By Owen Sheppard, local democracy reporter
Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter has said it would be a shame if White City and Shepherd’s Bush were “carved up” under proposed changes to the constituency.
The Boundary Commission has revealed proposals for rejigging all of the 650 parliamentary seats in the UK, which are currently based on population data from over 15 years ago.
Under the plans, nearly every constituency in London would be reshaped to cover different areas.
Hammersmith would become ‘Hammersmith and Chiswick’. A map of the proposed area shows Hammersmith merging with parts of Hounslow borough such as Grove Park, Gunnersbury and Chiswick.
But the constituency would also lose East Acton, Wormwood Scrubs, College Park and Wormholt. These areas would instead be included in another newly-named seat, ‘Ealing Central and Acton’.
Mr Slaughter told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It’s the way they have carved up the boroughs.
“It’s very artificial to fillet off two wards at the top of the borough.
“College Park and Old Oak and White City Station would be with Ealing, whereas the White City estate would be in a seat with Gunnersbury Park…
“I think they never seem to think enough about community ties. I don’t have much enthusiasm for it as it’s got to have continuity.”
However he added: “There’s no particular problem with any of the seats that have been set out. In fact they’re all nice areas that I would be happy to represent.”
Mr Slaughter was also sceptical about whether the changes would happen before the next election.
“One important caveat is that we’re two years off a decision being made and there’s lots of opportunity to intervene, although it’s not a simple matter. You can’t just say to them ‘I don’t like that or this’,” he said.
“And if there’s an election in 2023, which there’s a lot of rumours about, then it would happen with the existing constituencies anyway.”
Meanwhile, the southern border of the new ‘Hammersmith and Chiswick’ constituency would instead go along Talgarth Road and the north side of Charing Cross Hospital.
The hospital, parts of North End Road and Margravine Cemetery would instead become part of the ‘Fulham and Chelsea’ seat.
This is largely based on the Conservative-held ‘Chelsea and Fulham’ seat represented by MP Greg Hands.
The Boundary Commission’s public consultation on the changes runs until August 2. Visit www.bcereviews.org.uk for more information.
Pictured: Hammersmith Labour candidate, Andy Slaughter. Photo by Owen Sheppard.
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