In September the Boundary Commission published their initial proposals for new parliamentary boundaries, to be in place by the time of the 2020 election. Sadly, it was not good news for Mitcham and Morden.
The Boundary Commission have been required by an act of Parliament to come up with a plan for reducing the number of constituencies from 650 to 600 across the country, and to ensure that all constituencies have between 71,031 and 78,507 registered electors (this does not include citizens of the EU or of other countries who live in the country legally, but are not entitled to vote in general elections).
This means that in South London, the number of seats will have to be reduced by two.
The initial proposals would see Mitcham and Morden split up into parts of four different constituencies as follows:
- Figges Marsh, Pollards Hill, and Longthornton
wards would join with parts of Streatham and Croydon to form a new ‘Streatham and Mitcham’ constituency.
- Colliers Wood, Lavender Fields, Cricket Green, and Ravensbury
wards would join with most of Wimbledon to form a new ‘Merton and Wimbledon Central’ constituency.
- Lower Morden and St. Helier
wards would be absorbed into the existing ‘Sutton and Cheam’ constituency.
ward would be absorbed into the existing ‘Tooting’ constituency.
You can read in more detail about the Boundary Commission proposals on their website by visiting their website - www.bce2018.org.uk.
Dividing our Community:
As someone who has watched our community grow and come together over the last 30 years, it breaks my heart to see that the Boundary Commission want to dismantle everything we’ve built up for the sake of meeting a numerical check-list.
Under the current plans, the Parish of Mitcham – which can be traced back almost 400 years, and the boundaries of which still form the basis for the current constituency boundaries – would be split into three
Every year I sell poppies outside the ASDA in Mitcham, and then I attend the Remembrance Day service at the Mitcham War Memorial. Under the current plans, the Mitcham War Memorial would be in one constituency, and the Mitcham branch of the Royal British Legion would be in another.
Similarly, the Parish of Morden would be divided nonsensically. The Parish Church – St. Lawrence’s – would be pushed in to Sutton, and Morden Town Centre would be merged in to Wimbledon.
When areas and communities with such distinct identities are divided in this kind of indiscriminate way, it dilutes their collective voice. Who will stand up for the interests of Mitcham when it is split three ways? Who will speak out for Morden residents when it no longer has one representative?
How you can help:
You can help prevent this destruction of our area by joining our cross-party campaign to Keep Mitcham and Morden together.
The Boundary Commission have started a 12-week consultation on their initial plans, and you can have your say either by writing in via their website (www.bce2018.org.uk
), or in person by attending one of their regional consultation hearings – again, the details for the hearings are on their website. Please be aware that you do need to book in advance to attend one of the hearings.
You can also write to the commission at:
Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.
I will be attending the hearing in Westminster on Monday 17th October, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. If you feel able to join me, or you know of a community group or organisation that would be negatively affected by the current proposals and who might also wish to join me, please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring my office on 0208 542 4835 – we’d love to hear from you.
Equally, we know that to have the most impact, we have to come up with a fairer, more realistic alternative proposals. If you have any ideas or thoughts on what those alternatives should be, do also get in touch.
We are now in the fight for our community, and I hope you will join with me to help Keep Mitcham and Morden Together!