Hello Tottenham, Goodbye Vote - Stroud Green Ward moves to Tottenham

The Boundry Commission is planning to make Stroud Green Ward part of the Tottenham constituency instead of Hornsey and Wood Green. Local government boundries will not be affected but your MP will change. Does it matter? Yes, for at least two reasons: Hornsey and Wood Green is a marginal constituency and has changed hands recently between Lib Dems and Labour. Your vote is critical. Tottenham is one of the safest Labour seats in the country. Your vote will have little impact. So if you want your vote to matter, you must be in Hornsey and Wood Green. How else might it affect you? Hornsey and Wood Green MPs know our vote is important and pay attention to issues which affect us locally. Can we expect the same as part of Tottenham? Have a look at the map. Tottenham is a large constituency with a geographical heartland based on the A10. It is undergoing a major regeneration as a result at least in part of the 2011 riots. It has plenty to occupy any MP. Stroud Green Ward will be a prosperous add-on separated from the rest of the constituency by a major rail line. How much attention can we expect from our MP? The Boundry Commission issued a consultation paper asking for responses by 5th Dec 2016. Time is short and the grounds for objection are limited, so if you want to have a say you need to get busy. So what are the grounds for objection? Not much, because the Boundry Commission does not recognise social geography as important in drawing ward boundaries. It is not interested in where you think you live, where you do your shopping or where your children go to school. It does not care whether you feel you are part of the Hornsey and Wood Green community or Tottenham. It only considers physical geography such as mountains, hills, rivers and lakes, not human or social geography such as culture, history and socio-economics. So if physical geography is the criteria, what are the facts? How connected is Stroud Green to its neighbouring wards? There are 9 streets linking Stroud Green to other wards in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, 11 linking it to the proposed Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington constituency, and just one street (and one footbridge) linking it to Tottenham. Why? Because the Great Northern Railway Line (or whatever it is called these days) provide a physical barrier between Stroud Green and Harringay wards. The Boundry Commission may consider 'special geographical conditions including the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency'. It recognises the River Lea as a physical boundry but not the railway line. It is reasonable to ask why not. If the railway line is not physical geography, what is it? Is it a 'social' phenomenon? It is a great ditch filled with seven railway lines at its narrowest and 20 at its widest. Impassible except for one road crossing, one footbridge and nothing else. So what is the railway line if not physical geography? What about buses? There are three major bus routes through Stroud Green ward. The W7 and 210 connect us to other parts of Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. Neither go to Tottenham. The W3 connects us to six wards in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency before reaching the border of Tottenham after 24 stops and 38 minutes at White Hart Lane. The W5 is a less frequent service. It has 23 stops in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency and 2 in Tottenham. The alternative is to cross the footbridge and get a bus on Green Lanes. In summary, it is possible to get to Tottenham by bus, but we are far better connected to Hornsey and Wood Green. What about overland rail? The only station actually in Stroud Green Ward is Harringay. It connects north and south but does not go to Tottenham. Crouch Hill station provides a good connection to Haringey and South Tottenham stations and to the entire London Overground network at Gospel Oak. It is not strictly speaking in Stroud Green but nearby. Finsbury Park station provides good connections to central London, to Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale and Turnpike Lane in Tottenham, and to Wood Green and Bounds Green in Hornsey and Wood Green. It is also not strictly speaking in Stroud Green. Why are the changes being made? It is part of the Government plan to reduce the number of MPs and equalise the number of voters in each constituency. Each must have between 71,031 and 78,507 voters. Hornsey and Wood Green is currently bang on target with 74,641 and will be 74,418 after the changes, but must be dismembered in order to make the numbers add up elsewhere. You can see the proposals and local map here ([https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6485?postcode=N44HD]).
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Comments

