Controversial Wimbledon Boundary Changes Attract Hundreds Of Comments

A second chance to give your views on Parliamentary shake-up

Controversial plans to split up the Wimbledon Parliamentary constituency received more than 500 comments during a nationwide consultation process.

The planned shake-up of MPs' constituencies is to reduce the number of UK seats from 650 to 600 recommended two new constituencies for the Wimbledon area.

As part of the consultation process, the Boundary Commission for England accepted comments for 12 weeks at the end of last year.

Now it has published all 18,753 comments received from across the country - including 513 relating to the Wimbledon constituency, a not insignificant 2.7% of all the submissions.

The Boundary Commission for England has proposed a new Merton and Wimbledon Central constituency (see map below) which will cover the Merton council wards of Abbey, Cannon Hill, Colliers Wood, Cricket Green, Dundonald, Hillside, Lavender Fields, Ravensbury, Raynes Park, Trinity and West Barnes.

Most of those wards are now covered by two constituencies - Wimbledon, represented by Tory Stephen Hammond, and Mitcham & Morden, represented by Labour's Siobhain McDonagh.

Elsewhere in the area, a Wimbledon Common and Putney constituency has been proposed. This will take in the Wimbledon Park and Village wards.

Other wards in the east of the borough will be in constituencies covering Streatham & Mitcham, Sutton & Cheam, or Tooting. It means five MPs covering Merton, rather than the current two.

It's part of a plan to reduce the number of constituencies in England from 533 to 501, with each having an electorate no smaller than 71,031 and no bigger than 78,507. The number of constituencies in London must be reduced from 73 to 68.

The Boundary Commission's website also reveals there were 181 comments relating to the current Mitcham & Morden constituency, and 137 for Putney.

It is now inviting comments to the submissions, as well as responses to any counter proposals which have been submmitted. There is a March 27 deadline to make a response.

Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: "Public input is invaluable throughout the 2018 Boundary Review. Comments made during both consultations will help us develop a well-rounded picture of how local communities live and work together across the country. This local knowledge will be essential when we revise our proposals. Any changes will be based on your comments so it’s important to have your say."

Following the second consultation, the BCE’s assistant commissioners will look through all comments received during both consultations, considering all the evidence submitted. They will then advise the Commission on where they think the proposals should be revised.

Revised proposals will be published as part of a final consultation in late 2017/early 2018 and any further changes made based on comments received. BCE must report to Parliament with its final recommendation in September 2018. If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.

Mr Hammond, who has already critcised the proposals for "ripping Merton apart", said: "It is vital that we use this opportunity to once again show the opposition in our community against these proposals which would alter Wimbledon. Even if you responded to the last consultation, it will greatly strengthen our position if residents and groups respond to this consultation to support comments."

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Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond