Residents in South Tyneside are being encouraged to have their say on plans by the Boundary Commission to change parliamentary constituencies.
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 changed 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.
Views can be given to the Commission either in writing or in person. More information about how to respond as well as details of where and when the Commission will be holding public hearings can be found on the interactive Boundary Commission’s consultation website www.bce2018.org.uk
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: “It is important that as many people as possible have their say on these proposals.
“We would encourage everyone to give their feedback and help shape the new constituencies.”
Coun Ed Malcolm, a Labour representative for the Simonside and Rekendyke ward, was unhappy with the proposal.
He said: “The proposals for the South Shields constituency which were proposed by the Boundary Commission of England and Wales and released yesterday in which they suggest to move Simonside and Rekendyke into the Jarrow constituency is firmly rejected by the three Simonside and Rekendyke councillors.
“We cannot see the logic in moving Boldon Colliery, which is already in Jarrow, into South Shields and moving Simonside and Rekendyke, which is in South Shields, to Jarrow.
“It would mean that the Jarrow constituency stretched down to Chichester and Laygate. These areas have no affinity with Jarrow and the Holborn area has been part of the South Shields constituency since 1832 when the first South Shields constituency was created.
“We will be sending a copy of the history of South Shields to the Boundary Commission and also making the strongest representation possible and I would urge that any constituents within the Simonside and Rekendyke ward also make their views known that they wish to remain in South Shields.”