Following legislation passed by Liberal Democrats and Tories, the Boundary Commission have proposed hundreds of changes to Parliamentary constituencies. This will affect the way MPs represent us, and the areas they represent.
Redcar & Cleveland currently contains two constituencies: Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, which is represented by Labour’s Tom Blenkinsop, and Redcar, which is represented by Lib Dem Ian Swales.
Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland is set to be renamed Middlesbrough South and Guisborough, losing the Middlesbrough wards of Park End, Ladgate and Marton, and gaining the Redcar & Cleveland wards of Normanby, Ormesby and St Germain’s.
Meanwhile, Redcar is set to gain several Middlesbrough wards: Park End, from the existing Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency; and Beckfield, North Ormesby and Brambles Farm, Pallister and Thorntree, from the Middlesbrough constituency, which is currently represented by Sir Stuart Bell. It will also lose the Normanby, Ormesby and St Germain’s wards to Middlesbrough South and Guisborough.
So what does this mean to me?
For most people in Redcar and East Cleveland, there will be no significant changes. MPs will continue to represent the areas that elected them in 2010 until the next General Election, which is widely expected to be held in 2015.
Marske, however, will be split between two constituencies: approximately two-thirds of Marske (St Germain’s ward) will move into the Middlesbrough South and Guisborough seat, whilst Longbeck ward (which contains approximately one-third of Marske, along with Mickledales and New Marske) will remain in Redcar.
The Greater Eston area will also be split between these two constituencies, with two wards (Ormesby and Normanby) transferring to the new Middlesbrough South and Guisborough seat.
What are the political consequences?
Data published by The Guardian suggests that the Liberal Democrat position in Redcar will be slightly weakened should these boundaries come into effect. Middlesbrough South and Guisborough will remain a marginal seat, with the Tory vote there slightly reduced.
What can I do?
The Boundary Commission will be holding a public hearing on these proposals at the St George’s Hotel at Durham Tees Valley Airport on 17 and 18 November.