Residents urged to express views on boundary plans

CONSERVATIVES have launched a campaign to keep the Isle together following plans by the boundary commission to split the constituency in two.

Tory MP Andrew Percy’s Brigg and Goole constituency - which includes the Isle - could be split between two seats if the commission’s recommendations are approved.

Under proposals announced in September, a shake-up of parliamentary constituencies could see Central and South Axholme Wards transferred across to the Scunthorpe constituency.

It has also been proposed that the North Axholme ward forms part of a new Goole and Cottingham seat.

The commission’s plans are part of a move to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600 by the next general election, expected to be held in 2015.

But Mr Percy - who only captured the seat from Labour last year - has vowed to fight to keep the Isle together.

Proposals are currently going through the consultation stage and a recent public hearing took place in Hull.

Mr Percy said although he fully supported the decision to reduce the number of MPs in parliament, he opposed any splitting of the Isle.

“The decision to put communities such as Epworth and Haxey in with Scunthorpe simply defies logic,” he added. “Not only is there no physical connection, the profile of the south of the Isle is totally different to that of the urban town of Scunthorpe.

“It is unacceptable to split Crowle off from Epworth and the rest of the Isle, especially when the proposals would mean that the North Axholme ward would form a tiny part of a seat that would otherwise be entirely in the East Riding of Yorkshire.”

The MP’s counter proposal is for the entire Isle to keep its links with Goole and the Marshland villages, forming part of an expanded constituency to include Howden.

“There is no self-interest here at all on my part as either way the Brigg and Goole constituency is split three ways,” he added.

Mr Percy has been backed by North Lincolnshire Council leader Liz Redfern - a Conservative ward member for Axholme Central.

She said: “With previous boundary changes the Isle has always remained as one and this is how it should be. The Isle’s historical nature and environment, and strong interaction of residents living in the surrounding villages, market towns and hamlets builds a strong case to keep one Isle of Axholme. I would urge residents to put in their views.”

Anyone wanting to express views should write - before December 5 - to the Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ.

Alternatively e-mail reviews@bcommengland.x.gsi.gov.uk