2 December 2011
The Hon Mr Justice Sales
Boundary Commission for England
35 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BQ
I am writing in support of the proposals put forward by Nick Brown to reconfigure the five parliamentary seats contained within Newcastle and North Tyneside. I was not able to attend the Boundary Commission hearings held in Newcastle on 14th and 15th but I understand proposals were made by the Liberal Democrats to put their target wards in the same constituency. I am sure I need not highlight to you how politically driven that is.
Nick Brown’s proposals do not deliver any party advantage, but they do advantage the people of Newcastle Central:
- They leave much of the existing constituency untouched – which is clearly to the advantage of constituents, many of whom are just beginning to come to terms with the last set of boundary changes.
- They leave the centre of Newcastle in Newcastle Central which has both aesthetic and practical benefits.
- They bring in Fawdon ward, which has clear links with Kenton Ward. Hillsview Avenue, which is where I grew up, runs through Kenton and Fawdon as does the number 10 bus service. Many who live in Fawdon will have attended Kenton School, as I did myself. Some will attend Kenton Bar or Mountfield primary schools, both in Kenton. Many in Fawdon who do not have cars will shop at the shops on Kirkwood Drive, again in Kenton.
- The second ward brought into Newcastle Central is Gosforth East which has clear and very strong links with Gosforth West and indeed Gosforth High Street, the current boundary, is more of a hub for the whole of Gosforth than a barrier in any real sense. Many children in Gosforth West will attend Gosforth High school in Gosforth East. Gosforth East and West share transport links in terms of both buses and metro. Community centres such as Trinity Church in Gosforth West, are used by people from Gosforth East and West alike, as is the Sainsbury’s in Gosforth East.
Nick Brown’s proposals reflect and maintain existing community links to a greater extent than the initial Boundary Commission proposals without impacting constituencies outside the Newcastle/North Tyneside area. I therefore hope you will give them your most serious consideration.
All the best
Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central