Labour MP Bill Esterson challenges Tories and Lib Dems to lobby

Bill Esterson and Catie Page

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is calling on Tories and Lib Dems in Formby to lobby their parties' MPs and government Ministers to vote against boundary changes which will split Formby in two.

Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government's strict guidelines on the make up of the new boundaries, Formby will be split as Harington Ward becomes part of Southport and Ravenmeols becomes part of a new constituency which is to be called Maghull.

The Tory-Lib Dem government is pushing ahead with the changes in a drive to reduce the number of MPs by 50 while increasing the number of unelected Peers in the Lords by 170 so far alone.

Bill Esterson has opposed the changes throughout, both in Parliament and here in the constituency.

Bill said: "It is the Tory-Lib Dem government which is threatening to split Formby down the middle.

"The government changed the law this year to cut the number of MPs and to create constituencies of the same size. The Boundary Commission has to create constituencies of equal size and has said it will try to stick within Borough and County boundaries where possible. It will also try to keep existing constituencies, again where possible.

"The Boundary Commission has come up with a plan that has whole constituencies within East Merseyside and which keeps West Lancashire intact.

"Any alternative proposal to keep Formby together would have a knock on effect across the whole of the North West region and would therefore fall foul of the rules which the Tories and Lib Dems forced through Parliament because it would not allow a coherent plan for the whole of the region."

Bill said if the Tories and Lib Dems in Formby and Sefton really wanted to keep Formby together they should lobby their government's MPs and Minister to back the Labour Party's opposition to the boundary changes.

Bill said: "The Lib Dems and Tories are trying to fool the people of Formby into believing that Formby can be kept together under the rules put in place by their own government.

"There is a way of keeping Formby together and that is for all Tory and Lib Dem MPs to vote against the Boundary Commission proposals when they are reported back to Parliament in two years time. To pretend that anything else is possible is to mislead the public.

"So my challenge to the Tories and Lib Dems in Formby is for them to lobby their MPs in government to stop these proposals going ahead as that is the only way to keep Formby together."

But if the Tories and Lib Dems in government get their way and Formby is split in two, Bill Esterson made an assurance that he would continue to represent the whole town.

Bill said: "Rest assured I will continue to fight for the people of Formby as long as I represent any part of the town even if it is split down the middle.

"And if Formby is split and I become the MP for half the town instead of the whole town, I will ignore the government’s gerrymandering and continue to represent anyone in Formby who wants their MP to continue to represent them."