On Tuesday 27th September the SOS - Save Our Southgate campaign was launched at a meeting of community group and residents association representatives. David Burrowes said "I am pleased to help launch SOS which is also known as Operation Humpty because the aim is to put Enfield back together after the planned break up of the constituency into 5 pieces. It is primarily a community led campaign because it is in the best interests of Enfield to reject the plans and seek a revised plan."
Earlier this month the Boundary Commission's initial proposals were published for redrawing constituency boundaries to equalise constituents numbers and reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The plans are subject to consultation over the next 3 months. In Enfield the proposals will have a dramatic effect on Enfield Southgate which would be abolished and see its wards dispersed across 5 constituencies. David Burrowes has called on Enfield Council to oppose the plans as a "bad deal for Enfield".
David Burrowes statement to Enfield Council is as follows:
"There may be different political interest views across the 3 Enfield constituencies but for the purpose of the Council I would suggest there can be a consensus that it is overall a bad deal for Enfield.
It is not in the best interests of Enfield residents to be represented by 5 different MPs.
The initial proposals of the Boundary Commission do not sufficiently respect the local government borough boundaries. The plan splits Enfield Southgate 5 ways and leaves 2 wards orphaned respectively to 2 MPs representing otherwise Haringey or Barnet borough wards. It creates a new Finchley and Southgate constituency which lacks community connection or cohesion and puts 3 Enfield borough wards in the minority interest of a constituency with majority Barnet borough wards. It would leave 5 Enfield borough wards as a minority interest of their new MP.
There are several detailed issues with proposed individual ward changes which are likely to be challenged by residents and community groups but the proposal to move Cockfosters into Chipping Barnet highlights the lack of respect for community and local government links. Whilst there is at the western boundary a geographical link to Barnet, the latest local government ward boundary changes firmly establish the link between Cockfosters and Southgate and the predominant parochial, residential, commercial and social interests of Cockfosters are within the borough of Enfield. The Piccadilly Line makes an obvious but important point about the natural and significant link between Cockfosters and its neighbouring Enfield wards representing Oakwood, Southgate and Arnos Grove.
Enfield Council should oppose the initial proposals and request a new plan which better respects the borough link and ideally enables 3 MPs to be representing Enfield borough wards.
The Council may also wish to comment upon the growing population and needs of the borough which needs to have a majority interest of 3 MPs rather than be split across 5 constituencies.
Finally the boundary review does not reflect the recent increase in electoral registration and population growth in Enfield. Any future boundary review is likely to lead to the growth of the current Enfield constituencies and need for continued representation by 3 MPs."
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