I’ve been leading Hampstead & Kilburn Conservatives’ response to the Boundary Commission’s proposed boundary changes. As part of that, I’ve gone through the figures from the Boundary Commission with a fine toothcomb, reading every submission from across Hampstead & Kilburn and neighbouring areas after they were published a week and a half ago.
I won’t share all the interesting nuggets that came out of it – why give everything away? – but I will share the following headline facts:
- Hampstead & Kilburn residents made far more submissions than residents of any other constituency in the country. In fact, only Wimbledon* produced more than half as many as Hampstead & Kilburn did. Clearly, people in the area care.
- The top two wards in the country by number of submissions were Frognal & Fitzjohns and Hampstead Town: the two wards that make up Hampstead village and that would be rent apart by Labour’s alternative proposal.
- Of the top eleven wards in the country by number of submissions, six were in Hampstead & Golders Green (I was responsible for five of these wards, and my Hampstead Town ward mate Hamish Hunter was responsible for Highgate). This shows that the level of support was spread pretty evenly across the constituency, with strong support for keeping our community united across Swiss Cottage, Belsize, West Hampstead, and Highgate, as well as Hampstead village.
- On some roads, almost every household responded. This is particularly the case on roads like Akenside Road and Belsize Crescent, which would be the boundary between two constituencies if Labour had their way.
- Of those six wards generating the most responses, 88% backed the Boundary Commission. The only ward where more people opposed it than supported it was Kilburn, which only generated a total of 18 responses. As such, across the whole of Hampstead & Golders Green, 87% backed the proposed seat.
This was frankly the most one-sided result of any constituency in the country. Not only did it provoke by far the largest response anywhere, but it was overwhelmingly positive and that positivity reached across almost every ward: including three of the four Labour-held wards.
I hope the Boundary Commission notes this when making their decision, and ensures that Hampstead is kept united.
* On a side note about Wimbledon, the reason so many people there complained is because the Boundary Commission proposed doing to Wimbledon what Labour want to do to Hampstead: put a parliamentary boundary right down the middle of the village. No wonder they were almost as angry in SW19 as we were in NW3!