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Public consultation launched on new House of Keys constituencies 9 January 2013

THE Boundary Review Committee has today (Wednesday, January 9) launched a public consultation on a draft plan for twelve two-seat constituencies for the House of Keys to replace the current mixture of three, two and one-seat constituencies.

The move is in line with Tynwald resolutions that there should be equality of representation, that the 24 Keys seats should be divided into twelve constituencies with two Members each, and that the population size of constituencies should not vary from the average by more than 15%. At present the Island has two three-seat constituencies (Rushen and Onchan), five two-seaters (the four Douglas constituencies and Ramsey), and eight one-seaters (Ayre, Castletown, Garff, Glenfaba, Michael, Peel, Malew and Santon, and Middle).

This means that some individuals have three votes each in general elections, some have two and some have only one – depending on where they live. There is also a considerable variation in the numbers of voters per MHK, from 49% above the average in Middle to 26% below the average in Glenfaba (based on 2010/11 figures).

The twelve two-seat constituencies proposed in the draft plan published by the Boundary Review Committee are listed below with general and approximate descriptions. The names are working titles only and the Committee would welcome suggestions.

  • North – the current constituencies of Michael and Ayre plus the parish of Maughold, from Garff
  • Ramsey – the current constituency
  • East – Laxey and Lonan, from Garff, plus Onchan parish and most of Birch Hill, from Onchan
  • Onchan Urban – the current Onchan constituency minus Onchan parish and most of Birch Hill
  • Douglas Western – based on the polling districts Anagh Coar, Ballaugton, Pulrose
  • Douglas Central – Albany, Ballabrooie, Eastfield, Quay, St George’s, Somerset and Tynwald, plus part of Garden City
  • Douglas Northern – Glencrutchery, Willaston and part of Garden City, plus a small part of Onchan parish
  • Douglas Eastern – Crescent, Derby, St Ninian’s, Strand, Windsor
  • Central – Middle plus the parish of Santon, from Malew and Santon
  • South – Castletown plus Malew, from Malew and Santon, and Arbory, from Rushen
  • South West – the current Rushen constituency minus Arbory
  • West – Peel plus Glenfaba and a small part of North Malew

NOTES

The Consultation period is from 9 January 2013 and the closing date for the receipt of comments is 5pm on 20 February 2013. The consultation paper, maps and previous Boundary Review Committee reports can be viewed here

Responses can be made by writing to: Mrs Ann Craine Secretary to the Boundary Review Committee Chief Secretary’s Office 3rd Floor, Government Office Bucks Road Douglas Isle of Man IM1 3PN or by emailing Ann.Craine@cso.gov.im

Appointed in December 2010 in compliance with a Tynwald resolution of July that year, the Boundary Review Committee has had two interim reports accepted by Tynwald following public consultation. In response to the first, in December 2011, Tynwald voted in favour of the principle of equality of representation so that all constituencies should return an equal number of MHKs.

It also agreed that constituencies should vary by no more than 15% in terms of their population numbers. The Committee produced its second interim report to Tynwald in October 2012. This resulted in Tynwald agreeing that the 24 House of Keys seats should be divided into twelve constituencies of two Members each. The Committee was directed to draw up constituency boundaries on this basis, and to report back to Tynwald by June 2013.

The Boundary Review Committee is chaired by advocate Sally Bolton and the other members are Terry Groves, Ashton Lewis and Bob Riding.

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