given to alter the proposed constituency boundaries. He considered the counter-proposal to be unsupported by any clear evidence or reasoning and that the arguments against it were convincing. He therefore recommended the adoption of the Commission's provisionally recommended constituency boundaries.
5. The Assistant Commissioner reported that he was also called upon to consider alternative names submitted for Bradford East BC. He rejected a number of alternatives, that had been submitted by a member of the public, as he considered they did not have any merit. He noted that none of the individual's proposals were supported by any other person or organisation and considered that the adoption of any one of the names would be confusing. He also rejected the submissions that proposed that the name Bradford North BC should be retained. The Assistant Commissioner considered that, given he was endorsing the provisionally recommended constituency boundaries, the counter-proposed name would not be geographically accurate.
6. The Assistant Commissioner recommended that the Commission's provisional recommendations for the City of Bradford should be adopted in their entirety.
7. After considering the Assistant Commissioner's report, the transcript of the inquiry, and the written representations, the Commission noted the support for the provisional recommendations and the lack of opposition to them. They decided to accept the Assistant Commissioner's recommendation that their provisional recommendations should be adopted.
8. The Commission noted, with considerable disappointment, that the Bradford Liberal Democrats, whose counter-proposal had been the main reason for holding the inquiry, had not attended to support their case. It was also noted that they had not informed the Commission that they would not be attending the inquiry. The inquiry had therefore, in the Commission's opinion, been a quite unnecessary waste of public money.
9. The Commission's final recommendations for the City of Bradford, which will be embodied in their report to the Secretary of State at the end of the general review are for five constituencies to be as set out below (2000 electorates in brackets). No further representations will be considered in respect of them.
BRADFORD EAST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (70,863). Six wards of the City of Bradford:- Bolton and Undercliffe, Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor, Eccleshill, Idle and Thackley, Little Horton.
BRADFORD SOUTH BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (67,201). Six wards of the City of Bradford:- Great Horton, Queensbury, Royds, Tong, Wibsey, Wyke.
BRADFORD WEST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (69,967). Six wards of the City of Bradford:- City, Clayton and Fairweather Green, Heaton, Manningham, Thornton and Allerton, Toller.
KEIGHLEY COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (68,652). Six wards of the City of Bradford:- Craven, Ilkley, Keighley Central, Keighley East, Keighley West, Worth Valley.
SHIPLEY COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (69,427). Six wards of the City of Bradford:- Baildon, Bingley, Bingley Rural, Shipley, Wharfedale, Windhill and Wrose.
10. An outline map showing the Commission's final recommendations for the City of Bradford is contained within this news release together with a list of the wards and their 2000 electorates which the Commission are required to use (see back pages). The letters and numbers on the map relate to the districts and wards in the list. Please note the Crown Copyright warning on page 18.
THE BOROUGH OF KIRKLEES AND THE CITIES OF LEEDS AND WAKEFIELD Introduction
11. The Boundary Commission are to publish revised recommendations on 19 January 2006 for the change of name of one parliamentary constituency. The Commission propose that Pontefract and Castleford CC should be renamed Normanton and Pontefract CC. The revised recommendations make no changes to the boundaries of the fifteen provisionally recommended constituencies or to the names of any other constituencies.
12. The Commission published their provisional recommendations on 23 September 2004. Objections to the provisional recommendations led to a public inquiry, which was held in Wakefield between 27 June 2005 and 5 July 2005. During the course of the inquiry and afterwards, the Assistant Commissioner visited the localities that she was asked to by those who requested site visits, as well as others that she considered relevant to the issues before her.
13. The Assistant Commissioner has recommended that sixteen constituencies should be allocated to the area covered by the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield which would be an increase of one over the fifteen proposed by the Commission. The retention of sixteen constituencies in the area would result in the total number of constituencies allocated to West Yorkshire remaining at twenty-three, instead of being reduced to twenty-two as the Commission had proposed.
14. The Assistant Commissioner has recommended that no change should be made to eight of the provisionally recommended constituencies and she has further proposed that changes should be made to the seven other provisionally recommended constituencies which would enable Normanton CC to be retained: this constituency had been proposed for abolition under the Commission's provisional recommendations.
15. The Commission have decided not to accept the Assistant Commissioner's recommendation that twenty-three constituencies should be allocated to West Yorkshire and they have confirmed their provisional recommendations for the allocation of twenty-two constituencies. The only alteration they are proposing to their provisional recommendations is for the name of Pontefract and Castleford CC to be changed to Normanton and Pontefract CC.
The Assistant Commissioner's Report
16. The main issues before the local inquiry were:-
(a) whether twenty-two or twenty-three constituencies should be allocated to West Yorkshire;
(b) a counter-proposal from the Labour Party for the retention of twenty-three constituencies in West Yorkshire with sixteen being allocated to the area covered by the Borough of Kirklees, and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield.
The counter-proposal would require the existing pairing of the Borough of Kirklees with the City of Wakefield to be retained and would also result in the retention of Normanton CC. In addition, it proposed alterations to two of the proposed constituencies in the Borough of Kirklees;
(c ) a counter-proposal from the Conservative Party that supported the allocation of twenty-two constituencies to West Yorkshire and fifteen in the area covered by the Borough of Kirklees, and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield.
The counter-proposal supported the proposed pairing of the City of Leeds with the City of Wakefield and the abolition of Normanton CC.
In addition, it proposed alterations to three of the proposed constituencies within the City of Leeds;
(d) the submission from the City of Wakefield Council that West Yorkshire should retain twenty-three constituencies.
The Council also submitted during the representation period three counter-proposals, as fall-back positions, each of which included three whole constituencies comprising City of Wakefield wards and a fourth constituency that included two City of Wakefield wards in a cross-boundary constituency with the City of Leeds;
(e) other counter-proposals; and
(f) the names of some of the constituencies.
