Most reasonable people would expect Council officials to let ward Councillors know if a part of their ward was being transferred to another borough. So it was more than a little peculiar that Opposition Councillors Wesley Harcourt (Lab) and Reg McLaughlin (Lab) only found out about a decision to move part of their ward to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea when it appeared in the local Hammersmith Gazette on Friday.
A member of the Conservative Administration appeared in the article explaining his thinking behind moving Little Wormwood Scrubs to the neighbouring authority. However, the Opposition and local residents seem to have been kept in the dark. In fact, we cannot find any evidence that any official made any effort to inform the Opposition ward Councillors or consult local residents.
I cannot imagine that anything like this could happen in national politics. There would be outrage if an opposition MP were to find out about a change to their constituency in this way. They would have expected every effort to have been made to inform them and to have been consulted at every juncture. It should be the same in local politics.
My colleagues have written to Geoff Alltimes, H&F Council’s Chief Executive, for an explanation. I hope he'll be able to clear this matter up soon. I will let you know how this is dealt with.