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Iain Duncan Smith proposes ‘exciting’ new constituency including Woodford Bridge

PUBLISHED: 10:02 18 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:11 18 October 2016

Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith wants to add Woodford Bridge to his constituency. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA

Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith wants to add Woodford Bridge to his constituency. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Iain Duncan Smith would like to represent Woodford Bridge if boundary changes are made, saying residents would be “re-united with the community of Woodford”.

St Paul's Church, in the green in Woodford Bridge. Iain Duncan Smith wants to add the area to his constituency. Photo: Arnaud StephensonSt Paul's Church, in the green in Woodford Bridge. Iain Duncan Smith wants to add the area to his constituency. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

The Chingford and Woodford Green MP was commenting on last month’s proposals by Boundary Commission, which will reduce the number of MPs from 600 to 650.

The changes ordered by the coalition government, designed to balance the number of electors in each constituency, would see Mr Duncan Smith’s seat take in the Chapel End ward from Walthamstow.

But the Tory MP has now proposed an “exciting alternative” which would see Bridge ward join his seat instead of Chapel End.

He said: “It would re-unite the community of Woodford which has been one community for over 150 years.

“There is an annual Woodford festival and strong Woodford community groups already exist.”

The former work and pensions secretary explained how there are strong transport links between Woodford Bridge and Woodford Green in his proposed constituency.

“The Woodford London Underground station serves residents of both Monkhams and Bridge wards, and the area surrounding the station is the main local shopping area, also providing local amenities like the Woodford Library,” Mr Duncan Smith continued.

“Woodbridge High School and Ray Lodge Primary School serve families from across Bridge, Monkhams and Church End wards and they already share Ashton Playing Fields, the major local authority sports facility in the area.”

Mr Duncan Smith encourage residents and community groups to make submissions in favour of this, by the December 5 deadline.

Labour MP Wes Streeting, who currently represents Bridge Ward, described the proposed changes as “gerrymandering”.

He said: “Having stuffed the House of Lords with scores of former advisors and Tory donors, the Conservatives are now trying to rig the Commons by cutting the number of elected MPs and fixing the boundaries in their favour.”

He said he would continue to oppose this “hypocrisy”.

If you would like to respond to the proposed MP boundary changes, visit bce2018.org.uk.

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