BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2008, 00:03 GMT
TV poll backs Berwick border move
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick has changed hands between the two nations at least 13 times
Residents in the Northumberland town of Berwick-upon-Tweed have "voted" in favour of becoming part of Scotland.

According to a poll by a TV company, 60% of those who responded wanted the town to be administered by Scotland.

Better financed public services, including free personal health care for the elderly, were the main reasons.

The referendum, for Monday's ITV1 Tonight programme, saw 1,182 voters in favour of becoming part of Scotland and 775 in favour of staying in England.

Earlier this month politicians in the town vowed to block any move to take Berwick back into Scotland.

I'm not saying that the Scots should not get what they get, but that we should get the same
Pro-England supporter Barbara Herdman

The hard-line stance came after Scottish National Party MSP Christine Grahame lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the town to "return to the fold".

But the town's Lib Dem MP and council leader warned it would be too complicated and cause major upheaval.

Organisers of the TV programme said the poll turnout of 1,957 votes compared to some 3,800 in the last local elections.

Former policeman Michael Ross, from Berwick, who headed the pro-Scotland campaign for votes, said: "Berwick is a very special place and I think it is largely forgotten within England.

"I believe we would be the jewel in the crown of Scotland, I believe our economy would be better understood and better looked after by the Edinburgh government than it is by Westminster."

'Grass is greener'

Former school teacher Barbara Herdman campaigned in the town for a pro-English vote and for a change in how public spending is allocated across the UK.

She said: "I think that Berwick should stay part of England because it's so unfair what is happening at the moment.

"The Scots are getting more money than we are. I'm not saying that the Scots should not get what they get, but that we should get the same."

Last week Isabel Hunter, leader of the borough council, said residents would like to enjoy the same benefits as people in Scotland, but added: "You can always say the grass is greener but I think it would just be too difficult."

A similar poll carried out by the local newspaper revealed 79% of people in the area backed reunification with Scotland.

The town has changed hands between the two nations at least 13 times.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Berwick people on which country they want to be in



SEE ALSO
Town leaders oppose Berwick move
12 Feb 08 |  England
'Return to fold' call for Berwick
10 Feb 08 |  South of Scotland
Scots offer Berwick 'ransom'
15 Apr 02 |  Scotland

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific