Why 700 for Walthamstow

The Boundary Commission is reviewing the boundaries of Westminster parliamentary constituencies, following legislation to reduce their number, and make them more equal in size. It will report in 2018. In 2011, in a similar review, its first proposals included a Walthamstow constituency, but a second set of proposals eliminated it. Walthamstow people, appalled, set out to get 700 written responses to the Commission. In all around 1000 were sent, although the whole process was halted late in 2012 when parliament voted to discontinue it.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

What effect does the 'snap' general election have?

On June 19th the Boundary Commission issued the following statement - the day after the prime minister's official announcement:

"Today Parliament agreed to the Prime Minister’s motion to hold a General Election on 8 June 2017. This election will be held on the current Parliamentary boundaries, and will elect 650 MPs across the UK.
The work of the Boundary Commission for England (and of the Commissions for the three other parts of the UK) is set out in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and is not affected directly by the holding of a General Election during a review. We have recently completed the second consultation of the 2018 Boundary Review and will be spending time over the summer analysing the 25,000 public comments that we have received on them. If we decide to revise our proposals, we will publish the revised constituencies and consult on them, probably towards the end of 2017. The Parliamentary Constituencies Act requires us to report our recommendations to Parliament in September 2018 and we are on track to do so.
Should Parliament agree to implement our recommendations, the new boundaries we recommend will be in place at the next General Election after that time. In accordance with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, that election is due to be held in May 2022."
There is no reference here to the fact that the 2022 election would then be taking place on the basis of constituency sizes on December 1st 2014. It is more than possible there would be parliamentary debate on the effect of this, which to some extent would cancel the original legislative aim for parity of electorate sizes across constituencies within a margin of +/- 5%. Population movements over the nearly eight years, especially in urban areas, would probably have required considerable redrawing of boundaries to achieve such an aim. We await the response of the new parliament.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Lib Dems don't think William Morris belongs to Walthamstow - boundary review proposal

The Lib Dems have recently published their response to the boundary commission proposals for parliamentary boundaries. Clearly they don't think William Morris belongs in Walthamstow as they've sent it to Chingford. This map shows the outline of their proposal:

On it you can see that the Wards of William Morris, Higham Hill and Chapel End are tied to wards the other side of the North Circular to form a revised Chingford Constituency, whilst The revised ‘Walthamstow and Leyton’ constituency keeps Hoe St, Wood St, High St, Markhouse, and Lea Bridge wards and gains Cathall, Grove Green Forest, Leyton and Leytonstone.

If you'd like to comment on these proposals you only have until 27 March. the quickest way to respond is online. Follow this link and look for the 'add comment' link at the upper right  of the page.

Below is the full map of our sector of the NE London group they're proposing, and below that the other sectors (the original proposals are here, and the Labour Party counter proposals here):

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

2018 Boundary Review - submit comments on the public responses

Today the Boundary Commission for England (bce) published the responses it received during the consultation period last autumn on the proposals it put forward for boundary changes, in line with Parliamentary legislation. You can see details of these proposals as they affect Walthamstow here.

The map shows the locations of responses across Walthamstow. (Yellow blobs are responses that included counter proposals.) Click here or the picture to go to the page on the bce website (you then need to zoom in to where you want to see). Note that the boundary in red is the proposed new boundary, which is different from the existing constituency boundary for Walthamstow.

The autumn consultation took responses in person and by email. You can read transcripts of the responses in person here (then search for the area etc of your interest), or video recordings of the public sessions that took place in Romford here (list of the London response venues here). The recording of my own response is here. (Transcript here scroll to p 27. I was speaking in a personal capacity rather than as secretary of Walthamstow Labour Party.)

You can from now until 27th March submit comments on these responses from members of the public. Click here for the bce map; click on the 'move' hand to find the response you want to comment on; click on the balloon for that comment and follow the instructions.

Following this secondary consultation, the Commission will be considering all representations received from both consultations, and will consider whether any revisions are needed. If they decide to revise the proposals, they will consult on the revised boundaries. Any such consultation is expected to happen towards the end of 2017, or in early 2018.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

2018 Boundary Review - dates of second consultation announced

News from the Boundary Commission:

"15 February 2017 11:05 - Last year, the Boundary Commission for England published and consulted on our initial proposals for new constituency boundaries. We received nearly 20,000 responses to that consultation. The next stage of the 2018 Review is for us to publish all those representations so that others may comment on them. 

We intend to publish all the representations on Tuesday 28 February 2017, and invite comments on them for four weeks until Monday 27 March 2017. All representations will be published on our website at www.bce2018.org.uk

Following this secondary consultation, the Commission will be considering all representations received from both consultations, and will consider whether any revisions are needed. If we decide to revise the proposals, we will consult on the revised boundaries. We currently expect any such consultation to happen towards the end of 2017, or in early 2018."

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

News from the first public hearing - responses from the 3 parties

Yesterday and today the first public hearing takes place in Westminster. At this hearing – the first in the region – the five political parties with English seats in the UK Parliament are offered a longer speaking slot at the start of the hearing to set out their proposals for the whole region. 

For Walthamstow and surrounding areas the responses to the BC initial proposals have been: 

Labour Party – retain Walthamstow in its current form with the addition of Forest ward (currently in Leyton & Wanstead). Walthamstow Ward list becomes: Higham Hill, High St, Hoe St, Lea Bridge, Markhouse, William Morris, Wood St., Chapel End, Forest. 

Conservative Party – return Chapel End to Walthamstow, but leave Wood Street in Leytonstone and Wanstead as per BC initial proposals. Walthamstow Ward list becomes: Cathall, Chapel End, Grove Green, Higham Hill, High St, Hoe St, Lea Bridge, Markhouse, William Morris, Leyton. 

Liberal Democrats – no comment at this stage. Ward list remains: Higham Hill, High St, Hoe St, Lea Bridge, Markhouse, William Morris, Leyton, Grove Green, Cathall, Cann Hall.

To see the current electoral boundaries at the various administrative levels (wards, parliamentary constituencies etc) visit the OS Election maps pages.

Monday, 26 September 2016

The 2016 Boundary Commission proposals for Walthamstow

Below are the new constituencies as proposed by the Boundary Commission. There will be public hearings for people to respond to these:
  • Westminster – 17-18 October
  • Bromley – 20-21 October
  • Harrow -24-25 October
  • Kingston – 27-28 October
  • Romford – 31 October-1 November

1. Walthamstow
Wards:- Higham Hill, High St, Hoe St, Lea Bridge, Markhouse, William Morris, Leyton, Grove Green, Cathall, Cann Hall

2. Leytonstone and Wanstead
Barkingside, Clayhall, Cranbrook, Snaresbrook, Valentines, Wanstead, Forest, Leytonstone, Wood St.

3. Chingford & Woodford Green
Wards:- Chapel End, Hale End & Highams Park, Larkswood, Valley, Hatch Lane, Endlebury, Chingford Green, Church End, Monkhams

More information coming soon . . .