More than 1,500 people sign OneWight petition

By Martin Neville

Friday, July 30, 2010

 

THE campaign to keep the Isle of Wight united as a single parliamentary constituency, opposing Whitehall plans to divide it, is gathering pace.

Since last Friday’s Island-wide launch, 1,500 people have signed the online petition at www.onewight.org.uk and at the County Press office.

In the next salvo against the very real government plans, which could result in parts of the Isle of Wight being hived off to mainland constituencies, Islanders are asked to join the Facebook and Twitter OneWight groups.

Bob Seely, campaign co-ordinator, said: "We’ve had several dozen volunteers collecting signatures.

"Many Island businesses have got behind us too, but we’re always looking for more helpers. Supporting the campaign is very easy — and it is the best hope we have got of keeping the Island united."

Around 300 people had signed the online petition by Saturday morning and now it’s well over 1,500.

The CP and Isle of Wight Radio-backed campaign has now got volunteers in most parts of the Island. Campaigners want to keep the Island united as a single parliamentary constituency during forthcoming boundary changes.

A new law which will be discussed in Parliament immediately after the summer recess will cut the number of MPs and equalise the size of constituencies.

Although the campaign is being led by the Island’s MP Andrew Turner, it is an all-Island, cross-party campaign centred around a petition, which will be formally presented to Parliament by Mr Turner on September 6, the date the proposals will first be discussed in the House of Commons.

Richard Priest, campaign spokesman, said the government plans "ignored the unique nature of the Isle of Wight as a close-knit and cohesive community."

He said: "The proposals fail to recognise that it makes good sense for Islanders to be represented by a member of parliament entirely focused on the Island and living here."

Click here to see maps showing how the Island could be divided

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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