Part 1: Response to the initial proposals

1)I strongly applaud the Boundary Commission’s sensible decision to split a few wards in order to make the process easier. The use of split wards will help to avoid serious difficulties and awkwardly inappropriate combinations of wards, as would otherwise be the case. I hope that the Commission will reject the protestations of any who may object to it. In particular, I applaud the sensible decision to split a ward in Wandsworth, thereby allowing the retention (with minor adjustments) of the existing 3 constituencies in Wandsworth. I also support the decision to split Waddon ward in Croydon, which will be helpful for various different possible combinations.
2)I applaud the Commission’s decision to create a cross-border constituency in the north of Croydon, combining with part of Lambeth. It would, however, possibly be better to create a constituency to the north-east of Croydon, so that 3 constituencies can be drawn entirely within Lambeth. My counter-proposal aims to allow this to be achieved.
3)I support the proposal to keep both New Addington wards within the same constituency.
4)I support the proposal to keep both Selsdon wards (SAV and SVF) within the same constituency. They are the same community, and it would not be appropriate for them to be kept apart. I have already seen some other counter-proposals which have the 2 Selsdon wards in different constituencies; those ideas should be rejected.
5)It is sensible to split Fairfield ward away from the rest of Croydon Central a.k.a. Croydon East. Fairfield ward contains the town centre of Croydon: the town hall, the main shopping centre (Whitgift centre and Drummond centre), cultural centre (Fairfield Halls), central library, downtown, nightlife area, lots of pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops, East Croydon station, West Croydon station, and the central loop of the tram system. The name “Croydon Central” as a constituency name should, if used, go wherever Fairfield ward goes.
6)It is sensible to split Fairfield ward away from Park Hill and Whitgift ward, although they used to be part of the earlier Fairfield ward. The type of housing in Park Hill is similar to that of Addiscombe, Croham, Shirley, and is different from the blocks of flats in Fairfield.
7)There is a continuity of community straddling across the border between South Norwood ward and Woodside ward, and it therefore makes sense to include Woodside in a version of Croydon North rather than Croydon Central.
8)There is also a continuity between Waddon and Croydon North, along the Purley Way. Waddon ward is now in Croydon South constituency, but it was in Croydon Central constituency and it would equally well be part of Croydon North constituency. It is at the fulcrum of where the parts of Croydon come together. The western part of Waddon ward would call itself “west Croydon” and the eastern part of Waddon, “south Croydon”.
9)It therefore makes sense to split Waddon as the Commission has proposed. I support this decision to split the ward if necessary; I have already seen some other counter-proposals in which a split Waddon is necessary to keep other combinations of wards within the 5% limit.
10)The Commission’s proposed “Croydon North” constituency looks fairly similar to the old Croydon North-West constituency which existed before 1997.
11)it includes part of Waddon ward which would call itself “west Croydon”.
12) it includes Fairfield ward, which is effectively the “central Croydon” part of the town.
13) For these reasons (10, 11 and 12 above) it would be more appropriate for the proposed “Croydon North” constituency to be renamed “Croydon North West” (or even “Croydon West”) rather than “Croydon North”, even if the proposed boundaries otherwise remain the same.
14) If the proposed “Croydon North” is renamed “Croydon North West”, some people might suggest that the proposed “Norwood” should be renamed “Croydon North East” or “Croydon North East and Norwood”. Such names would be acceptable, but not necessary; the proposed name of “Norwood” is a suitable name for the cross-border constituency.
15) The proposed boundary between Croydon North (Croydon North West”) and Norbury is a suitable one. The railway line is a natural barrier which separates the two parts of north Croydon. The main line of communication in north west Croydon is London Road; the centre of community in north east Croydon is Thornton Heath and South and Upper Norwood. Ethnically, they are similar: north west is slightly more Asian, and north east is slightly more black (relative to each other).
16) The inclusion of an orphan ward from Merton in the proposed version of Croydon North (or Croydon West) is necessary (and therefore acceptable) to keep it within the 5% limit. Presumably it also makes the numbers easier in the rest of London.

Part 2: Counter-Proposal

My comments are mainly about the south-east quarter of Greater London. My main area of concern is where I live in Croydon. The limitation to south-east London is defined by the following constraints:

17) Wandsworth has enough electorate for 3 constituencies, without the need for any cross-border constituencies.
18) Lambeth has enough for 3 constituencies, without the need for any cross-borough constituencies.
19) Sutton has enough for 2 constituencies.
20) The wards and ward electorates in Sutton are such that it is almost inevitable that the 2 existing constituencies in Sutton will be retained intact, with no changes other than minimal alignment of the new ward boundaries.
21) It is assumed that there will be no constituency straddling across the river Thames at any part of central or eastern London.

