The Boundry Commission is planning to make Stroud Green Ward part of the Tottenham constituency instead of Hornsey and Wood Green. Local government boundries will not be affected but your MP will change. Does it matter? Yes, for at least two reasons: Hornsey and Wood Green is a marginal constituency and has changed hands recently between Lib Dems and Labour. Your vote is critical. Tottenham is one of the safest Labour seats in the country. Your vote will have little impact. So if you want your vote to matter, you must be in Hornsey and Wood Green.
How else might it affect you? Hornsey and Wood Green MPs know our vote is important and pay attention to issues which affect us locally. Can we expect the same as part of Tottenham? Have a look at the map. Tottenham is a large constituency with a geographical heartland based on the A10. It is undergoing a major regeneration as a result at least in part of the 2011 riots. It has plenty to occupy any MP. Stroud Green Ward will be a prosperous add-on separated from the rest of the constituency by a major rail line. How much attention can we expect from our MP?
The Boundry Commission issued a consultation paper asking for responses by 5th Dec 2016. Time is short and the grounds for objection are limited, so if you want to have a say you need to get busy. So what are the grounds for objection? Not much, because the Boundry Commission does not recognise social geography as important in drawing ward boundaries. It is not interested in where you think you live, where you do your shopping or where your children go to school. It does not care whether you feel you are part of the Hornsey and Wood Green community or Tottenham. It only considers physical geography such as mountains, hills, rivers and lakes, not human or social geography such as culture, history and socio-economics.
So if physical geography is the criteria, what are the facts? How connected is Stroud Green to its neighbouring wards? There are 9 streets linking Stroud Green to other wards in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, 11 linking it to the proposed Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington constituency, and just one street (and one footbridge) linking it to Tottenham. Why? Because the Great Northern Railway Line (or whatever it is called these days) provide a physical barrier between Stroud Green and Harringay wards. The Boundry Commission may consider 'special geographical conditions including the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency'. It recognises the River Lea as a physical boundry but not the railway line. It is reasonable to ask why not. If the railway line is not physical geography, what is it? Is it a 'social' phenomenon? It is a great ditch filled with seven railway lines at its narrowest and 20 at its widest. Impassible except for one road crossing, one footbridge and nothing else. So what is the railway line if not physical geography?
What about buses? There are three major bus routes through Stroud Green ward. The W7 and 210 connect us to other parts of Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. Neither go to Tottenham. The W3 connects us to six wards in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency before reaching the border of Tottenham after 24 stops and 38 minutes at White Hart Lane. The W5 is a less frequent service. It has 23 stops in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency and 2 in Tottenham. The alternative is to cross the footbridge and get a bus on Green Lanes. In summary, it is possible to get to Tottenham by bus, but we are far better connected to Hornsey and Wood Green.
What about overland rail? The only station actually in Stroud Green Ward is Harringay. It connects north and south but does not go to Tottenham. Crouch Hill station provides a good connection to Haringey and South Tottenham stations and to the entire London Overground network at Gospel Oak. It is not strictly speaking in Stroud Green but nearby. Finsbury Park station provides good connections to central London, to Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale and Turnpike Lane in Tottenham, and to Wood Green and Bounds Green in Hornsey and Wood Green. It is also not strictly speaking in Stroud Green.
Why are the changes being made? It is part of the Government plan to reduce the number of MPs and equalise the number of voters in each constituency. Each must have between 71,031 and 78,507 voters. Hornsey and Wood Green is currently bang on target with 74,641 and will be 74,418
after the changes, but must be dismembered in order to make the numbers add up elsewhere. You can see the proposals and local map here ([https://www.bce2018.org.uk/node/6485?postcode=N44HD]