THE Hexham parliamentary constituency is set to expand under plans that could redraw England's political map before the next general election.

Under proposals by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE), the villages of Callerton and Throckley in Newcastle, as well as parts of Ponteland and Longhorsley, could become part of the consistency.

The latest proposals for constituency boundaries throughout the country were published this week, but for the Hexham seat, the plans remain unchanged from those unveiled in summer last year.

The 2023 Boundary Review aims to rebalance the number of electors each MP represents, resulting in a significant change to the existing constituency map.

As part of the review, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.

However, the plans could see Parliamentary seats in the North East cut from 29 to 27.

By law, every constituency proposed must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 Parliamentary electors.

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A new, month-long consultation has now been launched to give the public a final say on the proposals, before they are submitted to Parliament by July 2023.

The changes could be enacted by the time of the next general election, which must be held before January 2025.

The plans have been welcomed by current Hexham MP Guy Opperman.

He said: "This review is about making sure every constituency has roughly the same number of voters. The Hexham constituency is currently significantly smaller than other constituencies and therefore, must expand in size.

"Whilst the ideal solution would be for the Hexham constituency to remain unchanged, this is clearly not possible.

"I support the sensible additions of Callerton, Throckley, Longhorsley and parts of Ponteland to our constituency and I urge everyone to back these proposals."

Hexham Courant: Hexham MP Guy OppermanHexham MP Guy Opperman (Image: NQ)

Penny Grennan, who stood as the Labour parliamentary candidate for the Hexham constituency in 2019, said: "I agree with the principles of the boundary assessments because all constituencies should have the equivalent number of voters in it. From a democratic point of view, I think that's really important.

"It is a challenge for the Hexham constituency because it's so sparsely populated and the area in the constituency will expand. But I think it's one that's important we face."

"It could well provide a shake-up to our political landscape because of the area that it's taking in, which I would welcome," added Ms Grennan. 

Hexham Courant: Penny Grennan stood as the Labour parliamentary candidate in the 2019 general electionPenny Grennan stood as the Labour parliamentary candidate in the 2019 general election (Image: Hexham Courant)

The Hexham town councillor said she is planning on putting her name forward to again be Labour's candidate in the next general election.

The final stage of the consultation on the map of the constituency proposals will close on Monday, December 5.

To view and comment on the plans, click here.

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