Fylde MP Mark MEnzies has welcomed the news St Annes willl remain wholly in Fylde following a concerted campaign to stop proposed boundary changes splitting the town into two constituencies.
The Boundary Commission has withdrawn its proposals to move St Leonards and Kilnhouse wards into the Blackpool South constituency, as the commission looks to equalise the number of people in each constituency, and reduce the number of MPs in the country down to 600.
Following a concerted campaign to retain the St Annes wards within the Fylde constituency, the Boundary Commission this week gave its final report in which Kilnhouse and St Leonards remain in Fylde, and the constituency gains the Tithebarn and Hardhorn with Highcross wards from Poulton.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I’m thrilled the Boundary Commission, in its final report, has taken on board the campaign I started to keep St Annes together in Fylde.
“Conservative councillors and party members, and St Annes residents all took time to oppose the proposed split, and our hard work has been rewarded after the Commission accepted St Annes should remain wholly in Fylde constituency.
“It made no sense when I saw the initial recommendation to hive St Leonard’s and Kilnhouse wards into Blackpool South, splitting the town in two. There is a clear geographical boundary between St Annes and South Shore.
“I’m also pleased to see the Hardhorn with Highcross and Tithebarn wards move into Fylde; Poulton is a lovely market town that sits well with the likes of Lytham, St Annes and Kirkham.
“The equalisation of constituencies is long-overdue.”
Coun Roger Small, chairman of Fylde Conservative Association and a Kilnhouse ward councillor, added: “We are delighted that the Boundary Commission has reacted to our submissions and residents can be reassured that they have been listened to.
“Fylde has been left intact thanks to all of the submissions, and the Boundary Commission saw the strength of feeling about the matter.”
The Commission's final document states: "On the Fylde, the principal issue of contention was the division of the town of St Annes.
"Under the initial proposals, it was suggested that the St Leonards and Kilnhouse wards should be transferred out of the Fylde constituency and be moved into a Blackpool South constituency. This proposal was met with widespread opposition.
"As well as the division of the community, many respondents in St Annes remarked that they felt no affinity with Blackpool, and did not share many common interests with its people. Furthermore, it was noted that Blackpool Airport represented a very clear division between the town and Blackpool.
"A number of counter-proposals were submitted which sought to bring St Annes back into the Fylde constituency. They varied in approach and scale: some restricted changes to relatively few constituencies, while others suggested changes that had a large impact on the rest of Lancashire."