ENFIELD SOUTHGATE PARLIAMENTARY SEAT TO BE DISMANTLED? BOUNDARY COMMISSION WANTS YOUR VIEWS BEFORE 27 MARCH 2017
Enfield Southgate is a constituency created in 1950 which is represented in the House of Commons by a Member of Parliament, currently David Burrowes, a Conservative. It comprises the wards of Bowes, Cockfosters, Grange, Palmers Green, Southgate, Southgate Green, and Winchmore Hill, all of them located in the Borough of Enfield.
The Parliamentary Boundary Commission is proposing to break-up this constituency as part of a nationwide plan to reduce the number of MPs/constituencies from 650 to 600. The result would be that the wards currently included in the Enfield Southgate constituency would be attached to other existing or new constituencies, and Enfield Southgate would cease to exist. Cockfoster Ward would be joined to Chipping Barnet, Palmers Green would be joined to an expanded Edmonton constituency, Grange Ward would be incorporated into what is now Enfield North, Bowes Ward would be joined to Wood Green, and Southgate, Southgate Green, and Arnos Wards would be sent to a new constituency which would also include Friern Barnet and Finchley.
As a result, there would be 5 different MPs representing different parts of Enfield, and some MPs would represent communities in more than one Borough. The comments already made to the Boundary Commission and published on its website (https://www.bce2018.org.uk/) show that there is considerable opposition to the proposals for our area. Some of the views expressed are that the proposals would break up representation of a cluster of wards that have a lot in common, and undermine the links and collaboration that have been built over decades by community groups working in Enfield. For example, some residents in Palmers Green consider that they have strong links with similar communities within Enfield, such as Southgate and Winchmore Hill, but no tangible links with Edmonton. The comments mention Broomfield Park, Old Southgate Town Hall, Green Lanes, the rail link to Winchmore Hill and Bowes Park, and numerous community groups, as examples of those links. .
It is understood that there is cross-party opposition to the proposals for our area. A number of counter-proposals have been put forward. FLDRA does not support any political party, however, for the purposes of this debate, it is pertinent to illustrate some of these alternatives. A campaign led by the current MP David Burrowes proposes a new Chipping Barnet and Mill Hill constituency made up of the following wards: Brunswick Park, East Barnet, High Barnet, Mill Hill, Oakleigh, Totteridge and Underhill. Then there would be an Enfield Southgate seat made up of Bowes, Bush Hill Park, Cockfosters, Grange, Palmers Green, Southgate, Southgate Green, and
Winchmore Hill. There is also a related web-based petition that can be found in Change.org. The Labour Party’s counter proposals can be found in the Boundary Commission page (https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/33244/view). They recommend that the Hornsey & Wood Green BC should include Palmers Green in addition to Bowes as under the Initial Proposals while the remaining wards of Tottenham would be in a Tottenham & Edmonton BC with three wards of Enfield. There would then be Enfield Southgate (including Bush Hill Park, Highlands and Town) and Enfield North (including Jubilee, Ponders End and Lower Edmonton) constituencies.
To express your views, go the Boundary Commission website https://www.bce2018.org.uk and tap in your postcode. This will bring up a map of the area and there will be a tab with the title “Make a Comment”. The consultation closes on 27 March 2017.