Sunderland community hits out at 'nameless bureaucrat with a spreadsheet' over constituency boundary proposals
Campaigners who led calls to stop part of Sunderland being moved into a neighbouring MP’s area are mounting a fresh challenge after the proposals were mooted yet again.
During 2016 and 2017, the Boundary Commission for England drew up plans which would have seen a host of changes made to the political map of Wearside but were scaled back following calls from residents and the city’s MPs.
Now a fresh review, which could come into force in 2023, suggests changes which include a section of south Sunderland moving into the Easington area, which would become known as Seaham and Peterlee.
Doxford Says No, which battled and won a fight against the idea last time, says the new review could reverse that decision, calling the announcement a “bombshell” on its Facebook page.
The commission says it is carrying out the review to ensure the number of voters in each area is balanced.
Christine Marshall, of the group, said it was “clear that it is a bad move for the residents, Doxford and for Sunderland.”
She added: "Most of Doxford is relatively new with no doctors’ surgery, no dentist, no sports facilities and no parish church, all of these facilities are in Silksworth, Ryhope or St Chad’s.
"We need a Sunderland MP who can balance the people of Doxford's need for these services with those of our neighbours in the rest of the city.
"Similarly our public transport links are Sunderland focused with no direct route from residential areas to Seaham, Easington or even Houghton.”
She added the area is vital for Sunderland, being home to a business park and most of the South Sunderland growth area, where new homes will be developed, with existing new homes missing from the commission’s map and would also see the Ryhope area split into two constituencies.
She added: “We cannot allow some nameless bureaucrat with a spreadsheet, map and marker pen to needlessly create an administrative mess.
"With a relatively small amount of re-jigging it is possible to move create more sensible boundaries and move Doxford back into a city constituency where it belongs.”
Residents officer their views up until Sunday, August 2, via http://www.bcereviews.org.uk/ and find out more through the Doxford Says No and Doxford Residents Facebook page.