"An odd one" - Council leader reacts to proposals to rename Bassetlaw constituency Worksop and Retford
The leader of Bassetlaw District Council says plans to rename Bassetlaw ‘Worksop and Retford’ in parliamentary boundary change proposals are an ‘odd one’ as ‘the district represents a lot more than just two towns’.
Aimed at ensuring seats with broadly similar numbers of voters, the proposals by the Boundary Commission for England would see England gain 10 additional seats overall.
Under these part of east Bassetlaw, including Clayworth, North Wheatley and Clarborough, would move into the Newark constituency meaning some residents will get a new MP.
The constituency would also be renamed Worksop and Retford.
Councillor Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “It’s always been the case that there has been a different ebb and flow in terms of the boundaries – it wasn’t so long ago that Retford used to be part of the Newark constituency.
"I’m a little surprised to see the size of the what would be the new Newark constituency, but this is all based around population numbers.
"The odd one for me is the proposal to rename the district Worksop and Retford. The name ‘Bassetlaw’ has been around since 1885.
"The constituency encompasses and represents a whole lot more than just the the two towns and I’m sure residents in Rhodesia, Misson, Beckingham and many more would agree with me.
"For example, look at how much Harworth has expanded over the last few years.
"Bassetlaw is a large, rurally-based geographical area and I don’t feel residents living in those areas would feel the name change would reflect where they call home.
"I certainly don’t think a name change would be helpful, but I’m sure everyone will have the opportunity to have their say in the upcoming consultation and it’ll be interesting to hear their views.”
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said: “After receiving the latest proposals we are currently considering them and they will now be subject to extensive consultation, which I hope the people in Bassetlaw will engage with.
"The consultation process last time saw more than 50 per cent of the composition of constituencies change, so the initial proposals are just that and may well change.”
The Boundary Commission is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023 and its proposals are the subject of an eight-week consultation.