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ALL TEESSIDE: Another overhaul of Teesside’s political map unveiled

ALL TEESSIDE: Another overhaul of Teesside’s political map unveiled

Image: LDRS

ANOTHER overhaul of Teesside’s political map has been drawn up – with one town torn in two under new proposals.

Boundary bosses have revealed a fresh batch of plans for parliamentary constituencies across the region after rejigs lined up in recent years failed to come to fruition.

A new vision shows Thornaby could be represented by two MPs from July 2023 – with Mandale and Victoria and Stainsby Hill moved into a new Middlesbrough seat, and the west of the town moved into a new “Stockton West” constituency.

Chunks of east Middlesbrough – including part of Park End and Beckfield, Ladgate, and Marton East – would also be moved into a newly formed “Redcar and Eston” seat under the plans.

The changes would also mean the end of “Stockton South” – with “Stockton West” created from the west half of Thornaby, and tracts of land including Sadberge, Middleton St George, and up to the Tees at Hurworth, south of Darlington.

This would mean Steve Gibson’s Rockliffe Hall would be shifted into a Teesside constituency.

Stockton North would see some modest changes – losing the Western Parishes, made up of the villages of Elton, Stillington, Redmarshall and Long Newton, to the new Stockton West seat.

But Parkfield and Oxbridge would be shifted north into the constituency from the rejigged Stockton South seat.

Further east, the proposals would also move Marske and New Marske within the boundaries of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland from the renamed Redcar seat.

It’s not the first time boundary bosses have sought to radically overhaul Teesside’s parliamentary borders.

A bid in 2016 garnered a mixed reaction from MPs – with Labour’s Alex Cunningham labelling it a “lamentable hotch-potch”, while former Conservative MP James Wharton thought it was “not a bad starting point”.

This was scrapped and another set of changes were drawn up in 2018.

These moves sought to cut Teesside’s representation in Westminster from five MPs to four – with Billingham moving into a huge County Durham seat.

However, this bid also hit the buffers with the national “Brexit workload” blamed.

The North East region has been allocated 27 constituencies this time around – a reduction of two from the current number.

But these reductions would come north of Teesside.

Past boundary proposals had looked to cut the number of MPs at Westminster by 50 but these latest plans would keep numbers the same.

The Boundary Commission’s vision is by no means set in stone and will now be subject to rounds of consultation and revisions.

The first one will run until August 2 while a second consultation featuring public hearings will start in spring 2022.

Final recommendations are set to come by July 2023 when the Government will have four months to implement the plans.

This will mean the changes would come into effect in late 2023.

Tim Bowden, from the Boundary Commission for England, said the maps were only the commission’s “initial thoughts” – and he was keen for people to share their views.

“Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each parliamentary constituency more equal,” he added.

“Each constituency we recommend is required by law to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, meaning there will be significant change to current boundaries.

“We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right.

“We consider all feedback received during the consultation process, and it is your local knowledge that helps us to shape constituencies that best reflect your local area.”

Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter


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