Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Accrington
Contact: Democratic Services Democratic Services (01254) 380116/380136/380184
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Jodi Clements, Melissa Fisher, Susan Hayes, Patrick McGinley and Kimberley Whitehead.
The Mayor gave a brief summary of his recent visit to Kashmir, which he had thoroughly enjoyed. The visit had centred on the Mirpur region and the Mayor had been accompanied by Councillors Mohammed Ayub, Noordad Aziz, Munsif Dad BEM JP and eight other people.
The group had hoped to start the trip with a short stay in Islamabad, but this had not been possible due to political unrest. However, the group were able to take in a number of their birthplaces and visit family. On one memorable occasion, the Mayor was granted a civic reception, which including flower garlands, music provided by bagpipes and drums and mouth-watering dishes such as kebabs, samosas and fried fish. The group also took in some breath-taking scenery at Mangla Lake. As part of the trip, the Mayor visited some charity organisations, including KORT (Kashmir Orphans Relief Trust), which worked with orphans and under-privileged children, having been founded following a serious earthquake in the region in 2005.
The trip included many more highlights which were too numerous to describe at tonight’s meeting.
Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of the Council, commented that this must have been a very special trip for the Mayor and perhaps the highlight of his mayoral year to proudly represent Hyndburn within his heritage community. A number of former Mayors had celebrated their achievements in a similar fashion.
On another matter, all political groups had recently received a presentation from the Chief Executive and Chair of Hyndburn Leisure Trust about their Transformation Agenda. A document was being circulated this evening which included a QR code to link providing further information. The project represented investment of around £20m in leisure.
He reported that he had also been away recently and the Deputy Leader of the Council had attended the Accrington Christmas Lights Switch-On in his place.
Councillor Marlene Haworth, Deputy Leader of the Council, acknowledged that it had been a hectic couple of weeks. Last Thursday and seen the Christmas Lights Switch-On followed by a fantastic firework display. There were lots of people in the Town Centre to enjoy to the music and to watch the fireworks. The event had been enhanced by the efforts of the Market Hall Team, who had done an excellent job. The centrepiece of their display was the community Christmas tree, which had included the input of local schools who had made bauble decorations. Hundreds of baubles had been sent in and the feature had really captured the imagination of local children. Councillors were urged to see the tree for themselves. Both the Market Hall Team and Amazing Accrington had done a phenomenal job to make this event such a success.
Councillor Haworth also reported that Hyndburn Leisure had put together a series of ‘Christmas on the Square’ events taking place every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas on Accrington Town Square. A range ... view the full minutes text for item 203.
Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations notified on this occasion.
Members considered a report of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Miles Parkinson OBE, which provided an update on the Parliamentary Boundary Review 2023. The report notified Members of the latest proposals from the Boundary Commission for England (the Commission) concerning the Hyndburn constituency.
The report indicated that the Boundary Commission for England (the Commission) was an independent and impartial non?departmental public body, which was responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
Following the passing of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 in December 2020, and the publication of the relevant Parliamentary electorate data in January 2021, the Commission had begun a new review of all Parliamentary constituencies in England. They referred to this as the ‘2023 Review’, as they were required to report with their final recommendations by 1st July 2023.
The Commission had been undertaking an independent review of all constituencies in England since January 2021. The number of electors within each constituency currently varied widely due to population changes since the last boundary review. The 2023 Boundary Review would rebalance the number of electors each MP represented, resulting in significant change to the existing constituency map. Each constituency that the Commission recommended would have to contain no fewer than 69,724 Parliamentary electors, and no more than 77,062 (except two ‘protected’ constituencies for the Isle of Wight). By law, these electorate figures related to the electorates as they were on 2nd March 2020.
Applying the statutory formula to the electorate figures meant the total 650 constituencies were distributed during the review to the four parts of the UK, with England receiving 543 seats, Scotland with 57, Wales with 32 and Northern Ireland with 18 seats. This Commission had applied the same distribution formula to the English allocation, which resulted in the following redistribution of constituencies among the nine English regions for the 2023 Review.
The Commission had revised the composition of 32 of the 73 constituencies they had proposed in June 2021 for the North West, and maintained their initial proposals for the remainder. They had revised the name of 17 of their initially proposed constituencies. The Commission’s revised proposals would leave 13 existing constituencies in the North West region wholly unchanged, and five unchanged except to realign constituency boundaries with local government ward boundaries.
As it was not always possible to allocate whole numbers of constituencies to individual counties, these were sometimes grouped into sub-regions, meaning some constituencies crossed county boundaries. The Commission had explained, after consideration of the responses to the sub-regions in the initial proposals, that the revised proposals were based on unchanged sub-regions, as follows: Cumbria and ... view the full minutes text for item 205.