17. The Assistant Commissioner reported that the main issue she was called upon to consider at the inquiry was whether the Borough of Kirklees, and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield should retain the current allocation of sixteen constituencies, as had been counter-proposed, or whether the number of constituencies should be reduced to fifteen, as had been proposed by the Commission. Her decision would result in an allocation of either twenty-three or twenty-two constituencies to West Yorkshire.
18. The Assistant Commissioner noted that the Commission's provisional recommendation for fifteen constituencies in the Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield area would require the abolition of the Normanton constituency, disbanding the existing pairing of Kirklees and Wakefield, and the creation of a new pairing of Leeds and Wakefield. The Commission's provisional recommendations were supported by the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrat Party, Kirklees Borough Council, Leeds City Council, and others. She also reported that many objections to the provisional recommendations had been made and that the Labour Party, Wakefield City Council, and others had submitted counter-proposals that would retain sixteen constituencies. Some of these would also retain the existing pairing of Kirklees and Wakefield and the existing Normanton constituency.
19. The Assistant Commissioner reported that the two substantive arguments made by the supporters of the counter-proposals to retain twenty-three constituencies were numerical (Rule 5) and the breaking of local ties and the inconvenience that would be caused (Rule 7) by reducing the number of constituencies.
20. The Assistant Commissioner noted that there had been a decrease in the theoretical entitlement to constituencies in West Yorkshire from 22.7519 in 1991 to 22.4959 in 2000 and that by 2005 it had further fallen to 21.83. Whilst she considered that the most important figure was the 2000 theoretical entitlement of 22.4959 she did however, accept that the Commission's policy of having regard to post enumeration date data, as a factor to be taken into account when reaching a view about the pattern of constituencies to be recommended in any particular area, was perfectly valid. She therefore considered the overall trend of electoral decline to be a material consideration that the Commission was entitled to take into account in West Yorkshire and was one that was supportive of an allocation of twenty-two constituencies.
21. She reported that the main thrust of the numerical arguments put to her at the inquiry was that the harmonic mean should override the use of the arithmetic mean and that, in accordance with the Rules for Redistribution of Seats contained in Schedule 2 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, the Commission was therefore obliged to retain the allocation of twenty-three constituencies in West Yorkshire. It was also submitted that, where the theoretical entitlement was marginal, harm should not be caused to local communities. In this respect, she had been referred to the statement that the Home Secretary had made in the House of Commons in 1958, that there should be a presumption against making changes unless there was a very strong case for them.
22. The Assistant Commissioner noted that, if twenty-three constituencies were to be retained, the average constituency electorate in the county would be 68,402, which would be 1,533 below the electoral quota of 69,935. If twenty-two constituencies were to be allocated the average electorate would be 71,511 which would be 1,576 above the electoral quota. However, she did not consider the difference of 43 (1,576 - 1,533) between the two figures to be of any real significance. She reported that the electorate of the Normanton constituency in the twenty-three seat counter-proposal would be 58,958 which, at 10,976 below the electoral quota, would make it one of the smallest constituencies in the country. However, in the Commission's provisional recommendations, the Pontefract and Castleford constituency had an electorate of 78,641, which would be 8,706 above the electoral quota, which would make it one of the largest in the country.
23. The Assistant Commissioner also noted that the Commission's provisional recommendations in relation to Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield would produce an electoral disparity of 9,058, compared to an electoral disparity of 13,039 in the counter-proposal. The maximum deviation from the electoral quota (69,935) in the Commission's provisional recommendations was 8,706 compared to 10,976 in the counter-proposal and the maximum deviation from the county average in the Commission's provisional recommendations was 7,130 compared to 9,433 in the counter-proposal.
24. The Assistant Commissioner reported that she had found the numerical arguments made against the Commission's provisional recommendations to be unconvincing and that she did not accept them as the basis for retaining twenty-three constituencies in West Yorkshire.
Local ties and inconvenience
25. The Assistant Commissioner reported that she considered that Rule 7 required the Commission to take account of the inconveniences caused by changes to constituency boundaries and the local ties that would be broken by such alterations. She reported that the strength of the community objections to the provisional recommendations had been brought home strongly to her at the inquiry, particularly during the session when members of the public spoke. She was impressed by the cogency of the submissions that were made.
26. She noted that there are sixty-seven wards in West Yorkshire that are currently divided between constituencies (forty-four in Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield) and, at the very least, there would need to be many changes to constituency boundaries to realign them with the new ward boundaries. Whether twenty-two or twenty-three constituencies were allocated to West Yorkshire, local ties would be broken and inconveniences caused just by the realignment of constituency and ward boundaries. However, she reported that the Commission's proposals would involve the movement of many more electors than those moved by the twenty-three constituency counter-proposal.
27. The Assistant Commissioner reported that she had heard a large amount of evidence at the inquiry that the Commission's proposals to abolish the Normanton constituency, and to pair Wakefield with Leeds instead of with Kirklees, would cause great inconveniences and break strong local ties, particularly in Normanton. There was evidence that the abolition of the Normanton constituency would mark the demise of a historic constituency where the town, which has its own mayor, town council and numerous community groups, had been the centre of a parliamentary constituency since 1885. She also reported that evidence was given at the inquiry that Normanton has ties with Altofts, Wakefield, Stanley, Outwood, Wrenthorpe, Ossett and Horbury which would be broken by the provisional recommendations. However, she considered that the towns and villages of Altofts, Stanley, Outwood, Wrenthorpe, Ossett and Horbury could be considered as a collection of towns each with an independent spirit and its own centre.
