De Beauvoir residents hit out at boundary changes that could see them ‘shunted into Islington’

An election count in Hackney. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Voters have hit out at proposed boundary changes that could see them voting for councillors in Hackney but choosing an MP in Islington.

De Beauvoir residents said the Boundary Commission’s planned overhaul of parliamentary constituencies could give them an identity crisis.

The move would see a chunk of the area become part of the Islington South and Finsbury constituency, currently held by Labour’s Emily Thornberry.

The alterations to electoral boundaries are designed to even out the numbers of voters in certain constituencies and would increase the number of MPs from 533 to 543.

Resident Patricia Wheeler said the consultation was not extensive enough and would lead to locals picking ward councillors in one borough and an MP in another.

“My concern is the virtual absence of any public consultation on the proposed changes for the residents of De Beauvoir ward. Our ward is due to be shunted into Islington South.”

It is currently part of the Hackney South and Shoreditch constituency represented by Meg Hillier.

Constituencies are being redrawn to reflect population changes, and follow an exodus from London partly caused by Brexit, the cost-of-living crisis and post-pandemic lifestyle rethinks.

The new Hackney South and Shoreditch parliamentary constituency would have 75,197 votes covering nine wards represented by Hackney councillors.

Neighbouring Islington South and Finsbury would have 75,905 votes, with ten wards.

Voters in nine of these wards would send councillors to represent them on Islington Council, but De Beauvoir residents would still pick councillors to sit on Hackney Council.

The residents’ concerns echo those of people in Brownswood, who are facing a similar situation in north Hackney.

A Boundary Commission spokeswoman said its proposals would “rebalance the number of electors each MP represents, which currently varies widely due to population changes since the last boundary review”.

Each constituency must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors to even out representation at Westminster.

The proposals were first shared in 2021 and revised late last year. The final consultation closed in December.

The spokeswoman added: “Over the course of three consultations, during which we undertook an extensive online advertising campaign and distributed information and promotional materials to local authorities, a total of almost 65,000 responses were sent in.”

She said residents have helped by sharing crucial information: “We are now looking through each and every comment to consider whether any further changes should be made to our proposed new map of constituencies.

“We will make our final recommendations to Parliament by July next year.”