Proposed changes to Hartlepool constituency boundary could see two new wards added

Final proposals to change the boundaries of some Parliamentary constituencies will see two new wards '˜reluctantly' added to Hartlepool.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 5:50 pm
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 5:52 pm
The new constituency boundary

The constituency, served by MP Mike Hill, will remain the same with the addition of Wingate and Blackhalls wards.

The Electoral Commission for England had previously proposed including parts of Billingham into a new-look Hartlepool Parliamentary constituency boundary, while removing the town’s Hart and De Bruce wards.

But the proposals received considerable objections during consultation and in the second round of proposals the changes were scrapped.

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Objectors said the Hart and De Bruce wards would become “orphans” and detached from their established communities under the previous proposals.

All of Billingham is now proposed to become part of a constituency along with Sedgefield.

The final proposals have not changed and will see Hart and De Bruce wards remain and Wingate and Blackhalls join the constituency.

The final report states: “We decided to include the whole of the Borough of Hartlepool in a Hartlepool constituency with, reluctantly, the two County Durham wards of Blackhalls and Wingate.

“However, this meant that we were able to retain all the wards that formed the town of Billingham in a single constituency with eight County of Durham wards, including the town of Newton Aycliffe, in a constituency that we called Billingham and Sedgefield.”

The final proposals also include a new City of Durham and Easington constituency, which is set to include Horden, Murton, Peterlee and Easington.

Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, said: “The Tories have cynically manipulated the process for their own electoral advantage excluding millions of people who registered for the last general election from the boundary review.

“It is estimated [by Electoral Calculus] that the new boundaries will give the Tories a 20 seat advantage over Labour with an equal vote share.

“It is 1796 the last time Britain had less than 600 MPs and the boundary changes will deliver the UK’s smallest ever parliament since its foundation in 1801. The historic Labour constituency of Easington is one of 4 constituencies in the North East that will disappear under the new boundaries.

“The boundary changes are a blatant attempt to gerrymander constituencies and create a Tory majority. Creating larger constituencies further increases the disconnect between elected officials and voters.”

It will also see a new Houghton and Seaham constituency that would take in wards currently represented by Mr Morris and Bridget Phillipson, currently MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.