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Why is OneWight campaigning?


We believe the proposal to divide the Island, merging some areas with one or more mainland constituencies:

• Ignores the unique nature of the Isle of Wight as a close-knit and cohesive community, recognised since 1832.

• Fails to recognize that it makes good sense for Islanders to be represented by a Member of Parliament focused on the Island and living here.

• Will result in some Islanders being represented by one or more MPs whose main focus would be on the mainland, to the detriment of Islanders.

• Will make Government more distant and less transparent.

• Will deter people from political involvement.

• Will add to the organisation and cost of elections.

• Is impractical.

• Ignores the wishes of the Island as there has been no attempt to consult Islanders.

• In short, the plan is poorly thought out, will damage democracy and is against the interests of the Island and Islanders.

• The OneWight petition will be an official Parliamentary petition, and will be presented to the House of Commons in September. It will be used as evidence in Parliamentary proceedings and debates.

• The Government has already accepted the principle that some island constituencies are different. We believe that if enough Islanders sign the petition then Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, may be persuaded to change his mind. Your voice will count.


Who Are We

The campaign is being run from the office of Andrew Turner, the Island's MP. It is being co-ordinated by Bob Seely, who lives in the parish of Gatcombe and who was asked by Mr Turner to help organize the campaign. He is working entirely on a voluntary basis.

Richard Priest OBE has kindly agreed to be a lead spokesman for the campaign.

The campaign is being supported by a coalition of Island political parties, Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems - and, of course, people of no political persuasion - who believe the Government's proposals will be bad for the Island. The campaign has also received the enthusiastic support of a number of local media organisations, who have given great practical help prior to the launch and will continue to publicise and promote the campaign.

Other organisations are also supporting the campaign. E-mail bob@onewight.org.uk if you want to add your company or organisation to the list of supporters.


What You Can Do?

1. Sign the petition. Please do so online, or by downloading a copy from this site, and sending it to OneWight, c/o Andrew Turner MP, The Mall, Carisbrooke Road, Newport, IW, PO30 1BW. The more people who sign the petition the greater the stronger the evidence that our MP has to try to get the Isle of Wight the recognition of our unique status that we deserve.

2. Get your friends and neighbours to sign the petition. If you need paper copies ring Bob Seely at OneWight on 01983 244 244, or email Bob at bob@onewight.org.uk. The petition form can also be downloaded from this website by clicking the button on the left.

3. Ask your parish council to support the campaign - many already have!

4. Ask your local shop to carry the petition and the poster.

5. Put a poster in your window (available at the website).

6. Send a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - there's a template on the site but do add any comments of your own.


OneWight Contact Details

Campaign coordinator: Bob Seely e-mail Bob at bob@onewight.org.uk

OneWight phone number: 01983 244 244

Address: OneWight, c/o Andrew Turner MP, 24 The Mall, Carisbrooke Road, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1BW.


Background

• Under proposals announced by the Deputy Prime Minister in mid-July, every constituency in Britain - bar two in Scotland - will have their boundaries substantially redrawn to ensure that all UK Parliamentary constituencies are of roughly similar numbers.

• Whilst this may be a good idea in many parts of the country, it will be bad for the Isle of Wight. Due to our size, more than 30,000 electors will be hived off onto one or more mainland seats.

• A worst case scenario would see the Island divided into three parts, each potentially dominated by mainland constituencies.

• The Government has already agreed in principle that some islands are unique. The Scottish parliamentary constituencies of Orkney and Shetland and the Western Isles will not be included in the shake-up, despite not having the right number of electors. Yet the same rule does not apply to the Isle of Wight. We believe this is against natural justice.

• The Isle of Wight has a strong identity, and has had for generations. We have always opposed attempts to impose divide us. We are one Island. We strongly believe that ours is a unique situation in England and as such warrants separate consideration.

• We want to persuade the Deputy Prime Minister to recognise that, like Scottish islands, we too are unique and have a clear Island identity.