News

Southgate merged with Wood Green in latest constituency proposals

New seat covering western Enfield and parts of Haringey would link communities along the Piccadilly Line, reports James Cracknell

Boundary Commission proposals map
The latest constituency map proposal from the Boundary Commission sees a ‘Southgate and Wood Green’ seat created

The Enfield Southgate parliamentary constituency could be merged with parts of Haringey and renamed ‘Southgate and Wood Green’.

The Boundary Commission for England today published its latest proposals for the redrawing of Westminster constituencies ahead of the next general election and has suggested major changes to one of Enfield’s existing three seats.

Under the plans, which are now open for public consultation until 5th December, Enfield Southgate would be joined with Bounds Green, Noel Park, White Hart Lane and Woodside wards in Haringey, creating a Southgate and Wood Green seat.

Although there is no reduction in the number of seats in North London, the Boundary Commission has been aiming to find a balance that would make the constituencies more equal in size. Haringey currently has two MPs while Enfield has three, with Enfield Southgate much smaller than its neighbouring seats.

The move would likely make it much more difficult for the Conservatives to win back Southgate, traditionally a marginal seat famous for some shock results over the years, not least the 1997 defeat of Michael Portillo when New Labour swept to power. All the Haringey wards proposed to join the constituency voted Labour in this year’s local election.

It represents a significant change from previous plans published in 2021, which proposed merging Enfield Southgate with parts of Chipping Barnet, a seat currently held by Conservative Theresa Villiers.

Tories in Enfield will be opposing the changes. Alessandro Georgiou, leader of the Conservative group at the civic centre, told the Dispatch: “We are extremely disappointed that the Boundary Commission is seeking to break up historic communities, especially the Enfield Southgate constituency.”

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Meanwhile, changes to the Enfield North and Edmonton seats would see Grange Park ward joining the former and Winchmore Hill joining the latter, but Cllr Georgiou said these wards were “historically one contiguous community”.


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Another implication of joining Grange Park ward with the Enfield North constituency is that Enfield Town would no longer be split down the middle of Church Street between two constituencies.

Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous has previously been critical of boundary changes that would have joined his seat to parts of Barnet. He has not responded to requests for comment from the Dispatch on the new proposals that instead link the seat to parts of Haringey.

In a report explaining its rationale for the creation of a Southgate and Wood Green seat, the Boundary Commission stated: “The assistant commissioners […] considered that the borough boundary is very permeable between Bowes/New Southgate and Woodside/Bounds Green, and they observed that the Piccadilly Line links the Wood Green area all the way to the northern extent of the Southgate and Wood Green constituency in Cockfosters ward.”

The Boundary Commission had taken into consideration more than 45,000 comments sent in by the public during the previous two stages of public consultation and has changed nearly half of its initial proposals based on this feedback. A third and final consultation on the new map of revised constituency proposals is open now until 5th December.

There had previously been plans to reduce the total number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600, but the current review proposes the number remain at 650. The rebalancing of seats to give a more consistent size across constituencies does however mean the number of English constituencies increasing from 533 to 543.

After the final consultation period has closed, final recommendations will be submitted to parliament on 1st July 2023. If they are approved, any general election held after this date will adopt the new boundaries.

Tim Bowden, secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Today’s publication is the culmination of months of analysis and we have revised nearly half of our initial proposals based on what people have told us. We now believe we are close to the best map of constituencies that can be achieved under the rules we are working to.

“However, we still want people to tell us what they think of this latest map before we submit our final recommendations to parliament next year. This is our final consultation and I encourage you to participate in the 2023 Boundary Review.”

View the Boundary Commission proposals and have your say before 5th December:
Visit
bcereviews.org.uk


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