Monday, 26 September 2016

Boundary Review To Bring Electoral Change to Shepherd's Bush

Hammersmith Constituency
Boundary changes are coming to Shepherd's Bush.  Today, the constituency of Hammersmith is a moderately solid Labour seat; our local MP Andy Slaughter managed to buck the national trend at the last election  and increase his majority to a very respectable 6,518 votes.

However, under the new proposed Boundary Changes, everything is up for grabs.  Three wards: Askew, Wormholt & White City, and Shepherd’s Bush Green – are to be broken away from Hammersmith and will make up a new constituency - to be named Ealing Central and Shepherd’s Bush - along with six wards from Ealing.

Andy Slaughter MP - at risk of deselection?
What will be the result of all this?
The big question of course is - will Andy Slaughter get re-selected by the local Labour party to contest the new constituency?  Now that Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as Labour leader, relatively moderate candidates such as our local MP may be feeling the heat.

Haven't there been lots of boundary changes in recent years?
There have. In fact Andy Slaughter used to be MP of Ealing, Acton and Shepherds Bush until we got the new Hammersmith constituency, which also created the constituency of Chelsea and Fulham.

Mr Slaughter might well apply for the new Ealing Central and Shepherds Bush constituency, which will most likely be a safe Labour seat. Meanwhile, Hammersmith and Fulham will likely become Conservative seat, having been shorn of Labour wards such as Shepherd's Bush.

The existing Chelsea and Fulham constituency - a safe Tory seat created in the last Boundary Commision review back in 2010 - will now disappear, after a rather short life.

What are the Boundary Commission proposals?
The Boundary Commission's consultation document, Initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in London states as follows:

"In the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, we propose a Hammersmith and Fulham constituency, which includes six wards from the existing Chelsea and Fulham constituency and six wards from the existing Hammersmith constituency. This proposed constituency is wholly within the borough boundary.

Three Hammersmith constituency wards – Askew, Wormholt and White City, and Shepherd’s Bush Green – have been included in a constituency with six wards from Ealing borough called Ealing Central and Shepherd’s Bush constituency.

In the borough of Brent, we propose a Willesden constituency, which includes eight wards from the existing Brent Central constituency, and the Hammersmith borough ward of College Park and Old Oak from the existing Hammersmith constituency, and Brondesbury Park ward from the existing Hampstead and Kilburn constituency."

What does Andy Slaughter think?
He is not impressed. Andy Slaughter MP crticised the commission's proposal to scrap five seats when the city's population is increasing.  He said: "We should probably be getting more seats." You can see more about his views at his own blog here.

What is happening nationwide?
The rules set out in the legislation on boundary changes state that there will be 600 Parliamentary constituencies in UK –  50 fewer than today. This means that the number of constituencies in England must be reduced from 533 to 501, and each constituency must have an electoral roll no less than 71,031 and no greater than 78,507.

How can you have a say?
The Boundary Commission are consulting on their initial proposals for a 12-week period, from 13 September 2016 to 5 December 2016. Visit their website for more information.

To find out more about the proposed boundary changes, see this useful page at Wikipedia.

The Shepherd's Bush Blog offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush.  If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at)

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