Charlton should be reunited under one parliamentary constituency, Greenwich & Woolwich MP Nick Raynsford told a public hearing into proposed boundary changes on Monday.
The area has been split between Mr Raynsford’s seat and Clive Efford’s Eltham constituency since the last election, but proposed changes provided an opportunity to bring Charlton back under one MP, he said.
A Boundary Commission report suggests splitting the Greenwich & Woolwich seat as part of nationwide changes designed to cut the number of MPs – leaving Charlton divided between a new Woolwich seat and an Eltham constituency that would stretch as far as Sidcup and Blackfen.
But Mr Raynsford told the hearing at Lewisham Town Hall he endorses an alternative proposal put forward by the London Labour Party, which would see Greenwich and Woolwich retained, gaining Lewisham borough’s Blackheath ward and the Kidbrooke with Hornfair ward which takes in the southern part of Charlton.
This, he said, would mean both Greenwich and Blackheath would both be represented by one MP (current plans would split Greenwich) and, Charlton, “a community with a historic core”, would also be reunited he said.
Referring to Charlton House’s position “at the heart” of the area, he said the boundary between the Greenwich & Woolwich and Eltham seats “comes almost to the southern edge of Charlton House”.
Current arrangements do not “comfortably represent Charlton as a community”, he added. At present the border between the two seats runs along Indus Road and Canberra Road.
Labour’s proposals for south-east London seats also include the creation of a new Eltham & Plumstead constituency and retaining the Erith & Thamesmead seat currently represented by Teresa Pearce. While the Boundary Commission suggests a new Deptford & Greenwich seat, Labour suggests a Deptford & Nunhead seat as well as retaining an expanded Greenwich & Woolwich.
The hearing continues tomorrow, with Clive Efford and representatives of Greenwich borough’s Conservatives and Liberal Democrats due to speak.
Wednesday update: Here’s the local Conservatives’ take on the boundary issues. Local Liberal Democrats also support the Boundary Commissions proposed changes.