Ribble Valley Conservative Association consulted their members and Executive and rejected the proposals from the independent Boundary Commission and have urged that the Ribble Valley Borough be included in the one Parliamentary constituency where it has been for many years.
The changes proposed for the Ribble Valley Parliamentary Constituency by the Boundary Commission are as follows:-
(a) Wards moved to a realigned South Ribble Constituency:
South Ribble Borough Council wards - Walton le Dale East, Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge East and West, Farington East and West (21,073 voters).
(b) Wards moved to a new Hyndburn constituency:
Ribble Valley Borough Council wards - Whalley and Painter Wood, East Whalley, Read and Simonstone, Langho and Billington (7,102 voters).
(c) These wards are replaced by:
Preston wards - Ribbleton and Fishwick with Frenchwood, (11293 voters) Preston North and Wyre Wards - Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East (including Grimsagh, Goosnagh Woodplumpton Catforth and Whittingham) (10,446 voters).
The areas remaining in the Ribble Valley Constituency as proposed by the Independent Electoral Commission are:
Ribble Valley Borough - Whalley Nethertown (Calderstones), Sabden, Worston, Chatburn, Downham, Tosside, Rimington, Gisburn, Paythorne, West Bradford , Grindleton, Waddington, Slaidburn, Newton, Dunsop Bridge, Bolton by Bowland, Great Mitton, Little Mitton, Bashall Eaves, Dinkley, Sawley, Ribchester, Chipping, Alston, Hothersall, Thornley, Longridge, Clitheroe, Mellor, Mellor brook, Balderstone, Salesbury, Osbaldeston, Samlesbury, Brockholes, Hurst Green, Knowle Green, Whitewell, Barrow, Wiswell, Clayton le Dale, Wilpshire and Ramsgreave. This is a total of 24 Ribble Valley Borough Council wards out of the existing 27.
South Ribble Borough - Coupe Green, Gregson Lane, Walton le Dale West, Samlesbury and Walton (10,245 voters)
Ken Hind Association Campaign Organiser commented ''The Association in its representations to the Boundary Commission argued for local government, community, geographic, historic and transport reasons splitting Whalley and taking 3 wards from the Ribble Valley did not make sense. These villages Whalley, Read, Simonstone, Langho and Billington all look to Clitheroe as their main service and distribution centre. The Ribble Valley Borough should be kept together.
Adding Ribbleton and Fishwick from Inner City Preston made even less sense, the two are not connected. Preston is essentially urban city and industrial. Ribble Valley is predominantly rural with small towns dependent on hospitality and tourism many of whose residents live in villages, with very little connection to Preston. We have argued that Ribbleton and Fishwick should be exchanged for the semi -rural wards of Fulwood; Greyfriars and Sharoe Green which were part of the Ribble Valley constituency before the last parliamentary redistribution.
''It was with regret we saw over 21,000 South Ribble voters move to a newly created South Ribble Constituency. The problem here is that this constituency is contained entirely in the South Ribble Borough with long term well established connections.''
Hamish McFall Deputy Chairman added ''The Boundary Commission have the role, free of political influence to establish constituencies of roughly equal number throughout England and this unfortunately produces peculiar results in the pursuit of equal figures in adapting the boundaries to make local sense the Commission will accept strong community historic and geographical arguments and consider transport links.
It must be emphasised that the redistribution of Parliamentary seats will have no effect on which local authority a particular community belongs which provides local services and collects their council tax. If an elector is represented by a different MP it will have no impact on house prices or socio-economic factors. The MP for Ribble Valley whether the Commission's proposals or the Ribble Valley Counter proposals are accepted, will represent voters in 3 different local authorities, Ribble Valley South Ribble and Preston.''