'We want to stay in Sheffield' - Thousands sign petition against Rotherham boundary move
Thousands of people living in Mosborough and Beighton have signed a petition against plans to move their electoral boundary out of Sheffield and into Rotherham.
Over 2,000 residents have signed a petition calling on the Boundary Commission to change its proposals for Sheffield constituencies.
It is currently planned that the Beighton and Mosborough wards should be joined with areas of Rotherham to form a new Rother Valley parliamentary constituency.
Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, who currently represents the two areas, said: "Local residents are annoyed and upset by the Boundary Commission’s illogical proposals.
"There is little common and community interest between Beighton and Mosborough and the Rotherham wards.”
Roger Marsh, of the Owlthorpe Local and Natural History Group said: “Local residents are very clear that they want to see Beighton and Mosborough in a wholly Sheffield constituency.
"It simply doesn’t make sense to impose artificial boundaries. It’s like being told to complete a jigsaw where the pieces simply don’t fit together.”
Marianne Whitehead, who runs the Sandwich Shop on the High Street in Mosborough, said: “I haven’t met anyone who thinks these proposals are a good idea. I think the Boundary Commission should think again.
"Of course, any proposal has advantages and disadvantages, but this one seems to be all wrong and it’s difficult to find any benefit to it at all.”
Mr Betts added: “Everyone recognises that the Boundary Commission has been handed a challenging task.
"However, the test for any proposal should be whether it looks democratic, fair, efficient and effective. The Boundary Commission’s proposal simply fails that test. Unfortunately, the same is true for the proposals for South Yorkshire as a whole.
"I believe that most people will be telling the Commission that it can do far better, even within the constraints it has been given by this Conservative government.
"This petition from Beighton and Mosborough residents calls on the Commission to revise its proposals so that most constituencies remain wholly within the city. I am certain that this can be achieved within the guidelines.
"These feelings are being expressed in other parts of the city as well.”
The massive planned shake-up of constituency boundaries is part of national plans to the cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
Under the proposals, the Penistone and Stocksbridge seat, currently held by Labour MP Angela Smith, is to be scrapped in favour of combined new constituency largely made up wards that are part of the Sheffield Hallam constituency held by Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg.
A final decision will not be made before 2018.