Welling, Bexleyheath and Thamesmead could all be divided under new constituency plans
PUBLISHED: 11:58 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:17 30 October 2017
Two borough MPs have slammed proposals
Welling residents could be divided among three constituencies if new plans come in to place.
Currently all of the town falls into Bexleyheath and Crayford but a national shake-up could see all of the borough’s constituencies change shape.
With a consultation underway, Conservative MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, David Evennett warned: “To divide Welling into three constituencies is ridiculous as is splitting the towns of Bexleyheath and Thamesmead.”
Under plans set out by the Boundary Commission for England, Mr Evennett’s ward would become Erith and Crayford, taking in a similar area as the boundaries of Mr Evennett’s seat of the same name between 1983 and 1997.
It would reach from Crayford up to the north of the borough, covering towns such as Erith, Northumberland Heath and Abbey Wood, as well as splitting Thamesmead to take the eastern half.
Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce, who currently represents all of the towns listed above, thinks plans will never come to fruition.
The Labour MP said: “It seems unlikely that these proposals will go through with the Conservatives reliant on the DUP for a parliamentary majority, and the DUP have been clear that they do not support the proposals for Northern Ireland.
“Personally I was disappointed to see that Thamesmead is proposed to be split across two constituencies – Thamesmead is one community which faces so many challenges and I believe would be better served with one MP for the whole town.
“Nevertheless it is important that as many people as possible participate in the ongoing consultation around the proposals to ensure that our communities are appropriately represented in Parliament.”
Welling residents could be divided between a new constituency, Eltham and Welling, along with Erith and Crayford and a Bexley and Sidcup constituency, which would also include the southern half of Bexleyheath, with the boundary around Bexleyheath station.
Mr Evennett, who has represented Welling as part of Bexleyheath and Crayford since 2005, said: “I am very disappointed at the revised proposals of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Bexley, as they do not heed community interests or the views expressed by local residents.
“To not recognise the borough’s major town of Bexleyheath in the name of a constituency cannot be right.
“I very much hope the Boundary Commission will reconsider their proposals in the final stage of the review.”
A consultation, which features full details on proposals, closes on December 11 and can be found here.
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire did not respond to our approach for comment.