Last chance to keep Norbury in Croydon North – consultation closes 25 March

Due to proposals by the Boundary Commission Norbury is in danger of losing its coherent identity.

  • For Parliamentary purposes it is proposed to put it in with parts of Streatham and Mitcham creating a new constituency cutting across 3 boroughs.
  • For Council electoral ward purposes it is proposed to divide Norbury into two wards: Norbury & Pollards Hill and Norbury Park with the boundary being along the railway.

The Commission has not yet made its final decisions. It is still possible to comment on the Parliamentary proposal by the end of this coming Monday (27 March).

The consultation on the ward proposals is until May. The details will be subject to another posting.

The Proposed New Parliamentary Constituency

The name for the proposed new constituency is Streatham & Mitcham.

The Commission’s website contains a map and comments submitted on the original consultation can be seen at

The purpose of this second consultation is to tell the Commission what you think about other suggestions made during the first consultation. ‘You can support counter-proposals, highlight issues with alternative ideas and say where you think BCE’s original proposals are still the best solution.’

At one of the hearings in Bromley on 21 October in response to comments by a Labour’s Croydon Central Secretary a Commissioner stated:

‘We are very open to suggestions about how the current arrangements can be improved or developed.’

One of Boundary’s guidelines is to keep communities together.  Norbury is an integral part of Croydon. There is therefore a strong argument to remain within a Croydon North Constituency.

It will not matter which Party gets their candidate elected the new Constituency MP will have to deal with three local authorities: Croydon, Lambeth and Merton; at least 2 health districts and 2 or 3 police districts. That will make it very difficult for an MP to be a champion for Norbury when it will only be two electoral wards out of several each in Lambeth and Merton.

This is a nonsense. A constituency across two Boroughs might be more manageable. In which case if Norbury stayed in Croydon North that constituency could perhaps take into it the areas that border Norbury Ward, including the Ruach Church site and the surrounding streets.

Submissions can be made on line:

The closing date is this Monday, best before 5pm.

Cllr Maggie’s Mansell’s statement to the Commission in October

This is what Norbury Councillor Maggie Mansell said at the Commission hearing held in Bromley on 20 October.

