Ilford South MP Mike Gapes reveals alternative boundary change plan
- Credit: Archant
Veteran Ilford South MP Mike Gapes has put forward plans for an alternative boundary change that would prevent his historic seat disappearing entirely.
Speaking at a meeting of the Boundary Commission at Havering Town Hall this morning, the Labour MP criticised their proposed boundary changes that would see his constituency dissolved, calling the move “illogical and unacceptable”.
The MP, who has represented Ilford South for a quarter of a century, told the Boundary Commission he was worried about the “brutal impact” the currently proposed changes would have.
“The relationship I have worked to build with the fantastic, diverse and dynamic Ilford South communities over 25 years will be cast asunder with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” he said.
Under the proposed changes, which were unveiled in September, Ilford South would be split across four different boroughs.
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Two wards in Goodmayes would go into the Barking constituency, three wards would be moved to Wes Streeting’s Ilford North seat and Cranbrook and Valentines transferred to Leytonstone and Wanstead.
The area around Ilford Lane would become part of a new constituency of Forest Gate and Loxford.
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“I am extremely disappointed at the destruction of the historic Ilford South,” Mr Gapes told the Boundary Commission. “However I recognise that some change is inevitable.
“I would prefer to keep all of the existing Ilford South together but I recognise that this is not possible.”
Instead, Mr Gapes recommended the four historic Ilford wards of Clementswood, Loxford, Cranbrook and Valentines be combined with Newbury, Snaresbrook, Wanstead and Little Ilford and Manor Park from Newham to create a new Ilford South and Wanstead seat.
He argued this would reinforce historic links between Little Ilford and Greater Ilford.
“The new proposed Ilford South would ensure that all Ilford Town centre wards are all in the same constituency,” he concluded.
“It also ensures limited change to the existing Ilford North and that the name of Ilford South continues to exist as a parliamentary constituency as it has since 1945.
“Most importantly Ilford retains two constituencies, Ilford North and Ilford South and Wanstead, and I will not be the last Member of Parliament for Ilford South.”
The Boundary Commission’s current proposals are now out for consultation, with a final Parliamentary vote on the plans due in 2018.