KNUTSFORD, Mobberley and High Legh still stand to be fused with Altrincham as a third consultation on proposed constituency boundary changes opens.

The proposals, opposed by then-MP George Osborne when first announced last year, have been reviewed after two consultations but show no geographical changes for Knutsford, with Tatton still set to be abolished.

While many agreed with Mr Osborne that the town was more inclined to join Macclesfield rather than Altrincham, the plans seem to have fallen on deaf ears with residents urged to make their voices heard again.

In one change which should please many Knutsfordians, the proposed constituency has been renamed ‘Altrincham and Knutsford’, replacing ‘Altrincham and Tatton Park’ – branded ‘meaningless’ by many.

Cllr Simon Hutchence, of Knutsford Town Council, said: “I don’t know why the Boundary Commission has ignored what seemed to be a very vociferous and comprehensive argument by a high number of people against this proposal.

“It seems illogical – Altrincham’s centre of gravity since the 1974 local government reform is very much Manchester. Knutsford’s local governance comes from the south of the county – it’s a completely different system altogether with different issues and needs.

“I appreciate that it’s just lines on a map and our representation in parliament, but it’s a psychological division and one of the building blocks for local government.

“My fear is that, if the proposals get through, Knutsford would be playing second fiddle all the time.

“We are very much a Cheshire town and I feel we have more in common with our Cheshire brethren than we do with Altrincham and Sale.”

These are sentiments shared by many in comments made so far.

Mr Osborne’s proposals, outlined in an open letter to the Knutsford Guardian as well as being pitched to the Boundary Commission, suggested joining Knutsford to Macclesfield in order to keep villages such as Chelford and Over Peover politically connected to their traditional neighbours.

Moreover, Knutsford’s links to Macclesfield in terms of local governance, education and healthcare are cited as key reasons to appeal for change.

The changes, which could be put to Parliament in September 2018 and implemented for from the 2022 General Election, would see the number of MPs reduced from 650 to 600.

More than 25,000 responses have been received so far, leading to changes to more than half of the initial proposals.

Comments remain open at until December 11.