MP launches bat­tle to save town name

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA CURRY

APETITION has been launched to save the Mid­dle­ton con­stituency from be­ing carved in two as part of new plans be­ing con­sulted on by the gov­ern­ment.

Liz McInnes, the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Heywood and Mid­dle­ton, has started a cam­paign to stop the Bound­ary Com­mis­sion for Eng­land from re­mov­ing Heywood the ex­ist­ing Par­lia­men­tary seat.

Fol­low­ing a bound­ary re­view of all par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies, the Bound­ary Com­mis­sion has con­cluded that the ex­ist­ing Heywood and Mid­dle­ton seat should be carved up into two new seats.

If this were to go ahead, Mid­dle­ton would be part of a new ‘Prest­wich and Mid­dle­ton’ seat, in­clud­ing the towns of Prest­wich and Mid­dle­ton and most of the town of White­field.

Heywood would be­come part of a new, larger seat sim­ply called ‘Rochdale’.

That would in­clude most of the town of Heywood and most of Rochdale, in par­tic­u­lar the cen­tre.

The name Heywood would be re­moved from the par­lia­men­tary map en­tirely.

Coun McInnes has slammed the plans and launched a pe­ti­tion to raise aware­ness of the pro­posed changes among res­i­dents and in a bid to get the name Heywood in­cluded in the ti­tle of the new con­stituency.

Coun McInnes said: “This pe­ti­tion isn’t about re­draw­ing the pro­pos­als and keep­ing Heywood and Mid­dle­ton as it is.

“Al­though that would be the pre­ferred and sen­si­ble thing to do.

“This is about keep­ing the name of Heywood on the par­lia­men­tary map and giv­ing our proud town the recog­ni­tion and at­ten­tion it de­serves.

“Since 1885 the name Heywood has ap­peared in the name of its par­lia­men­tary con­stituency.

“Forc­ing us to be part of a new, larger Rochdale seat is one thing, but to re­move the town’s proud name en­tirely is un­ac­cept­able.

“Like many other towns across the coun­try, Heywood has suf­fered some tough times in re­cent years, in­clud­ing the clo­sure of lo­cal bank branches and the loss of shops such as Dunnes.

“Our town needs more at­ten­tion, not less.”

The pe­ti­tion to save Heywood’s iden­tity in Par­lia­ment will be open un­til Oc­to­ber 31.

It can be signed on­line at www.lizm­cin­ uk/cam­paigns/heywood.

There are also pa­per copies avail­able at both the Heywood Civic Cen­tre and Heywood Li­brary.

MP Liz McInnes wants to stop Mid­dle­ton con­stituency from be­ing split

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