Have your say on proposed changes to parliamentary boundaries in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford
People in Wakefield and the Five Towns are being invited to have their say on proposed changes to constituency boundaries in the district.
The proposals, put forward by the Boundary Commission for England, could see the district's Parliamentary boundaries altered for the fist time in more than 10 years.
Under the proposals, all of Wakefield s wards could be altered, with boundaries redrawn and a new constituency created in part of the district.
A public consultation on the plans is now underway, with people encouraged to share their thoughts on the plans.
Gillian Marshall, Electoral Registration Officer, said: “These proposed changes do affect the constituencies in the district, so it is important that voters familiarise themselves with the proposals and have their say.”
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.
The full proposals and guidance can also be viewed at Pontefract and Hemsworth libraries.