Boundary Commission proposals: Major shakeup of parliamentary constituencies in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford could see borders moved and new constituency created

A major shakeup of parliamentary constituencies in the Wakefield district has been proposed - and could spell big changes for the future of the district's elections.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:25 pm

The Boundary Commission for England said the aim of the shakeup was to make Parliament fairer, by giving each MP a roughly similar number of voters.

Under the proposals, revealed this morning, all of Wakefield s wards could be altered, with boundaries redrawn.

The plans are the first major shakeup of constituency boundaries since 2010, and could come into effect in 2023.

A major shakeup of parliamentary constituencies in the Wakefield district has been proposed - and could spell big changes for the future of the district's elections. As well as boundary changes, the proposals include the creation of a new Ossett and Denby Dale constituency.

If the plans go ahead, it means that sections of the Wakefield district would be represented by five different MPs in Parliament.

Under the plans, large areas of Outwood, Stanley and Rothwell would join the Wakefield constituency, while boundaries in the east of the district would be redrawn to see the creation of two constituencies: Pontefract and Castleford, and Normanton and Hemsworth.

A major shakeup of boundaries would also see the creation of a new Ossett and Denby Dale constituency.

The plans, which were revealed today, are now open for public feedback, as part of an eight week consultation process.

The Boundary Commission for England said the aim of the shakeup was to make Parliament fairer, by giving each MP a roughly similar number of voters. Under the proposals, revealed this morning, all of Wakefield's wards could be altered, with boundaries redrawn. Pictured are ballot papers arriving at Thornes Park during the General Election in December 2019.

This is everything you need to know about the proposed changes to Parliamentary constituencies in Wakefield and the Five Towns.

What is the current situation in Wakefield?

At present, the Wakefield district is covered by four constituencies: Wakefield, Hemsworth, Morley and Outwood, and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.

These constituencies were created in 2010, and last elected MPs in the December 2019 General Election.

Imran Ahmad Khan (Conservative) currently represents Wakefield, while Yvette Cooper (Labour) represents Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and Jon Trickett (Labour) serves as MP for Hemsworth. Morley and Outwood is represented by Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative).

It's also worth noting that, although local authority boundaries often align with constituency borders, these proposed changes would not have any effect on the makeup of Wakefield Council or local ward boundaries.

What changes has the Boundary Commission proposed?

A number of changes to the current boundaries have been proposed to each of Wakefield's constituencies.

The changes are fairly complicated, but are summarised by constituency below.

Wakefield Borough Constituency, proposed electorate of 73,968

The Wakefield constituency would see its boundaries redrawn to reflect changes to other areas.

At present, the city sits at the top of the parliamentary boundary, but the proposed changes would see the constituency shifted to extend further to the north of the city centre.

The new Wakefield constituency would be expanded to include Outwood, Stanley and Lofthouse Gate, as well as large areas of Rothwell, which currently forms part of the Elmet and Rothwell parliamentary constituency.

However, to the south, large areas of the current constituency would be absorbed into different areas. Ossett, Horbury, Newmillerdam, Chapelthorpe and Woolley are among the areas which would move to new constituencies.

Lofthouse and Robin Hood, however, will remain part of the Morley constituency.

Ossett and Denby Dale County Constituency, proposed electorate of 74,470

The biggest shakeup will be to the south of the city, where a number of wards could become part of a new constituency known as Ossett and Denby Dale.

This constituency would cross the boundary between Wakefield and Kirklees, and include the Wakefield Rural and Wakefield South wards.

This means that towns including Ossett, Horbury, Durkar, Kettlethorpe, Sandal and Newmillerdam would be among those to move to the new constituency.

To the east, the constituency would include West Bretton, Netherton and Middlestown, as well as extending across Emley, Flockton Moor, Skelmanthorpe, Denby Dale and Shepley, among other areas.

At present, this area is covered by a number of constituencies, including Wakefield, Hemsworth and Dewsbury.

Pontefract and Castleford County Constituency, proposed electorate of 72,751

In the Five Towns, changes to the constituencies could see the current Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency altered, with large areas of the former town moving to a different parliamentary constituency.

The changes would make the new constituency roughly equivalent to the one which existed prior to the 2010 shakeup.

The new constituency would include Castleford, Airedale, Ferry Fryston, Glasshoughton, Knottingley, Pontefract and Darrington, as well as Altofts and Whitwood.

The northern and eastern boundaries of the constituency would follow the local authority boundary, bordering Leeds to the north.

However, neighbourhoods to the south of Normanton would move to the newly renamed constituency of Normanton and Hemsworth.

Normanton and Hemsworth County Constituency, proposed electorate of 75,388

Under the plans, the existing Hemsworth constituency would remain largely unchanged, save for expanding to include Normanton and the loss of some neighbourhoods to the west.

The wards of Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton, Crofton, Ryhill and Walton, Featherstone, Hemsworth and South Elmsall and South Kirkby would continue to form part of the constituency.

However, it would be extended to include the areas of Warmfield, Woodhouse and Heath Common, which are currently part of Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.

Additionally, Sandal, Kettlethorpe and Pledwick would be moved to the new Ossett and Denby Dale constituency.

You can find out more about the plans, or have your say on the proposals, on the Boundary Commission for England website.