Thursday, 18 October 2012

Victory on Boundary Changes

This week I was amongst those welcoming revised Boundary changes announced on Tuesday which see Northumberland kept whole. Under the Boundary Commission's initial proposals South Tyndale and Haltwhistle where to be placed in a new constituency of 'Consett and Barnard Castle' focused around County Durham.

I launched a campaign to amend the changes and keep Haltwhistle and South Tynedale within his Northumberland consituency. For the North East there were 1950 representations. Of those 950 related to the Hexham constituency alone, about 50% of the total for the entire region. The other 50% related to the other 28 constituencies in the North East put together.

I am so grateful to the hundreds of local people who got involved in our campaign to keep Northumberland whole. It would have been a terrible shame to lose Haltwhistle and South Tynedale. It just goes to show what we can do when we pull together.

The revised proposals where also supported by by the local County Councillors who represent the areas involved; Steve Bridgett (Rothbury), Eileen Armstrong (Ponteland East) Ian Hutchinson (Haltwhistle) and Colin Horncastle (South Tynedale.)

Of the 21 local Parish Councils who responded 20 of them rejected the Commission's initial proposals. Labour members of Prudhoe Town Council where the only ones to accept the removal of South Tynedale and Haltwhistle.

The new revised proposals,  as well as retaining Hatlwhistle and South Tynedale in the Hexham Constituency  keep Ponteland East in Hexham with the rest of Ponteland and put Rothbury back in Berwick upon Tweed as the Commission had originally suggested attaching it to the Hexham constituency.

 I am now very comfortable the Commission have listened to local people and happy to vote for the revised changes to cut the cost of politics and bring about fair votes.