Who we are and what we do
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is an independent and impartial non‑departmental public body, which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
The 2023 Review
We have the task of periodically reviewing the boundaries of all the Parliamentary constituencies in England. We are currently conducting a review on the basis of legislative rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. Those rules tell us that we must make recommendations for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries by 1 July 2023. While retaining the overall number of constituencies across the UK at 650, the rules apply a distribution formula that results in an increase in the number of constituencies in England (from 533 to 543). The rules also require that every recommended constituency across the UK – apart from five specified exceptions (two of them in England) – must have an electorate that is no smaller than 69,724 and no larger than 77,062.
We published our initial proposals for the new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England on 8 June 2021. Information about the proposed constituencies is now available on our website at www.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk
What is changing in the North West region?
The North West region has been allocated 73 constituencies – a reduction of two from the current number. Of the existing constituencies, 33 are within the electorate quota, 28 are below, and 14 are above. Our proposals leave ten of the existing 75 constituencies unchanged. A further three constituencies are unchanged, except to realign with new local government ward boundaries.
As it has not always been possible to allocate whole numbers of constituencies to individual counties, we have grouped some county council and unitary authority areas into sub-regions. The number of constituencies allocated to each sub-region is determined by the combined electorate of the local authorities they contain.
Consequently, it has been necessary to propose some constituencies that cross county or unitary authority boundaries, although we have sought to keep such crossings to a minimum.
|Sub-region||Existing allocation||Proposed allocation|
|Cheshire1 and Merseyside||26||26|
|Cumbria and Lancashire2||22||20|
In the North West region, we are proposing four constituencies that cross county boundaries. We are also proposing the division of three wards in the Wirral, Cumbria and Greater Manchester. It has been necessary to propose a constituency which crosses the county boundary between Cumbria and Lancashire. We are therefore proposing that the existing Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency would extend north across the county boundary into the District of South Lakeland.
Although we have considered Lancashire and Merseyside in separate sub-regions, we are proposing a constituency which crosses the county boundary. It combines four wards of the District of West Lancashire with the town of Southport. Although not required by the electorates, we consider that this allows us to better respect both local ties and the boundaries of existing constituencies across Cheshire and southern Lancashire.
We propose two cross-county boundary constituencies between Cheshire and Merseyside. The first of these uses the natural geographic boundary of the River Mersey to bisect the Borough of Halton. The proposed Widnes and Halewood constituency would extend north into the Borough of Knowsley, across the county boundary. The second constituency crosses the Cheshire West and Chester boundary with the Wirral. This crossing is necessary in order to avoid creating a constituency which spans the River Mersey, and because it is not possible to allocate a whole number of constituencies to the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. In Greater Manchester it has been possible to propose a pattern of constituencies which are all included within the boundaries of the former metropolitan county.
How to have your say
We are consulting on our initial proposals for an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals. Our consultation portal at www.bcereviews.org.uk has more information about our proposals and how to give us your views on them. You can also follow us on Twitter @BCEReviews or at facebook.com/BCEReviews.Back to top
1 Comprising the four unitary authorities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, and the boroughs of Halton, and Warrington, hereafter together referred to as Cheshire.
2 Comprising the county of Lancashire, and the two unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, hereafter referred to as Lancashire.