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“Dismay” at possible boundary changes

Times Echo and Life / All News / “Dismay” at possible boundary changes
3 months, 25 days ago1 Comment.
1 JUL

“Dismay” at possible boundary changes

By timesecholife on in All News, Community News

A parish council has spoken out about its “dismay” of possible parliamentary boundary changes in the Moorlands. We reported earlier this month that the Boundary Commission for England had published a report which sets out the changes they are proposing for across the nation.

A parish council has spoken out about its “dismay” of possible parliamentary boundary changes in the Moorlands.

We reported earlier this month that the Boundary Commission for England had published a report which sets out the changes they are proposing for across the nation.

For Cheadle, it will mean the town will be a part of the Staffordshire Moorlands constituency, instead of the Stone Constituency, which it is a part of now.

We reported that community leaders have welcomed news that Cheadle could return to being part of the Staffordshire Moorlands parliamentary constituency.

The Mayor of Cheadle, councillor Sue Walley, said of the proposed changes: “I feel that Cheadle town is part of Staffordshire Moorlands and as such should have remained in that constituency instead of being aligned with Stone during the last reorganisation.
I look forward to Cheadle once again being part of Staffordshire Moorlands Parliamentary Constituency.”

MP for Staffordshire Moorlands Karen Bradley said: “The Boundary Commission’s initial proposals seem sensible, meaning for the first time for many years the three Moorlands towns of Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle will be represented by the same MP.

The rules which the Commission have to work to mean that the district of Staffordshire Moorlands is too big to be one single constituency so this seems to be a sensible compromise.”

Meanwhile, a number of neighbouring villages are set to be a part of an all new ‘Stoke on Trent South’ constituency. If passed these will include: Upper Tean, Lower Tean, Checkley, Cresswell, Draycott-in-the-Moors, Forsbrook, to name but a few.

Members of Checkley Parish Council have now aired their views about their proposals.

Checkley Parish is a collection of villages consisting of Upper Tean, Lower Tean, Checkley and Hollington and the hamlets of Fole and Winnothdale.

A spokesman for the council said: “In addition to our freedoms, we as a nation hold dear our own individual sense of place, identity and history. As do our communities.

When something arises, however well intended, that threatens to take away our unquestionable right to enjoy these things we believe as a parish council that dismay amongst other emotions, sadness, alienation is inevitable.

And so, we experienced such emotions and more when we found out that The Boundary Commission is proposing to place the Staffordshire Moorlands Parish of Checkley out on a constituency limb from the rest of the newly proposed Staffordshire Moorlands Constituency.

In the most recent English by-election two major policy issues both threatening the sense of place of the constituent’s resident in that part of our country were at the very heart of the reason for a significant defeat for the party implementing and promoting said policies.

We are at the lowest tier of local government and fail to understand how more senior politicians and in this case The Boundary Commission do not recognise how important a sense of place is, not just to the population of our country but universally.

The Boundary Commission’s proposal places Checkley Parish in a newly formed South Stoke Constituency. In terms of place, identity, history, landscapes and neighbouring communities we interact with and relate to, we are Staffordshire Moorlanders.

We are within the geographical and administrative boundary of the Staffordshire Moorlands, our children go to school and college in the moorlands, our administrative centre is in the moorlands, we shop in the moorlands, our NHS Hub is in the moorlands we have our own industries and employers in the moorlands.

The Member of Parliament for the current Staffordshire Moorlands Constituency has stated in the local press that the proposals are a sensible compromise. We would differ and believe to dismiss the right to a sense of place for any moorlands resident could not be described as such.

The Parish of Checkley, of course, know what it is like to be out on a political limb and in a different parliamentary constituency from our own administrative centre.

The parish council has felt disadvantaged on a number of issues due to the constituency difference, manifested in a very real sense of being out on a limb.

We have no issue with our current Stone Constituency MP. The Rt Hon Sir William Cash has always been very supportive and responsive.

We felt that the change in boundaries would place us where we belong, in a moorlands constituency. Including the electorate of Checkley Parish within the newly proposed Staffordshire Moorlands constituency would still place it well within the electorate population range (69,724 to 77,062) set out as their goal by The Boundary Commission for each of the new or modified constituencies.

The parish council truly hope that our local and national politicians and the local press will help to establish with The Boundary Commission the importance of placing communities where they relate to and belong with in their exercise and accept that a name is not just a name where it ignores individual and community sense of place.”

As of June 8, the Boundary Commission is now carrying out an eight week consultation regarding the proposals. The consultation is set to close on August 2.

To have your say, go online to www.bcereviews.org.uk.

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1 Comment

  • We should as a rural area be part of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Not Stoke South.
    Written by J Tate, July 26, 2021 - Reply

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