Whitley has been taken out of Reading’s new proposed MP seat as attempts to get a third parliamentary seat for the town have failed.

The Boundary Commission for England has recently concluded its proposals for how MP seats in Parliament should be allocated in an effort to make constituencies similar in size in reference to number of voters.

The biggest changes for the town include parts of West Reading and Tilehurst being formed into a Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency and a new seat called ‘Earley and Woodley’ being created.

The majority of Reading will be incorporated into the ‘Reading Central’ constituency.

READ MORE: Reading to get two constituencies as map of MP seat proposals finalised

But attempts to add ‘Reading’ to the name of a third constituency towards the south of the borough have failed.

The commission has proposed putting the Whitley and Church wards into the new Earley and Woodley constituency, which covers its eponymous towns and Shinfield in Wokingham Borough as well.

Labour political representatives objected to this change.

Councillor Matt Yeo (Labour, Caversham) was among party members who called for Whitley and Church wards to be put into a Reading constituency, or at least renaming Earley and Woodley to give some recognition that it covers Reading areas as well.

Reading Chronicle: Matt Yeo, Labour councillor for Caversham ward. Credit: Reading LabourMatt Yeo, Labour councillor for Caversham ward. Credit: Reading Labour

Cllr Yeo said: “Church & Whitley wards are in Reading Borough and the Earley & Woodley seat contains no reference to ‘Reading’, ‘South Reading’, ‘Whitley’ or even ‘Shinfield’.

“If the wards cannot be moved based on any previous submissions, I would suggest that where Reading wards are included, some reference to them or Reading is included in the name of the Constituency.”

Politicians and members of the public also expressed their views at public hearings about the changes held in 2021 and 2022.

Labour member Will Cross stated that Whitley and Church wards are “integral parts of Reading” and should not be incorporated into Earley and Woodley as there are ‘no natural communities ties’ between these areas.

READ MORE: What is happening with Earley and Woodley constituency as politicians compete for voters support

He also opposed the abolition of the existing Reading West and East constituencies, arguing that the current constituencies are ‘well understood’ and suburban areas such as Woodley and Calcot are “easily identified” with Reading.

Mr Cross made these statements in March 2022 prior to being elected a councillor for Redlands ward in May that year.

Reading Chronicle: Will Cross, Labour councillor for Redlands ward. Credit: Reading LabourWill Cross, Labour councillor for Redlands ward. Credit: Reading Labour

Over in West Berkshire, Conservatives were for the most part supportive of a Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency.

Thomas Marino, a Conservative councillor for Tilehurst on West Berkshire Council at the time of the review, supported the creation of a mid Berkshire constituency as Pangbourne, Theale and western parts of Tilehurst share services with West Berkshire villages.

Mr Marino is chairman of the Reading West Conservatives and previously served as a councillor for Tilehurst and Purley but failed to get re-elected in the 2023 local elections.

Casey Byrne, a Conservative party member, claimed credit for getting the seat initially called ‘Berkshire Mid’ renamed ‘Reading West and Mid Berkshire’.

Reading Chronicle: Casey Byrne, Conservative candidate for the Tilehurst ward. Credit: Reading West ConservativesCasey Byrne, Conservative candidate for the Tilehurst ward. Credit: Reading West Conservatives

However, it was a widespread feeling among several current councillors that ‘Reading’ should be included in the name of that constituency.

In his comment to the commission’s proposals, cllr Yeo said: “It would be nice to include a reference to either ‘Reading’, ‘West Reading’ or ‘Tilehurst’ in the seat name for the Mid-Berks Constituency seat as the Reading wards are a sizeable part of the new seat.”

Reading West and Mid Berkshire is set to contain the Reading Borough Council wards of Tilehurst, Norcot and Kentwood.

No subsequent name changes have been made to the Earley and Woodley constituency.

The proposed changes by the boundary commission have been finalised and were published on June 27.

These changes will be implemented automatically by making what’s called an ‘Order in Council’ to the Privy Council, which is a formal advisory body chaired by King Charles III.