What’s your neighbourhood called? Parliament’s researchers need your help

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Researchers in the House of Commons are asking the public for help in naming areas on maps used by statisticians.

As well as boroughs and wards, statisticians who work on census data also work on smaller areas – the smallest being output areas, which are generally based around individual postcodes. This enables them to compare issues in very, very small areas.

Blocks of these output areas are put together to form middle super output areas, which in London usually have about 8,000 people in them.

But researchers struggle to show this data off to the public because the areas are just known by codes such as Greenwich 012 or Lewisham 009, which mean little to anyone beyond statisticians.

Now the House of Commons Library has put together a map of England and Wales which translates these codes into actual area names – and is asking for help from the public to refine their ideas.

Many of the areas don’t exactly map onto traditional neighbourhoods or postal areas, and all are divided by borough boundaries – so while “Lewisham 009” could translate as Blackheath Village, that would have to ignore the fact that part of the village is actually in Greenwich (Greenwich 021, to be precise). The researchers have plumped for just plain “Blackheath” here.

Some of the names feature typographical errors (“Blackheath Park and Sutliffe”, while the Temple Hill area of Dartford has been mangled as “Template Hill”), but others stray into the wrong areas – “Charlton South” runs deep into Kidbrooke, for example, while “Eltham Common” takes over most of Shooters Hill.

Others are a bit more of a conundrum – Greenwich 012 appears in the researchers’ list as “Charlton West”, but what about the estate agents’ much-mocked favourite of “Charlton Slopes”? Could “Charlton East” be better as “Charlton Village”? And so on.

You will know your area better than the researchers, but the only rule is that the areas themselves can’t be changed. With that in mind, if you want to have a go, visit the House of Commons Library website.

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