Residents in County Durham are being encouraged to give their views on proposals to change parliamentary constituency boundaries.
The 2023 Review of Parliamentary constituencies was formally launched in 2021 by the Boundary Commission for England.
The commission, an independent and impartial non-departmental public body, is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency across the UK is ‘more equal’.
In doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.
The commission is currently undertaking an independent review of all constituency boundaries in England and will present final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.
The rules that the commission work to are such that wide scale change is inevitable.
Any changes will not affect local council services, with the boundary changes relating only to parliamentary constituencies, which is the area an MP is elected to represent in Parliament.
Local knowledge is needed to help reshape the map of constituencies. As part of a second consultation following one which was carried out last year, members of the public are encouraged to visit www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and also provide feedback. Views must be submitted before Monday 4 April 2022.
People can provide feedback on anything from where the proposed boundaries are, to the commission’s suggestions for new constituency names.
The commission has published over 34,000 responses received from its first consultation and following the conclusion of all consultation periods, it will look at all the evidence received and form its final recommendations.
A total of 32 public hearings will also be held across the country, at which people can tell the commission their views in person as part of a ten-minute speaking slot.
Hearings in the North-East will take place at Newcastle Civic Centre on Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29; and at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1. Places to attend or to speak at the events can be booked at www.bcereviews.org.uk
If the commission’s proposals change, the organisation will hold a further four-week written consultation on revised proposals inviting the public to give its views. There will be no public hearings at this stage.
Those comments will be published along with a final report, which will be sent to Parliament by July 2023 and subsequently made into law.
For further information and to provide views for the consultation go to www.bcereviews.org.uk.