Why 700 for Walthamstow

The Boundary Commission is reviewing the boundaries of Westminster parliamentary constituencies, following legislation to reduce their number, and make them more equal in size. It will report in 2018.

In a similar review in 2011, it initially included a Walthamstow constituency, but later eliminated it. '700 for Walthamstow' aimed to get local people, appalled by this, to send written responses to the Commission. In all around 1000 were sent (though the whole process was stopped in 2012 when parliament voted to stop it).

2012 - Why it's a BAD THING!

All the information on this page is from the 2012 process, and has no bearing on the current - 2016 - process
(although the arguments for retaining a Walthamstow constituency remain as strong as ever!)
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Why is it a BAD THING to abolish Walthamstow as a parliamentary constituency and divide it up between Chingford and Leyton?

Walthamstow has a very strong community identity and sense of place:
  • It’s ancient – mentioned in the Domesday Book.
  • It’s a main population centre - listed as a ‘Major town centre’ in the Greater London Assembly’s London Plan, while Chingford and Leyton are just ‘districts’.
  • It’s in the name of our borough – Waltham Forest.
  • Local residents who missed out on Olympic tickets could enjoy an enthusiastic crowd by the big screen in – yes - Walthamstow Town Square.
  • Think of all the buildings and places with Walthamstow in their name: the stations, the Town Square, the High Street, the Academy, the marshes, and so on.
  • There’s the Film Festival, the Arts Trail, the Stow Music Festival
  • There’s loads of blogs – ‘Walthamstow Dad’, ‘Walthamstow Scene’, 'Walthamstow Tourist Board' (check the ‘Mattresses of Walthamstow’ video), and more . . 
It’s a transport hub, and a shopping hub, and a business centre, and a cultural centre. For example anyone living in Higham Hill ward needing a bus, or maybe shopping will head to Walthamstow – not to Chingford where the Boundary Commission thinks they belong.

It’s got a very active community life – local people desperate to restore the cinema, to establish proper provision of sexual healthcare, responding to the riots panel last year, and setting up a pop-up canteen for the extra police drafted in from far and near.

So why does this matter? The place would still be here under the Commission’s plans; there’d just be two MPs instead of one.
That’s the very problemwho would represent Walthamstow in parliament?
  • Would it be the MP who represented six (current) Leyton wards and four Walthamstow wards?
  • Or the MP representing six Chingford wards and four from Walthamstow?
Each would have Walthamstow only as a minority concern, but there would be loads of structural issues where decisions taken by parliament (separate from local council decisions) have a direct bearing on our whole community; issues like housing, and schools, and health. We must have a single voice to represent us in parliament (of whichever party) informed by an integrated vision of our community.

(All the information on this page is from the 2012 process, and has no bearing on the current - 2016 - process)

So what should you do?
  • follow this link, and tell the commission how you feel – you can do it by email, online, or by posting a letter
  • tell your friends, colleagues, workmates, etc to do the same
  • do it by next Monday - December 10th!
DON’T ASSUME IT WON’T HAPPEN!
Even though the Liberal Democrats have withdrawn their support, Cameron can still get a majority if he can twist the arms of the minority parties – like the Democratic Unionists and the Scottish Nationalists. 
More Info:
  • What to say - some points to raise with the Boundary Commission
  • Help with your letter
  • Links
  • News - Our video, Don't assume the changes won't happen, What the London Plan says
  • Maps
  • Why it's a BAD THING - the case against the proposals
  • Pictures - an example of the present boundary, and of the proposed boundary
  • NEW Our video - One voice for Walthamstow - brilliant work by Sian, Lorraine, and their team. Thanks to all involved!
(All the information on this page is from the 2012 process, and has no bearing on the current - 2016 - process)

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