ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF OUR WARD RIGHT?

Are the boundaries of Sutton South Ward right?

The Boundary Commission is reviewing the boundaries of the local Government Wards in Sutton prior to the next local elections in 2022. You can write to the Commission if you think the boundaries are not right.

The Ward runs from Sutton station in the north to Devonshire Road in the south, Banstead Road South in the east, Overton Road in the west. It is mostly a Ward of residential roads with three schools, one small park, three places of worship, split into three parts by Langley Park Road and Brighton Road running north-south. Should the boundaries change?

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for Sutton Council.

The consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the council.

In drawing up new boundaries, the Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Sutton.

Residents will have a further chance to have their say after the Commission publishes draft recommendations in January 2020.

Local people can submit their views in this consultation. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at

consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk

After a debate on 14 October Sutton Council has submitted some proposals. Richard spoke in this debate, commenting in particular on the proposals fro Sutton South Ward. He said:

“I recognise that there is always a tension between drawing lines on maps that create sensible geographical structures in terms of communities and natural boundaries and getting the numbers right in terms of residents per Councillor. I would like to stress that where these create tensions I think it important to give priority to getting the boundaries right, creating areas that residents recognise as communities, in particular respecting natural boundaries such as main roads and railway lines, and keeping recognised communities together, and this should be the priority even if it does lead to some unevenness in Ward sizes. I think that in the south of the borough the right decisions have been taken though it does lead to some disparity in the size of Wards.

So, in any exercise like this there will inevitably be some disparity in the size of Wards with some outliers. I was interested to note that my own Ward seems to be an outlier.

Now this is all information to the Local Government Boundary Commission who will have a lot of representations and could throw all this in the bin. But this could be adopted.

I could be a candidate in 2022 (no promises) with these new boundaries.

Should it worry me that Councillors for Sutton South will have to do a bit more work than the average Councillor? No, of course not.  

My particular focus is on my Ward and the south of the borough. I think the proposals are right.

In the south of the borough there are some natural community hubs such as Belmont village and Cheam. But there are other factors that create communities including the location of churches and schools – where, for example, the geographical area a school draws from creates a community with a shared interest. We have very good schools in Sutton, including, adjacent to my Ward and taking the children of many of my residents, a new one – the Harris Academy. I was delighted to attend the opening of the school and to learn that the school is proving a popular choice for parents.”

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