The Chelsea Society has objected to the proposal by the Parliamentary Boundary Commission to divide Chelsea into two parliamentary constituencies. Individual members have also objected.
The Chairman’s letter to the Commission is as follows:
“I write to you as Chairman of the Chelsea Society, with the agreement of our Council of trustees.
The Chelsea Society is a registered charity which has been defending the amenities of Chelsea since 1927. We have almost 1000 members, and are extremely active in pursuing our main object: to preserve and improve the amenities of Chelsea for the public benefit.
Further details about us may be found here: https://chelseasociety.org.uk/
The Council of the Chelsea Society understands and supports the move to Parliamentary Boundaries which contain equal numbers of registered voters. We understand that this is often a difficult task.
Nonetheless, we feel very strongly that the current proposal for Chelsea would damage well-established community links, and would put at risk the conservation of Chelsea’s heritage. The current proposal destroys the integrity of Chelsea. The ideal is to maintain the four wards of Chelsea: Brompton and Hans Town, Royal Hospital, Chelsea Riverside, and Stanley, in one constituency.
It is clear to us, and to the general public, that Sloane Square is the quintessential entry to Chelsea, and that the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the Chelsea Physic Garden and the National Army Museum are all institutions which are very important parts of our Chelsea community. For that reason, it is essential to keep the whole of the Royal Hospital Ward in the Chelsea constituency.
The worst problem created by split boundaries would be on major planning issues. We regularly get developers wanting to build tower blocks in Chelsea, and the assistance of one MP to speak up for Chelsea is crucial. Westminster has different priorities and the area around Victoria is not the Chelsea we want to see. The current proposals on boundaries are very damaging, and could lead to developments which could not be reversed.
We urge you to think again, and preserve all of Chelsea as a part of one constituency, under the care of one Member of Parliament.
We understand that Chelsea and Fulham make a coherent parliamentary constituency, sharing the Thames as a unifying theme with shared interests. In making up the necessary numbers, possible solutions have been proposed.
Our MP Greg Hands has suggested maintaining Royal Hospital ward and moving Courtfield ward to Kensington, and we endorse that proposal if it assists you in maintaining the integrity of the four Chelsea Wards: Royal Hospital, Chelsea Riverside, Stanley, and Brompton and Hans Town.
The current ward of Brompton and Hans Town, as the names imply, contains an upper half which is usually considered a part of Kensington, while Hans Town is rightly considered part of Chelsea.
If it assists you, moving Brompton to Kensington and keeping Hans Town would be a solution which maintains the integrity of Chelsea. We support this strongly.
If this desirable move unbalances numbers overall, then moving Redcliffe and/or Courtfield Wards into a Kensington constituency is a counter-balancing move which we would support strongly.
In summary, Hans Town plus the tree wards of Royal Hospital, Chelsea Riverside and Stanley in the same constituency would preserve the integrity of Chelsea.
We urge you to adopt this proposal.
Dr James Thompson
Chairman, Chelsea Society”