London SE1 community website

Should Waterloo share Bermondsey’s MP? Another chance to comment

London SE1 website team

This month local residents have another chance to comment on proposals to redraw the map of parliamentary constituencies which would see the Waterloo part of SE1 - in the borough of Lambeth - added to the Bermondsey & Old Southwark seat.

With plans in place to reduce the number of MPs, last September the Boundary Commission for England published its draft proposals for a new set of parliamentary constituencies for use at the 2020 general election.

In the first round of consultation the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats officially backed proposals to add Waterloo and the South Bank to the Bermondsey & Old Southwark constituency, whilst Labour made counter-proposals which keep Bishop's ward as part of a Vauxhall seat.

At a public hearing in October, Nic Durston of the South Bank Employers' Group warned that Waterloo risked being seen as a marginal area in a constituency dominated by Southwark electors.

As part of the latest round of consultation the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published the 20,000 public comments it received last year, to allow people to make their own observations and counter-proposals based on other people's input.

The current consultation period runs until Monday 27 March at www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6485

SE1-specific responses published by the commission include the submission by Sir Simon Hughes, former Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark.

Despite having opposed a similar proposal in 2011, Sir Simon now supports the idea of combining Bishop's ward with the Bermondsey seat.

You can also read the consultation response from Waterloo Action Centre and the Bangladeshi Community Group raising concerns about the impact on Waterloo of becoming part of a constituency crossing borough boundaries.

"Public input is invaluable throughout the 2018 Boundary Review," said Sam Hartley, secretary to the Boundary Commission for England.

"Comments made during both consultations will help us develop a well-rounded picture of how local communities live and work together across the country.

"This local knowledge will be essential when we revise our proposals. Any changes will be based on your comments so it's important to have your say."

Revised proposals will be published as part of a final consultation at the end of this year or the beginning of 2018.

BCE must report to Parliament with its final recommendation in September 2018.

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