Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Don't let the Boundary Commission bulldoze Walthamstow for its hyperspace bypass.

There's a serious problem with the way the Boundary Commission has set up its process for boundaries review:
Step 1 was to publish proposals, and invite responses both in writing and at public meetings - this happened in autumn 2011
Step 2 was to review these and draft new proposals taking these responses into account, with the option to make significant changes
Step 3 - which is where we are now - was to publish these revised proposals [with very significant changes], and invite responses, but only in writing and only with the expectation of minor changes - such as a change of  constituency name.

Remember Arthur Dent in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? When he complained about his house being bulldozed to make way for a 'hyperspace bypass', he was told the plans had been on display - in an out of the way office in the basement of an obscure government building - and he could have complained then.

Well - ok - that's not quite what has happened here, but equally devious bureaucratic logic seems to be saying that: because the first proposals left Walthamstow more or less intact, and therefore nobody complained much then it follows that nobody in Walthamstow is bothered about Walthamstow, so let's carve it up, and we can bulldoze this obstacle to the Government's pet project. [A project which will, by the way, go on giving - giving  every 5 years a major boundary reorganisation headache as continuing population movements make each new set of boundaries illegal]

Put more formally: This proposal was not in any previous plan the Boundary Commission produced for constituencies for the North East London area. Indeed, all prior plans explicitly stated that a constituency for Walthamstow should be created. It is therefore not reasonable for the Commission to expect Walthamstow residents to have previously participated in their consultation process, as they have had no prior warning such a change was under consideration. Walthamstow residents should therefore not be penalised by the lack of public meeting at which to express their view on this matter by having their political representation diluted.

DON'T PANIC. Just take Ford Prefect's advice: grab your towel and tell the Boundary Commission why they must restore Walthamstow. Check here for more reasons! [and do it before December 10th]

[and then visit here to find out more about Life, The Universe, and Everything]

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