The Local Government Boundary Commission has confirmed its draft recommendations for the Ladywell ward after overwhelming support from the local community.Lewisham council has also given broad support to the ward recommendations.
The commission says it is confirming its draft recommendations as final, with two minor from modifications. Both sides of Tyrwhitt Road will be included in the Brockley ward. The boundary has also been amended along Albacore Crescent by the hospital.
Ladywell ward “remains a three-councillor ward with a forecast variance of 10 per cent fewer electors than the borough average by 2025. We are content that this provides for a good balance of our statutory criteria.”
Ladywell Society welcomes recommendations
The Ladywell Society has welcomed the final recommendations of the Local Government Boundaries Commission on Ladywell’s ward boundaries as a “much more accurate representation of what most people consider to be Ladywell in 2020”.
The proposals reflect the recommendations of the Ladywell Society, many local organisations, individuals and our ward councillors. “This success owes much to the Save Ladywell campaign whose strenuous efforts and excellent public meetings were integral to this positive outcome.”
This society says the recommendations represent “a triumph for local democracy” and show what can be achieved when local organisations and local people come together for the common good.
The new boundary changes must now be approved by Parliament but it is unlikely that they will be amended or rejected at this stage.
A draft Order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will now be laid before Parliament and will provide for new electoral arrangements for Lewisham Council to be implemented at the local elections in 2022.
The Ladywell ward has been saved under draft proposals drawn up by the Local Government Boundary Commission.
The commission has recommended Lewisham retain its current number of councillors, 54, but in 16 three-councillor wards and three two councillor wards. Each councillor would represent 3,800 people against 3,600 currrently.
The recommendations are based primarily on the Conservatives’ proposals to the north of the A2 and, with the exception of Bellingham, the Council’s proposals south of Ladywell, the commission says in its draft report.
“However, in a number of places our draft recommendations follow boundaries proposed by other respondents. Notably, we have moved away from the Council’s proposals for Brockley, Ladywell and the area around the Lewisham shopping centre.
The commission says it was “persuaded by strong community evidence that a Ladywell ward should be adopted which has different boundaries from the one proposed by either the Council or the Conservatives.
The commission says it “received around 213 submissions about this area, over 200 of which related to Ladywell. “
The Council proposed a Ladywell Brockley ward which included both Ladywell and Brockley communities. Its scheme moved the area north-east of Hilly Fields park into its Lewisham Central ward.
In contrast, the Brockley Society, the Ladywell Society, Ladywell Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Save Ladywell campaign and residents all emphasised the need for separate Brockley and Ladywell wards.
“We received six different alternative schemes for Ladywell. We were persuaded to include separate Brockley and Ladywell wards.
“We consider that this approach is a better reflection of community identity for Ladywell,” the commission says.
Local evidence from the Ladywell Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, Ladywell community groups and residents suggested that Ladywell ward should be extended eastwards to Lewisham High Street, adds the draft report.
“Some respondents, including the Brockley Society, Ladywell Society and Save Ladywell campaign, recommended it extend beyond the High Street.
“On our tour of the area, we noted that the railway line around Ladywell station that forms the existing boundary does not constitute a barrier and note that the community evidence suggested that Ladywell extends beyond it.
“We were therefore persuaded to extend the Ladywell ward eastwards.”
In the east of the ward, the draft recommendation place St Mary’s Primary School and its associated church on the opposite side of Lewisham High Street in the same ward. It also proposes including Place Ladywell in its proposed Ladywell ward.
The commission believes the proposals “reflect the Ladywell community and we also consider it facilitates a warding pattern in the surrounding area with strong boundaries which also reflect our criteria.
“We have put the area north of Loampit Hill in Ladywell ward and the area around Molesworth Street in our Lewisham Central ward in line with boundaries proposed by the Ladywell Society as this produces better electoral equality while maintaining a strong boundary.”