Back-to-the-future as three MPs’ seats planned in shake-up

All change! This could be the future political landscape of Newham at the next general election – a return to three MPs as our Parliamentary voice, �instead of two.

The back-to-the-future scenario has emerged under radical changes to the electoral boundaries proposed by a government �commission.

The shake-up, if approved, will see for general election purposes only, an expanded Newham of three constituencies: Stratford, East Ham and West Ham and Royal Docks.

Stratford, it is suggested, will include the borough wards of Stratford New Town, Green Street West and East, Forest Gate North and South and will grab from Waltham Forest the areas of Leyton, Grove Green, Cathall and Cann Hall.

The redrawn East Ham constituency will include the current wards of Manor Park, Little �Ilford, Wall End with East Ham North, South and Central and swallow up Loxford and �Clementswood from Havering.

West Ham and Royal Docks will be made up of the wards of West Ham, Canning Town North, Plaistow North and South, �Boleyn, Custom House, Beckton and the Royal Docks.

It was only last year that for the first time voters had only two �areas – East Ham and West Ham – to contend with following changes made by the Boundary �Commission that saw an end to Newham enjoying a three MP �status, albeit one shared with Tower Hamlets.

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Now it could change again to meet Government demands for a reduced membership of Parliament from 650 to 600, saving taxpayers �12m a year.

The plans are up for public consultation until December 5.

But they look likely to be out of date by the time of the general election in 2013. By than there will be at least 4,000 new households as the Olympic Village is filled. Newham Council is driving the regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House and the Royal Docks areas. East Ham MP Steve Timms agreed. “It is something that adds to the melting pot.”

He said: “Changing the shape of constituencies will be a cause of concern to residents. It makes a nonsense of the Government’s talk of the Big Society and their views of communities.”

Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, said: “There’s a long way to go in the consultation period.”