Councillor launches petition against boundary changes

Councillor Ed Malcolm.

Councillor Ed Malcolm.

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A councillor is set to lead a “keep us in Shields” campaign.

Coun Ed Malcolm, a Labour representative for the Simonside and Rekendyke ward, is unhappy that the area would be moved from the South Shields parliamentary constituency to the Jarrow one under proposals by the Boundary Commission.

The current constituency boundaries of Jarrow and South Shields. Image: Ordnance Survey

The current constituency boundaries of Jarrow and South Shields. Image: Ordnance Survey

The planned change is part of proposed changes to the constituency boundaries and Coun Malcolm is starting a petition against it.

He wants people to urge the Government to rethink the idea - which requires that every constituency has an electorate no smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507.

There are 6,324 people living in Simonside and Rekendyke.

Coun Malcolm said: “I’m going to go out into the ward with the petition to campaign against this proposal.

The proposed new boundaries for the Jarrow and South Shields constituencies.

The proposed new boundaries for the Jarrow and South Shields constituencies.

“People can also get in touch with me if they’d like me to send them a copy of the petition so they can gather signatures themselves.

“I’ve already had a lot of calls and emails from residents about this and they’re saying that they don’t belong to Jarrow.

“Jarrow and South Shields both have a rich history and people have pride in the town they come from. This proposal is just nonsense.”

To get a copy of the petition, call Coun Malcolm at South Shields Town Hal on 0191 424 7320 or email cllr.ed.malcolm@southtyneside.gov.uk

The plans to change the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies have been proposed by the Boundary Commission of England and Wales.

New proposals laid down by Government would see a significant reduction in the number of constituencies in England – from 533 to 501 – and require every constituency to have an electorate that is no smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507.

Under the planned changes, Stephen Hepburn MP’s Jarrow constituency would include wards currently in the South Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead areas.

It would be made up of the following wards: Wardley and Leam Lane in Gateshead, Bede, Fellgate and Hedworth, Hebburn North, Hebburn South, Monkton, Primrose, and Simonside and Rekendyke in South Tyneside, Castle, Redhill and Washington North in Sunderland.

The proposed changes would also see areas in Cleadon and Boldon move to Emma Lewell-Buck MP’s South Shields constituency.

It would be made up of Beacon and Bents, Biddick and All Saints, Boldon Colliery, Cleadon and East Boldon, Cleadon Park, Harton, Horsley Hill, West Park, Westoe, Whitburn and Marsden, and Whiteleas, all in South Tyneside.

The proposals will see the number of constituencies in the North East reduced from 29 to 25.

Maps of the proposed constituencies are already on display at both South Shields and Jarrow Town Halls where people can view them until December 5.

Information on how to respond and when public meetings will be held is at www.bce2018.org.uk