Does the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich not like Woolwich?

On Tuesday Chairman of Greenwich Conservatives Malcolm Reid, Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Spencer Drury and GLA Candidate Cllr Alex Wilson attended the hearings held by the Boundary Commission at Lewisham Town Hall to consult over the proposed new parliamentary constituency boundaries.

 

Conservatives across South East London are broadly supportive of the Commission’s proposals which reduce the number of seats in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham from around 11 to 9.  The average size of a parliamentary constituency under the Coalition Government’s proposals has to be between 72,810 and 80,473 electors which has led to the reduction locally. 

 

In Greenwich this will mean the creation of a northern ‘Woolwich’ seat running from Thamesmead to East Greenwich, a southern ‘Eltham’ seat which is basically unchanged but with two wards from Bexley added and finally the remaining two wards (Greenwich West and Blackheath Westcombe) joining a ‘Deptford and Greenwich’ seat with north Lewisham which will create a unified Blackheath.

 

To counter these proposals, Labour has proposed a radical alternative which they claim means communities will be less divided.  But Labour’s propsals seem to split poorer communities like Deptford and Woolwich, while keeping the more affluent communities together.  Labour’s proposals mean that no MP will have responsibility for speaking up for the whole of Woolwich or Deptford, but instead will find their interest and responsibilities divided. 

 

Particularly curious is the idea that the current MP for Greenwich and Woolwich Nick Raynsford is supporting a proposal to remove part of Woolwich from his current seat and add in parts of Charlton and Blackheath.  ‘Why does he not want to keep Glyndon ward, which is an integral part of Woolwich?’ is a question surely worth asking.

 

Labour also seem to want to unify Eltham with parts of Woolwich and Plumstead (Glyndon and Plumstead wards) which most Eltham residents will seldom visit.  The idea of a constituency combining parts of the Woolwich Arsenal development on the banks of the Thames and Plumstead High Street with New Eltham and Mottingham is surely ridiculous.  Leader of Greenwich Conservatives Cllr Spencer Drury said “Labour’s counter-proposals seem to me to be purely based on what is best for the Labour Party in terms of votes, rather than what is best for the communities in our borough.”

 

Greenwich Conservatives would strongly encourage residents to support the Boundary Commission’s proposals which seem to us to strike the right balance and give poorer communities a stronger voice (especially Plumstead, Deptford and Woolwich).  You can submit you views via the Boundary Commission website (http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/have-your-say/) before 5th December 2011.