RSS

Bermondsey and Waterloo to share MP in constituency shakeup

Most of SE1 will share a member of Parliament if the initial proposals from the Boundary Commission for England are adopted.

Under plans to reduce the size of the House of Commons and even out the number of voters represented by each MP, the London region will in future have 68 constituencies – down five from the current number.

SE1 is currently split between the Bermondsey & Old Southwark constituency held by Labour's Neil Coyle, which covers North Southwark, and the Vauxhall constituency of Kate Hoey which includes the North Lambeth portion of SE1.

In their initial proposals published on Tuesday, the Boundary Commission for England propose to reallocate Bishop's ward (the most northerly part of Lambeth, covering Waterloo and the South Bank) to the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency.

The review does not affect local government boundaries, so Waterloo and the South Bank would continue to be part of the borough of Lambeth but would share an MP mostly concerned with Southwark matters.

The proposals would leave a small number of SE1 residents – including those living at Strata SE1 and on the Draper Estate at Elephant & Castle (Newington ward) as well as residents of Albert Embankment (Prince's ward) – as part of a new Camberwell and Vauxhall Bridge constituency.

In Southwark the Boundary Commission has used the existing ward boundaries to draw up its plans. These boundaries will disappear at the 2018 local elections.

The revised Bermondsey & Old Southwark constituency would have an electorate of 76,835 comprising the following wards:
• Bishop's
• Cathedrals
• Chaucer
• East Walworth
• Grange
• Riverside
• Rotherhithe
• South Bermondsey
• Surrey Docks

71,307 electors would be part of the Camberwell & Vauxhall Bridge constituency made up of
• Prince's
• Vassall
• Brunswick Park
• Camberwell Green
• Faraday
• Livesey
• Newington
• Peckham

The idea of creating constituencies that spans the Lambeth/Southwark border proved controversial when it was proposed in the previous boundary review in 2011.

Neil Coyle MP told us: "Whilst uniting Guys & St Thomas' and the South Bank could be welcome, splitting the Walworth community in half is most unwelcome.

"The boundary review takes no account of local communities, ignores the fast rising local population, is based on an out of date register, ignores high number of students and other unregistered residents, and takes no account of casework volume."

Sir Simon Hughes, who represented Bermondsey in Parliament between 1983 and 2015 and hopes to win back the seat for the Lib Dems, said: "Locally, the new plans are not perfect but it is great that the Boundary Commission has dropped its last dreadful plans to carve up Bermondsey and Rotherhithe into two different seats, partly with Lewisham and partly with Lambeth.

"Under the new plans announced this week, only a little bit of Bermondsey stays outside this new seat, and the SE1 part of the Waterloo South Bank is added to Blackfriars and the Southwark South Bank."

He added: "Another Labour MP who has to spend time on the fight in his own party is not what local people need. I will again put local residents first, and challenge the Labour council, the Mayor and the Tory government.

"We must urgently build hundreds of homes at affordable prices, and provide the transport, training and jobs which our communities need."

Local organisations such as Coin Street Community Builders, the South Bank Employers' Group and pensioners' groups in Waterloo also opposed the move to add Bishop's ward to the Bermondsey constituency in 2011 and 2012.

• Details of the boundary review – and forthcoming public hearings – are at www.bce2018.org.uk

Comments

What do you think of the proposal?

Join the discussion right now

The SE1 website is supported by people like you

Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

Proud to belong to

Independent Community News Network