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The commission will publish provisional recommendations on 6 July ...
The commission will publish provisional recommendations on 6 July

2000 for changes to four of the five constituencies in the county of


Provisional Recommendations

1. The county of Somerset currently has five constituencies with a

parliamentary electorate in 2000 of 380,651. This number of electors,

when divided by the 2000 electoral quota (69,932) gives a theoretical

entitlement to 5.44 seats. The commission have therefore

provisionally decided to continue to allocate five seats to Somerset.

With five seats the average constituency electorate in the county is

76,130. The electoral quota is explained in the 'Background Note'


2. The electorates of the five existing seats range from 81,375 in

the Taunton constituency, to 73,940 in the Bridgwater constituency, a

disparity of 7,435 which the commission's provisional recommendations

will reduce.

3. Following Periodical Electoral Reviews by the Local Government

Commission, some changes have been made to local authority

boundaries. New wards came into operation at the local government

elections on 6 May 1999. At present, five new wards in Somerset are

partly in one constituency and partly in another. The commission do

not divide district wards between constituencies. Therefore, at the

very least, the commission's provisional recommendations will realign

the constituency boundaries with the new ward boundaries.

4. The commission considered whether they should adopt the minimum

amount of change necessary to realign the constituencies with these

divided wards, or whether they should go further in order to address

the high disparity in electorates in the county between the Taunton

and Bridgwater constituencies. They decided to adopt the latter

option. No change is proposed to the Wells seat.

5. The three South Somerset District wards of Blackmoor Vale,

Camelot and Ivelchester are currently divided between the Somerton

and Frome seat and the Yeovil seat. The commission propose to include

the whole of the Blackmoor Vale and Camelot wards in the Somerton and

Frome seat and the whole of the Ivelchester ward within the Yeovil


6. As the majority of the electorate of the wards of Blackmore

Vale and Camelot are already situated within the Somerton and Frome

constituency, bringing the whole of these wards within this seat

results in a transfer of only 758 electors. In view of local ties

with the neighbouring town of Yeovil, the entire Ivelchester ward is

included within the Yeovil constituency, transferring 1,734 electors.

The net effect of these minor changes is slightly to increase the

electorate of the Yeovil seat from 76,073 to 77,049, and slightly to

decrease the electorate of the Somerton and Frome seat from 75,199 to


7. The two West Somerset District wards of Aville Vale, and

Brompton Ralph and Haddon are currently divided between the

Bridgwater seat and the Taunton seat. There is a disparity of 7,435

between the electorates of these two seats and the electorate of the

Taunton seat is 11,443 above the electoral quota.

8. In order to reduce the disparity and bring the electorate of

the Taunton seat closer to the electoral quota, the commission

propose to include the whole of the Aville Vale, and Brompton Ralph

and Haddon wards in the Bridgwater seat, and also to transfer the

three West Somerset District wards of Dulverton and Brushford,

Exmoor, and Quarme from the Taunton seat to the Bridgwater seat,

resulting in 3,840 electors being transferred.

9. As a consequence, the Taunton seat becomes coterminous with

Taunton Deane Borough, as opposed to it being split between the

Taunton Deane Borough and the West Somerset District as it is at

present. In addition, the entire District of West Somerset is now

contained within the Bridgwater seat. Currently it is split between

the Taunton and Bridgwater seats. These proposals reduce the

disparity in the county to 3,716. They also reduce the electorate of

the Taunton seat from 81,375 to 77,535 and increase Bridgwater's from

73,940 to 77,780. Thus, Taunton is only 1,405 and Bridgwater only

1,650 above the county average and Taunton is brought nearer to the

electoral quota.

10. The proposed new constituencies are illustrated in outline on

the sketch map at the centre of this document (please note the

copyright warning below concerning the map). The letters on the map

refer to the districts, and the numbers refer to the district wards.

The map is to be used in conjunction with the ward listing at the end

of this document which shows the letters and districts, the numbers

and wards, and the 2000 ward electorates on which the Commission are

required by law to work.