  • @IQ83, is there information online about the criteria for objections? I've just had a bit of a Google, and can't find anything. In terms of physical geography, wouldn't Finsbury Park itself count?
  • Try Googling: "Initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in London". It's a Boundry Commission discussion paper. There's a bit at the beginning about the criteria they used and a bit at the end about making representations.
  • The Tottenham MP lives in Stroud Green, no?. What a concidence. Cynic? Moi?
  • Gardener-Joe I suppose that can only be a good thing for the prominence of the area to his agenda but is obviously only a temporary benefit. It's clear that the addition of Stroud Green to Tottenham is unlikely to affect the safety of that Labour seat but does anyone know what is the likely political impact on Hornsey and Wood Green if it loses Stroud Green, which in itself is a marginal ward?
  • @IQ83, found it, thanks. It says that they take into account: • special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency; • local government boundaries as they existed on 7 May 2015; • boundaries of existing constituencies; and • any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies That last point would count as social geography, wouldn't it?
  • In posts on Twitter and Facebook earlier this week, shadow Foreign Office minister Catherine West wrote: "As I have said before, I stand with the people of Hornsey & Wood Green, and I will vote against Brexit in Parliament." I suspect she is taking "instruction" form her electorate
  • Thanks for posting IQ83. This is clearly gerrymandering no matter how much they protest. The geographical layout of the area really cuts us off from Tottenham so as a resident the new Boundry simply feels wrong. Will be adding my objections to the consultation!
  • Why would the Boundary commission be gerrymandering ?
  • Do agree it seems a bit mad
  • edited November 2016
    Some here do sound like the folks in the House of Lords: "Yes of course we need reform. What exists is not properly representative, but - oh no - not this reform! Suggest another?"
  • Re: vetski's comment on Nov 11. Yes, these are all things which the Boundary Commission may take into account if they choose to do so - and please do respond and make these points. But there is only one criteria which they MUST take into account, which is to get all constituencies within the target size. Their default unit of measurement is the Ward, so they are shuffling wards about to make the numbers add up, irrespective of the other factors.
  • PS - There will be a public meeting about this next week sponsored by the Stroud Green Residents’ Association (SGRA) and Hornsey Vale Community Association "Should Stroud Green become part of the Tottenham Parliamentary Constituency ..... or stay within the Hornsey & Wood Green Parliamentary Constituency? This public meeting will provide Stroud Green residents wth an opportunity to express their views on this important issue." Main Speaker: Catherine West, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green Chair: Sally Billot (former Stroud Green Councillor) Date of Meeting: Thursday 24 November, 2016 Time: 6.00 to 8.00 p.m. Venue: St. Aidan’s Primary School, Stapleton Hall Road, London N4 4RR (Buses: W3 and W5).
  • Reminder: IF YOU DON'T WANT STROUD GREEN TO BE IN TOTTENHAM Tell the boundary commission NOW!!!! We only have until Monday 5th of December to respond to the boundary commission proposal to annex Stroud Green into Tottenham. The next general election seems a long way away, but when the time comes, many people could be in for a very big surprise. If you live in Stroud Green, you may find you are no longer part of Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, but Instead are part of Tottenham. So why are we talking about it right now? Because now we can do something to stop it by responding to the Boundary Commission consultation by the 5th of December 2016. But before you do, it is important you read on: Are you having a Déjà vu moment? If you do, it is because we have been here before... The first time was 5 years ago in 2011. At the time Stroud Green residents responded en masse and it worked! In 2013 The boundary commission published the revised proposal and agreed with us that Stroud Green should stay where it is! (Please find the relevant quotes from it at the bottom of this email.) If this is all news to you please come to a A PUBLIC METING with Catherine West MP of Hornsey and Wood Green On Thursday 24 November 18:00 - 20:00 St Aidans Primary School, Stapleton Hall Road, London N4 4RR The meeting is kindly organised by members of the Stroud Green Resident association (SGRA) and Hornsey Vale Community Association. Full leaflet can be found here. Watch the 2011 video ‘STROUD GREEN - WHERE WILL IT BE HORNSEY OR TOTTENHAM?’ What a difference 5 years make: different MP, different councillors, slightly different proposal, but when it comes to Stroud Green the Boundary commission seems to have reverted and are proposing to annex us to Tottenham all over again. So although the video is ... well, dated ... the views and reasoning as to why we should stay were we are, are well made and are as relevant today as they were 5 years ago. http://GreenN8.org.uk For more info on how to respond to the consultation go to http://GreenN8.org.uk What arguments the Commission may take into account: The rules the Boundary Commission will follow when considering representations from the public. special geographical considerations, including the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency; local government boundaries as they existed on 6 May 2010; boundaries of existing constituencies; any local ties that would be broken by the proposal If you have responded to the proposals of 2011, please resubmit your comments it worked last time... https://www.bce2018.org.uk P.s. The GreenN8 website is in the process of moving to it's new site. I am slowly transferring all it's content from the old site to the new one, however this is a huge job and it may take some time to be fully accomplished. Meanwhile both site are visible; The old site is no longer updated with new information, but is kept as an archive for the time being. new site | old site From the 2013 Revised proposal document The boundary commission had listened to the voice of people in Stroud Green and agreed it should stay where it is: "AC26 The Commission received many representations about individual wards, including opposition to: ...linking Stroud Green ward with Tottenham, rather than Hornsey and Wood Green; .." "AC87 In Haringey, the Commission noted that the existing Hornsey and Wood Green constituency could be left unchanged (IPs, paragraph 38). In order to accommodate London 25 26 London Report by the Assistant Commissioners on London changes elsewhere, the Commission proposed that Stroud Green ward in the existing constituency should be part of a proposed Tottenham constituency and that Bowes ward in the existing Enfield, Southgate constituency should be included in Hornsey and Wood Green (see paragraph AC82)." "AC88 The proposal that Stroud Green should be included in a Tottenham constituency received very little support, and was opposed by a large number of people and organisations, including all three Parliamentary parties, the present councillors for Stroud Green ward (IP/025512),11 and the Stroud Green Residents’ Association (IP/023119). Many respondents emphasised that this proposal would break local ties between Stroud Green and other Hornsey wards. We have therefore decided that Stroud Green ward should be part of a Hornsey and Wood Green constituency." "AC90 In order to satisfy the electorate range, we have concluded that the Islington ward of Hillrise should be placed in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. While Hillrise ward would be a single Islington ward in an otherwise Haringey constituency, our recommendation enables us to strike a better balance between the statutory factors across North London. We recommend, therefore, a Hornsey and Wood Green constituency containing Alexandra, Bounds Green, Crouch End, Highgate, Hornsey, Muswell Hill, Noel Park, Stroud Green, and Woodside wards in Haringey, together with Hillrise ward. As the existing constituency would remain largely unchanged, we recommend that the existing name should be retained. The remaining Haringey wards (Harringay, St Ann’s, Seven Sisters, Tottenham Green, and West Green) should be contained in a constituency with Hackney wards (see paragraph AC92). "
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Is Stroud Green slightly more lib dem than other Hornsey and Wood Green wards? Putting it in Tottenham makes H & WG a more certain labour seat?
  • It's not as Lib Dem as Highgate or Crouch End (both of which retained Lib Dem councillors last time), but it's more competitive than anything east of the railway track, with the arguable exception of Harringay ward.
  • edited November 2016
    This is an interesting and enlightening article (albeit American) for those yet to realise just how much we have to fight this latest round of 'hyper-partisan' gerrymandering...

