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Dear Boundary Commission,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Boundary of the Hornsey and Wood Green electorate as it affects Stroud Green Ward.
I have seen one local claim, that objections to this Ward being added to the Tottenham Parliamentary Constituency are based on prejudice and snobbery.
That is nonsense.
This is the second time in five years that the Boundary Commission have advanced the same proposal, that was met with wide opposition last time. The sound reasons advanced then, appeared to have been accepted by the Commission five years ago.
Nothing since has changed.
The Commission appear to be forgetful or unmindful of the key geographic element that separates Stroud Green from Tottenham, from the point of view of both the current political boundary and the permanent fact on the ground:
In the mid-1870s, the main East Coast railway line – up to Edinburgh – was laid through what was then open pastures.
Now, at the point of Harringay Station, this divider is a mere 10 tracks wide, but between that station and Hornsey Station to the north, the marshalling yards increase this gulf to a mini-Mississippi: about 30 railway tracks wide.
Since the mid-1870s, the effect on development – on either side of the railway line – has been to influence infrastructure links on a north-south axis. Especially roads, but also water, sewerage, gas and electricity. The later transport connections (bus routes) are orientated broadly north south. This is true, on both sides of the railway.
In turn, these directions influenced the primary orientation for schools, shopping, neighbours and employment: on both sides.
In part, the railway runs through a fairly deep cutting (below Chettle Court).
The other geographic point worth recording is the effect of the *ridge* that runs east-west, roughly across the middle of the Ward. The slopes north of Ridge Road face northwards, towards Hornsey and Crouch End. Parallel with, and south of Ridge Road is Mountview Road. The slopes south of Mountview Road face southwards, toward Finsbury Park.
These orientations are already shape the areas of the two Neighbourhood Forums, set up under the auspices of the Localism Act: the above-mentioned Ridge Road is now the southern boundary of the Crouch End N.F., while Mountview Road may well be the northern boundary of the nascent Finsbury Park N.F.
Stroud Green Ward is connected eastwards across the railway by a single road bridge (Endymion Road) and two minor pedestrian bridges, one by Harringay Station and the other at Oxford Road to Finsbury Park.
Finally – and to a much lesser extent – Stroud Green Ward is distanced from Tottenham by the width of Finsbury Park (please see a map).
I hope you will give these points due consideration.
Generally, I believe the task given to the Boundary Commission is misguided. The Commission has been directed to reduce (relatively slightly) the number of democratically elected representatives, while at the same time there remains no upper limit to the number of un-elected peers for the upper chamber.
In any event the kind of reform urgently needed for our electoral system is to move to a Proportional Representation system.
Councillor, Highgate Ward,
(but resident in Stroud Green for 30 years)
Type of respondent
Local councillor or other elected official
190c Stapleton Hall Road
1—Aerial photo – Stroud Green Boundary 30 to 40 railway lines wide.png
2—Map showing Stroud Green boundaries & railway – white.png
This is a very calm and well argued approach focussing on the current situation, with the major influences being the rail line, the north-south axes on either side of it, and the emerging forces of localism in the form of neighbourhood forums. Due weight...