Metcalfe in a pickle as Orsett set to go to Brentwood in election shake-up

THURROCK is set to have three MPs after the next General Election with the news that Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon on the Hill could join the Brentwood and Ongar constituency.

The proposed changes are outlined in the Boundary Commission for Englands (BCE) report published today.The proposals could see the number of constituencies fall from 650 to 600.

The news could be a bitter blow to Basildon South and East Thurrock MP, Stephen Metcalfe, who will have a fight on his hand to retain the seat having lost a swathe of blue voters.

Mr Metcalfe won the seat last year with a majority of 5,772 however it is estimated that around 1200-1500 votes came from the Orsett area alone.

His seat will now be called Basildon and Thurrock East. Corringham and Fobbing, East Tilbury, Stanford East and Corringham Town, Stanford-le-Hope West and The Homesteads remain in the constituency.

The proposals could mean that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will become the third MP to have a constituency with voters from the Thurrock area.

The Eastern region has been allocated 56 constituencies – a reduction of two from the current arrangement.

Their proposals leave nine of the 58 existing constituencies unchanged.

The reasons for the proposed changes have been explained by the BCE.

They said: “We noted that the electorate of the existing Epping Forest constituency is too small and we propose to include the Lambourne ward of the District of Epping Forest (which has direct road links into the rest of the constituency) from the existing Brentwood and Ongar constituency.

“To compensate for this change, we propose that the existing Brentwood and Ongar constituency be extended southwards to include the Orsett ward of the Borough of Thurrock.

Thurrock remains unchanged.

The decisions are not set in stone. The BCE are consulting on their initial proposals for a 12-week period, from 13 September 2011 to 5 December 2011.

They said: “We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to contribute to the design of the new constituencies – the more public views we hear, the more informed our decisions will be when analysing all the views we receive.”

You can find more details of how to respond on their website, or you can write to them direct or email eastern@bcommengland.x.gsi.gov.uk.

You can also find details of where and when they will be holding public hearings in their area on the website.

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