The A23 road runs through the middle of the constituency taking in Brixton Hill and Streatham High Road, the longest High Street in Europe. The diverse constituency includes inner city wards of the London Borough of Lambeth such as Brixton Hill, Tulse Hill and Clapham Common, in addition to more suburban wards such as St Leonards, Streatham South and Streatham Wells. Thornton and Streatham Hill wards are also located within the constituency.
Streatham is one of the most multicultural constituencies in the country. 35.7% of the population is non white and 22.6% of the population is African and/or Caribbean. There are also long established Polish, Portuguese and Hispanic communities, in addition to newer, growing East African communities.
The age demographic of Streatham means it has one of the youngest populations in the country. The median age of the population in England is 37; in Streatham, where only a quarter the population is over 45, it is 31.
Streatham suffered badly during the 1980s and early 1990s with unemployment running at 10.2% when Labour took power in 1997. Streatham High Road also suffered during this period following the closure of Pratts, a local department store and branch of the John Lewis in 1990. The hardships suffered by many led to rioting in those parts of the constituency situated in Brixton in the early 1980s.
Large scale investment into Streatham High Road is under way, with a new development including a Tesco super store, 250 affordable housing units, a state-of-the-art ice rink, swimming pool and leisure centre in the South of the constituency due to be completed by June 2012.
(Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Election-Map service. Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland – where Election-Maps, Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland are hyperlinks to http://www.election-maps.co.uk, http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ and http://www.osni.gov.uk/ respectively.)