Campaign gathers momentum

HUNDREDS of people joined a protest demanding ‘hands off’ the map of Leigh.

They gathered in front of the town hall to officially launch the ‘Keep Leigh in Leigh’ campaign and hear sports council chief Trevor Barton MBE and Leigh MP Andy Burnham warn that the Boundary Commission’s proposals to reduce the number of Parliamentarians will “fragment” the township.

Mr Barton said that there was now a “virtually unanimous feeling of bewilderment” about the plan because of the Draconian affect it would have on Leigh.

He said: “We had understood that a constituency such as Leigh with 77,000 on the electoral roll is the ideal size for a constituency.

“Why on earth would you want to split it into three and finish up with a ludicrous situation of the Town Hall Square, the Town Hall, the library and the parish church being in the new constituency of Westhoughton?

“‘For the last 10 years the Leigh MP’s Advice Centre has been at the heart of his constituency, easily accessible to callers, and even that will be in the Westhoughton constituency.”

Popular demand had encouraged him to organise further events to publicise the plan ahead of the Boundary Commission’s formal consultation meetings next month.

And another rally will take place in Bradshawgate on Saturday, October 8 at 11.30am. More than 5,000 letters of objection for members of the public to complete had been printed on behalf of the many local Leigh groups who are behind the objection, along with a suggested format which can be signed.

All have now been snapped up by angry ‘Leythers’ and plans for a re-print are in hand or download it from www.leighreporter.co.uk and send to the Parliamentary Boundary Review 2011, Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ or to Andy Burnham’s office in Market Street, Leigh.

Mr Burnham said: “I would ask everyone keen to Keep Leigh in Leigh to unite and protest against these shocking changes.

“There has been a massive amount of activity on Facebook in the last few days with 23,000 visits to http://www.facebook.com/#!/Leigh2Keep and over 630 people have linked the Keep Leigh in Leigh Campaign to their own Facebook page.”