PLANS have been drawn up to revamp the parliamentary constituencies covering Colchester in a move which could boost Labour’s chances in the town.

The Boundary Commission for England has launched an eight-week consultation on proposals to revise constituencies in a bid to bring them in line by population.

The proposed changes would mean big changes in Colchester, where the new constituency would cover less area.

In a move which could benefit the Labour Party in Colchester the constituency would gain Rowhedge from Harwich and North Essex, but lose Conservative heartlands Lexden and Braiswick as well as Prettygate to the same seat.

This would appear to strengthen veteran MP Sir Bernard Jenkin’s grip on the Harwich and North Essex constituency.

Changes are also planned to the Witham constituency, currently held by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The seat would now include Mersea and Pyefleet, adding to its existing Colchester areas like Stanway and Marks Tey and Layer.

Colchester MP Will Quince lives in Prettygate which would no longer be included in the Colchester constituency if the changes are agreed.

Changes - Colchester MP Will Quince who could see key areas moved. Picture: Nikki Powell

Changes - Colchester MP Will Quince who could see key areas moved. Picture: Nikki Powell

He said: “It is disappointing the area where I live and represented as a councillor would not be in the new Colchester seat.

“We have seen this with Stanway before and people in Stanway feel attached to Colchester and they do not consider the area as part of Witham.

“At the moment it is done purely on numbers but do people in Rowhedge feel more part of Colchester than people in Prettygate and Lexden? I am not sure.

“My personal view is the best outcome would have been to go back to pre 1997 when there was Colchester North and Colchester South.

“But whatever the constituency ends up being you have to make things work.

“The thing to say is this is only an initial proposal. An eight week consultation starts now.

“I would say if you do not like what the Boundary Commission is proposing get involved in the consultation and let them know your thoughts.”

Safe? - North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin

Safe? - North Essex MP Sir Bernard Jenkin

Adam Fox, leader of Colchester Labour, said the proposals would put additional pressure on Mr Quince to hang on to his seat, which he held with 50 per cent of the vote in 2019.

He said: “If you take out Lexden and Prettygate that is a significant percentage of votes which have been going to Will Quince.

“If you add in Rowhedge and Cherrytree, which is part of Old Heath, it makes things more interesting.

“We have done some back of a cigarette packet calculations and it makes Colchester look tight.

“We would absolutely count Colchester as a target seat and it has been since the 2017 election.

“If you look at the local elections we were second to the Conservatives in many wards and I think we are the alternative now.

“Will Quince lives in Prettygate so he might have a decision to make if these changes go ahead as to whether he wants to go for a safer seat in Harwich and North Essex or whether he wants to stay representing Colchester.”

You can view and comment on the proposals at