Councillors unite in opposition to proposed boundary changes

Coun Tracey Dixon
Coun Tracey Dixon

Councillors in South Tyneside are gearing up to fightthe proposed boundary changes which would affect the borough.

The Boundary Commission is proposing that the Cleadon & East Boldon and Boldon Colliery wards in Jarrow should be moved to the South Shields Parliamentary constituency and that Simonside and Rekendyke, currently in South Shields, should move into Jarrow.

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

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

At a meeting of the South Tyneside Labour Group of Councillors, the group voted unanimously to recommend that the proposals are amended so that Boldon Colliery remains in Jarrow and Simonside and Rekendyke remains in South Shields.

Simonside and Rekendyke Councillors have already launched a petition to retain their ward within South Shields.

Labour Group Secretary, Coun Tracey Dixon said: “We can see no logic in splitting strong communities like this. The Boundary Commission proposals would affect over 20,000 residents, other counter proposal, which supports placing Cleadon and East Boldon into South Shields affects just 8,000 people.

“Boldon Colliery has been part of the Jarrow constituency for over 100 years, and has no historical or geographical connection with South Shields. Simonside and Rekendyke has been part of the South Shields constituency since it was created in 1832 and the idea that Chichester should be part of Jarrow is frankly ludicrous.”

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

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

South Tyneside Council will consider their response to the boundary proposals when they next meet in October.

The 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 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.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP’s South Shields constituency 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.

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.