On Monday 7 February 2022, the Boundary Commission published the responses to the first public consultation on its constituency boundary proposals. Greg would like to thank all residents who submitted responses to the consultation, which included over 500 submissions made for the Chelsea & Fulham constituency against the controversial proposals by the Boundary Commission.
The secondary public consultation closed on 4 April 2022. This stage of the process included public hearings taking place across London, Greg spoke at the hearing on 25 February 2022 at Westminster Central Hall, opposing the Boundary Commission's proposal to cut Chelsea in half and putting forward his alternative proposal.
For more detail on the Boundary Commission’s proposal and Greg’s counter-proposal please read below:
The Boundary Commission’s Proposal:
As some residents may recall, the Boundary Commission proposed new constituencies of Westminster & Chelsea East and Fulham & Chelsea West for the 2023 review.
These proposals would divide Chelsea into two parts, Chelsea West and Chelsea East, which has no known geographic basis, either present or historic.
Chelsea has never been divided before for parliamentary representation. Indeed, until 1997, it was a standalone constituency. Since then, it’s declining number of electors has meant it needs to be paired with neighbouring parts of London, first with Kensington (1997-2010), and since with Fulham (2010 - to date), but never itself divided.
Under these proposals, each of the King’s Road and the Fulham Road, currently all within the constituency of Chelsea & Fulham, would be cut in two. Furthermore, Sloane Square, Duke of York Square and the Royal Hospital would be in ‘Westminster and Chelsea East’, whereas the World’s End, the three NHS hospitals and St Luke’s Church would be in ‘Fulham and Chelsea West’. This would divide the well-knit Chelsea community in a wholly arbitrary and unreasonable manner.
Greg submitted a counter-proposal to the Boundary Commission, which has been supported by many residents.
Due to its small size (roughly 23,000 electors), Chelsea cannot form a parliamentary constituency on its own (those need to be between 69,724 and 77,062 electors). It does need to be paired with a neighbouring area. The current pairing, with Fulham since 2010, has worked well. It unites both the Fulham Road and the (New) King’s Road into one parliamentary constituency, and there is a natural commonality of interest between the two.
In Greg’s proposals, the extension of the constituency into north Fulham which includes the wards Fulham Reach and North End (soon to be known as ‘West Kensington’), as proposed by the Boundary Commission, would remain unchanged. The current parliamentary boundaries, which have prevailed since 2010, include all of Fulham in the SW6 postcode. The Boundary Commission proposal extends that northwards to roughly the A4, to take in sections of the W6 and W14 postcodes.
Greg proposed to remove Courtfield ward and replace it with Royal Hospital ward. This way, the vast majority of the Chelsea community would remain united and combined into one parliamentary constituency with the entirety of Fulham. The current constituency name ‘Chelsea & Fulham’ could continue to be used. The constituency would cover the full length of both the (New) King’s Road and Fulham Road (bar about 30 yards), which are natural linkages between Chelsea & Fulham.
Furthermore, Greg’s alternative proposal leaves the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea with only two MPs, which is the minimum number necessary to fit the quota, and is therefore a better solution than the Boundary Commission's proposal which would divide the borough between three MPs. The same would apply for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham which would also be represented by two MPs, like now.
Fulham would remain linked with Chelsea for parliamentary representation, as it has been since 2010, and this would be the whole of Chelsea, not just ‘Chelsea West’.
Please look at the maps above to see the proposed new boundaries and Greg’s counter-proposal.