Haworth could be part of our Valley

7/7/10   Visitors to Haworth walk up  and down the  famous cobbled main street .
7/7/10 Visitors to Haworth walk up and down the famous cobbled main street .
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MERGING Heptonstall and Haworth into the same parliamentary constituency has brought criticism from politicians on both sides of the divide.

But the Boundary Commission for England says the move is necessary to equalise the number of electors in each area.

Public consultation has begun but many feel it might be cosmetic because scrapping the Calder Valley proposal would have a major knock-on effect on other parliamentary constituencies, which legislation dictates must have between 72,810 and 80,473 voters.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Nader Fekri, who stood in Keighley as a parliamentary candidate last year, said messing with the Calder Valley boundary would make life more difficult for the area’s MP, who would then have to work with Bradford Council as well as Calderdale.

“I realise that Yorkshire needs to lose four Parliamentary seats but it makes a mockery of the parliamentary process to ignore natural boundaries such as those which exist between Calderdale and Bradford. There is a clear Conservative bias in the proposals which seems to be entirely based on numbers,” said Coun Fekri (Lib-Dem, Calder).

He said the best thing to do would be to leave Calder Valley constituency as it is and move Queensbury from Bradford, which already has some affinity with Shelf, into Halifax to bolster voting numbers.

The former Mayor of Bradford, Peter Hill, who is also a member of Haworth Parish Council, said he was amazed by the proposal.

“It is quite extraordinary and something I would not expect eight district or parish councils to support.

“It would make the Calder Valley constituency huge and unmanageable, and is a proposal that reflects the dead hand of Whitehall which is just interested in lines on a map,” said Coun Hill, who is chairman of the Keighley Conservative Party.

Tony Maw, a member of Oxenhope Parish Council, said: “The only rationale for linking us seems to be that there is an occasional bus to Hebden Bridge.”