Constituency boundary changes: what they could mean for you

Written by on 17th November 2022

Constituency boundary changes are on the horizon, with some proposed modifications set to dramatically transform the political landscape of the North East.

New plans set out by the Boundary Commission show how constituencies in the region will change before the next General Election.

Locally, Washington and Houghton & Sunderland South constituencies are set to be changed to more accurately reflect the people that live there.

Current rules state that all constituencies must hold between 69,724 and 76,883 people.

Any constituency that falls above or below these numbers must be adjusted.

This image shows proposed changes in Houghton & Sunderland South. Image Credit: The Boundary Commission

Proposed changes in Houghton & Sunderland South display the inclusion of St Anne’s Ward, composing of Pennywell and South Hylton.

Residents of St Anne’s ward would, under these plans, be represented by a different MP in the House of Commons.

In Washington, the changes are far more radical.

A Washington Constituency would be built from the wards: Washington Central, Washington East, Washington North, Washington South and Washington West wards, the Redhill and Castle wards plus Birtley and Lamesley wards in Gateshead.

The newest additions, Birtley and Lamesley, were backed by MP Sharon Hodgson, saying: “Birtley has a common connection to Washington and the Sunderland West wards in the new constituency via industry, schools, and GP practices.”

Elsewhere in the region, the Boundary Commission released this summary: “In our initial proposals, Sunderland Central would be wholly unchanged, but the City of Sunderland overall would be split between five constituencies.”

They added: “As mentioned above, the proposed Jarrow and Sunderland West constituency would include the wards of Castle, Redhill and St. Anne’s.”

“With the loss of these wards, Washington and Sunderland South West constituency would be reconfigured, gaining instead the wards of Sandhill, Shiney Row, Silksworth and St. Chad’s.”

“The proposed Seaham and Peterlee constituency would include Doxford as an orphan ward. Finally, our City of Durham constituency would be extended into Sunderland as far as Houghton-le-Spring.”

To find out more about boundary changes and how they may affect you, visit either Houghton Library, Sunderland Museum, Winter Gardens or Washington Library to view detailed maps of these new changes.

What do you think about these boundary changes? Let us know on social media @sparksunderland.

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