Thanks for raising this, Adrian. We should point out that these proposals are still in consultation, until 4th April. You can find the relevant info for your constituency here.
My first thoughts on reading your post was to reflect on why people might be so upset about being 'lumped in' with Tottenham. I remember a similar reaction from Stroud Green residents when it was proposed to make Stroud Green part of the Tottenham constituency. My assumption is that it has more to do with a person's sene of their identity than anything else and, I'm guessing that a good part of that identity relates to social standing - a person from Stroud Green does not want to have their identity 'besmirched' by association with the rather grittier Tottenham. I haven't given this a great deal of thought. So, I'd be interested to hear others' views.
Next I wondered what drives the commission's decisions. They have a surprising amount of freedom, it appears. I'd wondered if there was some wish to create constituencies that are as socially diverse as possible (look at Hornsey and Wood Green constituency and you can understand why I might have mused on that). However, that's certainly not the case, officially at least. The Boundary Commission's website has a full explanation of what guides its machinations. The following are highlights excerpted from its webbsite.
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body, which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
The BCE has the task of periodically reviewing all the Parliamentary constituencies in England. It is currently conducting a review on the basis of rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. These latest rules retain 650 constituencies for the UK Parliament as a whole, and require constituencies that we propose or recommend to comply with strict parameters, in particular as far as the number of electors in each constituency is concerned.
Significant changes were recently made to the law governing Parliamentary constituency reviews by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 (‘the 2020 Act’) and the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (‘the 2011 Act’). Both the 2020 Act and 2011 Act have a major impact on the way a review operates. Furthermore, as neither of the constituency reviews conducted since the 2011 Act resulted in new constituencies being implemented, the 2023 Review is likely to result in a significant degree of change to a large number of existing constituencies, if for no other reason than the need to adjust for 20 years of change to the distribution of electors since the data on which the existing constituencies are based was established.
In considering the procedures for a review, the BCE consults those Parliamentary political parties with constituencies in England on broad issues of policy ahead of the review, in line with its usual practice.
In formulating its initial proposals for particular areas, the BCE exercises its own judgement and does not consult the Parliamentary political parties, local authorities or any other interested groups or people.The proposals are therefore formed by the BCE from a position of independence and impartiality and are not influenced by any particular viewpoint or opinion.
The Act sets out a number of Rules in Schedule 2 which are relevant to the detailed development of proposals for individual constituencies. Foremost among these is Rule 2, which provides that – apart from five specified exceptions – every constituency we recommend must have an electorate (as at 2 March 2020) that is no less than 95% and no more than 105% of the ‘UK electoral quota’. The UK electoral quota for the 2023 Review is, to the nearest whole number, 73,393.
Rule 5 in Schedule 2 provides for a number of other factors that the BCE may take into account in establishing a new map of constituencies for the 2023 Review, specifically:
- special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency;
- local government boundaries as they existed (or were in prospect) on 1 December 2020 (see paragraph 16 above);
- boundaries of existing constituencies;
- any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies; and
- the inconveniences attendant on such changes.
As far as possible, the BCE seeks to create constituencies:
- from wards that are adjacent to each other; and
- that do not contain ‘detached parts’, i.e. where the only physical connection between one part of the constituency and the remainder would require travel through a different constituency.
Full details on BCE website here.
I imagine that any consultation responses which seek to change proposals, rather than just let off steam, should focus on the matters bullet-pointed in the last few paragraphs above.
Having gone through all the above, I'm still none the wiser as to what real difference the constituency in which we live makes to most of us, particularly in London. I would be interested to hear from people why it matters to them.
Some of the agitation I refer to can be seen here
But I tend to agree with Hugh "I'm still none the wiser as to what real difference the constituency in which we live makes to most of us, particularly in London" My experience of talking to and working with Lynne Featherstone and Catherine West in Crouch End suggest that the disjoint between the often quite sensible MP and the otherwise inclined local councillors is very great. It's almost as though never the twain shall meet.
Another Haringey Ning website - I really ought to seek commission!
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