Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Meet the Five Candidates Votes as This Week's Big TOM BLENKINSOP: LABOUR PARTY; ELECTION FOCUS: MIDDLESBROUGH SOUTH AND EAST CLEVELAND

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Meet the Five Candidates Votes as This Week's Big TOM BLENKINSOP: LABOUR PARTY; ELECTION FOCUS: MIDDLESBROUGH SOUTH AND EAST CLEVELAND

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Brown Reporter mike.brown@trinitymirror.com

MIDDLESBROUGH South and East Cleveland is geographically the largest of the five Teesside constituencies.

It stretches from communities in the south of Middlesbrough such as Hemlington, Coulby Newham, Nunthorpe, Marton, Tollesby, Easterside and Park End into areas of Redcar and Cleveland including Guisborough, Saltburn, Loftus, Skelton and Brotton.

The varied constituency has an electorate of just under 73,000.

In 2010, 46,214 - 63.6% of the electorate - turned out to vote, up by more than 2.5% on the previous election.

The constituency ranges from former council housing estates in Hemlington and Loftus to new developments in Coulby Newham and villages and more rural areas in East Cleveland.

In East Cleveland, the jobs scene has been dominated by the Boulby Potash Mine - but Redcar and Cleveland Council recently granted permission for their portion of a planning application for a new potash mine. This would see the fertiliser polyhalite piped across the constituency from the mine near Whitby, and could potentially create thousands of jobs in the region. The future of local health services is also likely to be a big election talking point.

Medical centres in Skelton and Park End closed in 2014, while a consultation carried out by the South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) proposed a raft of changes in East Cleveland.

Under the proposals, minor injury units in Guisborough and Brotton would be moved to Redcar and Guisborough Hospital's stroke unit and community bed base would be closed.

The Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland seat was created in 1997 from the Langbaurgh constituency, and was served by popular Labour MP Ashok Kumar before his death.

Labour's Tom Blenkinsop won the seat in 2010 by 1,677 votes in a two-way battle between Labour and the Conservatives. …

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