28. The Assistant Commissioner reported other evidence given at the inquiry about the lack of ties between Normanton and Pontefract, and Castleford. She had heard evidence that the inclusion of Normanton in the Pontefract and Castleford constituency had a very weak basis in terms of social, commercial, cultural and transport links and affinities. She also reported that she had heard evidence of a lack of ties between Wakefield and Leeds. However, she did note that, although the M1 motorway is an obvious boundary between Leeds and Wakefield, there are two major roads linking the two cities and good bus services and transportation links between them.
29. She reported that the strong ties that exist between Normanton and Altofts would be broken by the twenty-three constituency counter-proposal but that, since these ties "have already been broken" by the existing constituency boundary, she could not have regard to them. However, she did consider that she should have regard to the breaking of local ties that would be caused by the Commission's proposals that would separate Wrenthorpe from Normanton, and to the inconveniences attendant on alterations of the constituencies, in particular arising from the situation concerning Pinderfields Hospital which served the Normanton area. At the local inquiry she had heard, and had accepted, much undisputed evidence that the hospital would be included in a Leeds based constituency (Morley and Outwood CC) under the Commission's proposals.
30. The Assistant Commissioner concluded that, due to the inconveniences that would be caused by the Commission's provisional recommendations, and the scale of the local ties that the proposals would break, the balance of advantage came down in favour of the twenty-three constituency counter-proposal. She also considered that, as the stronger arguments about the abolition of the Normanton constituency were based on post enumeration date data, it would be premature to abolish the constituency now in view of the additional number of electors that would be affected by the Commission's proposals.
31. The Assistant Commissioner recommended that twenty-three constituencies should be retained in West Yorkshire. However, she recognised that it was a finely balanced decision, that the very low Normanton constituency electorate and the high electoral disparity within the county were, in the long term, untenable and that this matter should be looked at again at the next general review.
The Labour Party's counter-proposals
32. The Assistant Commissioner reported that the Labour Party had submitted two counter-proposals. Their main case was a counter-proposal that retained twenty-three constituencies, but they had also submitted a fall-back counter-proposal for twenty-two constituencies. As she had recommended that twenty-three constituencies should be retained, she did not recommend the Labour Party's fall-back option. In respect of this option, she reported that the electoral disparity resulting from the fall-back counter-proposal would be 17,496 and that the disparity of the counter-proposed Wakefield CC (82,458) from the electoral quota would be "too great" at 12,523. She also noted that if a twenty-two constituency scheme were to be pursued she saw "no merit in perpetuating an unsatisfactory situation of separation of Altofts and Normanton" and that Normanton would be divided from Altofts.
33. The Labour Party's twenty-three constituency counter-proposal was based on the existing constituency boundaries, realigned to take account of the new ward boundaries, with one exception. The counter-proposal placed the whole of the divided Kirklees Borough ward of Lindley in Huddersfield BC, instead of in Colne Valley CC where the majority of the electors were already situated. The Assistant Commissioner concluded that there was no convincing evidence that the Lindley ward should be included in the same constituency as the town of Huddersfield, because Lindley functions as a largely separate township and the minimum change realignment of the constituency boundary with the ward boundary, as proposed by the Commission, was the better course to follow. However, she agreed that the Labour Party's inclusion of the divided Kirklees Borough ward of Heckmondwike in the Dewsbury constituency was better than its inclusion in the Batley and Spen constituency, as proposed by the Commission (and by the Labour Party in its twenty-two seat counter-proposal), because the majority of the electorate are already in the Dewsbury constituency.
34. The Assistant Commissioner recommended the adoption of the Labour Party's twenty three constituency counter-proposal, with the exception that the Lindley ward should be included in Colne Valley CC.
The Conservative Party's counter-proposal
35. The Conservative Party supported the Commission's provisional recommendations which allocated twenty-two constituencies to West Yorkshire, but they submitted a counter-proposal that moved the three City of Leeds wards of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, Rothwell, and Temple Newsam between the three constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell, Leeds Central, and Leeds East.
36. The Assistant Commissioner considered that, while the counter-proposal would produce a slightly smaller electoral disparity than the Commission's proposals (12,366 rather than 12,666), the ward of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill is clearly linked to the Leeds Central constituency. She did not consider that there was a lack of affinity between the Rothwell ward and Elmet, as had been claimed, and she considered that the Temple Newsam ward has more in common with Leeds East than with Elmet. She accordingly rejected the counter-proposal.
Wakefield City Council
37. The Assistant Commissioner reported that Wakefield City Council's main submission was made in support of the allocation of twenty-three constituencies to West Yorkshire. She noted that the Council had also submitted three counter-proposals (Options 1 - 3) which whilst not actively promoted by the Council had, nonetheless, to be considered by her. As with the Commission's proposals, these three options would result in Wakefield being paired with Leeds.
38. The Assistant Commissioner also reported that all three counter-proposals would result in the allocation of three whole constituencies within the Council area and part of a fourth constituency. This would be located in a cross-boundary constituency that contained wards from the City of Leeds. The Assistant Commissioner rejected all three of the counter-proposals.
39. The Assistant Commissioner reported that she had considered all the options contained in the various other counter-proposals that she had been called upon to consider but that she rejected them as they had significant disadvantages and provided no particular advantages.
40. The Assistant Commissioner recommended that the names proposed by the Commission should be adopted where possible but that two new names, as counter-proposed by the Labour Party, should be adopted where the constituencies she recommended differed significantly from the Commission's proposals. These were Garforth and Rothwell CC and Morley and Leeds South BC. She also reported that if the Commission did not accept her recommendations, but decided that twenty-two constituencies should be allocated, she would recommend that Pontefract and Castleford CC should be re-named Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford CC.
