CONTROVERSIAL plans to redraw Parliamentary constituencies – which would have radically changed the Sefton Central seat – were voted down by Liberal Democrat MPs.
The unpopular plan would have created a new constituency containing Maghull, Aintree, Melling, parts of Bootle and some of Crosby.
The Sefton Central parliamentary constituency would have lost Harington ward to Southport and gained Church and Victoria which are currently in Bootle.
In what was described as the deepest split yet between the coalition parties, Lib Dems joined forces with Labour and smaller parties to delay the implementation of the boundary review – thought to be worth about 20 extra seats in the Commons to the Tories – until 2018.
The news was welcomed by Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, who said: “The Government was claiming the changes were designed to reduce costs because the number of MPs was to be slashed from 650 to 600.
“Meanwhile, they were duplicitously creating nearly 200 new peers in the Lords who are unelected and who cost more than £150,000 a year each.
“This exposes the real purpose of these changes as the Conservatives aimed to gerrymander the constituency boundaries to create a majority for them after the next general election. They tried to rig the system in favour of the Conservatives at the expense of the country and democracy at large. The cost of that would have been the slicing in two of strong communities.
“This was a party political move by the Conservatives and not in the interests of the country at large – and certainly not in the interests of the people of Sefton Central.”
Conservative Councillor Peter Papworth said: “This is exceptionally disappointing. The Lib Dems have played party politics and cannot pretend any other wise.”
Southport’s Lib Dem MP said: “ Splitting Formby was always in my view a nonsense as was reducing the number of MPs.”
What do you think of the decision to reject proposals for new boundaries?