Council votes to oppose boundary review

North Tyneside councillors have voted to oppose a constituencies shake-up which would see the region lose two MPs.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:34 am
North Tyneside councillors have rejected changes recommended by the Boundary Commission.

The boundary review aims to make sure that every constituency has roughly the same number of voters, so that every vote in a general election is just as important.

If it goes ahead it means the borough’s voters could see some major changes before the next election.

It means some North Tyneside residents would be represented by a Newcastle MP.

The Newcastle North constituency would take in five wards in North Tyneside – Benton, Camperdown, Killingworth, Longbenton and Weetslade – together with four within the Newcastle City Council area – Castle, Fawdon and West Gosforth, Gosforth and Parklands – making an electorate of 74,087.

Also proposed is the creation of a Whitley Bay and Cramlington constituency that crosses the Northumberland boundary into North Tyneside.

The constituency would combine five of the borough’s wards – Monkseaton North, Monkseaton South, St Mary’s, Valley and Whitley Bay – with nine wards from the Northumberland County Council area. These would be Cramlington East, Cramlington Eastfield, Cramlington North, Cramlington South East, Cramlington Village, Cramlington West, Hartley, Holywell and Seghill with Seaton Delaval. The total electorate would be 74,510.

These changes mean the current North Tyneside seat would vanish.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said that boundary commission should go back to the drawing board to allow impacted residents to stay within the borough’s constituencies.

Coun Martin Rankin, who represents Collingwood, said: “This is a dreadful proposition that tears apart affected communities across North Tyneside.”

Coun John Harrison, who represents Howdon, said residents need to understand it won’t impact which council serves them.

He added: “When you speak to people about this they need to understand this will not impact North Tyneside or the mayor or the council this is purely parliamentary constituencies.”

However, the authority’s Conservatives supported the proposals, with leader Sean Brockbank arguing that they would strengthen democracy.

The Monkseaton South councillor said: “The review of the Boundary Commission has been an independent exercise in democracy.

“It is about making sure we have the right number of constituents per constituency and it can only be good for the exercise of democratic sovereignty in UK parliament.”