As readers may be aware, the Boundary Commission has recently put forward revised proposals for constituency boundaries in the North East of England. The Commission has changed its initial proposal published in June 2021 so that, instead of preserving Gateshead borough’s existing two constituencies of Gateshead and Blaydon, the borough will be split into four. The proposed new constituencies are:
- Gateshead and Whickham BC
- Jarrow BC (includes Felling and Pelaw)
- Blaydon and Consett CC
- Washington BC (includes Birtley)
We feel that this separation is going to result in poorer representation for the people of Gateshead. As we explained in our response to the Commission, “Gateshead residents will feel that their MP is unlikely to prioritise their issues over those of [the] larger centres of population of Jarrow/Hebburn, Washington/Hylton and Consett”. We are also disappointed by the timing of the proposals, given that there was no indication of these substantial changes in the earlier phases of the review and that the final consultation phase allows just four weeks for responses, with no public hearings planned.
There is still time to respond to the consultation. We would encourage all those who believe that Gateshead’s residents should be represented effectively in parliament to do so. You can submit comments on the proposals at https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/. The consultation period finishes on the 5th December 2022.
You can access the full text of our response to the Boundary Commission below.