New constituency name scrapped following objections

John Healey MP
John Healey MP

A PLANNED ‘Rawmarsh’ constituency could now become ‘Rotherham North’ within proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries.

The Boundary Commission published the revised proposals yesterday.

After “careful consideration”, the Commission has not revised any of the plans for change in constituencies within Rotherham and Sheffield.

But as the name Rawmarsh was widely criticised for giving disproportionate prominence to the town, the Commission intends to recommend the three initially proposed constituencies (Rother Valley, Rotherham and Sheffield East and Rawmarsh) with the latter as Rotherham North.

The Commission report said: “We received numerous submissions that Rawmarsh is not regarded as the main population centre.”

Current Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey’s detailed submission about the proposals, almost a year ago, included a recommendation for the name ‘Rotherham North’.

He said today: “The Boundary Commission’s proposals are sensible in that the new constituencies are as consistent as possible with council boundaries.

“I am pleased they have listened to local advice on naming the constituency Rotherham North instead of Rawmarsh. No town or village should be elevated above others with a similar strong sense of local identity and history.

“Rotherham North is an appropriate name, accurately describing the whole area it covers, reflecting a general identity with Rotherham and indicating to people, locally and beyond, where the constituency is located.”

He continued: “However I remain strongly opposed to the changes overall. Most of the constituencies to be cut from the map are held by Labour MPs so it’s hard not to see it as an attempt to fix the next election.

“David Cameron is cutting 50 MPs from the House of Commons at the same time as he’s creating a record number of new Peers – the House of Lords is set to swell to over 1,000 in the next couple of years.”

A consultation on the boundary proposals will run for eight weeks until December 10.