The Boundary Commission for England is consulting on a new map for parliamentary constituencies. They propose creating a “Mill Hill and High Barnet” seat which cuts out East Barnet and Brunswick Park wards and attaches them to a new “Southgate and Barnet East” constituency, falling mainly in the borough of Enfield.
I am campaigning for these two wards to remain in the Chipping Barnet constituency. I do not believe they should be tacked on to a seat made up primarily of Enfield wards. We should keep our community together.
If you want to keep these areas in a Barnet constituency, please let the Boundary Commission know by responding to their consultation at: https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/.
How to have your say: To take part you need to enter a post code into the search box. If you live locally, that can be your home post code. If you live elsewhere, but want to support the campaign, you can use any local post code (eg EN4 8HG). You then need to click on the “Make a comment” button, then on the constituency map, to bring up a comment box. There is a word limit for the comment box, but if you want to send more detailed representations, you can save them in as a PDF or Word document and submit them using the “Add files” option towards the bottom of the page. You are then given a choice as to whether your name is published by the Commission as someone who has responded to the consultation.
The consultation closes on 4th April so time is running out to have your say! Please send off your representations to the Boundary Commission TODAY to let them know you want your neighbourhood to stay in Barnet!!! ACT NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SHIFTED INTO AN ENFIELD CONSTITUENCY.
The key point to make is that there are strong communities ties between the areas covered by East Barnet and Brunswick Park wards (including New Barnet) and the rest of what is currently the Chipping Barnet constituency. In particular, it would be artificial and disruptive to split these two wards away from from Barnet Vale, Hadley, High Barnet and Whetstone. The effect of this would be that New Barnet would be split between two different parliamentary constituencies.
Explaining your own views of these community ties has the greatest impact but here are a few points which you might wish to consider including in your representations:
- East Barnet and Brunswick Park have been part of the Chipping Barnet constituency for decades. They are inextricably and historically linked to other wards in Chipping Barnet, especially Barnet Vale, Whetstone and High Barnet. The connection with these neighbourhoods dates back at least as far as 1863 when they were part of a local government board covering areas in Chipping Barnet, Barnet Vale, and Monken Hadley. The town hall building opened in 1892 for East Barnet Urban District Council (now converted for residential use) is located in Station Road in Barnet Vale ward.
- The Boundary Commission propose the railway line as the divide between new constituencies; but there are numerous community links which cross the railway line (and foot crossings aid connectivity). The New Barnet area is partly in East Barnet ward and partly in Barnet Vale ward. The Boundary Commission proposal would therefore split New Barnet down the middle, separating an area which is a single community served by the same schools, religious institutions, and residents’ groups.
- Many schools have catchment areas that cross the railway line, including Cromer Road, Livingston, Monken Hadley, Hadley Wood, St Mary’s, Church Hill School, Monkfrith, Sacred Heart, All Saints and Brunswick Park.
- Several churches and synagogues draw members from both sides. These include St James's (East Barnet Road), St Mark's (Potters Road); Mary Immaculate & St Peter (Somerset Road); United Reformed Church, St John's (corner of Somerset and Mowbray Roads); Quakers (Leicester Road); Barnet United Synagogue (Eversleigh Road) and Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue (Oakleigh Road North).
- Community groups such as “Save New Barnet” cover areas in both East Barnet ward and Barnet Vale. They have led major campaigns on local planning matters, reflecting concerns across a community which would be divided by the Boundary Commission proposal. New Barnet Community Centre is used by residents from within and outside the wards which the Commission want to move out of the constituency.
- East Barnet Village is an important local shopping area for both Barnet Vale and East Barnet. The New Barnet Leisure Centre serves as a community hub for many across the north east of the borough of Barnet.
- In the March 2019, the Local Government Boundary Commission seriously considered a proposal to reunite New Barnet in a single ward. It was not adopted because the population figures did not match the criteria, but the community connections within New Barnet were recognised and an effort was made to narrow the local boundaries for New Barnet down from three to two wards in the revised map for local elections which was eventually adopted.
- While parts of Brunswick Park have links to Southgate, this is not the case for the whole ward and is certainly not the case for East Barnet Village. The main roads of Waterfall Road and Chase Side presently provide a natural geographical dividing line between Brunswick Park ward and the current Enfield Southgate constituency. East Barnet and Brunswick Park wards were historically part of Hertfordshire, whereas the Southgate area and the borough of Enfield with which the Boundary Commission want to link them up were part of Middlesex.
- East Barnet ward and Brunswick Park are strongly interlinked to one another. There is no visible or natural boundary between them and they should not be separated. They share the green space of Oak Hill Park and Pymmes Brook runs through both wards. Retaining them in Chipping Barnet keeps the constituency wholly within the borough and avoids leaving the two wards ‘orphaned’ in a largely Enfield constituency.
- The Boundary Commission’s overall plan for the borough of Barnet involves drastic change to existing boundaries. It would see five MPs representing Barnet wards, only one of which would represent a constituency which did not cross a borough boundary. The criteria which the Commission are required to follow provide that existing constituencies should be the starting point for the new map. Retaining East Barnet and Brunswick Park in the Chipping Barnet constituency would reduce the churn of voters moved between constituencies.
- It could also be part of a simpler less disruptive map for the borough as a whole which sees the existing Chipping Barnet constituency stay as it is except that it would gain Edgwarebury and lose Friern Barnet in order to meet the requirements on population size. This map would also enable Finchley and Golders Green to keep its existing boundaries. This approach is more compliant with the rules governing this process that existing constituencies should form the building blocks of the new map where possible, and unnecessary change should be avoided.