Leading Lewisham Councillor Alan Hall has attacked plans to cut Lewisham’s representation in Parliament following changes currently recommended by the Boundary Commission.
Cllr Alan Hall has demanded a ‘rethink’ by the Commission because, despite an increase of Lewisham’s voters this year by nearly one fifth (18%), the Commission is set to cut Lewisham’s MPs from 3 to 2.
Cllr Alan Hall, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee recently proposed in a unanimous Council motion resulting in a letter from Chief Executive Barry Quirk to the Commission urging a fairer result for the borough.
“Fair representation is the cornerstone of democracy” said Cllr Hall “and anyone can see that the figures show that it would be a travesty if Lewisham loses a parliamentary seat when its voters have increased by a fifth.
“The Government is trying to gerrymander Parliamentary seats and the Boundary Commission must be bold and recommend changes to the plans.
“The population of Lewisham and London is still growing and the new parliamentary seats would likely be in place for a decade, as the last one was, so the figures demand a rethink by the Commission. I am looking forward to an urgent response to our letter”.
Update: The Boundary Commission have published their proposal and they recommend one seat wholly in Lewisham and two seats with are cross borough see here
Councillor Alan Hall said: “The London Borough of Lewisham will be under represented if these parliamentary boundary changes go ahead. The numbers on the electoral register are up nearly 20% and the population is growing due to demographics and developments. The proposals have one MP in Lewisham and two MPs with cross borough boundaries – one with Greenwich and one with Southwark. Fair representation is the cornerstone of democracy and this does not reflect the population and looks like gerrymandering.”
- Figures released by the Electoral Commission (a separate body to the Boundary Commission) during the EU referendum state the electorate in Lewisham has gone up a huge 18% see: Electoral Commission
- The motion agreed by Lewisham Council is here
Newsshopper article here