Tuesday 13 September 2016

Barnet Constituencies - the big carve up

The new constuencies have been announced following the boundary review. These have produced a very different political map. We will do some number crunching later, to work out how this will affect the likely political affiliation of each of them and give a bit of commentary, but as I'm sure you are interested here are the constituency by ward.

As a Mill Hillian I am none too chuffed to have been moved into leafy Barnet. We've always been associated with Hendon as part of Hendon County Council. If I leave my house by the back door and cross the road (albeit the M1), I'll still be in Hendon, as Hale has not moved. In fact my road was part of Hale ward until the last boundary redraw. Does all of this matter? I believe it does. An MP represents all of the people in the ward.

One small example is rail services. Many Mill Hill residents are users of Thameslink.  At present as part of Hendon our MP has three stations in his catchment area on the same rail line. He therefore has a strong incentive to lobby for good services on this line. Under the new arrangement, Mill Hill will be represented by an MP with far more interest in the Barnet Branch of the Northern line. The Mill Hill Thameslink service will be a small sideshow.  It seems to me that new boundaries have simply been drawn as post colonial borders in Asia and Africa were, with no regards for the local demographics or interests. Splitting Mill Hill from the Hale will massively disenfranchise voters in both parts of NW7, as their interests will become very low down the list of MP priorities in the new world.

This is being repeated all over London and I suspect I'm not the only one to see problems arising.


Unknown said...

It is a very odd carve up that arbitrarily clumps together areas that have never been associated. Very disappointed that Mill Hill with be moved in with Chipping Barnet. The Totteridge Valley is a natural boundary between the two areas which does make transport between the two somewhat restricted. It also splits what is essentially a metropolitan Mill Hill from a suburban 'Home County' High Barnet; different concerns and needs.

Of course this leaves no wards in the new Hendon where LDs have ever had much traction (boo)... so screws me up too :(

Oh, and where is Childs Hill? Have they moved that in with Brent?

Joseph Berenson said...

Childs Hill and Garden Suburb have both been moved to a new Hampstead and Golders Green constituency which consists of the above mentioned wards along with Highgate Ward, Hampstead Town Ward, Fortune Green Ward, Frognal and Fitzjohns Ward, West Hampstead Ward, Kilburn Ward, Swiss Cottage Ward and Belsize Ward. So the new constituency is the majority of what used to be the Hampstead and Kilburn seat along with two wards (Childs Hill and Garden Suburb) that used to be in Finchley and Golders Green and one ward (Highgate) that used to be in the Holborn and St. Pancras seat.

You can see all the proposed changes at https://www.bce2018.org.uk/