11. The composition of the five constituencies provisionally

recommended would be (the 2000 electorates are shown in brackets):

BRIDGWATER COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (77,780). Fifteen wards of the

District of Sedgemoor:- Bridgwater Bower, Bridgwater Eastover,

Bridgwater Hamp, Bridgwater Quantock, Bridgwater Sydenham, Bridgwater

Victoria, Cannington and Quantocks, East Poldens, Huntspill and

Pawlett, King's Isle, North Pertherton, Puriton, Sandford, West

Poldens, Woolavington: and the District of West Somerset.


the District of Mendip:- Beacon, Beckington and Rode, Coleford,

Creech, Frome Berkley Down, Frome Fromefield, Frome Keyford, Frome

Park, Frome Welshmill, Mells, Nordinton, Postlebury, Stratton, Vale;

and fifteen wards of the District of South Somerset:- Blackmore Vale,

Bruton, Burrow Hill, Camelot, Cary, Curry Rivel, Islemoor, Langport

and Huish, Martock, Milborne Port, Northstone, Tower, Turn Hill,

Wessex, Wincanton.

TAUNTON COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (77,535). The Borough of Taunton Deane.

WELLS COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (74,064). Twenty-one wards of the District

of Mendip: Ashwick and Ston Easton, Avalon, Chilcompton, Glastonbury

St. Benedict's, Glastonbury St. Edmund's, Glastonbury St. John's,

Glastonbury St. Mary's, Knowle, Moor, Nedge, Pylcombe, Rodney and

Priddy, St. Cuthbert (Out) North and West, Shepton East, Shepton

West, Street North, Street South, Street West, Wells Central, Wells

St. Cuthbert's, Wells St. Thomas'; and ten wards of the District of

Sedgemoor:- Axbridge, Axe Vale, Berrow, Brent North, Burnham North,

Burnham South, Cheddar and Shipham, Highbridge, Knoll, Wedmore and


YEOVIL COUNTY CONSTITUENCY (77,049). Twenty-four wards of the

District of South Somerset: Blackdown, Brympton, Chard Avishayes,

Chard Combe, Chard Crimchard, Chard Holyrood, Chard Jocelyn, Coker,

Crewkerne, Eggwood, Hamdon, Ilminster, Ivelchester, Neroche, Parrett,

St. Michael's, South Petherton, Tatworth and Forton, Windwhistle,

Yeovil Central, Yeovil East, Yeovil South, Yeovil West, Yeovil


12. Please note that the wards have not been shown for those

boroughs and districts (eg the Borough of Taunton Deane) where the

whole of the borough or district is contained in the proposed

constituency. However, as already mentioned, a full ward listing with

2000 ward electorates is given at the end of this document.

13. The wards named in this document are the new wards which were

created by the following Orders all of which came into effect at the

local elections on 6 May 1999:

The District of Mendip (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;

The District of Sedgemore (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;

The District of South Somerset (Electoral Changes) Order 1998;

The Borough of Taunton Deane (Electoral Changes) Order 1998; and

The District of West Somerset (Electoral Changes) Order 1998.

Publication of Provisional Recommendations

14. The provisional recommendations will be published formally in a

notice appearing in local newspapers in Somerset on 6 July 2000.

Local authorities, MPs, the Political Parties' Headquarters, and

others will be sent a copy of the recommendations. The notice will

also be published on the Commission's web site at:

Places of Inspection

15. The notice in local newspapers will also give the addresses

where a copy of the recommendations and a more detailed map

illustrating them have been made available for inspection by the

public (please note the copyright warning below concerning the map).

Those addresses are:-

BRIDGWATER Sedgemoor District Council Offices, Bridgwater House,

King Square, Bridgwater

BURNHAM-ON-SEA Sedgemoor District Council Area Offices, Manor House,

Manor Gardens, Burnham-on-Sea

CHARD Area West Council Offices, Holyrood Lace Mill,

Holyrood Street, Chard

FROME Frome Library, Justice Lane, Frome

GLASTONBURY Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury

MINEHEAD West Somerset District Council Offices, 37 Blenheim

Road, Minehead

SHEPTON MALLET Mendip District Council Offices,Cannards Grave Road,

Shepton Mallet

SOMERTON South Somerset District Community Office, The Parish

Rooms, Somerton

TAUNTON Taunton Deane Borough Council Offices, The Deane

House, Belvedere Road, Taunton

WINCANTON The Council Offices, Churchfield, Wincanton

YEOVIL The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil

Representation Period: 6 July 2000 to 6 August 2000

16. The commission are required to consider representations about

their provisional recommendations made within one month of local

publication on 6 July 2000. Representations should be addressed to

the Boundary Commission for England, PO Box 31060, London, SW1V 2FF,

or faxed to 020 7533 5176, or emailed to

All representations received by the commission will be acknowledged.

The representation period will end on 6 August 2000.

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