Conservative plans to split Formby in two as part of constituenc

Bill Esterson


Labour MP Bill Esterson said the defeat of Tory plans to split Sefton Central and the town of Formby was a victory for common sense.
MPs voted on Tory plans which would have created a new constituency which contained Maghull, Aintree, Melling, parts of Bootle, parts of Crosby and Formby would have been split in two.
Formby's Ravenmeols Ward would have stayed in the Crosby and Maghull constituency, while Harington Ward would have ended up in Southport.
Bill Esterson repeatedly spoke out against the plans which he said would have been devastating for the community of Formby.
Bill said: "The Conservatives wanted to push this undemocratic bill through to gerrymander constituencies up and down the country. In so doing they planned to split the historic community of Formby.
"At the public hearing I spoke out strongly against the plans because of the impact the plans would have had on Formby.
"People in that town told me how they opposed the plans and they wanted to remain as one distinct town. Not split in two with one Member of Parliament representing one part of the town and another Member of Parliament representing the rest.
"That would not have been in the best interests of the people of my constituency.
"Despite hearing my concerns, and the concerns of the people of Sefton Central and Formby, the Conservatives insisted on pushing through their plans.
"Common sense prevailed in the House of Commons as the Conservatives were outvoted and David Cameron's plans to cut Formby in two were thrown out as the Labour Party led the charge to oppose the Tory-Lib Dem Government's plans."
The Tories' plans were voted down in the Commons as 292 MPs voted in favour of the boundary changes and 334 voted to reject them.
Bill Esterson said it was right that people of Formby and Sefton Central were heard.
Bill said: "The Government was claiming that the changes were designed to reduce costs as 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 Formby and Sefton Central.
"That's why the Labour Party voted the bill down.
"After hearing the Formby residents' concerns, I was determined to fight the Tories' plans to the bitter end and I am delighted that the campaign to save Formby has been successful.
"This is a huge defeat for the Conservatives. Time has now been called on this sham of a Government."