Radical changes across the North East landscape could see constituency boundaries moved and renamed as part of plans to redraw the regional political map.

Proposals published today by the Boundary Commission for England (BC) reveal plans for the Conservative-held North West Durham constituency to be disbanded and the Sedgefield constituency renamed ‘Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor’.

Several Consett council wards could move into a new ‘Blaydon and Consett’ constituency crossing the County Durham and Gateshead border while Crook, Stanley and Weardale could change to the Bishop Auckland constituency. Kevan Jones’ Labour seat of North Durham could include Stanley.

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A split of Trimdon and Thornley ward could see the areas divided between the Easington and Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield wards. The constituencies of Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield could include wards from the existing City of Durham constituency – Brandon and Coxhoe wards respectively – to bring them into the permitted electorate range.

And the City of Durham could regain the western wards Brandon, Deerness, and Esh and Witton Gilbert.

Read more: 'No consensus' on boundary changes in County Durham

Initial proposals divided Willington from the towns of Crook and Tow Law, but the BC received several representations advocating for these three towns to be kept together in a constituency.

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Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, opposed the split of the towns, as it would “sever the strong and historical community link”.

There are no significant plans to change the Darlington constituency. 

How the new constituency map could look

The Northern Echo: Constituencies with changes are highlighted in blueConstituencies with changes are highlighted in blue (Image: The Northern Echo)

In the Tees Valley sub-region, there would be a relatively small amount of change from the initial proposals. The BC has revised the composition of two initially proposed constituencies, moving wards between Redcar, and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland to better reflect coastal community ties.

The current Middlesbrough constituency could be renamed Middlesbrough and Thornaby East.

The wards of Longbeck, St. Germain’s, and Saltburn would be transferred to Redcar, with Ladgate, Marton East, and Park End & Beckfield being transferred to Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. These two revised constituencies would then be unchanged from their existing shape except to realign constituency boundaries with local government ward boundaries.

Elsewhere in the North East the borough of Gateshead would no longer have two whole constituencies, instead forming part of four, enabling a significantly more cohesive pattern of constituencies across the City of Sunderland, which would now form part of three constituencies (instead of five in our initial proposals).

Two constituencies would cross the boundary of Northumberland with Tyne and Wear (Hexham, and Cramlington and Killingworth).

The third and final consultation on the new map of revised constituency proposals is open now until 5 December. The public are invited to view and comment on the new map at bcereviews.org.uk.

After this final consultation has closed on 5 December, the Commission will analyse the responses and form its final recommendations. These will be submitted to Parliament by 1 July 2023.

What the County Durham constituency changes mean

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