VILLIERS THROWS HER SUPPORT BEHIND BOUNDARY COMMISSION PROPOSALS FOR BARNET

"You only have another three weeks to make your voice heard. I would urge you to take part in the consultation and send your representations off as soon as possible."

The consultation is open until 5th December. Members of the public can submit their views on constituency boundaries by visiting the following website:

http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/

Alternatively you can write the following address:

The Hon Mr Justice Sales, Deputy Chairman of Commissioners, Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQ

Theresa has written the following letter to the Mr Justice Sales, who is in charge of the process:

Dear Sir Philip

I am writing in strong support of the Boundary Commission’s proposals to retain the current boundaries for Chipping Barnet Parliamentary Constituency in north London.

One of the most compelling reasons to support the Commission’s proposals is that the proposed retention of the Chipping Barnet constituency would comply with the requirements of the relevant legislation in terms of the number of voters. I am concerned that any alteration to the proposed boundaries could have a knock-on effect impacting on constituencies right into central London.

As well as complying with the Boundary Commission’s electoral quota, Chipping Barnet’s existing boundaries make good geographical sense and ensure that long-established communities are kept together.

There are important historical, cultural and political links between the many communities that make up the constituency.

For example, the constituency unites all the ‘Barnets’, namely High Barnet, East Barnet, Friern Barnet and New Barnet. These areas are inherently linked by cultural and community ties going back hundreds of years and to split them up would cause confusion and uncertainty for local residents. This is one of the reasons why I would oppose the submission you will have received to remove Coppetts ward from the Chipping Barnet constituency. This would remove Friern Barnet from the constituency when it has much stronger links with Chipping Barnet and with Finchley.

It is also of vital importance that East Barnet, Cockfosters and Brunswick Park are all retained as part of the Chipping Barnet constituency. These communities are closely inter-connected and to separate one from the other and link any of them up with a constituency largely based in Enfield would go against the grain of local life.

Furthermore, local residents in these areas strongly identify themselves as belonging to Barnet and do not look towards the neighbouring Borough of Enfield as the heart of their community.

I hope you will take the points I have raised into careful consideration when reviewing the proposals. I believe that there is strong local support for the Commission’s proposals for the whole of the borough of Barnet and its three constituencies.

In my view, they are based on a sound understanding of the relevant law and a correct application of it in the context of local circumstances. I would therefore urge you not to alter the proposals and to retain Chipping Barnet with its existing boundaries.

Yours sincerely

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP