Boundary changes to benefit Tories'
PUBLISHED: 16:29 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 12 August 2010
A TOWN S constituency boundaries will change in time for the next general election, making it an even safer Tory seat . The Beckenham constituency boundaries will change with effect from the next general election, expected in May next year. However
A TOWN'S constituency boundaries will change in time for the next general election, making it an "even safer Tory seat".
The Beckenham constituency boundaries will change with effect from the next general election, expected in May next year.
However these changes are only expected to make the borough of Bromley even more Tory as the poorer parts of the Beckenham constituency are taken out.
Boundary changes will mean electors in Bromley Common and Keston and Hayes and Coney Hall wards will join Beckenham.
While residents in Clock House, Penge and Cator and Crystal Palace wards will leave Beckenham and join the new constituency of Lewisham West and Penge.
This leaves the wards of Bromley Common and Keston, Copers Cope, Hayes and Coney Hall, Kelsey and Eden Park, Shortlands and West Wickham as part of the new constituency.
Leader of the Labour Party on Bromley council John Getgood said whoever took over from current Beckenham MP Jacqui Lait would be "a very lucky person".
But he welcomed the changes as the creation of the new constituency, which will be in Lewisham and Bromley, means there is a chance for the first time, for Bromley to have a Labour MP. Mr Getgood said: "The big thing for us is that it means for the first time residents in the North West of the borough including Penge, Anerley and Crystal Palace, have a real opportunity to have a Labour MP.
"And for the first time the whole borough of Bromley now has the opportunity to have a Labour person shouting for them in parliament."
Currently all three of Bromley's MPs are Conservative whilst all three of its poorer neighbour's MPs are Labour.
Orpington's Conservative MP John Horam, like his Beckenham counterpart Jacqui Lait, has announced he will be retiring at the next general election.
Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill was re-selected this year as the Tory candidate for his current seat and is also has the post of Shadow Local Government Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
In January, he also took over from Jacqui Lait's post as Shadow Planning minister after she stood down from the front bench.
A spokespers on for the Boundary Commission said that the new changes are being brought in to even out the numbers of residents in each constituency which should be approximately 70,000.
When workers carried out its national survey between February 2000 and October 2006, they found that all of Lewisham's three wards were significantly below the average whilst neighbouring Bromley's three were above.
The new wards of Shortlands, Hayes and Coney Hall, were also created by Bromley council in 2002, resulting in them being divided by two parliamentary constituencies.
Cray Valley West ward will also move from Orpington constituency to Bromley and Chislehurst.