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MediaCity In Manchester After All?

New boundary changes would see the Quays leave Salford

Written by . Published on September 13th 2011.

MediaCity In Manchester After All?

SIR HOWARD and his Town Hall pals may end up getting their wish of having MediaCity in Manchester (sort of) ...if the proposed North West parliamentary boundary changes are successful.

"We propose the existing Manchester Central constituency extends west to incorporate wards from the City of Salford, specifically Salford Quays."

Salford Quays and MediaCityUK could become part of a new-look Manchester Central constituency, as could other parts of the city. Ordsall could also be tacked onto the new seat. 

So while the cities will have their own separate identities in terms of administration, their centres will be merged when it comes to representation in Westminster. Tellingly the favoured name is Manchester.

Meanwhile in South Manchester, Didsbury and Wythenshawe could form a new constituency and parts of Gorton could be transferred into Withington.

The Boundary Commission has released its recommendations for the redrawing of parliamentary constituency boundaries, which would see the number of seats in the North West cut from 75 to 68, with 61 being renamed.

Why? Because each constituency can only have five per cent more or less than 76,641 voters and populations shift around over time. 

And here's a crucial paragraph: 'Additionally, we propose that the existing Manchester Central constituency extends west to incorporate wards from the City of Salford, specifically Salford Quays and the surrounding area.'

In fact, Salford will disappear completely, as none of the new seats will bear the city's name. Salford and Eccles, Hazel Blears' constituency, would no longer exist under the proposals.

Councillor David Lancaster, deputy leader at Salford City Council, said: “Salford is a city in its own right so to break it up like this doesn’t make any sense. The current boundaries in the city meet the threshold for the electorate and therefore should not need to be re-organised.

"The review completely fails to take people living in Salford into consideration and takes Swinton and Eccles back to where they were before the last boundary review.”

Other potentially controversial moves include lumping Didsbury and Wythenshawe together, two neighbouring suburbs of differing social demographics.

'Our proposed Wythenshawe constituency includes the town of Wythenshawe and the surrounding area with Didsbury, rather than the east of Sale as at present," says the report.

'In addition to the inclusion of Didsbury in Wythenshawe, our proposed Manchester Withington constituency is also amended to incorporate two wards that are currently located in Manchester Gorton.'

Moss Side and Ardwick would come out of Manchester Central and into Gorton.

The boundaries of Greater Manchester will also be crossed to form new constituencies in Rossendale (Lancashire) and Rochdale, and Poynton (Cheshire East) and Stockport.

You can see the full proposals here. Public consultation on the plans runs until December 5.

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22 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

MSeptember 13th 2011.

Statto alert:

Interesting that the 'City Centre' part of Manchester Central is calculated as a population of 12,731. From what I'm led to believe from other statistics elsewhere this could be 10,000 short of actual figures.

As the proposed Manchester Central ward population is nearly 80,000 it will already be near the upper limit of allowable size.

This means it'll need reviewing before it's even passed and the upshot could be that Salford Quays could be removed again the next time this is looked at.

Anyone have any evidence that 12,700 residents in the city centre is very low? I presume it's calculated from council tax though.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 14th 2011.

How are you defining 'city centre'? I would use super output area stats for mid-year population data

MSeptember 14th 2011.

It's in the proposals document where the breakdown of the figure are. It doesn't indicate what 'city centre' actually covers though.

Ryan McGowanSeptember 13th 2011.

Not exactly. Here's the important thing - this boundary review only applies to Parliamentary constituency boundaries. City limits and borough remits are not being amended or changed at all.

So even if these changes are approved, the Quays would still be inside the "City of Salford", governed by Salford City Council. However, it would be represented at Westminster by the MP for Manchester Central.

I fully support these changes. MediaCity will become an increasingly important part of the Greater Manchester economy, and it makes sense for it to be considered part of the CBD for the purposes of Parliamentary representation - it will give that MP much greater clout when campaigning for the central economy.

