Councillor tells Boundary Commission to leave West Craven in Pendle

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An Earby councillor has voiced strong opposition to West Craven being moved into a new Ribble Valley Parliamentary constituency, as proposed by the Boundary Commission for England.

Coun. Edward Johnson attended a meeting chaired by the Lead Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the North West, who is holding a series of sessions to garner local opinion.

The proposal would see West Craven join a constituency stretching to Fishwick ward in Preston in the west.

Coun. Johnson said: “I put forward a strong case for Earby to retain its status as part of Pendle. I travelled to the meeting in Fishwick by public transport and it took me three hours, a point I thought was important to demonstrate if the MP was based there.

“I objected on points of geography, that there are connections from West Craven to the rest of Pendle socially and economically. We don’t have the same ties with Preston and the Ribble Valley. It also makes sense to have the Parliament and borough boundaries the same.

“The proposal I put forward, in order to make the numbers viable, was for the Burnley wards of Briercliffe, Lanehead and Queensgate to be incorporated into the Pendle constituency.

“If we can’t become part of Pendle and have to be Ribble Valley I put forward the suggestion that since Earby is actually the biggest ward in terms of population, there is a case to call it ‘Earby and the Ribble Valley’. Alternatively, the Viking name for the Craven and Ribble Valley area was Staincliffe so that could be a new name and new status, rather than just sticking Earby on the edge of somewhere it is not a part of.”

The Boundary Commission for England is taking views on the proposed changes until December 5th. It will report back to the Government in 2013.