Epsom would be "welcomed with open arms" if it became part of the capital and the borough's residents should be given a say on the issue, according to a London Assembly member.

Last week, the Epsom Guardian revealed that planning expert Barney Stringer had raised the question of whether London is too small, based upon the number of people commuting from towns just outside London into the city for work.

He said that since many districts, such as Epsom and Ewell, provide fewer jobs for their residents than London does, it may be time to consider whether London should re-draw its boundaries to "embrace these areas that already function as part of the city".

While a number of Epsom's councillors did not believe the boundary change would be right for the borough, Councillor Mike Teasdale said he has always felt there is a case for Epsom to merge with another London borough such as Sutton.

And Sutton's representative on the London Assembly, Councillor Steve O'Connell, agrees.

Conservative Coun O'Connell, London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, and a Croydon councillor, said he believes the people of Epsom and Ewell should be consulted on whether they would like to be part of London.

He said: "I’m a democrat. 

"I think the people of Epsom and Ewell should be given a say because there is a very strong case for it being part of London and a borough such as Sutton. 

"It would be great for Epsom and Ewell and Sutton."

Sutton Guardian:

The blue areas on this map indicate areas in which more people work in London than their home districts. Picture: Barney Stringer / OS / ONS Census 2011

In what he termed a "tongue-in-cheek" appeal for the change, he added: "As London Assembly member for Sutton and Croydon I would welcome with open arms the good people of Epsom and Ewell into the world's greatest city. 

"They would benefit from the economic powerhouse that is London with an uplift in transport investment. 

"The senior Epsom and Ewellers would of course benefit from the Freedom Pass and be able to sail around London 24 hours a day free on buses. 

"They will be able to benefit from the munificence of a London Mayor as he extricates from central Government more dosh for London.

"They might be tempted to support South London's premier football team, Crystal Palace.

"They might even have me as their Assembly Member. What's not to like?" 

In a poll on the Epsom Guardian website this week, 33 per cent of those who voted said Epsom and Ewell should become part of London, while 65 per cent said it should not, and 2 per cent said they did not mind. 

What do you think? Leave a comment below or email Hardeep Matharu on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk.

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