Main Newcastle parties oppose dividing Jesmond

Labour and the Lib Dems, Newcastle’s two most prominent parties, have objected to plans which would split Jesmond into two separate parliamentary constituencies.

Fern Avenue in Jesmond, where the proposed constituency boundary would fall

The proposals came out last year as part of a review by the Boundary Commission for England, intended by the coalition government to equalise the size of constituencies and reduce the overall number in England from 533 to 502.

As part of the suggested changes to the Newcastle area, the North Jesmond ward would become part of a reformed Newcastle Central, while South Jesmond would join Ouseburn and others as part of a newly created Newcastle South.

The plans were consulted on last year and the responses are now available on the Boundary Commission’s website.

Labour’s Nick Brown, MP for Newcastle East, which currently contains the whole of the Jesmond area, said he wanted to keep his entire constituency together, with the addition of Wallsend.

He went on to say: “My views are supported by my own constituency party, they’re supported by Newcastle Central constituency party…and all five MPs for the area.”

Under Lib Dem proposals, the two wards would be kept together in a newly formed Newcastle North. Their representative, Lord Shipley, said: “The Commission proposals place North Jesmond and South Jesmond in two different constituencies, and this makes no sense, because they are one place.”

The Conservatives, meanwhile, support the splitting of Jesmond.

Residents have until 3rd April to respond to the views that have been made public and can do so via the Boundary Commission website. The commission will then decide on any alterations it wishes to make and publish them later in the year.

The plans may undergo another consultation, before being finalised in 2013.