Labour Members Oppose Wimbledon Boundary Changes

Another stern message to Boundary Commission

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Labour party members in Wimbledon have been campaigning against controversial boundary change proposals for the town.

At a recent all-member meeting in October, the local Labour Party passed an unopposed resolution to protest against the Boundary Commission's proposals on behalf of their 500 members.

The proposals would see Abbey and Trinity wards, which cover much of Wimbledon town centre, moving into a new Mitcham seat.

Meanwhile much of the rest of the existing Wimbledon constituency go into a seat which would also cover five New Malden wards. Finally, the Wimbledon Park ward would move to Putney.

In its letter to the Boundary Commmission, the local Labour Party said of the proposals: "If enacted, this would mean that Wimbledon Station, Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon Police Station, Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Park Station, South Wimbledon Station, Wimbledon Leisure Centre, Wimbledon Fire Station, Wimbledon Cemetery and Wimbledon Stadium will no longer be in the Wimbledon constituency.

"Abbey and Trinity wards both stretch into central Wimbledon and have few natural ties with Mitcham. Wimbledon Park also stretches into the town centre and forms an integral part of the community.

"Wimbledon Station is a hub for the whole of the Wimbledon community, including these three wards – yet under the proposals it will sit at the periphery of Mitcham constituency and have significant numbers of people using it from both Putney and Wimbledon and New Malden constituencies.

"This is a recipe for confusion for ordinary people, MPs and council representatives alike, with overlapping and arbitrary areas of responsibility that make little sense.

"Wimbledon Labour Party blames this unsatisfactory state of affairs on the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government, for instructing The Boundary Commission to ignore community ties in drawing up new constituencies. This means the whole process is fundamentally flawed from a democratic and practical point of view.

"If such an unnecessary redrawing of boundaries is to take place though, it would be preferable to take full account of the natural village communities of which London is made up, with their town centres and transport infrastructure. Wimbledon is the perfect example of such a natural community. It deserves a constituency of its own rather than being at the periphery of three."

A petition set up to oppose the boundary changes involving the two wards already has nearly 800 signatures. Its supporters are calling on people to sign the petition before the end of the commission's consultation period on Monday December 5.

The website also includes a 'sample letter' those opposed to the proposals can use to send their views to the Boundary Commission.

Wimbledon's Conservative MP Stephen Hammond has also told the Boundary Commission he said is "extremely disappointed to see the break-up of the current Wimbledon constituency".

  • The Boundary Commission for England reviews Parliamentary constituency boundaries every five years.
  • In this review they were taking account of new rules that every constituency in England (except two covering the Isle of Wight) must have an electorate of between 72,810 and 80,473 - that is 5% either side of the electoral quota of 76,641. The new constituencies are likely to be the ones used for the next election which is currently expected to be in 2015.
  • They are consulting on their initial proposals for a 12-week period, ending on December 5. They are encouraging everyone to contribute to the design of the new constituencies.
  • The consultation site contains reports and maps, the electorate sizes of every ward and an online facility where you can have your say on the initial proposals. You can also write directly to: Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ. Or email london@bcommengland.x.gsi.gov.uk.

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November 21, 2011