Camden’s new Highgate ward

by | Oct 8, 2019 | Plan | 3 comments

Boundary Commission proposals suggest a single dedicated councillor for Highgate in Camden. Do you support this?

Just as population movements require regular revisions to the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies, so too with the boundaries of Council wards.  Such reviews are becoming increasingly necessary as hundreds of thousands of new homes are being built in London, some of them in developments of over a thousand homes.

The area covered by the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum is split between two Highgate wards, one in Haringey, the other in Camden.  It is proposed that some of Camden’s wards, including the one affecting Highgate, be changed.

When the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum was consulted by the Boundary Commission we suggested that when it redrew ward boundaries it should, wherever possible, align them with the boundaries of the borough’s Neighbourhood Forums.  After all when these forums set up it was a requirement that their boundaries should be aligned with the boundaries between natural communities.

The existing ward map can be seen on the Camden web pages.

This suggestion was echoed by other campaigners and the LG Boundary Commission has interpreted this suggestion more radically than we had expected (see page 13 of the LGBC report).  Their latest proposals see the old Highgate ward divided into two, with the southern part called Dartmouth Park. Instead of three councillors over the whole old ward, the village will have a single dedicated councillor to itself and Dartmouth Park will have two.

Clearly there are arguments for and against the proposed arrangements.  At present the Village is represented in the Council chamber by three councillors, not necessarily all of the same party.  Under the proposals we would have only one.  On the other hand it could be argued that Highgate would benefit from having a councillor dedicated exclusively to the Village rather than sharing three with the more populous Dartmouth Park with its different planning issues and different demographic make-up.

It is not too late to express your preferences: You can find detailed maps of the proposed new boundaries at https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/greater-london/greater-london/camden and it is not too late to send your comments to: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

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3 Comments

  1. Richard Sumray

    I think this is a very poor solution for Highgate and is being pushed by some individuals and parties on purely electoral grounds. Having one Councillor in Highgate on the Camden side and being the only part of Camden to have one Councillor will be detrimental. One voice in the Council chamber will not count for much and there will be a real danger that Highgate is marginalised as a result. it would also increase the workload of the individual Councillor because there would be nobody to share duties with.

    It is also arguable that the cut off between Highgate and Dartmouth Park is arbitrary and that there are really three communities rather than two as described by the Boundary Commission, the third being Highgate Newtown which is in a number of ways different to the rest of the proposed ward.

    This proposal should be opposed.

    Reply
  2. Jeremy Chataway

    The single ward make good sense

    Reply
  3. Kirsty

    Yes, great initiative and essential to survival of Council Boroughs, frequently involved in local council run events and political debate in the neighbourhood.

    -I’ve noticed Highgate areas, including the people living in/visiting the Village’s inability to navigate city-wide changes.

    – How do we stay informed?
    – More care jobs possbile as aging population require guidance literally.
    -More colaboration with local Churches, who know their congregation members but struggle to find ways of helping them. I’ve been approached a couple of times to assist elderly people in the area, just to get to church or cross the road.

    -how does one lobby for changes similar, such as diverting traffic away etc , or creating new council jobs?

    Reply

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