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CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARY IN THE COUNTY OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT

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

2000 proposing that the Isle of Wight should continue to form one

constituency.

Provisional Recommendations

1. The county of the Isle of Wight forms one constituency with a

parliamentary electorate in 2000 of 103,480. This number of electors,

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

theoretical entitlement to 1.48 seats. With one seat, the electorate

would be 33,548 above the electoral quota. With two seats, the

average constituency electorate would be 18,192 below the electoral

quota. The electoral quota is explained in 'Background Note' below.

2. The commission considered fully a number of options for the

Isle of Wight before making their provisional recommendations. The

commission noted that historically the Isle of Wight has formed one

seat and felt that the division of the island would disregard the

historical and unique geographical situation that exists there. They

also noted that during the last review, the commission of the time

were mindful of the provisions of Rule 1 of Schedule 2 to the

parliamentary constituencies Act 1986, which places a limit on the

total number of constituencies, when deciding that the Isle of Wight

should continue to form one seat. This commission are also mindful of

Rule 1 and consider that the situation has not changed such that two

seats should now be allocated. The commission noted that the

continued allocation of one whole seat would result in the

constituency continuing to have the largest electorate in England,

but they also noted that the division of the island into two seats

would create two constituencies with electorates which, in all

likelihood, would be the smallest in England.

3. The commission considered pairing the Isle of Wight with part

of the mainland for the purpose of allocating constituencies.

However, they concluded that to sever part of the constituency and

place it in a constituency with an area of the mainland would be

likely to create confusion and a feeling of loss of identity among

the electorate. They also considered that it would create a

constituency where communications would be difficult both for the

electorate and the member of parliament.

4. The commission felt that, on balance, the merits of continuing

with one seat outweighed the justification for the allocation of two.

They felt that one seat would complement the principle of one unitary

authority for the island and therefore provisionally decided to

continue to allocate one seat to the Isle of Wight.

5. The Isle of Wight became a unitary authority county in 1995,

and the districts of Medina and South Wight, and their wards, were

abolished. The Isle of Wight (Electoral Changes) Order 1999 creates

forty-eight electoral divisions in the county of the Isle of Wight,

and comes into effect on 3 May 2001.

6. The electoral divisions are illustrated in outline on the

sketch map which forms part of this document (please note the

copyright warning below concerning the map). The electoral divisions

on the map are numbered, and these numbers and the names of the

electoral divisions are listed at the end of this document, together

with the 2000 electorate figures on which the Commission are required

by law to work.

7. Although the commission have proposed that the Isle of Wight

should continue to form one seat, they decided that, if the island

were formed of more than one seat, its electoral divisions should be

used as the building block for constituencies.

Publication of Provisional Recommendations

8. The provisional recommendations will be published formally in a

notice appearing in a local newspaper in the Isle of Wight on 6 July

2000. The local authority, the MP, 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:-

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/other_activities/pbc.asp

Places of Inspection

9. The notice in the local newspaper 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:

COWES Cowes Library, Beckford Road, Cowes

FRESHWATER Freshwater Library, School Green Road, Freshwater

NEWPORT County Hall, Newport

RYDE Ryde Library, George Street, Ryde

SHANKLIN Shanklin Library, Victoria Avenue, Shanklin

Representation Period: 6 July 2000 to 6 August 2000

10. 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 chris.ault@ons.gov.uk. All

representations received by the commission will be acknowledged. The

representation period will end on 6 August 2000.

11. Please note that the commission are not statutorily required to

consider any representations made after 6 August 2000, but will

endeavour to take late representations into account. However, the

later the representation is made, the more difficult this will be.

The commission therefore ask that all representations be made within

the one month period. In the event that a local inquiry is held into

the provisional recommendations, all representations will be made

public beforehand so that interested persons may prepare for the

local inquiry. Any representation received too late to be issued with

the other representations before the local inquiry cannot be given

the same weight as the other representations because other interested

persons will not have had the same opportunity to consider it.

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