The Boundary Commission has this morning published its proposals for the review of parliamentary constituencies. This is needed to enable the number of MPs to be reduced from 650 to 600 and to equalise the constituencies so that they are as close in elector size as possible to the average size. At the moment there are very large discrepancies in the number of electors and residents represented by individual MPs across the country.
Croydon has been fortunate for some years in having all three parliamentary constituencies tidily contained within one borough. The proposed new boundaries change that, which is arguably inevitable if the objectives of national fairness and reduction in members are to be realised.
It is proposed that two council wards currently represented by Croydon MPs will be attached to adjoining parliamentary constituencies – Norbury becoming part of Streatham & Mitcham and Shirley ward becoming part of Beckenham constituency.
Conversely Crystal Palace ward in the borough of Bromley is proposed to be represented by the Croydon North MP.
It must be stressed that this does not mean those three wards will be moved into different boroughs. They will remain in their current boroughs for local election purposes but will have a different MP.
The proposals suggest that Croydon South will retain five of its current wards – Coulsdon East, Coulsdon West, Kenley, Sanderstead and Selsdon & Ballards – but lose Waddon, Croham and Purley to Croydon Central. In exchange it receives Heathfield ward, Fieldway and New Addington.
Croydon Central loses Woodside ward to Croydon North but in exchange receives Broad Green ward. This leaves its line up as the existing wards of Fairfield, Ashburton and Addiscombe and incoming wards of Waddon, Croham, Purley and Broad Green.
Croydon North would contain Upper Norwood, South Norwood, Crystal Palace, Thornton Heath, West Thornton, Bensham Manor, Selhurst and Wooodside wards.
You can review a larger copy of the map illustrating this story here.
The publication of these proposals opens the public consultation stage and anybody is entitled to comment on (or propose alternatives to) the proposals. In particular the Boundary Commission ask that residents consider commenting both if they agree with the proposals and if they do not. In historic reviews people who are in favour have generally remained silent and this gives a misleading sense of whether the ideas have community support or not.
You can read the proposals for London in full by downloading the document here and review further detail and comment on the official consultation web site here (http://www.bce2018.org.uk).
One final thing to note. Croydon's Labour party has requested a local ward boundary review, which was agreed at the end of 2015 and is currently under way. The parliamentary review ignores this review and any ward boundary changes which may arise from it. Similarly the local review ignores changes in parliamentary boundaries. This may lead to some complex outcomes, potentially with some wards split across two constituencies.