The Witham constituency was created prior to the 2010 General Election, following a review of parliamentary representation in Essex. It contains areas represented by three local authorities: Braintree, Colchester and Maldon, and is represented at county-level by Essex County Council.
The constituency elected Priti Patel as its first Member of Parliament at the 2010 General Election, with a majority of 15,196. Priti Patel was subsequently re-elected at the 2015 General Election with an increased majority of 19,544.
The Witham constituency contains the following electoral wards:
Represented by Braintree District Council:
Black Notley & Terling, Bradwell, Silver End & Rivenhall, Coggeshall & North Feering, Hatfield Peverel, Kelvedon, Witham Chipping Hill & Central, Witham North, Witham South, Witham West
Represented by Colchester Borough Council:
Birch & Winstree, Copford & West Stanway, Marks Tey, Stanway, Tiptree
Represented by Maldon District Council:
Great Totham, Tollesbury, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Wickham Bishops & Woodham
The town of Witham is the urban centre of the constituency and is on the Great Eastern main line railway between London and Norwich. This industrial part of the constituency is a predominantly Georgian town with history dating back to the time of King Alfred. It enjoyed notoriety for its contribution to the clothing manufacture industry and is located between Colchester and Chelmsford. Witham contains many 16th Century buildings and its current town hall was formerly the George Coaching Inn, which had a history of over 500 years. Witham’s history could be said to stretch further to 2000 years, with traces of Saxon settlement at Chipping Hill.
The constituency also covers a significant amount of rural central Essex, with commuter villages and farming communities, running from Maldon to the South to Colchester to the west and almost up to Braintree in the North. It contains Tiptree, famous for jam-making and Coggeshall, an early industrial centre for silk. It also contains the fishing village of Tollesbury, famous for its oysters. Life expectancy in the constituency is above the national average and unemployment below the national average. It has a higher than average achievement for students leaving school and is home to a number of small businesses.
The boundaries of the Witham constituency