Batley and Spen
The constituency of Batley and Spen came into being in 1983 when Batley, Birstall, Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Cleckheaton and surrounding villages were brought together. It was amended in 1997 when the biggest change was transferring Heckmondwike into the Dewsbury constituency.
These changes were reversed on May 6 2010 when at the general election Heckmondwike, Norristhorpe, Roberttown and Hartshead returned to Batley and Spen. In addition a small part of Batley Carr was added while areas of Hanging Heaton and Dewsbury Moor went into Dewsbury.
The constituency is made up of six Kirklees Council wards: Batley East, Batley West, Birstall and Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Liversedge and Gomersal.
Today, Batley and Spen is home to:
- The Aakash - the world's biggest Asian restaurant.
- Fox's Biscuits.
- Firms who produce five per cent of the country's beds.
- Oakwell Hall - a majestic Elizabethan manor house.
- A host of Bronte family connections - residences, literary settings, Red House museum, Hartshead Parish Church.
- The internationally renowned Batley School of Art.
- West Yorkshire Fire Service's headquarters.
In years past Batley and Spen was:
- Home to the Bronte family.
- The scene of much Luddite activity including violent confrontations.
- The birthplace of Joseph Priestley.
- Home to Phelon and Moore - makers of Panther Motorcycles.
- At the centre of the battle of Adwalton Moor during the English Civil War when Oakwell Hall played a role.
- A major industrial centre for textiles, carding, coalmining, wire drawing and asbestos weaving.
- The inspiration for Blackpool Illuminations, thanks to Heckmondwike's Christmas Lights.
- The scene of the largest ever political rally in England in 1838 when a quarter of a million people attend a Chartist meeting at Peep Green in Hartshead to hear Feargus O'Connor speak.