BOUNDARIES: Large and unwieldy

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This week the Wansbeck Green Party considered the proposals of the Boundary Commission to change Parliamentary constituencies.

Under the draft proposals the Wansbeck Parliamentary Constituency will disappear and the area split three ways – Ashington and Newbiggin will join Berwick, Bedlington will join Blyth, and Morpeth will join Hexham.

The Boundary Commission is currently consulting on this plan and details can be found on its website at www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6486

The Green Party believes that the present first-past-the-post electoral system is fundamentally unfair, and we believe that proportional representation is needed.

We also believe that the undemocratic House of Lords needs reviewing.

However, in the system that we have, the Wansbeck Greens agreed that these boundary proposals create large and unwieldy constituencies with communities that have little in common.

Hexham and Morpeth are in different areas, with no direct roads, railways or bus services to link them. A journey from one to the other involves a trip via Newcastle.

The proposed constituency may well cover the largest area of any in England.

Similarly, Ashington and Berwick are far apart and very different places, virtually unconnected. Again it is a huge area, almost 60 miles from Ashington to Berwick.

Morpeth shares more with Berwick than Ashington does, having a common interest in the rural economy of Northumberland, and linked by the East Coast railway and the A1.

We would be interested to hear what other people think about the proposals.

Peter Fuller

Wansbeck Green Party