Articles about the intricacies of the Parliamentary constituency boundary review are perhaps not necessarily the most riveting of reads, but the changes proposed by the Boundary Commission for England coming into force after the next General Election are important ones and will make a difference locally.
In one sense, these are just (new) lines on a map, but the reality is they are much more than that. They bring together and push apart Council wards that form a parliamentary constituency, reflect the population changes of our villages, and could change who your local MP will be.
These boundary changes, in brief, mean that the Barnsley Central constituency I represent will become Barnsley North, the constituency of Barnsley East will become Barnsley South, the constituency of Wentworth and the Dearne will morph into a Rawmarsh and Conisbrough constituency, and that Penistone and Stocksbridge will remain as it is.
Subject to the result of the next General Election, the seat I hope to represent, Barnsley North (a name that more accurately reflects the geography of the seat), will lose the Kingstone Ward to the new Barnsley South constituency and gain the Cudworth and the North East Ward which consists of Great Houghton, Grimethorpe, Brierly and Shafton.
I’ll be sad to no longer represent the Kingstone Ward as I have many fond memories of door-knocking and speaking to residents throughout my time as the local MP. However, I very much relish the opportunity to represent the new wards that the Barnsley North constituency contains, should I have the honour of remaining a Member of Parliament after the next election.
For the Wentworth and the Dearne constituency, the boundary changes mean that we will be losing John Healey as a Barnsley MP altogether. This is because after the General Election his Wentworth and Dearne seat will cease to exist and the new Rawmarsh and Conisbrough constituency that John hopes to represent will have no Barnsley borough wards within it. It will be sad to lose such a hardworking, decent, experienced and conscientious Member of Parliament from our Borough.
This change means that those currently living in Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe, Billingley, Middlecliffe and Bolton-Upon Dearne will become a part of the new Barnsley South constituency and will, hopefully after next General Election, have the marvellous Stephanie Peacock as their local MP.
Though important, these boundary changes do not define us. Instead, what defines us is a pride in place that, regardless of how the lines are drawn on a map, brings us together. Ahead of the next General Election, I will continue to work hard for people locally and know that my colleagues Stephanie, John, and our inspiring candidate in Penistone and Stocksbridge Marie Tidball will too.