Maryland Point

30 Oct

Map of proposed Maryland ward

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its draft proposal for re-warding Newham and it represents a major victory for local campaigners in Maryland. They argued that their community deserved direct representation on the council and the Commission agreed.

When I wrote about the council’s own proposals I expected them to be accepted. I was mostly right – but also quite wrong.

The Boundary Commission has adopted the majority of Newham’s recommendations, but re-drawn the map in the north of the borough to accommodate a new Maryland ward, which extends from Leyton Road in the west to Field Road in the east and takes in the roads around UEL’s Stratford campus in the south. If adopted, it will elect three councillors.

As a result three other wards have significant changes. The proposed Stratford East Village ward is now smaller and renamed Olympic East Village; it will have two councillors. Forest Gate North is also smaller, having lost almost all of the streets off Forest Lane west of the community school. But it gains the parts of the Woodgrange Estate that currently sit in Forest Gate South. The redrawn FGN will elect two councillors. Forest Gate South, shorn of the Woodgrange Estate, the area around the UEL and streets west of Water Lane, is also reduced to two councillors.

Stratford Olympic Park ward will simply be known as Stratford.

For what it’s worth, I think the boundary between the proposed new ward and Forest Gate North is absurd. Even if you accept that Maryland is a distinct community (I am personally unconvinced) there is no way it extends almost the entire length of Forest Lane. A more sensible boundary would be the western edge of Forest Lane Park and the cemetery.

One Response to “Maryland Point”

  1. Kronikal November 11, 2019 at 15:26 #

    Apart from the Maryland ward and knock-on effects, they have generally copied the council’s proposed pattern, though they’ve altered some boundary details to “improve electoral equality”.
    Maryland proves that they are influenced by residents (5 of the 20 submissions from residents mentioned it should have its own ward). And the commission’s proposal is still only provisional: most plans at this stage are altered in some way in the light of comments received in response to it. Many people wait until the commission have published their draft plan before commenting, but the LGBCE do encourage residents to do so before this stage, in order that their draft is itself based on as much relevant information as possible, so needs less drastic change later. Everyone can comment on this draft, pointing out further issues, but also supporting things on it they approve of: if people only mention things they disapprove of, then ‘good’ things may get altered in light of people objecting, making them ‘less good’!
    However, residents are at a disadvantage compared to the council if proposing a detailed plan, as we do not have access to the numbers for new developments that they have. That said, the local Conservatives had intended to submit one, but the LGBCE say their file was corrupt so couldn’t be read!
    The draft plan (with comments on submissions from previous round) is at https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/greater-london/greater-london/newham – click on ‘(4)’. I think it’s easier to email them comments than use their special ‘consultation area’.

    I too was puzzled by extending the proposed Maryland ward so far east, but I expect some respondents will now try to push it back the other way. A consequence of this new ward is the removal of the council’s ridiculous idea that the area between Leyton Rd & Leytonstone Rd is part of ‘East Village’.

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