The best reaction to the reorganisation of Wanstead

Google Streetview (actual scene does not have name painted on road)
Google Streetview (actual scene does not have name painted on road)

A reorganisation of the council wards which cover Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook is on the cards, and it will mean – among other things:

  • Snaresbrook becoming part of South Woodford
  • the creation of an actual thing called Wanstead Village, and
  • people on opposite sides of at least two roads (New Wanstead and St Mary’s Ave) now being in different wards.
There’s more detail on this post from last week. But the pithiest comment on the proposal came from  Wansteadium reader Grace Smith, who said: 
During my 38 years in Wanstead, I have lived in both Roding and Wanstead wards and Wanstead & Woodford, Ilford North, and Leyton & Wanstead parliamentary constituencies, (L&W twice!) without ever having moved house! At one point, part of my road was overlooked at the boundary change so we weren’t even told. Apparently, no one told our MP either, as he continued to answer my letters! 🙂 And they wonder why people feel disconnected
The consultation by the Boundary Commission is now open for public reactions and can be found here.

4 thoughts on “The best reaction to the reorganisation of Wanstead”

  1. There is not an ‘Aldersbrook’ ward at present and neither do places ‘end’ just because they are not in the name of a council ward in the same way ‘Woodford’ tube station (or town) won’t be called Monkhams or Bridge tube in future.

    The thing to watch with re-warding is how is the cake is being sliced. If councillors are happy (from any party): be on guard – there are many ways to slice a cake into equal(ish) slices. Their contentment means that the proposed arrangements do not harm or enhance their electoral prospects – their only concern.

    And Wanstead ‘Village’. Please. What village? Wanstead Town, if must.

  2. Help me out; how much time, effort, cost does this kind of stuff involve?

    Is it a tool to (try and) win local elections?

  3. Robespierre,

    ‘How much time, effort, cost does this kind of stuff involve?’ I don’t know.

    ‘Is it a tool to (try and) win local elections?’

    It’s a tool by a government body to try and ensure, as close as possible, that all of a council’s elected members have an equal electorate.

    You can never get it completely equal and it’s fair enough to take natural boundaries into consideration for electoral areas (as an extreme example, the population of the IoW parliamentary constituency is 110,000 whereas the average for England is 72,000. That’s done so as not to have a second MP representing part of the IoW and part elsewhere.)

    So I was maybe being a little too cynical in saying councillors will think primarily about votes; they will also be thinking about communities and ‘natural’ boundaries.

    But I have been in a room with them when they have considered how should we recommend a sector be carved up into equal-ish populations – east to west or north to south? – to give us the best electoral prospects.

    All councillors can do is make recommendations (with the weight of the council behind them, maybe). The government body will make the final decision (or recommend such to parliament.)

    Not yet mentioned about the review is its consideration of the number of councillors. There are currently 63 in Redbridge (21 wards, 3 councillors each). The government body usually tries to cut these but Redbridge is recommending the number stays (about) the same.

    I would disagree with them because, as the council points out, the borough’s population grew by over 17% between 2001 and 2011 with further high growth predicted (and east London will have a fair and increasing number of people who don’t turn up in the census). I think they should be asking for more councillors.

    Redbridge population:
    (2001 popn – from census) 238,635 = 3,788 residents per councillor
    (2011 popn – from census) 278,970 = 4,428 residents per councillor
    (2015 popn – projection used by LBR) 296,800 = 4,711 residents per councillor

    The ratios, whilst getting worse, are not so bad compared with other places, where my previous research has shown there is now a tremendous disparity in these numbers. The government body recommended the city of Birmingham should have about 11,000 residents per councillor despite that council (near enough) having the same responsibilities as Redbridge (albeit on a lot bigger scale).

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