Last chance to comment on changes to constituency boundaries

This week is the last chance to comment on plans to redraw the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies with SE1 split between new Bermondsey & Borough and Vauxhall & Camberwell seats.

Last chance to comment on changes to constituency boundaries
Florence Eshalomi MP

After an initial consultation last year, the Boundary Commission for England has published the responses it received, and opened a second round of consultation to allow further comments.

Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi has urged the commission to alter plans to separate St George's Ward in Southwark from the Bermondsey parliamentary constituency and join it to the Vauxhall & Camberwell seat.

Welcoming the proposals overall, she wrote: "However, I do not believe that St George's ward would be a good fit within the proposed Vauxhall and Camberwell constituency and would propose that this ward be removed from the new seat."

She added: "Including St George's would break up the strong community existing in the Elephant & Castle area significantly. For example, the proposal would mean that two entrances to the underground station would exist in two different constituencies. The current proposed constituency would mean splitting up an area already undergoing turmoil due to heavy development in the area and splitting up this community could make it harder for residents to be heard with a clear voice in light of proposals.

"Developments such as the 'new town centre' on the site of the old Elephant shopping centre will likely be the primary shopping location for many in St George's ward once it opens as well as representing a significant centre of employment for local residents. It would be best to keep this ward together with the Chaucer and North Walworth wards to keep any developing community together and tackle any problems it may face in the future.

"There is also a strong community identity in Bishop's Ward towards Waterloo rather than Elephant & Castle, with shopping areas such as Lower Marsh being a popular shopping destination for Bishop's residents. The area is also served by strong local transport links via Waterloo, Waterloo East and Lambeth North stations and residents do not need to travel to Elephant and Castle to commute.

"Melding together Bishop's and St George's would not bring significant advantages in terms of community cohesion and I believe it would be best to leave St George's ward with other Elephant & Castle centred wards."

Ms Eshalomi also urged the commission to retain the current Vauxhall name for the constituency rather than appending Camberwell.

Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle wrote: "With the Thames as the natural border on the north and the boroughs of Lewisham and Lambeth on the east and west respectively, the ease of change is very tough and will have a considerable impact on the tightly defined community identities that make up the current constituency.

There are several community groups likely to submit views and many are uncomfortable with the division of Walworth and the Elephant and Castle in a particular, which are seeing rapid change and need more of a supporting sense of continuity through the current and pending developments as well as being some of the most disadvantaged parts of the current constituency."

Mr Coyle added: "I hope the commission will reflect community views in considering responses and will ensure, as a minimum, that the proposed title of the new constituency is Bermondsey, Borough and Rotherhithe."
Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England Tim Bowden said: "The 2023 Boundary Review will rebalance the number of electors represented by each MP. It's important that the constituencies we shape reflect your local community as best as possible. We received over 34,000 responses during our first consultation last year, and we're inviting more people to have their say in our current secondary consultation, which is open now until 4 April."

• To see the local proposals go to – the closing date for response is Monday 4 April.

Tags: Parliament, Politics & local government, Southwark, Lambeth

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