RESIDENTS in the Halstead area could be in line for a political shake-up after plans were unveiled to change the area’s borders.

Currently, the town of Halstead and surrounding villages such as Earls Colne, Gosfield and the Hedinghams are part of the Braintree parliamentary constituency.

The current MP is Conservative James Cleverly with the Halstead area only joining the constituency during a 2010 border change under then MP Brooks Newmark.

But now a report published by independent group Boundary Commission for England has unveiled potential plans to see the Halstead area leave the Braintree consistency and form a new consistency with Haverhill.

As a result, the newly former constituency would officially become the Haverhill and Halstead County Constituency with a electorate of 70,787 people.

In the meantime, Braintree would also see changes for an electorate of 70,454.

The new Halstead constituency would reach from the Haverhill to as far south as Gosfield and the Colnes.

The proposals are at a very early stage with this being just the first report. It is expected there will then be an eight-week consultation giving the parties and residents the chance to give feedback.

If agreed, a second consultation would take place next year with the view of introducing the plans by 2023.

The plans come as part of a nationwide boundary change proposal.

It would see major changes to the parliamentary map, with England set to gain 10 additional seats at the expense of Wales, which is due to lose eight, and Scotland, which will be down two.

Of the 533 existing English constituencies, fewer than 10 per cent will remain unchanged under the proposals.

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors – a condition which it said meant that widespread change was “inevitable”.

The commission is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.

Commission secretary Tim Bowden said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of parliamentary constituencies might look like.

“But they are just the commission’s initial thoughts. We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right.”