Greenwich voting boundary shake up: Greenwich, Thamesmead and Woolwich to be split

Greenwich voting boundary shake up: Greenwich, Thamesmead and Woolwich to be split

Plans to redraw the map of ward boundaries across Greenwich borough are to be discussed at a council meeting next week. The biggest changes are splitting areas of high population and voter growth in Thamesmead, Woolwich and Greenwich Peninsula.

The aim is to divide areas so they roughly have the same amount of councillors per resident – around 1 per 3,400. Currently Greenwich Peninsula ward currently has 22,849 residents while Shooters Hill has 13,760. Total numbers of councillors will increase by around 10 per cent, with population forecast to rise by around 16 per cent over the next decade.

Some forecasted population and voter changes in the report seem a bit off. Bizarrely they assume population falls in Greenwich West from 2020 to 2026 based on current ward boundaries despite many new developments approved, including this tower:

Approved

And this block further down Norman Road, which is now rising:

Currently being built in Greenwich

There are also homes coming to the former police station (now being demolished) and along the Creek at Saxon Wharf:

Saxon Wharf in Greenwich West ward. Approved February 2019

Despite these major projects the forecast is a reduction in population from 21,173 in 2020 to 20,795 in 2026. That number is based on current ward boundaries.



Even existing wards with projected growth seem to underestimate numbers. For example, Abbey Wood ward’s population is expected to rise from 16,757 to 17,156 according to the report. That’s a modest increase of 399 given large developments in the ward are approved and should be built over the next six years on the Greenwich borough side of the borough boundary. They include this tower with 245 homes:

Approved

And this block with 272 homes:

Looking down Harrow Manorway

And in six years we could expect a large empty space between those sites to be built:

Taken from Sainsbury’s. Area on left is Cross Quarter 2 site

And there is the former Post Office site.

Post Office plans approved

The ward boundary for Abbey Wood will not change.

It’s not easy to forecast when all will be built, but 2026 should see most if not all completed. Could forecasting future population numbers incorrectly in existing wards impact upon newly drawn wards sizes and representation?

Some future wards will have two councillors and some three, but even so, if the base projections are incorrect the ratio of councillor to residents could still vary by some margin.

Greenwich

The big change is east Greenwich and Peninsula. The current Peninsula ward extends over such a wide area that even 330 homes now being built in Charlton is included. The Peninsula will split from east Greenwich.

Victoria Way in Charlton

Ironically most land in the existing ward is held by Knight Dragon who have all but stopped building – though many other sites are on the drawing board. Projected increases by 2026 could even be overestimated – though of course even now there is a lack of representation and changes needed. Even while plans were drawn up numbers of planned homes have increased on the Peninsula, with newly revised plans approved just last week taking the Knight Dragon plot to over 17,000.

Morden Wharf

Other sites such as Morden Wharf and Enderby Wharf will add thousands more.

Woolwich

Woolwich Riverside ward is another which will be split. Growth at sites such as the Arsenal and projected homes through the Morris Walk estate rebuild and Charlton Riverside (both care in Woolwich Riverside as things stand) mean a split is needed.

Morris Walk will see a doubling of homes

Thamesmead will also be split due to new homes, including 1,750 at West Thamesmead Gateway.

Total councillors will rise by 10 per cent to 56 if plans approved. This is the first change since 2002.

You can view existing ward boundaries here and view projected boundaries here.

 

 

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Murky Depths

One thought on “Greenwich voting boundary shake up: Greenwich, Thamesmead and Woolwich to be split

  1. From my experiences with local Greenwich Councillors they are absolutely abysmal and ineffective.
    There can be 50 or 500…they are hopeless…one only has to look around Greenwich to see it
    Everything stems from Greenwich Council Management and their Agenda as directed by Govt

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