A new ward will be created in Lewisham if proposed boundary changes go ahead, while three wards will only have two councillors each.  

The Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBC) is reviewing ward changes and is in talks with the council over the proposals.  

The commission looks at ward boundaries when the population of electors, residents with the right to vote, changes – it aims to make sure councillors represent a similar number of people within a borough.  

It’s projected that the number of electors will go up by about 9,000 to more than 206,000 by 2025. 

The new ward could be called New Cross Gate or Deptford, the latter suggested by the council.  

The LGBC is proposing that the boundaries of four wards – Crofton Park, Forest Hill, Lee Green and Telegraph Hill – will stay the same, while all the others will change. 

As they are, the changes would split the Tanners Hill estate in Deptford into two wards.

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Lewisham’s deputy mayor Councillor Chris Best dubbed the LGBC’s current proposals “disappointing” at the full council meeting on Wednesday (February 26). 

“They proposed 54 councillors but it was across 19 wards, therefore 16 three-member wards and three two-member wards for their draft recommendation. 

“The two-member wards are a smaller Lewisham Central and altered Bellingham and a new smaller ward called New Cross Gate, reconfiguring the north of the borough.  

“It’s disappointing that the LGBC has chosen to create three two-member wards as it is our council policy to retain 18 three-member wards. 

“Many of us have experienced two-member wards in the council and we know it’s harder for ward colleagues to share the casework evenly, particularly where a councillor is unavailable for a period of time. 

“However, the weight of evidence from other submissions means that it was unlikely that the council could persuade the LGBC to change their proposals to 18 three-member wards […]” 

The council accepted the proposals “with some minor amendments”. 

“We also think that having New Cross and New Cross Gate ward creates confusion and we are therefore recommending a name of Deptford instead,” Cllr Best said. 

Lewisham urged the LGBC not to split the Tanners Hill Estate into two different wards.  

“We have accepted the LGBC’s proposals for the north of the borough with the exception of one area where we feel the proposed boundary change divides communities and impacts negatively on effective governance.  

“The Tanners Hill estate is a strong local community which is divided between two wards in the LGBC proposals.  

“We strongly feel that this community needs to be kept united in one ward for effective governance purposes, not least because the council and members work closely with the Tanners Hill Tenants and Residents Association which would be split over two wards in the LGBC proposals.  

“We have proposed therefore that Tanners Hill is returned in its entirety to Brockley ward.  

“Local informal discussions have identified a compensating area to the south of the ward that can be identified with both Ladywell and Crofton Park and we suggest that this area is added to Ladywell ward to achieve electoral equality, and enable the re-joining of the community split by the proposed changes around Tanners Hill to the north of Brockley ward,” a document on the council’s amendments read.  

The council also proposed that all of Sangley Road be moved into Catford South ward “for effective governance of this busy area”.  

The LGBC will publish the final recommendations on June 30.  

An LGBC spokesperson said: “We are pleased so many people and organisations in Lewisham have contributed to our consultation.  

“This kind of input really helps us refine our proposals.  

“We’ll consider them all carefully – including what the council have to say.  

“Our final recommendations will explain where changes have been made in response to local input.”