Wednesday, 5 October 2016

My alternative proposals: Essex

Essex is the only county in the East Anglia region that must lose a seat, and revert to its 1997-2010 entitlement of 17 seats (which worked rather well; many of the current 18 seats in Essex have significant local transport issues in terms of getting from place to place).

The initial Boundary Commission proposals in Essex have been largely hit-and-miss, mostly 'miss' in the central and southern parts of Essex (Canvey Island, Chelmsford, Maldon, Southend-on-Sea etc.). I believe there is no longer any point in keeping 'Brentwood & Ongar' even though it is in quota, since the rail links from Brentwood lead via Shenfield to Chelmsford, not to Ongar, which no longer has a regular railway station in any case. Even before its closure, trains from Ongar went via Epping and Loughton (and on the heritage railway, only travel between Ongar and Epping), not Brentwood, and the same applies for key roads leading out of that area. Whenever possible, it is generally best to keep Essex constituencies within their local authorities as best as is possible, and therefore eliminate orphan wards to the extent allowed by the BCE's parameters.

I agree with the proposal to abolish the constituency of Witham, on the grounds of it not only being under quota but also for poor connections between some of its rural areas; for example, the Teys (Marks Tey and Great Tey) are much better linked with Colchester. I do not believe keeping Basildon (North) & Billericay is a good idea because splitting the town of Basildon is not useful for community cohesion purposes, and Billericay has considerably better links with Wickford. Also, Jaywick (Golf Green ward) should be placed with Harwich & Clacton, to which it is closely linked, not 'North East Essex' (really North Essex, as it was from 1997 to 2010).

In these proposals of mine:

Witham is abolished, with the actual town of Witham going into Maldon & Witham.
Billericay & Wickford succeeds Basildon & Billericay.
Basildon & Stanford-le-Hope succeeds Basildon South & Thurrock East (Stanford-le-Hope is the largest town in the small area of 'Thurrock East')
Grays Thurrock has the same boundaries as the current Thurrock constituency; the name has been changed to reflect the fact it does not contain the entire Thurrock council area and the fact that Thurrock is not a town but rather an alternative name for Grays.
Brentwood succeeds Brentwood & Ongar.
Canvey Island & Benfleet succeeds Castle Point and now contains North Benfleet as well as South Benfleet.
Maldon & Witham succeeds Maldon.
Rayleigh succeeds Rayleigh & Wickford.
Harlow & Epping succeeds Harlow.
Loughton succeeds Epping Forest.
Harwich & Clacton succeeds Clacton.
North Essex succeeds Harwich & North Essex, without the actual town of Harwich; the north-east compass point of Essex is covered by Harwich & Clacton hence why I have not adopted the name North East Essex in these proposals.

Next in this series: Cambridgeshire & Norfolk.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting taking Epping back in with Harlow, pre 1974 they were together, leaving Loughton as the largest town in the Forest area, which it is even now but having Epping Forest without Epping would be strange.