MPs face battle to find new seats

The political landscape of Wetherby, Tadcaster and surrounding areas could change dramatically if new proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission are approved.

The plans, if passed by parliament, will see Tadcaster MP Nigel Adams and Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke have their seats of Selby and Ainsty and Elmet and Rothwell abolished altogether, facing a battle for them to retain a place in government.

Under the new proposal Wetherby and Harewood would be paired with the traditionally Labour voting wards of Gipton and Harehills, Killingbeck and Seacroft and Whinmoor and Crossgates.

Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke, who is in favour of the government proposals to reduce the number of MPs overall, said: “The initial proposals announced this week are only the beginning of a long process that will conclude with final boundaries being announced in 2013.

“Whatever happens between now and the next election, I am proud to represent my home seat and will continue to work hard for the residents of Elmet and Rothwell who elected me to represent them in this Parliament.”

Mr Shelbrooke added that he would need to hear the debate and the plans in full before deciding on his own future plans.

Conservative MP Nigel Adams said he was in favour of the number of MPs being reduced overall, but that he was ‘surprised’ by the number of boundary changes in North Yorkshire being put forward, and hoped the plans would be revised before 2013.

His current seat would be carved into five different new ones under the plans with Tadcaster East and West wards falling under the newly formed York Outer constituency.

The proposed changes have been drawn up by the Boundary Commission, an independent body, as part of Government plans to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 to save 12 million a year, making sure all MPs represent roughly the a similar number of voters- within five per cent of 76,641 electors.

The plans will now go out for consultation with the final boundaries still having to be approved by Parliament in 2013.

sarah.dawson@ypn.co.uk