These historic parts of Chorley could be broken away under boundary change plans
The prospect of Adlington being moved out of the Chorley parliamentary constituency reduced one elderly woman to tears, a council meeting heard.
The proposed change is one of several that would redraw the borders that determine which areas are served by the borough’s MP. A public consultation into the plans closes on 2nd August.
As part of periodic review designed to ensure that constituencies are broadly of similar size, the independent Boundary Commission for England has suggested that the wards of Adlington and Anderton and Chorley North East move into a new Darwen-centred West Pennine Moors constituency. The areas would remain part of the Chorley Council area for local government purposes.
Similarly, the areas around Croston, Eccleston and Bretherton - which already lie in the Chorley Council patch - would move into the Chorley constituency area from neighbouring South Ribble.
Members of the ruling Labour group on Chorley Council lined up at a recent meeting of the full council to rally against the proposals.
Deputy leader Peter Wilson said that Adlington had been part of the Chorley constituency for over a century.
“To be linked into Darwen - that’s a stretch. To be linked over to Haslingden and Rawtenstall, that’s too much,” he said, adding that a future MP - of whatever political persuasion - would be “torn” between representing a constituency with so many differences.
Adlington and Anderton borough councillor Kim Snape revealed that one elderly constituent had told her she had been left “in tears” over the proposal and was up until the early hours worrying about it, while Cllr June Molyneaux - who also represents the ward, said she had simply been told by one local: ‘We want to stay with Chorley - that's where we belong.’.”
Meanwhile, Chorley North East councillor Jenny Whiffen said it was "a little odd" that her ward had Chorley in its very name - even though it was poised to be moved out of the constituency with the same moniker.
She said that it would take half an hour by car and 90 minutes by bus for people living in her area to travel to Darwen if they wanted to see their new West Pennine Moors MP in-person - and noted that the village of Whittle-le-Woods would effectively be split in two, with one half staying in Chorley and the other being jettisoned.
"How ridiculous is that, why does one village need two MPs," Cllr Whiffen asked.
To respond to the consultation, click here.