CLLR MANSELL: My name is Cllr Maggie Mansell. I am a councillor in the London Borough of Croydon representing the ward of Norbury, which is to the north of Croydon and which it is proposed should join with Mitcham and Streatham. I would like to speak about the community links which Norbury people have, and why we want to stay in Croydon and have few links with Mitcham or Streatham. Then I want to say a little bit about the additional cost to the public purse in having that tripartite constituency. The people of Norbury see Norbury as a village centred on the London Road shops, and they look to Croydon rather than Streatham for larger items of shopping. The allocation of children to schools would be affected because that is done by Croydon and it would mean they were allocating to a constituency outside Croydon. I am not only a councillor; I am also chair of the governing board of Norbury Manor Primary School which is very close to the border; it is on Abingdon Road. I do not know whether you can see it, but this is Norbury; that is the train station; and the school is there; it is that close to the border, but it does serve this area (indicating). Obviously, we have children crossing boundaries. They are small in number, but sometimes they have problems by having crossed a border. To give just one illustration, we have a fairly high number of families with problems and, therefore, children with special needs of various descriptions. One child from Lambeth was evicted and placed by that authority in Mitcham, but still had been placed in our school. That child had a number of problems, no doubt brought about by some of the disruption and family problems, and we needed psychological support. It took six months, with the help of two MPs, Steven Reed and Siobhain McDonagh, councillors in Streatham and myself, to establish contact with the psychological services which would accept responsibility for a child from a Croydon school. 10 You can say that that is an administrative cock-up— I think that is the technical term—and it should not have taken that long, but it is an illustration of some of the problems you have when crossing administrative boundaries. We have quite a number of children with special needs. If we were to move into Streatham, or into Streatham with Mitcham, we would have to deal with more children who would have to receive psychological and other services in addition to the normal school services from other boroughs. It would mean that the all those who live in Norbury and Croydon would be looking to the wrong borough to get their services. That is just an illustration of some of the complications. A few people from Mitcham come into Norbury Manor Primary School. Norbury people look to Croydon because the transport links go in that direction; they do not easily go through to Mitcham. We have good transport links to London through the rail station, which varies in consistency but is there, so people see themselves as part of Croydon. We look to Croydon for shopping, cultural links and entertainment. Fairfield Hall is a big entertainment hub. It is not just a building; it is the cultural centre. At the moment it is being refurbished, but we are working very hard to ensure that those cultural events continue in other locations, but people from Norbury tend to look that way rather than to Streatham or Mitcham. I am in contact with councillors across my borders in Mitcham and Streatham. Issues that have crossed the boundaries up to now have been fairly rare. It is usually a planning application on the border where people from both sides have views. I would say that happens maybe once or twice a year. Therefore, the links with Streatham and Mitcham are not strong, but they are strong with Croydon. NHS GPs are in the Croydon network which is coterminous with the borough boundaries. They link with the services mostly at Croydon University Hospital for acute services, and the community district nurses are managed by that hospital, which is a little further down the road towards Croydon. As to the history of Croydon’s services, I can go back to 1980. The Mayday Hospital is about there down the London Road, if that helps. We have been coterminous with the local authority boundary, the health service boundary and the police service boundary. The police were at one time two areas, but together they were coterminous with Croydon. I can go back to the mid-1980s. I am older than I look. That has served Croydon well, because we have developed not just physical links but personal ones within the services which have continued and been updated over the years. It is quite important in the way we operate services, but GP services in particular are being looked at through the NHS in terms of six localities within Croydon, linking with the hospital services and the local authority services. That is very important ongoing work and it is what the Department of Health and the 11 Government want in order to get the most effective clinical and financially sustainable services. I am a member of my local residents association. We have five in Norbury. We work together as a group. When we wanted to develop a BMX park for young people. That is the park; it is just north of the train station (indicating). The people along the borders here objected to this BMX park because it would mean that people from Streatham would come in. They did not want young people from Streatham there. I do not agree with them. I do not like that attitude. When we develop services I am very happy for anyone who wants to use them to use them, but it does show an attitude of mind. They see themselves as Croydon and not associated with Streatham. Just imagine an MP for this tripartite constituency liaising with three NHS areas. Already they deal with at least two, possibly three, hospitals, but that is not the administrative area of the NHS. They will be dealing with three planning departments, three housing departments, three social services departments, three courts, three police areas and three voluntary sectors. We have a very vibrant voluntary sector in Croydon which provides services in Norbury and across the whole borough. We are one of the two premier voluntary sector collaborations. The other is probably Harrow in London. It is very well supported. We have a history of volunteering. One just sprung up; it is called the knitting group that meets every week at the library. It knits blankets. I do not know where they go, but on one occasion they decided to decorate Norbury High Street. Those little groups tend to develop across borders and the rest of Croydon, not just stay in one ward. Norbury very much feels part of Croydon. I have an SW16 postcode simply because the Post Office is in Streatham. Probably the only time I go to Streatham is when the Post Office cannot deliver a parcel, but the postcodes are very anomalous anyway. Thornton Heath in the north of Croydon has a Surrey postcode, whereas the wards in the south of Croydon would love to be in Surrey. They often describe themselves as being in Surrey, but their formal postcode is Croydon. Therefore, the postcodes do not really match up. We have very few links with West Norwood. There is a library run by a voluntary board but funded jointly by both Croydon and Lambeth. That is one of the few links, but I would say that is an administrative anomaly; it is not part of our normal links. That is all I wish to say. Norbury feels very much part of Croydon, not Streatham or Mitcham. We have very few links with Streatham and Mitcham, and I think it would cost the public purpose time and money to try to make these rather complicated links.

At the second day hearing in Bromley Clive Fraser, a member of Croydon North Labour Party, added:

‘Having spoken to leading people I know in residents’ associations in Norbury, they are very concerned 15 that they are part of Croydon, not Streatham. Their community focus is towards Croydon. In south London people have to recognise that in many ways Croydon was always itself a contained borough; it looked inwards to the town centre and does not look necessarily northwards or eastwards. I think that is quite important.’

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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