41. The Commission considered the Assistant Commissioner's report together with the transcript of the inquiry, the written representations, and all the evidence that had been submitted to the inquiry. They considered that the inquiry had been most thorough providing all interested parties with every opportunity to make their case.
42. The Commission noted that West Yorkshire is theoretically entitled to 22.4959 constituencies based on the 2000 electoral statistics and that the entitlement had fallen to 21.83 constituencies based on the 2005 electoral statistics. It had in fact been as low as 21.64 constituencies based on the 2004 electoral statistics and had been well below 22.00 constituencies since 2003. In this context, the Commission also noted that the validity of the electorates for each year since 2000 had been called into question, although these had been supplied by the Electoral Registration Officers for the five metropolitan boroughs. However, they observed too, that some confusion had been caused about the size of electorates by the introduction of evidence relating to population statistics and local government electors, neither of which were matters for consideration under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.
43. The Commission noted that whilst the case for the allocation of twenty-three constituencies, based on rounding up at the harmonic mean, had been well argued at the local inquiry, the theoretical entitlement (22.4959) was below the arithmetic mean. They considered that this suggested that an allocation of twenty-two constituencies was appropriate, particularly in view of the continued decline in West Yorkshire's electorate since the enumeration date. They also noted that during this general review their policy had been not to round up the allocation of constituencies from below the arithmetic mean, as it would be desirable to limit the increase in the number of constituencies in accordance with Rule 1. However, they would be prepared to do so where it would bring about a significant improvement in the closeness of constituency electorates to the electoral quota or to one another. This was clearly not the case in West Yorkshire as was demonstrated by the electorates that would result from the twenty-three constituency counter-proposal. The Commission considered that the number of constituencies that should be allocated to West Yorkshire had been fully discussed at the inquiry.
44. Frequently at inquiries, participants pray in aid decisions taken by the Commission about the allocation of constituencies in other areas. In this case, for example, comparisons were made with Cumbria and Northumberland. However, the Commission are firmly of the view that each case must be looked at on its merits: no two counties are the same. The Commission are aware that in both Cumbria and Northumberland the theoretical entitlements are below the arithmetic mean but the counties had received an allocation of constituencies that suggested rounding up had taken place at the harmonic mean. However, in each case, whilst the allocations had been rounded up at the harmonic mean, this had been done at a previous general review in order to take account of the special geographical considerations (Rule 6) that it was considered applied in both counties and not because of the harmonic mean. The Commission had confirmed the previously allocated number of constituencies to each of those counties, as they considered that the special geographical considerations that were relevant then still applied. The Commission do not consider that special geographical considerations apply in West Yorkshire, and no one had suggested they did.
45. The Commission noted that the Assistant Commissioner had also reported that there is a difference of just 43 electors between the deviations from the electoral quota of the average constituency electorate resulting from the allocation of 22 constituencies (71,511 - 1,576 above the electoral quota) and the average constituency electorate resulting from the allocation of twenty-three constituencies (68,402 - 1,533 below the electoral quota). She had noted that the Commission's provisional recommendations would produce an electoral disparity of 12,666 between the constituencies with the highest and lowest electorates in West Yorkshire, whilst her recommendations would produce an electoral disparity of 19,396. In this respect, the Commission noted that the existing constituencies have an electoral disparity of 18,840. Her recommendations would also produce a Normanton constituency with an electorate of 58,959, which would be 10,976 below the electoral quota. The Commission do not consider that such a high disparity is appropriate in the circumstances that apply to West Yorkshire and that steps should be taken to reduce it. They also noted that it was possible to avoid a constituency with such a low electorate if twenty-two constituencies are allocated. The Commission noted that their provisional recommendations contained a Leeds Central constituency with an electorate of 78,941 but they considered that it was acceptable as it was in an area with a declining electorate.
46. The Commission noted that, during this review, it had often been necessary for them to pair boroughs to avoid excessive disparities between the electorates of neighbouring constituencies and to create constituencies with electorates closer to the electoral quota. In West Yorkshire, they had proposed that Leeds and Wakefield should be paired for that purpose and by doing so they had achieved a significant reduction in the electoral disparity. However, the Assistant Commissioner's recommendations had maintained the pairing of Kirklees and Wakefield with no resulting reduction in the disparity. In fact the disparity had been increased albeit due to the realignment of constituency boundaries with the new altered ward boundaries.
47. The Commission also recalled that in their information booklet "The Review of Parliamentary Constituencies in England" they had said (paragraph 36 on page 8) that, ".... where it was necessary to do so in order to give effect to Rule 1, it would be proper for them in the exercise of the discretion given to them in Rules 5, 6 and 7 to seek to limit the scope of any further increase in the number of seats, regardless of the reduction in the level of representation in Scotland". The Commission consider that the Assistant Commissioner has not given due weight to the requirements of Rule 1 in her report.
48. The Commission also considered whether the very high electoral disparity across West Yorkshire and the very low electorate of the Normanton constituency recommended by the Assistant Commissioner, which they considered to be contrary to Rule 5 could, nevertheless, be accepted by applying the discretion in Rule 6 or Rule 7 to depart from Rule 5. As confirmed in paragraph 44 above, the Commission do not consider that special geographical considerations (Rule 6) apply to West Yorkshire.
49. The Commission noted that the Assistant Commissioner had reported that she took the view that the breaking of local ties caused by the Commission's provisional recommendations were such that Rule 7 considerations should outweigh those of Rule 5. In that respect, she described the strong ties between Normanton and Wrenthorpe, and between Normanton and Altofts. She had noted specifically the evidence that there were over eighty community groups covering both Normanton and Altofts, and that the Mayor and Town Council of Normanton also covered Altofts. She further noted the inconvenience that would arise from having an MP whose constituency had Pinderfields Hospital in its area and which also took in parts of Leeds.
