CONSTITUENCIES in Oldham are set to be redrawn under initial proposals by the Boundary Commission for England.

The planned shake-up of the England’s electoral map in 2023, which aims to make Parliament fairer by creating more equally sized parliamentary constituencies, will split Stalybridge in Tameside across two constituencies and a create a new Failsworth and Droylsden constituency.

The two existing Oldham constituencies will meanwhile remain “wholly unchanged”, but an alternative plan could see several wards move constituencies.

The existing Ashton-under-Lyne constituency currently has an electorate that is below the permitted range with proposals by the Boundary Commission advising that the wards Mossley, Stalybridge North and Dukinfield Stalybridge are added to the constituency, as well as the Dukinfield ward.

Bolstered by the four wards, Ashton-under-Lyne’s electorate would be pushed above the permitted range. By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors.

The commission therefore proposes that the Failsworth East and Failsworth West wards and the Droylsden East and Droylsden West wards are no longer included within the constituency and instead the four wards, along with the Audenshaw ward, form a Failsworth and Droylsden constituency, meaning Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner would no longer represent constituents in Oldham.

The Failsworth and Droylsden constituency would also include the Clayton & Openshaw and Gorton & Abbey Hey wards from the City of Manchester. The Miles Platting & Newton Heath ward would also be divided between this constituency and a proposed Manchester Central constituency.

Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton and Failsworth, criticised the “rigidity” of the criteria for constituency size enforced by the government that will “inevitably lead to historic community ties being broken to make numbers add up”.

Despite the existing Oldham constituencies remaining “unchanged” under current proposals, alternative plans to exchange the Alexandra, and St Mary’s wards, both currently within the existing Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency, with the Royton North and Royton South wards, within the Oldham West and Royton constituency, are under consideration with the outcome dependent on the commission’s eight-week public consultation period.

The proposals would provide a “more compact urban constituency to the west, which would contain a greater proportion of Oldham town centre, and a constituency to the east that would have a more suburban and moorland character”, the review added.

Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon said: “The review of parliamentary constituencies is a crucial democratic step and Labour will engage fully and constructively in the consultation.”

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams was also contacted but did not respond before the paper went to print.

The review also proposes that the existing Stalybridge and Hyde constituency no longer includes the Mossley, Stalybridge North and Dukinfield Stalybridge wards and is renamed Denton and Hyde.

The Denton and Hyde constituency will include the Denton North East, Denton West and Denton South wards and remain within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, uniting the communities of Denton and Hyde.

Of the 533 existing English constituencies, fewer than 10 per cent will remain unchanged under the proposals.

The commission has stressed that the proposals are provisional, and it is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.