CHESTER'S MP has blasted the proposed changes to the city's constituency boundaries, which would see areas south of the River Dee sliced away to form part of a different constituency spanning from Lache to Bridgemere.

Tuesday saw the Boundary Commission unveil its draft proposals for the redrawn electoral constituency boundaries, which are likely to be in place in some form by the next General Election.

The commission was told to ensure each UK constituency had roughly the same population, meaning the redrawn UK map will see 10 more seats in England, eight fewer in Wales, and two fewer in Scotland.

But current City of Chester MP Chris Matheson has spoken out against the proposal for what would happen to the Chester area.

Under the plans, the electoral boundary would be extended to include the Neston area, including Parkgate, Hooton, Little Neston and Burton, called 'Chester North'.

However, areas south of the River Dee – such as Lache, Handbridge Park, Westminster Park, Christleton and Huntington would no longer be part of the constituency.

Instead, they would be part of a large, mostly rural constituency, called 'South Cheshire', which stretches across Malpas, Delamere and Bridgemere.

Mr Matheson said: "I am very disappointed indeed at proposals to break up the historic City of Chester constituency.

"This could have been avoided if the Conservative government had agreed to proposals from me and others to allow a wider variant around the national average size of constituency in order to keep communities together. They rejected these suggestions, and this is the result.

"We are left with communities who feel very much part of Chester being left out and not included in the constituency.

"I am now looking in detail at the Boundary Commission’s proposals to see if there is if there is any room for manoeuvre."

Also voicing opposition to the plans is Reg Barritt, of campaign group Chester Community Voice UK, who said: "The city population of South Chester, by way of your proposal, will be ex-communicated from its proper engagement in electing an MP as a cohesive part of this city and its life while, being lumped in with a country set with which it has no real sense of partnership with our demographic situation; and then going forward under the failed first past the post electoral system, forever fated to be most probably ever represented by an unrepresentative MP.

"A good way to sour people off and disenfranchise them from any sense of engagement in their own local community and politics. This is a very bad plan indeed."

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."

Commission secretary Tim Bowden said: “The 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.