The Lambeth Liberal Democrats welcome the Commission's final recommendations for the Borough's new electoral map as a significant move forward to providing better representation for Lambeth's many communities. The new 2 member wards in many parts of the borough will provide residents with representation based on smaller, natural neighborhoods. The old one size fits all large wards were not fit for purpose and we are pleased the Commission and many residents agree. This is only a first step to enhance local democracy, local electoral reform is still the best solution to fixing a system where half the voters chose 95% of the councillors in Lambeth.
We are especially pleased to see the Commission has decided to revert back to the original proposal for a new Clapham Common-Abbeville ward, including the residents of Oaklands Estate. It was disappointing that the local Labour Party spent so much effort trying to break this community up and we are pleased that so many local residents of the estate decided to support our proposal. The Telford Park community were also very firm about not being split up, which we put to the Commission during the consultation process and the new Streatham Hill West & Thornton is what residents want. There is no substitute for knocking on doors and seeing what people think.
Matthew Bryant, local campaigner for Streatham Hill and Thornton had this to say:
“I am pleased that the Commission rejected Lambeth Council’s ludicrous proposal to split up the Telford Park area. Wards need to reflect local communities, which the Commission has largely achieved.”
Next Steps for Local Democracy
In Scotland and Wales, thanks to the efforts of local Liberal Democrat campaigners and elected representatives STV is now an option for local council elections. This means that local councils better reflect the voter intention. The party with the most votes will still get the most councillors, but they will not have the system rigged in their favour to get the vast majority of councillors, despite not getting the vast majority of voters, like here in Lambeth and across England.