The introduction of a “Brixton Windrush” ward, and removal of wards named after slave traders in Lambeth was suggested in boundary commission proposals published on 2 February.
The Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBC) began a three-year programme of electoral reviews of London boroughs in July 2018, and will publish final recommendations for new council ward boundaries starting 29 June 2021.
Lambeth Liberal Democrats submitted a proposal for Lambeth including the introduction of a new Brixton Windrush ward and the removal of three wards named after slave traders: Vassall, Thurlow Park and Tulse Hill.
Lambeth Liberal Democrats Spokesperson Doug Buist said: “The name Brixton Windrush presents a positive reference to the history of the ward, and acknowledges the importance of the Windrush Generation and their descendants in shaping modern Lambeth.
“It is important that when residents come to vote in their area they do not see the names of people who have instigated acts of oppression.”
The LGBC said the Liberal Democrats’ proposals provided the greatest level of community evidence, and it took on the party’s suggestion of introducing Brixton Windrush and removing other slave trade names from wards in its draft recommendations.
The area covered by the proposed Brixton Windrush ward includes places of note such as Electric Avenue, Windrush Square, the Black Cultural Archives, and Club 414.
Lambeth currently has 21 wards based on a three councillors per ward system.
Following the Liberal Democrats’ suggestion that there should be an option for a single-councillor ward, the LGBC’s draft recommendations are for 26 wards: 12 three-councillor wards, 13 two-councillor wards and one single-councillor ward.
Buist said removing the three councillors per ward limitation meant wards better representing local communities could be created, and councillors would be more accountable to voters.
The review aims to create new ward boundaries where each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters.
It also aims to ensure wards reflect the interests and identities of local communities.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London Luisa Porritt praised the work done by Lambeth Liberal Democrats on the proposals.
She said: “Renaming wards is an important part of our battle for racial justice and celebration of London’s diverse communities.
“Just as statues fall and roads are renamed, our democratic process should move on too – leaving behind names that belong in the past while recognising those who have made our city what it is today.
“I call on the residents of Lambeth to get behind the proposals, so we can drag our democracy into the 21st century.”
A public consultation on the proposals is open until 12 April.
Featured image credit: Local Government Boundary Commission for England