Proposed Change of Parliamentary Constituency

The Boundary Commission has proposed as part of its current review of English constituencies that Bedale and surrounding villages should move from "Richmond and Northallerton" to "Thirsk and Malton". A map of the proposed constituency is here.

Bedale Town Council strongly objects to this idea on several grounds:

  • Our proud status as "gateway to the Northern Dales";
  • Our historic and current links with Northallerton;
  • The lack of cultural or geographical links to the Moors, let alone the coast - we would be sharing a constituency with Filey!;
  • The absurdity of creating a constituency which takes more than two hours to drive across.

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposals should use this form, or write to Boundary Commission review, 35 Great Smith Street, LONDON SW1P 3BQ. The deadline is Monday 5th December.

For information, Bedale Town Council's submission as as below:

Bedale Town Council is strongly opposed to the proposal to move Bedale town and its surrounding villages from the constituency of Richmond and Northallerton to that of Thirsk and Malton.

Bedale is west of the A1(M) and is well-known as the gateway to the northern Yorkshire Dales, whereas Thirsk and Malton is a Moors and even coastal area. The seaside town of Filey, with which Bedale is proposed to share a constituency, is 70 miles and two hours’ drive away. For comparison, the Lake District and Peak District national parks are the same distance, and central Newcastle considerably nearer. 

Bedale and Northallerton have very close links, both historically and more recently as Hambleton district market towns, and with Bedale residents regularly visiting Northallerton for shopping and social trips and to use the Friarage Hospital. It would be a shame to break this link in parliamentary terms so unnecessarily. Looking at the proposed Thirsk and Malton map, Bedale and surrounds appear as an afterthought at the far end of a constituency which otherwise makes sense, while the same area takes a bite out of the also otherwise sensible Richmond and Northallerton map.

As noted above, Bedale is proudly a Dales town, and has far more in common geographically and psychologically with communities further up the dales such as Leyburn and Hawes than we do with Malton and the east coast. The Town Council suggests it would make much more sense for the area west of the A1(M) currently within Thirsk and Malton to rejoin Richmond and Northallerton; if a ‘swap’ is needed for population equilibrium, then the part of Richmond and Northallerton east of the A172 could join Thirsk and Malton; this would also have the benefit that the North York Moors National Park would only be split between two constituencies rather than three.

Published: 17/11/2022 Published by: Nick Reed

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