2000 for minor changes to two of the four constituencies in the
county of Northumberland.
with a parliamentary electorate in 2000 of 243,223. This number of
electors, when divided by the 2000 electoral quota (69,932), gives a
theoretical entitlement to 3.48 seats. The electoral quota is
explained in 'Background Note' below.
2. The commission have provisionally decided to continue to
allocate four seats to Northumberland. They noted that if they were
to allocate only three constituencies to Northumberland, the average
electorate of each constituency would be 81,074, which is 11,142
above the electoral quota. The allocation of four seats results in a
county average of 60,806, which is 9,126 below the electoral quota.
They also noted that at the third general review of parliamentary
constituencies in England (1976-1982), the newly created county of
Northumberland had a theoretical entitlement to 3.30 seats, but that
it had been allocated four seats because of the sparsely populated
rural north and west of the county. The commission considered that
the factors that led their predecessors to allocate four
constituencies still applied, and that to allocate three
constituencies would probably result in the two largest
constituencies in England in terms of area.
3. The commission noted that the electorates of the four existing
seats range from 57,117 in Berwick-upon-Tweed CC to 63,329 in
Wansbeck CC, a disparity of 6,212. They therefore decided that there
was no need to make any change to the existing pattern of seats in
Northumberland, other than to take account of changes required by the
new wards that came into effect in each district on 6 May 1999. The
Commission noted that the only change that needed to be made
concerned the Castle Morpeth Borough ward of Hartburn, which is now
split between Berwick-upon-Tweed CC and Hexham CC.
4. The commission do not divide district wards between
constituencies. Therefore, they propose to realign the constituency
boundaries to take account of the divided ward as part of this
general review. They decided that the whole of the ward should be
included in Berwick- upon-Tweed CC, which would result in the
transfer of the parishes of Belsay and Capheaton to
Berwick-upon-Tweed CC from Hexham CC. This change also reduced the
disparity between the electorates to 5,758.
5. The commission decided not to make any changes to Blyth Valley
BC or Wansbeck CC. They noted that these constituencies were well
established, had electorates close to the county average, and
respected district boundaries. They considered that any change to
these constituencies was therefore unnecessary and would break
established local ties.
6. The proposed new constituencies are illustrated in outline on
the sketch map which forms part of this document (please note the
copyright warning below concerning the map). The letters on the map
refer to the districts and the numbers refer to the district wards.
The map is to be used in conjunction with the ward listing at the end
of this document which shows the letters and districts, the numbers
and wards, and the 2000 ward electorates on which the Commission are
required by law to work.
7. The commission have been informed that there is an error in
Ordnance Survey's Boundary Line data which has been used to produce
the attached map. The error is at the south-western end of the
boundary between the Prudhoe South and Prudhoe West wards of the
District of Tynedale which should extend slightly further southwards.
This error does not affect the Commission's proposals because the
whole of Tynedale District is contained within the Hexham
8. The composition of the four constituencies provisionally
recommended would be (the 2000 electorates are shown in brackets):-
BERWICK-UPON-TWEED COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (57,571). The District of
Alnwick; the Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed; and six wards of the
Borough of Castle Morpeth:- Chevington, Ellington, Hartburn,
Longhorsley, Lynemouth, Ulgham.
BLYTH VALLEY BOROUGH CONSTITUENCY (62,657). The Borough of Blyth
HEXHAM COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (59,666). Seven wards of the Borough of
Castle Morpeth:- Heddon-on-the-Wall, Ponteland East, Ponteland North,
Ponteland South, Ponteland West, Stamfordham, Stannington; and the
District of Tynedale.
WANSBECK COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (63,329). Seven wards of the Borough of
Castle Morpeth:- Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford, Morpeth Central,
Morpeth Kirkhill, Morpeth North, Morpeth South, Morpeth Stobhill,
Pegswood; and the District of Wansbeck.
9. Please note that the wards have not been shown for those
boroughs and districts (eg the District of Alnwick) where the whole
of the borough or district is contained within the proposed
constituency. However, as already mentioned, a full ward listing with
2000 ward electorates is given at the end of this document.
10. The wards named in this document are the new wards that were
created by the following Orders and which came into effect at the
local elections on 6 May 1999:
The District of Alnwick (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;
The Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;
The Borough of Blyth Valley (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;
The Borough of Castle Morpeth (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;
The District of Tynedale (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;
The District of Wansbeck (Electoral Changes) Order 1998.
Publication of Provisional Recommendations
11. The provisional recommendations will be published formally in a
notice appearing in local newspapers in Northumberland on 6 July
2000. Local authorities, MPs, the Political Parties' Headquarters,
and others will be sent a copy of the recommendations. The notice
will also be published on the commission's web site at:
Places of Inspection
12. The notice in local newspapers will also give the addresses
where a copy of the recommendations, and a more detailed map
illustrating them, have been made available for inspection by the
public (please note the copyright warning below concerning the map).
Those addresses are:-
ALNWICK Council Offices, Allerburn House, Alnwick
ASHINGTON Town Hall, Station Road, Ashington
BERWICK-UPON-TWEED Council Offices, Wallace Green, Berwick-upon-Tweed
BLYTH Civic Centre, Renwick Road, Blyth
CRAMLINGTON Cramlington Library, Forum Way, Cramlington
HADSTON Hadston Housing Offices, 23 The Precinct, Hadston
HEXHAM Council Offices, Hexham House, Hexham
MORPETH Council Offices, The Kylins, Loansden, Morpeth
PONTELAND Ponteland Housing Offices, Merton Road, Ponteland
SEATON DELAVAL Council Offices, Avenue Road, Seaton Delaval
Representation Period: 6 July 2000 to 6 August 2000
13. The commission are required to consider representations about
their provisional recommendations made within one month of local
publication on 6 July 2000. Representations should be addressed to
the Boundary Commission for England, PO Box 31060, London, SW1V 2FF,
or faxed to 020 7533 5176, or emailed to email@example.com.
All representations received by the commission will be acknowledged.
The representation period will end on 6 August 2000.
14. Please note that the commission are not statutorily required to
consider any representations made after 6 August 2000, but will
endeavour to take late representations into account. However, the
later the representation is made, the more difficult this will be.
The commission therefore ask that all representations be made within
the one month period. In the event that a local inquiry is held into
the provisional recommendations, all representations will be made
public beforehand so that interested persons may prepare for the
local inquiry. Any representation received too late to be issued with
the other representations before the local inquiry cannot be given
the same weight as the other representations because other interested
persons will not have had the same opportunity to consider it.
15. Where representations objecting to the provisional
recommendations are made by an interested county or district council
or by a body of 100 or more electors, the commission cannot proceed
with their final recommendations to the home secretary until a local
inquiry has been held. If the commission decide to alter their
recommendations as a result of the inquiry, the revised
recommendations must also be published and representations invited,
but a further local inquiry is not obligatory.
16. Those who make representations are requested to say whether
they approve of, or object to, the commission's proposals and to give
their reasons for their approval or objection. In particular,
objectors are advised to say what they propose in place of the
commission's recommendations and should note that an objection
accompanied by a counter-proposal is likely to carry more weight than
a simple statement of objection.
17. The commission wish to stress that their provisional
recommendations relate solely to parliamentary constituencies and do
not affect county, district or parish boundaries, taxes or services.
The commission will therefore not take account of any representation
made about those local issues.