50. In considering the evidence submitted to the inquiry and the maps contained in their fourth periodical report, the Commission have concluded that the Assistant Commissioner has misinterpreted the composition of the existing Normanton constituency. In paragraph 74 of her report she states "The communities [Altofts and Normanton] have though been in separate constituencies since the last Review and so those ties have already been broken and inconvenience caused". The Commission confirm that both Altofts and Normanton are in the existing Normanton constituency and would remain together in a constituency (now to be called Normanton and Pontefract) under their proposals. The Commission noted that the Assistant Commissioner has recommended a distribution of constituencies which would break the strong ties, that were very apparent from the evidence, between Normanton and Altofts.
51. Also, it appears to the Commission that the Assistant Commissioner was given incorrect evidence at the local inquiry to the effect that the provisional recommendations would place the Pinderfields Hospital in a Morley and Outwood constituency. It appears that many of those who gave evidence and made the case that the hospital would be in a constituency that contained wards from Leeds, may have failed to notice and bring to the attention of the Assistant Commissioner that the new ward boundaries that came into effect in May 2004 placed the Pinderfields Hospital in the new Wakefield East ward, which the provisional recommendations locate in the Wakefield constituency.
52. The Commission understand that Pinderfields hospital is now located in the new Wakefield East ward from:-
a) their own maps that were provided for the inquiry;
b) the maps contained in the Boundary Committee for England's final recommendations report for ward boundaries in the City of Wakefield;
c) and from the terms of the Boundary Committee for England's report in July 2003 on their final recommendations on the future electoral arrangements for Wakefield in which the Committee reported "We were not convinced that residential properties to the north of the Pinderfields General Hospital look to Wakefield rather than the settlements to the north. We therefore proposed to transfer to Wakefield East ward only those properties to the south and west of (and including) the hospital".
53. The Commission noted that the Assistant Commissioner's recommendations would not recognise the ties between Normanton and the Pinderfields Hospital. The Commission accept that their provisional recommendations would also locate these two areas in different constituencies. The Commission further noted that the Assistant Commissioner's recommendations would respect the local ties between Normanton and Wrenthorpe, that would be broken under their provisional recommendations.
54. The Commission do not lightly reject the conclusions of an Assistant Commissioner who will have had the advantage of hearing all the evidence but in this instance they concluded her recommendations could not be supported. They noted that her decision had been finely balanced and that it had been based, in part, on the apparent errors she had made relating to local ties.
55. The Assistant Commissioner reported that the Commission's provisional recommendations would affect about 80,000 more electors than the twenty-three constituency counter-proposal. In this respect, the Commission noted that more than 100,000 electors would have to be moved between constituencies merely to bring the new ward boundaries into complete alignment with constituency boundaries because 67 of the 124 new wards in the county were currently divided between constituencies. The Commission considered that the extra number of electors that their provisional recommendations move between constituencies, compared to the Assistant Commissioner's recommendations, are an inevitable consequence of reducing the number of constituencies in the county.
56. The Commission have decided to reject the Assistant Commissioner's recommendation that West Yorkshire should retain twenty-three constituencies and they confirm their allocation of twenty-two constituencies to the county. They note the wide support given to their proposal to allocate twenty-two constituencies and consider that their provisional recommendations better meet the requirements of the Rules, particularly the interplay between Rules 1, 5, and 7, than the recommendations from the Assistant Commissioner.
57. In confirming the allocation of twenty-two constituencies to West Yorkshire, and the creation of a constituency that crosses the boundary between the City of Leeds and the City of Wakefield, the Commission noted that the three counter-proposals that had been submitted during the representation period by the City of Wakefield each contained a cross boundary constituency with parts of the City of Leeds. They also noted that two of the counter-proposals had proposed that the Stanley and Outwood East, and Wrenthorpe and Outwood West wards should be included in the cross-boundary constituency. These are the same two wards that the Commission proposed should be included in a cross-boundary constituency. The Labour Party fall-back counter-proposal for twenty-two constituencies had also included the same two wards in the same cross-boundary constituency that the Commission had proposed.
58. The Commission also considered the Conservative Party's counter-proposal for twenty-two constituencies that would move the three City of Leeds wards of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, Rothwell, and Temple Newsam between the three constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell CC, Leeds Central BC, and Leeds East BC. Having considered all the evidence, the Commission decided to reject the counter-proposal for the same reasons given by the Assistant Commissioner in her report where she also rejected the counter-proposal.
59. The Commission also considered the alternative counter-proposal from the Labour Party which would allocate twenty-two constituencies - this was their fallback position should their counter-proposal for the allocation of twenty-three constituencies be unsuccessful. The counter-proposal would include the Wakefield City ward of Normanton in Wakefield CC instead of in Pontefract and Castleford CC. It would also place the Lindley ward of the Borough of Kirklees in Huddersfield BC instead of in Colne Valley CC.
60. The Commission noted that the counter-proposal would create a Wakefield CC with a very high electorate of 82,456 and that the electoral disparity in the county would be 17,496. The Commission decided that the counter-proposal should be rejected, as recommended by the Assistant Commissioner. They also considered all the other counter-proposals that had been submitted to the inquiry. They considered that their own recommendations provided a better solution for the county and decided that the counter-proposals should be rejected, again as the Assistant Commissioner had recommended.
61. Having decided upon the number of constituencies that should be allocated, and having rejected the counter-proposals considered at the inquiry, the Commission decided to adopt their provisional recommendations. However, they considered that one change should be made. They noted that the Assistant Commissioner had recommended that, if the Commission decided not to retain an allocation of twenty-three constituencies, she would recommend that the name of the provisionally recommended Pontefract and Castleford CC should be changed to include reference to Normanton, because that name had been a constituency name for many years.
