As part of its review of Croydon’s ward boundaries the Boundary Commission proposes to divide the current Norbury Ward into two new wards: Norbury Park and Norbury & Pollards Hill. The border will be railway line.
For the area covered by Norbury & Thornton Heath Residents Association between Norbury Avenue and Green Lane
- it will be in Norbury Park ward
- that its residents who probably mainly look to the London Rd as their transport and local shopping centre, will find that most of that centre is in the other ward.
The new Norbury Park & Pollards Hill ward and the NATHRA area have seen a growing number of community initiatives and organisations, many working together through the Love Norbury.
The residents of the area to the east of Green Lane may see their natural centre up at Crown Point and Beulah Hill.
At the moment Norbury has three Councillors. The two new proposed wards will have two each. This means that on Norbury wide issues four Councillors will need to be involved.
You may not think it matters but it is clear that having an area that is regarded as a district centre or natural community divided between different wards with two or more sets of Councillors makes getting agreement and action difficult. I have had experience of this when I lived in Wandsworth Town Centre.
The Commission is asking people across Croydon to comment on all its proposed new Council ward boundaries.
The public consultation will end on 8 May.
The Commission says that it aims:
- ‘to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.’
- to ‘reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Croydon and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.’
The division along the railway appears to split a natural local community.
As the Commission is proposing to retain the current number of Councillor seats (70), it is difficult to see how else the principle of equal wards can be achieved.
Questions need to be asked, such as:
- if the current Norbury ward was to be divided so that it the area east of Green Lane went into another ward, would it be large enough to have three Councillors?
- could a new three Councillor Norbury Ward including the area east to Green Lane be created even if it has to extend further south along London Rd?
These and other questions that occur to others will need a lot of discussion in the coming weeks.
You can email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org
The full document can be downloaded here: