Sunday, 13 November 2016

My alternative proposals: Hampshire & The Isle of Wight

Hampshire is one of only two counties in the South East region that will end up losing a constituency within the 2018 review for Parliamentary constituencies in Britain. As a consolation, though, the Isle of Wight is statutorily entitled to an extra seat. I support the BCE proposals to split the Isle of Wight East/West, as this means that both of the Isle of Wight's seats can maintain links with Hampshire and represent the many different communities on the island fairly.

Many of their Hampshire proposals are fine, but there are some that need considerable modification. Meon Valley, which was only created in 2010 when Hampshire acquired an entitlement to an extra seat, is one of the worst and most incoherent parliamentary constituencies in existence in Britain and it certainly deserves to be destroyed-but how?

Given that creating a Portsmouth constituency that includes places not actually in the city of Portsmouth is unavoidable on current parameters, Portsmouth South should add Baffins ward (not Nelson ward) but Portsmouth North should still expand eastwards into Havant as the old Portsmouth Langstone constituency did. Fareham does not need to absorb any part of Meon Valley; it can remain unchanged just like its neighbour, Gosport. Romsey should absorb more outlying villages in the west of the Winchester district (but no part of the city of Winchester itself!) and the town of Chandler's Ford in the Eastleigh borough, where actual links exist. Thankfully, it no longer has to include any part of the city of Southampton, where Test and Itchen will together now cover the entirety of Southampton. This way, Winchester will be a more coherent entity in parliamentary constituency terms, as will 'East Hampshire' (which I believe should revert to the old name of Petersfield).

My alternative constituency proposals for Hampshire & Isle of Wight look like this:

Meon Valley is abolished.
Romsey succeeds Romsey & Southampton North.
Andover succeeds Hampshire North West.
Alton succeeds Hampshire North East.
Petersfield succeeds East Hampshire.
Havant & Waterloo succeeds Havant and is nearly identical to the Havant & Waterloo constituency of 1974-83.
Portsmouth Langstone succeeds Portsmouth North.
Portsmouth Harbour succeeds Portsmouth South.
Isle of Wight East is the larger of the two Isle of Wight seats and therefore 'succeeds' the Isle of Wight.
Fareham, Gosport, Eastleigh, and Basingstoke are all unchanged.
Isle of Wight West is a new seat being the smaller of the two Isle of Wight seats.

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