Sunday, 5 March 2017

On the second 2018 Boundary Review consultation and revised proposals for North London

The second consultation over the 2018 Boundary Review, where comments can be viewed, reviewed, and replied to regarding the Boundary Commission's initial proposals, opened on Tuesday 28th February. It is important that you respond to this consultation and make sure that gerrymandering does not occur; note that if you disagree with an initial proposal you need to submit a counter-proposal that you believe is better, otherwise the Boundary Commission will just stick with its initial proposal for that area.

To view the comments that have already been submitted, and make further comments on this review, please visit the Boundary Commission's website via This consultation ends on 27 March 2017, so if you have something to say about this review and if your community is being moved to a new constituency, do not delay.

As expected, the Greater London area has so far had the most comments on the initial proposals, especially in North and Central London. There is a strong desire in favour of the Kensington & Chelsea proposed constituency (basically, the entire Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in one seat) given the community ties and clear natural boundaries of this seat and the borough itself, a strong desire to save Enfield Southgate from being broken up and distributed among other constituencies, objections to Finchley being linked with Southgate due to poor transport links (the North Circular Road is the only usable one and it teems with traffic most of the time), controversy over whether Hampstead should remain linked with Kilburn or not (with many pointing out that the Finchley wards are not as well connected to Hampstead as they appear on a map!), that Belmont, Canons, and Stanmore wards need to remain in the same Harrow constituency irrespective of how Harrow's two constituencies are expanded, and that Wimbledon and Mitcham & Morden constituencies should not be split it any way.

My own personal proposals for Greater London already solve the last two problems by simply adding Roehampton to Wimbledon and adding the southernmost part of Tooting to Mitcham & Morden. The others are more difficult-because of the tight parameters this review must work with, for some community ties to be kept, others will inevitably end up being broken elsewhere. A careful balance must be struck when redrawing the boundaries. Due to the limits of where Westminster's constituencies can expand (both are more than 12,000 electors below the legal minimum in this review) it will be necessary to make substantial changes to most North London constituencies (South London is not affected by a local desire to keep Kensington & Chelsea together as one constituency).

After much consideration, I agree with the fact that: the Kensington & Chelsea constituency should be approved, that Enfield Southgate should be expanded rather than destroyed as a constituency, that Finchley & Golders Green should just be expanded also, that the Barnet-Enfield border should not be crossed, that whilst the electorates of surrounding constituencies make keeping Hampstead & Kilburn intact impracticable, it is possible to avoid combining Hampstead with Golders Green, and that if Tottenham is split between constituencies (as some have proposed  and as in fact was proposed in the aborted 2013 review) it is possible to minimise disruption to Islington's constituencies, Enfield's constituencies, and give Hackney's constituencies better linkage.

My revised proposals for North London, Central London, and West London therefore look like this:

The changes from my original proposals for East London, North London, Central London, and West London are as follows:

Holborn & St Pancras is abolished.
City of London & Westminster South succeeds Cities of London & Westminster.
Camden Town & Westminster North succeeds Westminster North, and is similar to the 'Camden Town & Regent's Park' proposal of the aborted 2013 review.
Hampstead & Highgate succeeds Hampstead & Kilburn and recreates the former constituency. Within Kentish Town ward it contains polling district JA (north of the London Underground line in the ward), making its actual electorate 76,500 and Camden Town & Westminster North's actual electorate 78,415.
Kensington & Chelsea succeeds Kensington.
Islington South & Holborn succeeds Islington South & Finsbury.
Ealing East & Shepherd's Bush succeeds Ealing Central & Acton in practice and is similar to the 1997-2010 constituency of Ealing Acton & Shepherd's Bush.
Greenford & Ealing West succeeds Ealing North. Within the Ealing Broadway ward it does not contain polling districts HAA, HBA, and HES (which are east of Southfield Road), making its actual electorate 77,819 and Ealing East & Shepherd Bush's actual electorate 75,698.
Uxbridge & Northolt succeeds Uxbridge & South Ruislip; it still contains South Ruislip but in the east of the new constituency, Northolt is a stronger focal point.
Harrow-on-the-Hill succeeds Harrow West.
Kenton & Stanmore succeeds Harrow East. Within the Harrow Weald ward it does not contain polling district EGB (southwest of Uxbridge Road) making its actual electorate 77,504 and Harrow-on-the-Hill's real electorate 78,050.
Hendon & Neaseden succeeds Hendon, taking in the northeastern part of the borough of Brent.
Edmonton & Tottenham Hale succeeds Edmonton and is similar to the constituency of the same name that was proposed in the aborted 2013 review.
Stamford Hill & South Tottenham succeeds Tottenham in practice. Within Bruce Grove ward it contains polling district BR1, making its actual electorate 71,294 and Edmonton & Tottenham Hale's actual electorate 71,530.
Hackney Central succeeds Hackney North & Stoke Newington in practice. This replicates the Hackney Central of the aborted 2013 review.
Bethnal Green & Shoreditch succeeds Hackney South & Shoreditch. This replicates the Bethnal Green & Shoreditch of the aborted 2013 review.
Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner is unchanged.
Chipping Barnet is unchanged.

(My initial proposed constituencies of Stepney & Isle of Dogs, West Ham, East Ham, Bow & Canning Town, Wembley, Willesden, Feltham & Hounslow*, Brentford & Chiswick*, Hayes & Harlington*, Islington North, and Hammersmith & Fulham* are not affected by these revised proposals. Enfield Southgate is merely expanded in these proposals, as are Enfield North and Finchley & Golders Green. *Recommended in initial proposals by Boundary Commission.)

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