62. The Commission agreed with the Assistant Commissioner that some reference to Normanton should be retained but they considered that the name Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford CC would be unnecessarily long. Therefore, they decided that the constituency should be called Normanton and Pontefract CC, as both names have been constituency names since the nineteenth century. They also considered that the name would adequately describe the extent of the constituency as the two towns are at opposite ends of it.
63. The Commission will now, therefore, publish revised recommendations which relate to the change of name for one constituency in the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield. The composition of the fifteen constituencies recommended would be (2000 electorates are shown in brackets):-
BATLEY AND SPEN BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (75,443). Six wards of the Borough of Kirklees:- Batley East, Batley West, Birstall and Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Gomersal.
COLNE VALLEY COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (78,355). Six wards of the Borough of Kirklees:- Colne Valley, Crosland Moor and Netherton, Golcar, Holme Valley North, Holme Valley South, Lindley.
DEWSBURY COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (76,886). Six wards of the Borough of Kirklees:- Denby Dale, Dewsbury East, Dewsbury South, Dewsbury West, Kirkburton, Mirfield.
ELMET AND ROTHWELL COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (76,580). Five wards of the City of Leeds:- Garforth and Swillington, Harewood, Kippax and Methley, Rothwell, Wetherby.
HEMSWORTH COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (71,988). Six wards of the City of Wakefield:- Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton, Crofton, Ryhill and Walton, Featherstone, Hemsworth, South Elmsall and South Kirkby, Wakefield South.
HUDDERSFIELD BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (66,275). Five wards of the Borough of Kirklees:- Almondbury, Ashbrow, Dalton, Greenhead, Newsome.
LEEDS CENTRAL BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (78,941). Five wards of the City of Leeds:- Beeston and Holbeck, Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, City and Hunslet, Hyde Park and Woodhouse, Middleton Park.
LEEDS EAST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (67,571). Four wards of the City of Leeds:- Cross Gates and Whinmoor, Gipton and Harehills, Killingbeck and Seacroft, Temple Newsam.
LEEDS NORTH EAST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (66,930). Four wards of the City of Leeds:- Alwoodley, Chapel Allerton, Moortown, Roundhay.
LEEDS NORTH WEST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (66,466). Four wards of the City of Leeds:- Adel and Wharfedale, Headingley, Otley and Yeadon, Weetwood.
LEEDS WEST BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (67,629). Four wards of the City of Leeds:- Armley, Bramley and Stanningley, Farnley and Wortley, Kirkstall.
MORLEY AND OUTWOOD COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (69,583). Three wards of the City of Leeds:- Ardsley and Robin Hood, Morley North, Morley South; and two wards of the City of Wakefield:- Stanley and Outwood East, Wrenthorpe and Outwood West.
NORMANTON AND PONTEFRACT COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (78,641). Seven wards of the City of Wakefield:- Airedale and Ferry Fryston, Altofts and Whitwood, Castleford Central and Glasshoughton, Knottingley, Normanton, Pontefract North, Pontefract South.
PUDSEY BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (68,150). Four wards of the City of Leeds:- Calverley and Farsley, Guiseley and Rawdon, Horsforth, Pudsey.
WAKEFIELD COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (71,347). Six wards of the City of Wakefield:- Horbury and South Ossett, Ossett, Wakefield East, Wakefield North, Wakefield Rural, Wakefield West.
64. An outline map showing the Commission's recommendations for the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield (and the rest of West Yorkshire) is contained within this news release together with a list of all the wards in the county and their 2000 electorates which the Commission are required to use (see back pages). The letters and numbers on the maps relate to the districts and wards in the list. Please note the Crown Copyright warning on page 18.
Publication of Revised Recommendations
65. The revised recommendations for the change of name of one constituency will be published formally in a notice appearing in local newspapers in those boroughs on 19 January 2006. Local authorities, MPs, the Political Parties' Headquarters, and others will be sent a copy of the recommendations. The notice will also be published on the Commission's web site at:-
Places of Inspection
66. A copy of the revised recommendations for the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield together with the Assistant Commissioner's report may be inspected in those boroughs, once the notice has been published in local newspapers on 19 January 2006, at the following places:-
BATLEY Cash and Information Office, Town Hall, Market Place, Batley CASTLEFORD Castleford Civic Centre, Ferrybridge Road, Castleford CLECKHEATON Cash and Information Office, Town Hall, Bradford Road, Cleckheaton DEWSBURY Cash and Information Office, Town Hall, Wakefield Road, Dewsbury GARFORTH Garforth One Stop Centre, 1-5 Main Street, Garforth GUISELEY Guiseley Branch Library, Otley Road, Guiseley HEMSWORTH Service Access Point - District 4, Westfield Road, Hemsworth HOLMFIRTH Electoral Services, Council Offices, 49-51 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth HORSFORTH Horsforth Library, Town Street, Horsforth HUDDERSFIELD Reception Desk, Huddersfield Town Hall, Ramsden Street, Huddersfield KNOTTINGLEY Service Access Point - District 3, The Close, Hill Top, Knottingley LEEDS Bramley Public Library, Hough Lane, Bramley, Leeds City Centre One Stop, 2 Great George St, Leeds Crossgates Public Library, Farm Road, Crossgates, Leeds Headingley Public Library, North Lane, Headingley, Leeds Civic Hall, Calverley Street, Leeds Chapel Allerton Public Library, 106 Harrogate Road, Leeds Dewsbury Road Public Library, 190 Dewsbury Road, Leeds MELTHAM Cash and Information Office, Town Hall, Meltham MIRFIELD Cash and Information Office, 198 Huddersfield Road, Mirfield MORLEY One Stop Centre, Town Hall, Morley NORMANTON Service Access Point - District 2, Queen Street, Normanton OSSETT Service Access Point - District 1, Town Hall, Ossett OTLEY One Stop Centre, 8 Boroughgate, Otley PONTEFRACT Service Access Point - District 3, Municipal Buildings, Stuart Road, Pontefract PUDSEY One Stop Centre, Town Hall, Robin Lane, Pudsey RAWDON Airedale One Stop Centre, Micklefield House, New Road Side, Rawdon ROTHWELL One Stop Centre, Marsh Street, Rothwell SKELMANTHORPE Cash and Information Office, Council Offices, Commercial Road, Skelmanthorpe SLAITHWAITE Slaithwaite Branch Library, 8 Britannia Road, Slaithwaite WAKEFIELD The Reception Desk, County Hall, Bond Street, Wakefield WETHERBY One Stop Centre, 24 Westgate, Wetherby
Representation Period: 19 January 2006 to 19 February 2006
67. As with their provisional recommendations, the Commission are statutorily required to consider representations made about their revised recommendations for the Borough of Kirklees and the Cities of Leeds and Wakefield within one month of local publication on 19 January 2006.
