CHANGES to constituency boundaries mean that Chadwell St Mary is likely to move from Thurrock into the neighbouring South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency.
However, Tilbury, which was originally earmarked to make the move east will now remain within Thurrock.
The electoral map of England is being redrawn to reflect population shifts and the government’s aim that all Parliamentary constituencies contain roughly the same number of electors.
Under the Boundary Commission for England’s proposals, initially introduced in June last England will have 10 additional House of Commons seats overall once the changes have come into effect. Scotland loses two and Wales loses eight.
After the initial plans were published, people were invited to comment and, following a review of comments, some changes have been introduced that affect Thurrock.
The west of the borough remains unchanged, but the revisons do change the South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, currently held by Conservative Stephen Metcalfe.
The constituency will gain Chadwell. Original plans to include Vange have now been dropped but parts of benfleet will come into the constituency.
There was relatively little comment about the local changes – which appear to have done under the radar but there is still time to express a view on the latest draft.
This can be done by visiting this link.
After this final consultation has closed on 5 December, the Commission will analyse the responses and form its final recommendations. These will be submitted to Parliament by 1 July 2023.
One group that has commented locally is Thurrock Labour Party, who have put forward a suggestion that Thurrock should have two constituency’s within its boundary.
The Labour group said: “We understand that the Boundary Review seeks to balance two competing issues, the desire to equalise the size of parliamentary constituencies at a size of between 6972 and 77063 and the need to maintain the integrity of constituencies.
“The electorate for the County Borough of Thurrock is around 122,700 – so, clearly, much larger than would be acceptable for a single constituency but too small for two.
“We would argue that with an identified need for an additional 32,000 new homes within Thurrock though should be given to future proofing this growth by creating two constituencies of Thurrock East and Thurrock West rather than removing more of Thurrock Borough to South Basildon and East Thurrock makes little sense in the longer term.
“However, on the specific proposal to move Tilbury St Chads and Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park into the South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, Thurrock Labour Party considers that it makes little sense in terms of geography – the ward of Chadwell St Mary borders East Tilbury and would appear to be a better geographical fit.
“Specifically, because Tilbury has ties to Grays; the Thurrock constituency has traditionally included Thurrock’s Thames-side communities and importantly Tilbury would be completely cut off from rest of South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency as its main road link runs through Chadwell St Mary.
“Having said that, losing either Chadwell St Mary or the two Tilbury wards will be significantly detrimental to the integrity of the Thurrock constituency.”
With a general election not scheduled until 2024 it could be that the changes will be in force by the time local electorate are next asked to vote.
There are no proposed changes to local council ward boundaries.