If the polls are to be believed and manifestos actually undertaken, once Theresa May gets back in you can expect future Greater London Authority Elections to completely run on the basis of first past the post.
If so, it give us an opportunity to look at the boundaries of the 14 constituency seats we have in the London Assembly some of which, like City & East London and North-East London, have more than 500,000 constituents and are spread across 3 local authorities and half a dozen parliamentary seats.
More importantly, these two seats are where most of the future growth in London is going to be. On the basis of population growth figures from the GLA, Greater London is expected to reach 10 million in 2029.
The greatest growth is expected in be one of the constituent boroughs of City & East London, reaching an incredible 40.1 per cent in Barking & Dagenham. That is already the largest constituency in the London Assembly.
Size of Constituency seats in the London Assembly (at May 2016 )
Barnet & Camden 387,226
Bexley & Bromley 404,329
Brent & Harrow 385,960
City & East London ( City of London, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking & Dagenham ) 504,379
Croydon & Sutton 402,396 Ealing & Hillingdon 444,005 Enfield & Haringey 377,324
Greenwich & Lewisham 363,664
Havering & Redbridge 383,037
Lambeth & Southwark 427,176
Merton & Wandsworth 374,133
North East ( Islington, Hackney & Waltham Forest ) 501,906 South West ( Kingston, Houslow, Richmond ) 436,362
West Central ( Hammersmith & Fulham, Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster ) 349,058
Clearly there is a very good case to have another constituency created in East London, covering two local authorities, probably one each from North-East London and City and East London.
This would make for better representation of Londoners and make it more manageable for constituency Assembly Members (AM) to represent them in strategic London matters when holding the Mayor to account and raising the issues that matter to Londoners.
Similarly arguments can also be made for 3 local authority based constituencies in West London as well. And all can be accommodated within the 25 compliment of AM’s in the Assembly by reducing the the number of top-up list AMs by one for every new constituency created.
So some food for thought, if we ever have a consultation on rejigging the basis of the London Assembly elections and how we can create some new GLA constituency seats, at least.
The author is a former Labour Party member of the London Assembly
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