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Council asked to back new Blackburn constituency boundary

A COUNCIL is to be asked to support proposed changes to the make-up of Blackburn’s parliamentary constituency.

The change is part of a redrawing of England’s political map, due to come into force by 2024, which aims to ensure all constituencies have between 69,724 and 77,062 voters.

Under the proposals Labour Blackburn would gain Tory-voting Lower Darwen from a heavily redrawn Rossendale and Darwen seat, renamed West Pennine Moors. The new map’s plan to radically reconfigure neighbouring Ribble Valley constituency has provoked strong opposition.

The agenda for Thursday’s Blackburn with Darwen Council forum meeting includes a motion from its deputy leader Cllr Phil Riley backing the change.

It reads: “This council wishes to record its support for the proposal for new boundaries for the Blackburn parliamentary constituency contained in the report setting out plans to improve the equalisation of the size of parliamentary constituencies.

“This proposal, which is identical to that presented in 2018 and supported by this council at that time, will bring into the Blackburn constituency the significant remaining proportion of the Blackburn South and Lower Darwen ward as well as small parts of Ewood ward, currently situated in the Rossendale and Darwen constituency, including areas in close proximity to Ewood Park which are a core part of the public perception of what constitutes Blackburn. This council supports the view of the commission that the M65 motorway logically forms the boundary between Blackburn constituency and Darwen and also rectifies the fact that two wards are currently split across two constituencies.”