It therefore logically follows that there must be 22 constituencies in south-east London (i.e. the boroughs of Sutton, Croydon, Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth), regardless of what happens in the rest of London.

The requirements for Croydon are as follows:

22) The electorate of Croydon is too big for 3 constituencies on its own (as has been the case since 1997), and is too small for 4 constituencies on its own (as was the case before1997).
23) It is therefore inevitable that there must be at least one constituency straddling across the border between Croydon and another borough.
24) For the reason given in 19) and 20) above, the cross-border constituency cannot be with Sutton (although that would otherwise be a logical option).
25) The cross-border constituency must not involve any conjunction of New Addington and Bromley. New Addington has links of transport, shopping, community and commuting with the rest of Croydon and has literally no links at all (road, rail, bus, tram) with Bromley.
26) Similarly, there should be no conjunction between Shirley and Bromley. The links there are also weak; Shirley looks westwards towards Croydon, not towards Bromley. The residential areas of Shirley are or similar types of housing as Addiscombe or Park Hill.
27) There is a similarity and continuity of community, type of housing, shops and population, between the northern part of Croydon, and Lambeth. Croydon North is sometimes (half-jokingly) referred to in the local media as “Lambeth South”. There are large BME communities in Croydon North and Lambeth. There is also a common community of identity in the Crystal Palace area, where 5 London boroughs converge in a relatively small area at the north-east corner of Croydon (Croydon, Bromley, Greenwich, Southwark, Lambeth).

It is therefore strongly to be preferred that the cross-border constituency should be to the north or north-east of Croydon, in the area of Lambeth or Crystal Palace (and not as far south as Shirley or New Addington).

For the reasons given above, my counter-proposal is constrained to the west by Sutton (with 2 constituencies on its own) and Lambeth (with 3 constituencies on its own). The sizes of the electorates in the remaining boroughs mean that it is suitable to combine: a) Croydon, Bromley and Bexley in one group, and b) Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich in another group. The 22 constituencies of the 8 abovementioned boroughs complete the south-east quarter of Greater London.

My counter-proposal is as follows:

Vauxhall(72,934)
Bp’s
Pr’s
Oval
Stockw
Larkh
CTn
Fernd

Norwood(74,713)
Vassall
Coldh
HerH
TulH
ThurP
KniH
GypH

Streatham(69,785)
ClaCmn
Thornt
BxH
StrH
St L
StrW
StrS

Peckham(72,453)
NWalworth
Faraday
Peckham
Old Kent Rd
Nunhead and Q Rd
Rye Ln
PRye
NCG

Bermondsey(70,602)
B&B
StG
Chau
LBr&WB
NB.
SB.
Rotherh
SDocks

Dulwich and Camberwell(70,698)
Newi
CambG
StG
ChH
GooG
DuH
DuV
DuWd

Lewisham South(71,456)
Blackh
LeeG
GrP
HithG
Downh
CatfS
Belli

Lewisham West(70,899)
Syd
ForestH
PerryV
CrofP
Ladywell
LewiC
RusheyGreen

Lewisham N and Greenwich(70,826)
Eve
Deptf
Brockl
TeH
GrW
Pen

Eltham(73,604)
Bheath
Wcombe
Kidb Hornfair
Elt W
MP&S
Elt N
Elt S
Coldh&NewE
ShH

Woolwich(72,478)
Charlton
WRiverside
WCommon
Glyndon
Plumstead
ThMoorings
AbbeyWd

Erith and Crayford(73,737)
Thamesmead E
Belvedere
Erith
NorthumbH
Bexleyh
Bhurst
Crayf
SG&N

Bexley West(70,606)
WHeath
CrLog
EWickham
Falc&Welling
Blackf and Lamorbey
Blend and Penhill

Bromley South(72,138)
Biggin H
Darwin
Chelsf and PB
Farnbo and Cr
BrCm&H
Hayes and Coney H
WWickham

Orpington and Sidcup(73,248)
St M and St J
Sidc
Longl
CrVE
CrVW
Orp
PW&K

Croydon North(74,710)
AddE
AddW
Wdside
SNor
Selh
BManor
WTho
N&PH

Bromley and Chislehurst(74,617)
Chisle
M&ChN
Bickley
Plai&Sun
BromTn
Shortl
K&EP

Crystal Palace(73,971)
CCope
ClHse
P&Cator
CP
CP&UN
ThH
NPk

Croydon South West(75,297)
BGn
Ffd
Wad
PO&R
P&W
Ken
CouTn
OldC

Croydon South East(75,248)
ShN
ShS
PH&W
SCr
Sand
SAV
SVF
NAN
NAS

Type of respondent

Member of the public

Personal details

John Cartwright
Croydon

Comment type