Search

Boundary review: Hackney MP says ‘undemocratic’ plans ignore thousands of voters

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:37 15 September 2016

Hackney constituencies now and if the plans go through

Hackney constituencies now and if the plans go through

Archant

MP Meg Hillier has labelled the boundary review set to shake up Hackney’s constituencies as “undemocratic” because it ignores thousands of the borough’s voters.

Meg Hillier's constituency will be dissolved.Meg Hillier's constituency will be dissolved.

The Boundary Commission review aims to redraw the borders to balance the number of voters in each area, while reducing the number of seats from 650 to 600.

But it is based on electorate figures from last year when a new individual registration system was brought in, and does not include the thousands of people in Hackney who didn’t sign up in time.

About 30,000 people were wiped off the register in Hackney, but figures have since risen by more than 10 per cent from 163,626 to 180,145.

The proposals include abolishing both constituencies – Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Hackney South and Shoreditch – and replacing them with Hackney West and Bethnal Green, Hackney Central and Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington.

Hackney South and Shoreditch

Hackney South and Shoreditch has an electorate of 73,778 – already well over the minimum requirement of 71,031 set by the commission. It was created in 1974 from the old Shoreditch and Finsbury constituency. Ronald Brown was the first MP. He represented Labour but defected to join the Social Democratic Party in 1981. Meg Hillier won the seat in 2005.

Ms Hillier said: “The review doesn’t take into consideration the thousands of people in Hackney who registered to vote in the last year, including those in the run up to the EU referendum. Ignoring these voters is unfair and undemocratic.

“It is still early days. This is a long process and things can change dramatically over the next two years.”

Her views were echoed by John Page of social justice campaign group Hackney Unites, who said the government was trying to get a head start ahead of the General Election by not using up-to-date figures.

He told the Gazette: “It’s clear there wasn’t enough time given to local authorities. It under-represents urban and inner city areas, and particularly places like Hackney where there’s a high level of private sector renting going on where people move regularly.

Hackney North and Stoke Newington

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency has an electorate of 74,780. It was created in 1950 when Hackney North (formed in 1885) and Stoke Newington (formed in 1918) merged following a decrease in population.

The seat has been held by Labour since its formation, with David Weitzman the first MP. For the five years leading up to his retirement in 1979, he was the last sitting British MP born in the 19th century. He was replaced by Ernie Roberts, who was MP for eight years before being deselected in favour of Diane Abbott – who has been MP ever since.

“This government is determined to push through with these changes, despite knowing they will adversely impact on the quality of our democracy. It would give them a head start of 25-30 seats.

“It’s not as if the current boundaries are perfect, but they need to be redrawn on the basis of current data. They’ve rushed the process to meet the deadline for the next General Election.

“We could end up with a government that’s in power because people in Hackney haven’t had their voices heard to the same extent as people in Hampstead or Westminster.”

Diane Abbott did not respond to a request for comment on the possible abolition of her constituency, which she has represented for 29 years.

The Gazette did, however, receive two press releases from her office the same day about national health issues concerning her role as shadow health minister.

Related articles

Latest Hackney Stories

09:00

Sporting Bengal United were held for a point in an eight goal thriller against new boys Saffron Walden at Catons Lane this weekend.

Yesterday, 18:26

Middlesex’s James Harris grabbed five wickets on day one of his side’s County Championship match at Wantage Road as Northants ended on 332-8.

Yesterday, 16:02

Middlesex toiled in the afternoon session on day one of their County Championship match against Northants after Ricardo Vasconcelos hit an unbeaten century at Wantage Road.

Middlesex’s talented 19-year-old bowler – and former North Middlesex paceman – Ethan Bamber made his first class debut against Northants on Sunday during day one of their County Championship clash. Read Layth Yousif’s morning session report from Wantage Road on Sunday.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking after Chelsea beat the Gunners 3-2 in a frenetic London derby. Read on to learn waht he said about Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference – and much more.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has said his side made it ‘too easy’ for Chelsea during the Gunners 3-2 defeat in the London derby at Chelsea on Saturday. Read on for what he had to say.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with his players in their 3-1 victory against Fulham but believes there is still plenty to improve on despite winning both of their Premier League matches so far.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a breathless London derby after an 80th minute winner from Marcos Alonso sealed the victory for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues as Unai Emery suffered his second league defeat in two matches.

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists