With the General Election imminent the boundary changes which will divide and abolish the Hornchurch constituency will come into effect in a matter of days. These changes will also mark the end of my period in office as the Member of Parliament for Hornchurch. It has been a genuine privilege to serve as the MP for Hornchurch, Elm Park Rainham and Wennington since 2005 and I've been touched by the kind and generous messages from local residents in recent weeks.
During this time there have been a number of important victories for the local community. St George's Hospital, Hornchurch which was ear-marked for closure when I took office can look forward to a secure future. Elm Park has seen a new library to enhance facilities for local residents and investment in CCTV to help improve community safety. The annual Elm Park Fiesta and Christmas Illuminations have created added focus and attention on the community.
In Rainham there have been plenty of battles to fight. Proposals to make Rainham a site for processing contaminated debris in the event of a serious terrorist incident were reversed. Plans for a moto-cross circuit at Launders Lane were rejected. The Rainham Prison proposals for the Beam Reach 5 Industrial Park were dropped after thousands of people marching through the streets of Rainham brought the area to a stand-still. And plans for a 5,000 seat ‘mega church' were refused after strong opposition at a public inquiry.
It has certainly been a busy period and I've been proud to have played a part in all of these successes. But none of this could have been achieved without the local community coming together with a ‘yes we can' spirit. With this attitude and outlook as my time in Hornchurch comes to an end, I have little doubt that the local community can look forward to a positive future.