Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BOUNDARIES WAR EASED; Teesside Constituency Changes for MPs Scaled Down

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BOUNDARIES WAR EASED; Teesside Constituency Changes for MPs Scaled Down

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY MCKENZIE sandy.mckenzie@eveninggazette.co.uk

PROPOSED changes to Parliamentary boundaries on Teesside have been scaled down.

The latest proposals from the Boundary Commission are less radical than the original ideas put forward.

The idea of a single constituency stretching from Yarm to Newtown Aycliffe has been dropped.

Another proposals which would have seen the Marske wards of St Germain's and Longbeck go into different constituencies has also been dropped as has the idea of putting Billingham North into Hartlepool.

The name of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland will not now be changed to Middlesbrough South and Guisborough.

The proposals, which effectively scrap the Sedgefield constituency, are subject to a further period of consultation to December 10.

The Boundary Commission's final proposals are due to be presented to Parliament next year.

But a big question mark still hangs over the issue.

The review of constituencies across the country aims to cut their number from 533 to 522 and to get as close as possible to constituencies with the same size of electorate.

The intention was the finalised proposals would be in place for the next General Election expected in 2015.

But following the decision not to pursue reform of the House of Lords the Liberal Democrats said they would not support the constituency changes when they were presented to the House of Commons - a view confirmed yesterday in the Commons by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

That puts in doubt whether the constituency shake-up will take place as planned.

Teesside MPs have given a general welcome to the latest proposals.

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton said: "This is a much better proposal and retains much of Stockton South intact.

"I would rather not have any change but it is important we have more equal sized constituencies and fewer MPs and at least the Boundary Commission have listened to local concerns. …

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