Split Chiswick Up In Boundary Changes Says Ruth Cadbury
MP opposes Boundary Commission proposal for new Brentford and Chiswick seat
Labour MP Ruth Cadbury has objected to a Boundary Commission proposal to create a new Brentford and Chiswick constituency and has suggested an alternative that would see two Chiswick wards moved to an Ealing and Acton constituency.
Her plan would see the Turnham Green and Southfield wards being part of a different constituency to the other two Chiswick wards. The boundary between the two seats would run along Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road splitting Chiswick High Road between two constituencies. The area west of Turnham Green Terrace and north of the A4 would be in the Ealing and Acton seat and the area south of the A4 and east of Turnham Green Terrace would be in a new proposed Brentford and Hounslow seat.
Her submission to the Boundary Commission (BC) is likely to anger some residents who are in favour of the proposal for a return to a Brentford & Chiswick constituency, and who want to see all the current Chiswick wards, Homefields, Riverside, Turnham Green, and Southfield (currently in Ealing ) brought together into one constituency.
A total of 33 residents have posted comments on the BC website on the new proposals, mainly in favour of a Brentford and Chiswick constituency plan, on the grounds that it would be more cohesive for the community.
In her proposal, the Brentford and Isleworth MP, who won the seat from Chiswick-based Conservative MP Mary Macleod in the last election by 465 votes, suggests;
• Bringing all four wards of Hounslow into one parliamentary seat
• that Turnham Green would go to a seat called Ealing Acton
• that Osterley & Spring Grove would go to Ealing Southall.
She said this would keep 80% of the electorate in the current constituency whereas the BC suggestion would mean 30% would go over to another constituency.
Ruth Cadbury said this would retain the whole of the Brentford and Hounslow constituency in one borough, which would make the job of the MP and the local authority easier, as well as other sectors and services such as health, police, fire, voluntary and chamber of Commerce. This ensured that an area which was relatively deprived and whose residents were more highly dependent on a variety of public services, was served by a single MP.
"Whereas Chiswick is less so. This is not to undermine or underestimate the thriving sense of community that we have in Chiswick – many community institutions operate across the W4 post-code (the area called Chiswick) that pervades despite already being split between three boroughs and three Parliamentary constituencies. And in fact both the Labour party and the BC proposals mean those splits remain, just in a slightly different pattern."
Representation at borough Council level would continue as it is with Southfield ward still part of Ealing borough.
The position of the local conservatives was outlined by the chairman of the local grouping Mr. Julian Tanner when he appeared at the 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies hearing in Kingston upon Thames last October. He stated then, "Turnham Green is very much at the absolute heart of Chiswick and we would look at any proposal that would take that out as being something that would be very disunifying to the community of Chiswick and would not represent the Chiswick community well.
"The proposed boundary changes are fairer as the constituency of Brentford and Isleworth as it stands today is too large. It has over 20,000 more residents than some constituencies, and this is not fair on the residents requiring the help of their MP, nor is it fair on the caseload of the MP. It is also democratically unfair to have so many residents electing one MP. The boundary changes as proposed would remove these issues and render a fairer solution.
"The proposed boundary changes are more logical as they unite or keep united three distinct West London communities:
a. Isleworth (Osterley & Spring Grove, Isleworth, Syon wards)
Ms Cadbury previously described the Boundary Commission proposals as 'gerrymandering' and said the Tory government seemed determined to shore up its support by changing the boundaries to suit themselves.
As part of the consultation process, the Boundary Commission for England accepted comments for 12 weeks at the end of last year.
Now it has published all 18,753 comments received from across the country - including dozens relating to the Brentford and Isleworth constituency which you can read here.
The rules set out in the legislation on boundary changes state that there will be 600 Parliamentary constituencies covering the UK, a reduction of 50 from the current number. This means that the number of constituencies in England must be reduced from 533 to 501. The government claims this will make representation more equal.
Each constituency has to have an electorate that is no smaller than 71,031
and no larger than 78,507.
March 1, 2017