Earby councillors’ opposition to constituency changes

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Earby Town Council has backed one of its councillors to represent it at a public meeting about proposed changes to Parliamentary Constituency boundaries.

Coun. Edward Johnson has requested to speak at a meeting at the Tickled Trout in Preston on October 24th.

Manchester barrister Mark Savill has been appointed as Lead Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the North West and will be chairing a series of public meetings in the area to garner local feeling.

Speaking at the council’s latest meeting, Coun. Johnson said: “We don’t just have to say we don’t want to be in the Ribble Valley, but also put forward what we will do to make a Pendle constituency reach the set population figures they want for each one.

“West Craven would be the extreme eastern end of the proposed new constituency.

“There may be some historic connections with the Forest of Bowland but in real terms the nature of big farms and the commuter belt into Preston - we are not part of that character.

“I don’t think they have done that good a job in the proposal. I know there is local feeling to go with Skipton and into Yorkshire but that is a separate issue. We have got to save Pendle.

“Earby is an honest hard-working town. There is a real danger that we would be socially ostracised by the rest of the Ribble Valley.”

Coun. Stephen Hartley said: “We are not quite the same economy and industry as Burnley but we are closer to that than the Ribble Valley.”

Chris Tennant added: “Politics apart, as it stands we are already being pulled in two ways resources-wise as a town and this would happen even more what what is being proposed. There is no benefit to us having an MP in Fishwick.”