That said, I would also support any move to consider Manchester/Salford/Trafford/Tameside as one population centre anyway, albeit with existing councils and borough names retained; I don't want SCC abolished, just the needless divide and conquer.

the Whalley RangerSeptember 13th 2011.

what an interesting first step this would be to having a 'one voice approach' in Westminster...

Daniel JamesSeptember 13th 2011.

The city of Manchesterford starts to become reality...

AnonymousSeptember 13th 2011.

This is nonsense Simon. The proposed boundary changes would no more make the Quays part of Manchester than the existing boundaries make Whalley Range a part of Gorton, which is the name of the electoral ward it sits in. Traditional boundaries really have got jack to do with it, and you and the MEN are stirring up people's resentments over something quite inconsequential. Please do something useful like look into how the boundary changes might effect who gets elected. Thanks.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 13th 2011.

I tend to agree. There was a similar headline on North West Tonight... "Salford to become Manchester in shocking boundary shake up" Errm no. The press coverage of this issue represents a marked misunderstanding. My mum and dad live in the 'Denton and Reddish', cons, yet in reality they live in Heaton Chapel. Political constituency boundaries don't mean that much at all

the Whalley RangerSeptember 14th 2011.

Correct! Boundary changes will affect who will get elected. That will be one of the important short term changes. Will Salford lose out here, really?

What is becoming clear though is, that this discussion reveals how much everyone aspires (subconsciously?) to live in their own little world:

Reddish/Denton oh no Heaton Chapel
Gorton oh no Whalley Range
Manchester Central oh no Chapel Street
Wythenshawe oh no Didsbury (hahaha, that IS a good one!)

All well and good. The big picture however is, that Greater Manchester needs to come together and finally represent its true combined potential. Salford is a great asset - that's one reason why it's being 'assimilated'. One voice for the central GM business district. That makes sense.

On the other hand, there are the 'ghetto lovers' - their only social aspiration is the urge to distinguish themselves from the riff-raff around them. Sad.

You choose what's right.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Joe LucasSeptember 14th 2011.

totally agree

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2011.

The information in your article is totally incorrect. This is only Parliamentary Constituencies not city or district boundaries

EditorialSeptember 14th 2011.

Oh dear Anon. That's made very clear, it's just a bit ironic is all, that even though the city administrative areas remain distinct, in terms of representation in central government the cities have merged - as we say.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 15th 2011.

"New boundary changes would see the Quays leave Salford"

I wouldn't say that is clear. Scare mongering yes, clear, no

Calum McGSeptember 14th 2011.

Let's have one big 2.3million city called Manchester. Not 10 separate boroughs, 10 separate councils, 10 separate sets of many different services (I know some are pooled but not enough). If boroughs on the edge don't like it, stay separate. One big warm fluffy city. Yes, that's what I'd like. Manchester, Manchester, Manchester. Sorry for being on a Manchester high horse. I don't even like horses. But we should all be neigh-bours. Good bye.

Ian BlakesleySeptember 14th 2011.

So is Swinton Pendlebury and Clifton at long last back out of the City of Salford or not, please do not dash my hopes and the years of planning for us to gain our independence once again, my poor mothers heart will be broken if not...

Stephen CoxSeptember 14th 2011.

Rather than playing into the hands of the media, scaremongers and ignoramuses who are missing the bigger picture here, we should be more concerned what this ploy is all about. The CONDEMs are trying to propose a reduction in MPs as a result of these boundary changes - the boundary changes are there to ensure that their typical voter helps them win more votes. They are proposing to reduce the MPs from 650 to 600. The boundary changes will help them in areas where there are swing seats. Who are they trying to kid?!

1 Response: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerSeptember 14th 2011.

The reduction is right - faff over the detail in parliament, I am sure there will be deals which suit all sides...

Andrea McCabeSeptember 14th 2011.

Graham Stringer represents Blackley and Broughton which straddles parts of both Manchester (Cheetham Hill area) and Salford (Broughton and Kersal).

AnonymousSeptember 16th 2011.

Didsbury and Wythenshawe. Do opposites really attract?

John CatterallSeptember 27th 2011.

We have started a FB page to campaign against these proposals


we also have a website


John Catterall

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