Residents urged to join ex-Gazette stalwart in signing petition against South Tyneside boundary changes

Coun Ed Malcolm and Janis Blower are united in their criticism of the proposed boundary changes.

Coun Ed Malcolm and Janis Blower are united in their criticism of the proposed boundary changes.

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A councillor has urged people in South Tyneside to add their name to a petition rejecting planned boundary changes which would affect the borough.

Former Gazette features editor Janis Blower is the latest South Shields resident to support the campaign to reject the Boundary Commission’s proposals.

It is disappointing, even alarming, to see how the proposed new boundaries show no knowledge or understanding of the historical and the social cohesion of the areas they cut through

Janis Blower

The planned changes are to move the Cleadon & East Boldon and Boldon Colliery wards in Jarrow to the South Shields Parliamentary constituency, and Simonside and Rekendyke, currently in South Shields, into Jarrow.

The proposals have been met with widespread criticism from South Tyneside councillors, with Simonside and Rekendyke councillors launching a petition to keep their ward in South Shields.

Janis, who retired after 44 years of service to the paper last year, signed the petition at Trinity House, in Laygate, South Shields.

She told of her “alarm” at the planned boundary changes.

Janis said: “It is disappointing, even alarming, to see how the proposed new boundaries show no knowledge or understanding of the historical and the social cohesion of the areas they cut through.

“It’s ludicrous, for example, that as old an area of High Shields – its name derived from the old High Staithes, therefore integral to our history of mining and shipping coal – should be carved up and a greater part of it along with Laygate, deposited in Jarrow.

“You are talking about communities which, over the centuries, have shaped the town we know today. Tyne Dock is another.”

Coun Ed Malcolm, who represents the Simonside and Rekendyke ward, has welcomed Janis’ support.

He said: “I am extremely pleased the Janis has signed our petition and supports the campaign.

“She has a wealth of knowledge about the history of South Shields, and she can see the absurdity of the Boundary Commission’s proposals to make the Simonside and Rekendyke ward part of the Jarrow constituency, which would mean that the Jarrow constituency stretches almost into South Shields market place.

“I am also delighted with the response from people in all parts of South Shields who have also expressed their concerns about the Boundary Commission’s proposals.”

People who would like to sign the petition are advised to contact South Shields Town Hall and ask for members services.

To do so, call the town hall on 0191 427 7000, or send an email to customerhelp@southtyneside.gov.uk.