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/11/22/wisconsin_partisan_gerrymander_the_supreme_court_could_take_the_case.html
  • Today is the last chance to object to this m under the second round of consultation. Please do so here: https://www.bce2018.org.uk/

    Here's my comment, which you should feel free to steal:

    "I strongly oppose moving Stroud Green ward into the Tottenham constituency.

    Stroud Green's historical links are with Crouch End and the wider Hornsey Borough, not with Harringay - let alone Tottenham.

    In modern terms, the East Coast Mainline is a key physical and psychological boundary which divides Stroud Green from the Tottenham constituency. Stroud Green's contemporary links are with Crouch End, and with Finsbury park in Islington - if were to be moved into a different constituency it would make much more sense to place it in a shared constituency with the western side of Stroud Green Road - not into a constituency with which the economic and social links are so tenuous.

    It is particularly offensive that David Lammy is claiming that people should 'welcome back' Stroud Green into the Tottenham constituency - it has never been part of that division. Doubtless this deceptive language is actually motivated by Mr Lammy wanting his home - in Stroud Green - to be part of his constituency so that he no longer has to face the the embarrassment of living outside it. Please do not reward his mendacity.

    As a final point- moving Stroud Green into Tottenham would move me from a marginal seat in which my vote counts for something to a safe Labour fiefdom in which it would count for little or nothing. I therefore object to this in the strongest terms."
  • FYI, Stroud Green Labour's response:

    "The Stroud Green Branch Labour Party is the division of the Labour Party for Stroud Green ward, and has met do discuss and approve the submission of this document.

    As of December 4th 2016, we have 689 members in the Branch Labour Party - around one in 12 of the adult population.

    After meeting in the Autumn to discuss the proposal to move Stroud Green out of Hornsey and Wood Green and into Tottenham constituency, there was significant and near universal dismay that this would cut historical community links and marginalise the politics of the ward.

    We would instead support Stroud Green remaining within Hornsey and Wood Green as currently comprised, which would fit within the mandated constituency size and not disrupt existing communities. During the 2011 Boundary review, this same change was rejected, and there is no clear reason why, if it was unacceptable then, it’s not now.

    There was also a palpable dismay regarding the context within which this decision is being proposed. Setting boundaries using December 2015 electoral roll data is unjustifiable and deliberately designed to disadvantage younger and more itinerant populations in cites - to the advantage of older and more settled communities in Conservative constituencies.

    And the equalisation of constituency sizes based on voter rolls ignores the larger populations of foreign born citizens in many constituencies who MPs are still expected to represent and who should have some voice and political representation.

    In the view of the Stroud Green Labour Party, this is not only a disgraceful manipulation of the system, but is a dangerous breach of the bipartisan tradition of managing boundary changes with cross-party agreement.

    Although these wider points are understandably beyond the purview of the Boundary Commission, we wish to register these objections before moving on to our collective view on how the specific proposals will effect Stroud Green.

    We resolved as a party to survey members and ascertain the extent and strength of people’s views on the matter, as well as (in order to be fair) to register any views in favour of the change.

    This short submission is a collective response based on this survey of Labour members. 65 members took part.

    Quotes have been attributed only where respondents gave permission for us to do this. Where respondents either did not give permission to use their name or withheld it, the quotes are provided anonymously.

    The submission of this document was agreed at the Stroud Green Labour December meeting. It is submitted the the Frank Hobson, the Secretary of the Branch Labour Party on behalf of the ward."
  • submitted.

    Looking at the map on the site there didn't seem to be many comments from SG at all only One in Albert Road none in Lorne and thin on the ground elsewhere
  • I'd respond but I do not want the Boundary Commission to publish my personal details, which seems to be the case according to the tick box on the comment form.
  • Just want to check - we'll still be in Hornsey & Wood Green on 8th June, won't we?
  • Yes. Make the most of being in a marginal before we're moved to a fiefdom.
  • The local MP has a majority just over 11k I wonder if enough folks will move to LibDems because of the Labour Party attitude on Brexit for them to win?
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Could happen. Labour will not be against brexit considering a lot of their supporters are pro brexit. Labour are in complete disarray. Problem is that it encourages Scottish independence as SNP pick up the anti tory voters there. Personally I'm not bothered whether I'm in Tottenham or not. Labour are completely incompetent and I can't vote lib dem.
  • @ Ali.
    Catherine West defied the whip and voted against triggering Article 50. I think this is pretty significant...
  • There certainly not many conservatives on Scotland. They only have one MP and he is right on the border and has a majority of less than 800
  • Have only recently become aware of this issue. What's the latest, anyone, please?
  • The latest is that Theresa May called a general election and lost the Tories overall majority. The DUP are opposed to the current boundary proposals (they would lose a couple of seats to Sinn Fein), Labour are opposed (as it is based on significantly smaller inner city electorates from before the 2016 ref and 2017 election) and a few Tory MPs would be likely to rebel because their seats would be abolished.

    All of this means the current boundary review is incredibly unlikely to pass the House of Commons and Stroud Green will continue to be in Hornsey and Wood Green, at least until a less controversial boundary review can be organised.
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