This introduction greets visitors to the Boundary Commission web site:
The Boundary Commission for England is the independent public body that reviews all Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. We are currently conducting the 2013 Review and have now published our revised proposals. The consultation on the revised proposals is now open and you can have your say on them until 10 December 2012 .
Sounds pretty harmless doesn’t it? it is of course anything but. The commission have proposed several changes to the political map of the UK, if they go ahead the number of constituencies in England will reduce from 533 to 502, the aim is to ensure that all constituencies contain a similar number of registered electors. Focusing very heavily on the numbers the proposals seem to pay very little attention to the people who live within the effected constituencies.
The plans for my area would see the constituency of Walthamstow scrapped and divided between Chingford and Leyton. I called the Boundary commission this week to ask a few questions so that I could try to better understand the proposals, I was having an end of days type panic and thought talking to them might improve my outlook. The person who took my call was very polite and provided me with lots of statistics that I’m sure on paper make this project seem like a great idea, he also assured me that the changes would impact the national political map and not town or borough boundaries “Don’t worry” he said with a chuckle “you will still live in Walthamstow”.
If the constituency is scrapped I would be living in a Walthamstow that had no voice at national level, a Walthamstow cleaved in two and divided up amongst our neighbours. This is a pretty unique place to live both culturally and economically, identified by the London Plan as one of the 35 major centres of Greater London and the centre of Waltham Forest, why would anyone even consider splitting our political representation across two constituencies. I talked about all of this with the chap at the commission and the one thing he couldn’t explain to me is how the change would benefit the people who live here.
I don’t pretend to be overtly political but I do know when something is a bad idea, and this is an incredibly bad idea. Walthamstow needs to be represented as a whole and not divided, If you feel the same and want to stop Walthamstow being gagged you can let them know on the link below.