68. Representations about the revised recommendations should be addressed to The Boundary Commission for England, PO Box 31060, London, SW1V 2FF, or faxed to 020 7533 5176, or emailed to email@example.com. All representations received by the Commission will be acknowledged. It should be noted that the Commission are not statutorily required to hold second inquiries into representations about their revised recommendations.
69. Please note that the Commission are also not statutorily required to consider any representations made after 19 February 2006, but will endeavour to take late representations into account. However, the later the representation is made, the more difficult this will be. The Commission therefore ask that all representations be made within the period stated above. Those who make representations are requested to say whether they approve of, or object to, the Commission's revised recommendations and to give their reasons for approval or objection.
70. The Commission wish to stress that their recommendations relate solely to parliamentary constituencies and do not affect county, district or parish boundaries, local taxes, or the administration of local services, or result in changes to postcodes. Nor is there any evidence that the recommendations have an adverse effect on house prices, or car and house insurance premiums. The Commission will not, therefore, take account of any representation made about these issues. Background Note
71. The Commission are constituted under Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986. The ex officio Chairman is the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Deputy Chairman, who presides over Commission meetings, is a High Court Judge appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The other two Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State. The two Assessors to the Commission are the Registrar General of England and Wales and the Director General of Ordnance Survey. Assistant Commissioners are lawyers appointed by the Secretary of State to conduct local inquiries.
72. The Commission are required by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 as amended by the Boundary Commissions Act 1992 to conduct a general review of all the constituencies in England every eight to twelve years. The Commission completed their previous general review on 12 April 1995 and must therefore complete the current review after 11 April 2003 and before 12 April 2007. The general review started formally with the publication of a notice in the London Gazette on 17 February 2000. The Commission's recommendations throughout the review must by law be based on the numbers of electors on the electoral registers on that date. Rules
73. In recommending new constituencies, the Commission are required to give effect to the Rules for Redistribution of Seats which are contained in Schedule 2 to the 1986 Act. Rule 1 places a limit on the total number of constituencies. Rule 2 requires single member constituencies. Rule 3 states that a constituency should contain the whole of the City of London and that the name of the constituency should refer to the City of London.
74. Rule 4 states that county and London borough boundaries are to be followed so far as is practicable. Rule 5 states that the electorates of constituencies are to be as nearly equal as practicable and that Rule 4 can be breached in order to avoid large disparities in the electorates. Rule 6 allows the Commission to depart from Rules 4 and 5 if special geographical considerations make a departure desirable. Rule 7 allows the Commission to depart from other Rules; and requires them to take account of inconveniences caused or local ties broken by changes to constituencies. Rule 8 defines the electoral quota as the total number of parliamentary electors in England at the start of a review (i.e. 36,995,495) divided by the existing number of constituencies (529), and requires the Commission to use the electorates as at the start of a review.
75. In conducting a general review of constituencies, the Commission are required by the legislation to follow certain procedures, principally to provide for public consultation. The Secretary of State must be given notice of a review and that notice must be published in the London Gazette. Provisional recommendations must be published in newspapers in the affected constituencies and, unless the proposals are for no changes to be made, they must also be deposited for public inspection in at least one place in each affected constituency.
76. Representations may be made within one month of publication of the provisional recommendations and the Commission must take any representations into consideration. Where objections are received from a Borough Council or a body of 100 or more electors, a local inquiry must be held.
77. If the Commission revise their recommendations as a result of an inquiry, the revised recommendations must also be published and further representations invited and considered. A second local inquiry cannot be forced by these further representations, but there is discretionary power to hold a second inquiry. Any further modifications, as a result of further representations or a second inquiry, must also be published and representations invited. When the Commission have decided their final recommendations for the whole country, they must submit a report to the Secretary of State.
Implementation of the recommendations
78. The Secretary of State has a statutory duty to lay the Commission's report before Parliament together with a draft Order in Council giving effect to the Commission's recommendations with or without modifications. If modifications are proposed, the Secretary of State must also lay a statement of reasons for the modifications. The draft Order in Council is submitted to both Houses of Parliament for approval and, after it is made by Her Majesty in Council, it cannot be called into question in any legal proceedings. The new constituencies take effect at the general election following the making of the Order in Council.
79. The above information is intended to be a general guide only. For a definitive statement of the law, please refer to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 - as amended by the Boundary Commissions Act 1992, the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, the Government of Wales Act 1998, and the Scotland Act 1998 - together with the Court of Appeal ruling in R v Boundary Commission for England Ex parte Foot  QB 600.
