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MapRA Objections to Boundary Commission proposals.
You can see the proposals and make comments at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/. MapRA's objections are below. You are welcome to use parts of this in your own comments; preferably in your own words
We are chair and organising secretary of the Mapesbury Residents Association. With some 900 members we are the largest residents association in Brent.
At our recent Committee meeting, committee members were unanimous in opposing the proposals for ward boundary and name change. There are three issues;
Reduction in no of councillors from 3 to 2. This effectively reduces our representation; I realise that your remit is to get the ratio of electors to councillors roughly equal. However, it is of significant value to have 3 rather than 2 councillors; it gives more choice - councillors can specialise more in different aspects / issues; one is less subject to loss of representation through illness / holiday.
Reduction of the streets covered by the ward i.e. removing Blenheim Gardens, Grosvenor Gardens, Stanley Gardens, Cranhurst Road, part of Walm lane. There is no logic behind this other than to cut electors down to fit the reduced number of councillors. (And it doesn’t not follow natural boundaries as the commission guidelines indicate it should - it splits Walm Lane / Chichele Road oddly.) These streets are close to the core Mapesbury Conservation area; indeed many there wish to be part of the conservation area and we have close links with and many members in that area. Furthermore, under the proposals our community loses many facilities; WG station, the church, the gateway Queensbury pub, shopping parade including bank and chemists. We would argue that it would be better to retain these streets and add Melrose Avenue, Chandos and Riffel Roads as logically part of the area. Indeed we have many members and close links with Chatsworth road so would wish to include Chatsworth road (and Coverdale, Deerhurst) as well if needed to make up the numbers for 3 Councillors.
(There is also a strange anomally in the proposed map whereby one house on the odd no side of Walm Lane is still in Mapesbury!)
Change of name. It appears the “strong desire” to change the name stems from 3 people; at least 1 of whom would not be in the ward as you have proposed to re-draw it. It is true that half of the ward is fairly close to the centre of Cricklewood; however half is as much linked to Willesden Green and Kilburn as well. There is strong historical association of the area with the name; from Walter Map, canon for the area. There is also proposed a Cricklewood ward for Barnet which may confuse; moreover, the entirety of Mapesbury will be in the new ward but Cricklewood is covered by three London boroughs and, consequently, only a part of Cricklewood will be in the new ward. We would, therefore, strongly wish to retain the Mapesbury name of the ward; however we would not be averse to compromise to call it Mapesbury- Cricklewood or Cricklewood – Mapesbury.
David Freedman (chair), Gerry Weston (org. sec.)
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