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Parliamentary Boundary Review covering Sheffield
Summary of Local Enquiry, 15-16th March 2005

The Parliamentary Boundary Review Local Enquiry opened on 15th March and completed on 16th March. This is a summary of the notes I took over the two days. The Commission will publish a transcript as part of their final report.

Boundary Commission

Conservative Party

J.G.Harston & Liberal Democrats

Labour Party

David Munn

Day One

MPs, councillors and local representatives gave presentations on day one. There were many representations from people stating that Handsworth should not be split between constituencies. There were also representations from people stating that Beauchief and Stannington should not be in Hallam; that Crookes and Broomhill should be in Hallam, and that Stannington and Hillsborough should both be in the same constituency.

Helen Jackson MP, arguing that local history in the area should be ignored, claimed that Stannington and Hillsborough should be in Penistone. Labour councillors from Barnsley agreed with this, amending their original Penistone submission to match Sheffield Labour's. Barnsley LibDems and Parish Council representatives stated that East and West Ecclesfield should be in Penistone.

Representatives from Crosspool Forum made a strong argument that Crookes should be in Hallam. Representatives from Broomhill Forum made a strong argument that Broomhill should be in Hallam. There was no representation from anybody mentioning Nether Edge. Upon being asked if it would be an acceptable solution if both Crookes and Broomhill were in Hallam, at the expense of Nether Edge, they both agreed.

Day Two

On day two there were more representatives stating that Handsworth should not be split. Detailed argument was put by Cllr Davis representing the Parish Councils that East and West Ecclesfield should be put in Penistone rather than Stannington and Hillsborough.

The Labour Party representive put their submission at this point. They emphasised that Handsworth should not be split up, and that Manor & Castle should be in Central. The Conservative representative picked apart their arguments that Stannington and Hillsborough should be in Penistone. Labour also argued to move away from electoral parity and give Rotherham exactly three seats instead of 2.75 seats. The Conservative representative argued against this, arguing that electoral parity should be adheard to, giving Rotherham 2.75 seats.

There was representation from a member of the public that Central, Burngreave and Manor & Castle should be in Central constituency.

In light of the strong arguments that Handsworth should not be split, I proposed an amended version of my initial model, on my website at mdfs.net/User/JGH/Docs/ParlReview/jghB.htm.

This incorporated Labour's and the Conservative's desire for their proposed South-East constituency and Heeley constituency, as supported by representation from the Darnal and Handsworth areas. It also incorporated my prefered Penistone constituency (supported by the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and representatives from Parish Councils) and my prefered Hallam constituency (all but one ward the same as that supported by all respondants). It also was able to incorporate both Crookes and Broomhill in Hallam, so satisfying both Crosspool and Broomhill Forums and residents.

The sacrifice is the inability to place Walkley in the same constituency as Hillsborough and Stannington. It does keep Stannington and Hillsborough together and Southey, Firth Park and Shiregreen & Brightside together, implicitly supported by all parties.

The Conservatives then gave their presentation. They attacked Labour's attempts to ignore electoral parity in Rotherham and Barnsley. They also attacked Labour's assertion that Hillsborough had enough in common with Penistone to be included in the same constituency. They argued that electoral parity should be adheared to in Rotherham giving it 2.75 seats, and for the Pensitone seat as originally proposed by the Commission and supported by all respondants except the Labour Party.

The Conservatives then pointed out that my proposal had many strong features they would be satisfied if it was adopted. They accepted that Stannington had strong links with Hillsborough, and that putting Broomhill in Hallam instead would be acceptable. They also pointed out that my model satisfied all of Labour's arguments, except for their argument that Hillsborough should be in Penistone.

Summing Up

In summing up, Labour continued to insist on their proposal unchanged, including their arguments for breaking electoral parity in Barnsley and Rotherham. It was noticable that Labour were the only people who took no account of any of the representations heard.

In summing up, the Conservatives recommended adoption of their initial proposal with Stannington in Hallam. They then stated that the believed that my proposal better fitted the city, best took account of all the representations received, and involved the lowest number of electors moving to different constituencies. They recommended that if the Commission did not adopt the Conservative model that my model should be adopted. They also reminded the Commission that Labour were arguing for a break in electoral parity in Barnsley and Rotherham.

I summed up by reminding the Commission that my proposal addressed all the representation heard over the last two days:

  • It successfully united Handsworth
  • It excluded Darnall from Heeley.
  • It excluded Beauchief and Stannington from Hallam, including Beauchief in Heeley.
  • It included both Crookes and Broomhill in Hallam.
  • It included Burngreave, Central and Manor & Castle in Central.
  • It included Stannington and Hillsborough in the same constituency.
  • It grouped Stocksbridge, East Ecclesfield and West Ecclesfield in Pensitone.

    I reminded the Commission that the arguments in the Conservative's original proposal (supporting the Boundary Commission) described the good bus links between Hillsborough bus station and Southey, Firth Park and Shiregreen & Brightside.


    The Commission members present were unable to give an indication of the future timetable, but, judging by how long other reviews have taken, I expect the final report will be sometime in Autumn 2005.

    Update, 08-Apr-2005: In a radio interview today is was mentioned that the boundary review for England as a whole is likely to be ready to present to Parliament in Spring 2006.

    I have done my best to ensure that the information contained here is accurate, but I cannot be held responsible for any errors. Feel free to contact me to correct any mistakes.
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