2000 proposing that the Isle of Wight should continue to form one
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:-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.