Boundary Commission Proposes Reuniting Hammersmith and Fulham

New constituency would lose wards in Shepherd's Bush and gain wards in Fulham

Current boundaries in blue. Proposed boundaries in red.

Hammersmith and Fulham could become one parliamentary constituency under proposed changes in the 2018 review, revealed today by the Boundary Commission.

This would mean the current Chelsea and Fulham constituency, created in the last Boundary Commision review in 2010 would disappear. It has been one of the safest Tory seats in the country, with MP Greg Hands retaining his seat throughout.

In the north of the borough, three wards currently within the Hammersmith constituency – Askew, Wormholt and White City, and Shepherd’s Bush Green – would be separated and included in a new constituency along with six wards from Ealing borough called Ealing Central and Shepherd’s Bush constituency. This would replace the current Ealing Central and Acton constituency.

A fourth ward in Shepherd's Bush, College Park and Old Oak - also currently within the Hammersmith constituency - would become part of a new Willesden constituency.

The Boundary Commission's consultation document, Initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in London says:

In the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, we propose a Hammersmith and Fulham constituency, which includes six wards from the existing Chelsea and Fulham constituency and six wards from the existing Hammersmith constituency. This proposed constituency is wholly within the borough boundary.

Three Hammersmith constituency wards – Askew, Wormholt and White City, and Shepherd’s Bush Green – have been included in a constituency with six wards from Ealing borough called Ealing Central and Shepherd’s Bush constituency.

In the borough of Brent, we propose a Willesden constituency, which includes eight wards from the existing Brent Central constituency, and the Hammersmith borough ward of College Park and Old Oak from the existing Hammersmith constituency, and Brondesbury Park ward from the existing Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.

The changes will of course affect both local Conservative MP Greg Hands and Labour's Andy Slaughter, who has been MP for Hammersmith since this constituency was created in the 2010 review, and before that MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush for five years.

Greg Hands said: "I am very honoured to have represented Chelsea & Fulham, as its MP, since 2010. In 2010 I won 60% of the vote. In 2015 this increased to 63%. I am proud to represent both Chelsea and Fulham in the House of Commons.

"The Boundary Commission's draft proposals would split the constituency down the middle. The Chelsea part becomes Kensington & Chelsea, and the Fulham part becomes Hammersmith & Fulham. The Commission now starts a lengthy, two year process of consultation, and I will be making a submission to the consultation at the appropriate time."

Andy Slaughter did not comment on his own plans, but said that London politicians were surprised at the commission's proposal to scrap five seats when the city's population is set to rise to ten million by 2030. He said: "We should probably be getting more seats."

The new constituency would have a very different mix of voters, as it would lose traditional Labour voting wards in Shepherd's Bush and gain solidly Tory wards in Fulham.

The rules set out in the legislation on boundary changes state that there will be 600 Parliamentary constituencies covering the UK – a reduction of 50 from the current number. This means that the number of constituencies in England must be reduced from 533 to 501.

Each constituency has to have an electorate that is no smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507

The Boundary Commission are consulting on their initial proposals for a 12-week period, from 13 September 2016 to 5 December 2016. Their website has more information about how to respond as well as details of where and when they will be holding public. 

September 13, 2016