Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Boundary Commission proposals for Northumberland

Well, bugger me!

The proposals are out, and although backed up by population figures, they really have made a dog's breakfast of the Northumberland proposals.

Most notable is to proposed abolition of the Wansbeck constituency.  Morpeth and Rothbury go to the extended Hexham constituency, Ashington and Newbiggin to Berwick constituency (!) and Bedlington to Blyth constituency.

So that means that the constituency that is to include Ashington is about 50 miles north to south and borders Scotland

Being parochial, the existing Blyth constituency remains, but with the addition of ( I think ) five divisions from Wansbeck ( Bedlington Central, East, West, Stakeford and Sleekburn )   The new constituency will have 76000 + constituents.

Further afield, Ponteland East and Stannington , firmly in Northumberland, become part of a Newcastle constituency.

These are my initial views, and as I said the constituencies have roughly equal populations, but I remain to be convinced.

Ironically I think that the reduction in the number of constituencies ( and therefore MPs ) is a good thing, but it appears that the exercise started with the number and divided up. They could ( should ?) have divided up, reviewed boundaries and then added up the number of necessary constituencies.

Now, is it time to review local government boundaries in the area. How about a Northumberland Coastal Authority .... most of SE Northumberland, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay?

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