New constituency boundary proposals have been described as “surprising and challenging”.
Doug Beattie MC the MLA for Upper Bann considers the new Boundary Commission Proposals which will see Upper Bann transformed into Upper Bann and Blackwater.
“Without a doubt the new proposed changes to the electoral boundaries brought forward by the Boundary Commission are both surprising and challenging,” said Mr Beattie.
“The new boundary scythes off most of what was Upper Bann including Banbridge, Donacloney, Gilford and Warringstown along with areas traditionally seen as Portadown. The new proposed boundary – which will be named Upper Bann and Blackwater – will push west and encompass parts of Tyrone including Dungannon, Coalisland and Caledon as well as the Armagh towns and villages of Loughgall, Moy and Blackwatertown.
“These new proposals break the very strong links between various constituency parts of North Armagh and Craigavon and the ties that have been built up over many years between individuals, elected members and the newly formed Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. It will leave many constituents confused as the political landscape which will be changed beyond recognition in this electoral area.
“Clearly the Ulster Unionist Party must consider these changes and where we feel they do not meet the needs of the people of Upper Bann then they will make representation to the commission. In the meantime I will be speaking to my fellow MLA for Upper Bann, Jo-Anne Dobson, to discuss these changes and formulate our concerns which will form part of the Ulster Unionists overall response to the Boundary Commission proposal.”