A third chance to give your views on Parliamentary shake-up
The Wimbledon Parliamentary constituency is largely being spared in controversial proposals to shake-up MPs' constituencies across the country.
Proposed new constituency boundaries published today (October 17) not only retain the current Wimbledon constituency, but slightly expand it.
The initial proposals by the Boundary Commission for England had originally proposed a new Merton and Wimbledon Central constituency and a new Wimbledon Common and Putney seat.
The plans would have divided Wimbledon and received criticism from many local politicians, including sitting Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond. The nationwide consultation process about the proposals received 819 comments about Wimbledon - a not insignificant 3% of the total 26,545 comments.
An example of the comments included Jacqueline Wood (BCE-27348) who said: "It seems totally crazy and bizarre to split Wimbledon in this way. I have lived in Wimbledon Village all my adult life, but I walk daily to the station, shop in the centre and the supermarkets down the hill. It’s ALL Wimbledon. I would hate the village to be separated from the life down the hill. I have very little knowledge of Putney. The Common and the A3 make a strong barrier between the two areas."
The latest plan is part of proposals 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.
It adds Colliers Wood and Roehampton & Putney Heath into a new Wimbledon constituency, with a combined Mitcham and Norbury seat to the East and a new Wandsworth and Putney seat to the North. See map below:
The decision to put Roehampton & Putney Heath into the Wimbledon constituency was proposed by the Liberal Democrat Party.
The assistant commissioners visited the area and reported that they "visited the Roehampton & Putney Heath and Village wards and travelled into the centre of Wimbledon. In their view, they considered that both Village and Wimbledon Park wards were an integral part of the Wimbledon constituency. They also noted that the open space of Wimbledon Common was used by residents in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth, on both sides of the common, and that the Roehampton and Putney Heath ward in particular had links to the common and the Village ward and that it would be desirable to also include the Roehampton and Putney Heath ward in a Wimbledon constituency".
Stephen Hammond MP said: "I am delighted to say that the Boundary Commission have listened to the many Wimbledon residents who objected to their plans to cut our community in two, by keeping Wimbledon together in their latest proposals.
This was a spectacular effort from the people of Wimbledon who made it very clear for the second time how cohesive our community is. The strength of our submissions led to the Boundary Commission actually visiting Wimbledon and concluding that Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Village are integral parts of the community."
The Boundary Commission for England is now taking comments on the new proposals until December 11, with a final version due to be voted on in Parliament in September 2018, ready to be used at the next scheduled General Election in 2022. You can submit comments on the BCE 2018 website.
There are doubts the proposals will get the go-ahead from Parliament, however, as Prime Minister Theresa May would be reliant on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party to get the vote passed. They opposed the last boundary review in 2013, and a number of Conservatives are also thought to have reservations about the planned changes.
Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: "We're delighted with the huge number of comments on our initial proposals that we've received from members of the public, many of which contain valuable evidence about people's local communities. Based on what people have said to us, we have revised more than half of our initial proposals.
"The new map of the country we publish today is, we think, close to the best set of Parliamentary constituencies we can achieve, based on the rules to which we work and the evidence given to us by local citizens. But we still want people to tell us what they think of this latest map before we make our final recommendations to Parliament next year. It's so important to have your say in this fundamental democratic exercise."
The proposed Wimbledon electorate is made up of the following wards (with their electorate figures):
|Roehampton and Putney Heath||8,269|
At the last election, Conservative MP Mr Hammond secured 23,946 votes to win the seat with a 5,622 majority.
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