Campaign to keep Isle of Wight as one

By Martin Neville

Friday, July 16, 2010

 

ISLAND MP Andrew Turner is gearing up to lead an Island-wide, County Press-backed campaign to fight proposals that will divide the Island into different parliamentary constituencies.

Under plans announced last week by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, part or parts of the Island will be merged with one or more mainland constituencies.

Mr Turner said: "The Isle of Wight has a strong common identity, and has had for generations.

"We have always opposed attempts to divide us. We are one Island. I believe that the current proposals are bad for democracy — there has been no shared Island-mainland constituency since 1832.

"I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have told me they are against these plans."

The One Wight campaign is being supported by the Isle of Wight County Press and Isle of Wight Radio, together with a number of other Island organisations.

Mr Turner stressed the cross-party nature of the campaign and hoped it would be as lively as the successful Hands Off Our Hospital campaign he spearheaded in 2004.

Morris Barton, former Liberal Democrat leader of the council, said: "After the campaign to get a unitary authority for the Isle of Wight, it seems counter-productive to now think about splitting it into two constituencies, which would nullify the Island’s independence."

Mark Chiverton, Labour candidate at the last election, said: "The Isle of Wight is a unique place and needs to be speaking with one voice."

Gatcombe resident, Bob Seely, is running the campaign and anyone who would like to help have a petition can contact him on 01983 244244 or e-mail bob@onewight.org.uk.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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