THE bottom part of Chester would be sliced off the current constituency as part of radical plans to shake up electoral boundaries in England.

The Boundary Commission for England has today (Tuesday, June 8) published its draft proposals for what the electoral boundaries will look like by the time of the next General Election, currently due to take place in 2024.

It has been redesigned with the aim of making sure each constituency has roughly the same population across the UK.

That means Wales is forecast to lose eight representative MPs, plus two from Scotland, while England will gain 10 MPs, to keep the UK total at 650 MPs. The Cheshire and Merseyside area would remain at 26 MPs.

But the plans have resulted in a dramatic redrawing of ward boundaries locally, as Ellesmere Port will lose Neston from its constituency, while the southern parts of Chester are merged into a giant new ward stretching as far as Delamere, Malpas and Bridgemere.

The new 'Ellesmere Port' ward would lose Elton, Ince, Neston, Burton and Hooton, but gain Bebington and Eastham to form a constituency with a population of about 71,000.

The City of Chester ward, as it currently stands, would be split via the River Dee, with the larger portion – consisting of the city centre, Upton, Blacon, Newton & Hoole and others, joining Parkgate, Little Neston and Willaston & Thornton to form a new 'Chester North and Neston' constituency with a population of about 72,000.

South of the River Dee, that means Lache, Christleton & Huntington and Handbridge Park would become part of a huge new constituency featuring Bunbury, Tarporley, Tattenhall, Tarvin & Kelsall, Audlem, Wybunbury, Wrenbury and Winsford Over & Verdin in a new 'South Cheshire' constituency with a population of about 70,000.

Ince, Elton, Stoak and Thornton-le-Moors would be out of the Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency and into a new, large, Runcorn and Helsby constituency.

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors – a condition which it said meant that widespread change was “inevitable”.

The commission stressed that the proposals, which open for an initial eight-week public consultation period, were provisional.

It is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.

Explaining its reasoning for how the constituencies have been divided the way they are, the Boundary Commission wrote in its report for Cheshire and Merseyside: "The five wards which constitute the northern portion of the City of Chester are included in a constituency with the Saughall & Mollington, and Willaston & Thornton wards, as well as the three wards which comprise the town of Neston.

"We consider the most accurate name for this constituency to be Chester North and Neston.

"Although we sought not to divide Chester, the River Dee does form a clear geographic boundary between constituencies and the difficulties caused by not dividing the city of Chester are considerable, with knock-on effects throughout both Cheshire West and Chester, and the Wirral.

"The existing Eddisbury constituency is significantly reconfigured under our proposals. Although it still spans the two unitary authorities of Cheshire East, and Cheshire West and Chester, the constituency is now more compact.

"The Wybunbury ward is the only new inclusion within the constituency from Cheshire East. However, the changes affecting Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority wards are more pronounced.

"The town of Winsford is now mostly included in the Northwich constituency and the constituency no longer extends so far north towards the River Mersey, as that area is now within our proposed Runcorn and Helsby constituency.

"As the changes to the existing Eddisbury constituency have been significant we are therefore proposing to name this constituency South Cheshire, which we consider to be more reflective of the nature and geographical extent of the constituency.

"We have also used the River Dee as the constituency boundary between South Cheshire and the Chester North and Neston constituency. The two wards to the south of the river – the Handbridge Park and Lache wards – are included within the South Cheshire constituency.

"As we do not wish to propose a constituency which spans the River Mersey between the Wirral and the City of Liverpool, it is necessary for a constituency to extend into the Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority.

"We propose that this county-crossing constituency be centred around Ellesmere Port, which, as it would no longer incorporate Neston, or the Gowy Rural ward, would now extend along the southern bank of the River Mersey, and include the Eastham and Bromborough wards from the existing Wirral South constituency.

"To take account of these changes, our proposed constituency will simply be called Ellesmere Port."

Commission secretary Tim Bowden said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the commission’s initial thoughts.

“We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right.”

Previously, MPs would have the right to vote on the final plans, but these have been removed.

Therefore, it is forecast the boundary reshuffle will happen by 2023 – but MPs will be able to lobby for changes to the draft plans and reshape the boundaries to address perceived anomalies.