Why the Boundary Commission plan should be opposed

Several people have been asking about what is happening with the proposed Boundary Commission changes to Croydon North Parliamentary constituency.

 

Councillor Maggie Mansell says that there is still time to object to it being split between Croydon, Streatham and Mitcham.

She asks us to oppose the plan and to encourage friends and neighbours to do so. She has circulated the following details about it.

Comment

The Boundary Commission are proposing a series of radical changes to the constituency of Croydon North as part of their review of constituency boundaries across the UK.  The proposals are potentially highly damaging for our local communities.  The Commission is inviting comments from local residents and community organisations.

Commission Proposals

They propose the following:

  • Replace Croydon North with a new Norwood and Thornton Heath constituency, with part of the existing constituency going in with Mitcham and the new constituency’s borders extending out of Croydon into Lambeth.
  • Split Thornton Heath in two, with parts (Bensham Manor and Thornton Heath wards) in Norwood and Thornton Heath constituency, and part (West Thornton ward) in Mitcham and Norbury constituency.
  • Split Croydon Town Centre across two constituencies, putting half of it (Broad Green ward) in with Mitcham.
  • Instead of our constituency all being within the boundaries of a single borough, Croydon, part of it would be in Lambeth creating a new layer of confusion for residents.

Why are these proposals damaging?

  • They break up natural communities, with Thornton Heath split across two constituencies, Croydon town centre split across two constituencies, and Norbury split across two constituencies.
  • Thornton Heath’s voice would be weaker in Parliament, as it would be on the margins of two constituencies instead of at the heart of one.
  • Croydon University Hospital, serving Croydon residents, would be in a constituency where the majority of voters live in Morden.
  • The new constituencies nationally are based on voter numbers before 2015, and ignore over 2 million voters who have registered since then.
  • The constituency boundaries ignore the new ward boundaries in Croydon, so some wards would be split across more than one constituency, creating unnecessary additional complexity over residents’ representation.
  • Croydon has a very strong sense of identity – residents routinely refer to it as ‘our town’. This would be broken by having the new constituency extend beyond Croydon’s boundaries, and would undermine the council’s successful bid – won alongside the three Croydon MPs – for devolution of housing and some fiscal powers to the borough.
  • Transport links do not follow the proposed new constituencies, making travel around them difficult. The main road in the north of the borough is the London Road which runs north-to-south and connects the north of the borough to the town centre, reflected in the main bus routes (50, 109, and 250) and the trains which run through Norbury and Thornton Heath to East Croydon in the centre. The new borders criss-cross this key transport route.
  • The new boundaries break up and weaken many of the local and civic ties that are strong across the borough.
  • As an outer London borough, Croydon has its own distinct town centre which is a central point of community for those from all parts of the borough, indeed all three current Croydon constituencies meet and share part of the town centre in Croydon.

How you can oppose the new boundaries

You can comment on the proposals on the Boundary Commission website here:

https://www.bce2018.org.uk

by email

information@boundarycommissionengland.gov.uk

or in writing at: Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. 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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