Splitting Burngreave

Story by Graham Jones

On 17th October the Boundary Commission issued proposals for new constituency boundaries for the whole country. This will affect which MP will represent our local interests.

The Boundary Commission has a legal responsibility to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is broadly equal (around 75,000) while also taking into account community ties. In addition parliament has asked that the number of MPs be reduced from 650 to 600.

These recent proposals for realigned constituencies mean that Burngreave will be split across two constituencies: ‘Sheffield South East’, and ‘Sheffield North and Ecclesfield’. I would suggest that splitting Burngreave like this is surely a direct breach of the “community ties” brief of the Boundary Commission.

The border between the two constituencies of Sheffield SE and Sheffield N and Ecclesfield, would run down Owler Lane, Upwell Street, between Earl Marshall and Barnsley Road, Barnsley Road, and Pitsmoor Road. This means that the bulk of Burngreave/Pitsmoor/ Grimesthorpe would be in Sheffield South east while Wensley, Page Hall, Fir vale, Crabtree, Shirecliffe, Woodside, and Firshill Estate would be in the Sheffield North and Ecclesfield Constitiency.

The shape of the proposed Sheffield South East resembles a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and those of us in the “Burngreave blob” are lumped in with places as distant as Beighton and Mosborough, two bus rides away.

Much of the area of Burngreave to be allocated to the inaccurately designated “Sheffield South East” constituency is directly north of the city centre.

This careless approach to redrawing our political constituencies will do little to engage those who are already disillusioned with a political system that they regard as broken and beyond their reach.

Find out more at www.bce2018.org.uk and be sure to have your say!