80. The outline map in this document is based on Ordnance Survey data and is subject to (c)Crown copyright. Unauthorised reproduction will infringe Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Any person wishing to reproduce the outline map should first contact the Copyright Office at Ordnance Survey, Romsey Road, Southampton SO16 4GU (telephone 023 8079 2929).
81. Should you require further information about these revised and final recommendations or about other aspects of the Commission's work please write to the:-
Boundary Commission for England PO Box 31060 London SW1V 2FF
Alternatively, telephone or e-mail:-
West Yorkshire enquiries: 020 7533 5174, 020 7533 5135 or 020 7533 5143
General enquiries: 020 7533 5177
Fax: 020 7533 5176
West Yorkshire enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
General enquiries: email@example.com
82. The Internet version of this news release and other documents concerning the general review are available on the Commission's web site at the following address:-
WEST YORKSHIRE 2000 WARD ELECTORATES BY BOROUGH TO BE USED THOUGHOUGHT THE REVIEW
A. CITY OF BRADFORD 346,110
A. CITY OF BRADFORD 346,110 1. Baildon 11,977 2. Bingley 12,509 3. Bingley Rural 13,254 4. Bolton and Undercliffe 11,774 5. Bowling and Barkerend 12,814 6. Bradford Moor 11,466 7. City 13,739 8. Clayton and Fairweather Green 11,337 9. Craven 12,761 10. Eccleshill 12,327 11. Great Horton 11,594 12. Heaton 10,522 13. Idle and Thackley 10,930 14. Ilkley 11,244 15. Keighley Central 11,438 16. Keighley East 11,554 17. Keighley West 11,512 18. Little Horton 11,552 19. Manningham 11,526 20. Queensbury 9,687 21. Royds 11,596 22. Shipley 11,392 23. Thornton and Allerton 11,421 24. Toller 11,422 25. Tong 11,834 26. Wharfedale 8,965 27. Wibsey 11,240 28. Windhill and Wrose 11,330 29. Worth Valley 10,143 30. Wyke 11,250
B. CALDERDALE BOROUGH 146,357
B. CALDERDALE BOROUGH 146,357 1. Brighouse 8,428 2. Calder 8,875 3. Elland 6,890 4. Greetland and Stainland 9,463 5. Hipperholme and Lightcliffe 7,983 6. Illingworth and Mixenden 9,533 7. Luddendenfoot 7,531 8. Northowram and Shelf 8,733 9. Ovenden 8,607 10. Park 9,335 11. Rastrick 8,869 12. Ryburn 8,249 13. Skircoat 8,729 14. Sowerby Bridge 8,206 15. Todmorden 9,091 16. Town 8,852 17. Warley 8,983
C. KIRKLEES BOROUGH 296,959
C. KIRKLEES BOROUGH 296,959 1. Almondbury 13,180 2. Ashbrow 13,207 3. Batley East 12,332 4. Batley West 12,941 5. Birstall and Birkenshaw 12,441 6. Cleckheaton 12,341 7. Colne Valley 12,820 8. Crosland Moor and Netherton 12,941 9. Dalton 12,947 10. Denby Dale 12,119 11. Dewsbury East 12,782 12. Dewsbury South 12,517 13. Dewsbury West 12,011 14. Golcar 13,157 15. Greenhead 13,789 16. Heckmondwike 12,330 17. Holme Valley North 12,351 18. Holme Valley South 13,693 19. Kirkburton 12,564 20. Lindley 13,393 21. Liversedge and Gomersal 13,058 22. Mirfield 14,893 23. Newsome 13,152
D. CITY OF LEEDS 538,599
D. CITY OF LEEDS 538,599 1 Adel and Wharfedale 16,109 2 Alwoodley 17,490 3 Ardsley and Robin Hood 14,774 4 Armley 17,992 5 Beeston and Holbeck 16,200 6 Bramley and Stanningley 15,801 7 Burmantofts and Richmond Hill 16,078 8 Calverley and Farsley 17,111 9 Chapel Allerton 16,333 10 City and Hunslet 13,206 11 Cross Gates and Whinmoor 18,093 12 Farnley and Wortley 17,077 13 Garforth and Swillington 16,050 14 Gipton and Harehills 16,156 15 Guiseley and Rawdon 16,538 16 Harewood 14,739 17 Headingley 16,382 18 Horsforth 17,428 19 Hyde Park and Woodhouse 16,140 20 Killingbeck and Seacroft 17,053 21 Kippax and Methley 15,313 22 Kirkstall 16,759 23 Middleton Park 17,317 24 Moortown 15,997 25 Morley North 16,271 26 Morley South 15,287 27 Otley and Yeadon 17,360 28 Pudsey 17,073 29 Rothwell 15,058 30 Roundhay 17,110 31 Temple Newsam 16,269 32 Weetwood 16,615 33 Wetherby 15,420
E. CITY OF WAKEFIELD 245,227
E. CITY OF WAKEFIELD 245,227 1 Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton 11,998 2 Airedale and Ferry Fryston 11,670 3 Altofts and Whitwood 10,798 4 Castleford Central and Glasshoughton 11,326 5 Crofton, Ryhill and Walton 11,735 6 Featherstone 12,567 7 Hemsworth 11,674 8 Horbury and South Ossett 11,985 9 Knottingley 10,652 10 Normanton 11,111 11 Ossett 12,612 12 Pontefract North 10,862 13 Pontefract South 12,222 14 South Elmsall and South Kirkby 13,117 15 Stanley and Outwood East 11,624 16 Wakefield East 11,831 17 Wakefield North 10,590 18 Wakefield Rural 12,758 19 Wakefield South 10,897 20 Wakefield West 11,571 21 Wrenthorpe and Outwood West 11,627
Boundary Commission for England PO Box 31060 London SW1V 2FF Web Site http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pbc/