Havering Council looking to create four new wards and two new council seats in latest ward boundary proposals

The current ward boundaries that make up Havering. Picture: LGBCE

The current ward boundaries that make up Havering. Picture: LGBCE - Credit: Archant

Havering Council has drawn up its plans for the future political map of the borough – including the creation of four new wards and two new councillor positions.

Since December 17 last year, the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has been asking residents for their help drawing up a new set of council wards across Havering.

This consultation, which ends at midnight tonight (Monday, March 2) is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the borough.

In drawing up new boundaries, the commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters.

The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Havering.

In its first submissions to the LGBCE, Havering Council recommended keeping the number of councillors at 54, but has now revised its opinion and will recommend increasing the number of councillors to 56.

The new proposals drawn up by the council would also see the creation of four new wards, seeing the number of wards across the borough rise from 18 to 22.

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A new Collier Row ward would be created, centred around Collier Row Lane and the western end of Collier Row Road including most of the high street there. This is essentially formed of the northern half of the current Mawneys ward and a small southern section of the current Havering Park ward.

This ward would be served by three councillors.

The second newly created ward under Havering Council's proposals would be Beam Park in the south west of the borough, centred almost entirely on the current Orchard Estate and the currently-under construction estate for which the ward would be named.

The ward, which the local authority suggests would be represented by two councillors, would be carved out of the south of the current South Hornchurch ward.

Thirdly, and again in the south of the borough, an area between Rainham and Wennington and Upminster - including Damyns Hall Aerodrome and Rainham Cemetery - would be made the single-councillor Berwick Pond constituency.

The final newly created ward would be dubbed Harrow Lodge and would, you guessed it, cover Harrow Lodge Park and the residential area between it and Roneo Corner south of Hornchurch Road.

Harrow Lodge would also be represented by two councillors at Town Hall.

There are a number of other changes that could take place.

The current Romford Town ward would cease to exist, parts of it nearest Hornchurch subsumed by Hylands ward and the rest of it becoming a Gidea Park ward which would also include some of what is currently Squirrels Heath.

In a report presenting these proposed changed to council members, a Havering Council officer writes: "In attempting to devise new warding arrangements, the council has sought to create wards which reflect the communities that residents would associate with.

"Warding arrangements were then developed to reflect community identities within those regions and which also delivered coherent patterns for effective local government.

"As such, there has not been rigid observance in maintaining the three distinct regions with flexibility applied where required to ensure compliance and adherence to the statutory criteria which the Boundary Commission follows when determining warding patterns.

"Underpinning the Council's approach has been a commitment to ensure that the average ratio of electors per councillor should not exceed a 10pc variance."

If agreed by councllors at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday, March 4, Havering Council's proposals will be submitted to the LGBCE.

The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in June 2020 and open a further phase of consultation with Havering residents.

New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2022 council elections.

Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.