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Clause 11 — number and distribution of seats

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill (Programme) (No. 4) – in the House of Commons at 5:38 pm on 1st November 2010.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means) 5:38 pm, 1st November 2010

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 185, page 9, leave out lines 14 and 15 and insert-

(a) no more than 5% above or below the United Kingdom electoral quota unless the Boundary Commission concerned believes there to be exceptional geographic circumstances, and

(b) no more than 15% above or below the United Kingdom electoral quota.'.

Amendment 200, page 9, line 14, leave out 'United Kingdom electoral quota' and insert 'electoral quota for the part of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) in which the constituency is located'.

Amendment 2, page 9, line 16, after '6(2)', insert ', 6A(2)'.

Amendment 201, page 9, line 16, leave out ', 6(2) and 7' and insert 'and 6(2)'.

Amendment 202, page 9, leave out lines 17 to 20 and insert-

'(3) In this rule "electoral quota" means-

U / C where U is the electorate of the part of the United Kingdom in which the constituency is located, reduced in the case of Scotland by the electorate of the constituencies mentioned in rule 6, and C is the number of constituencies allocated to that part under rule 8.'.

Amendment 182, page 9, leave out lines 18 to 20 and insert-

U / (600-C) where U is the electorate of the United Kingdom minus the electorate of the Council areas mentioned in rule 6 and C is the number of constituencies allocated to these Council areas.'.

Amendment 184, page 9, line 20, at end insert

'and accordingly the electorate of each part of the United Kingdom shall be treated for the purposes of this rule as reduced by the electorate of those constituencies.'.

Amendment 10, page 9, leave out lines 27 to 34.

Amendment 186, page 9, line 30, leave out from 'if' to end of line 34 and insert

'the Boundary Commission is concerned that unusual geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a proposed constituency, would require an unreasonable amount of time to travel round the various communities within it.'.

Amendment 188, page 10, line 2, leave out 'A Boundary Commission' and insert

'The Boundary Commissions for England, Scotland and Wales.'.

Amendment 11, page 10, line 10, at end insert-

'(1A) A Boundary Commission shall ensure that-

(a) in England, no district or borough ward shall be included in more than one constituency;

(b) in Northern Ireland, no local authority ward shall be included in more than one constituency;

(c) in Wales, no unitary authority ward shall be included in more than one constituency;

(d) in Scotland, regard shall be had to local authority ward boundaries.

(1B) The Boundary Commission for England shall where practicable have regard to the boundaries of counties and London boroughs; and in any case no constituency shall include the whole or part of more than two counties or London boroughs.

(1C) The Boundary Commission for Wales shall where practicable have regard to the boundaries of unitary authorities; and in any case no constituency shall include the whole or part of more than two unitary authorities.'.

Amendment 193, page 10, line 10, at end insert-

'(1A) The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland may take into account to such extent as they think fit-

(a) special geographical considerations;

(b) considerations arising from the co-terminosity of parliamentary constituencies and multi-member constituencies for the Northern Ireland Assembly under the Northern Ireland Act 1998;

(c) local government boundaries as they exist on the most recent day of an election for any district council, other than an election to fill a vacancy;

(d) any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies;

(e) the inconveniences attendant upon such changes.'.

Amendment 196, page 10, line 10, at end insert-

'(1A) A Boundary Commission shall have power to specify, in certain specified circumstances set out in subsection (1C) below, that constituencies in areas determined by the Boundary Commission shall be-

(a) wholly within a principal local authority or authorities; or

(b) wholly within well-established historic or geographical boundaries.

(1B) The impact of any decision taken in respect of areas defined under subsection (1A) must not create constituencies within the remainder of the region or nation in which such areas fall which fail to meet the rules in this Schedule.

(1C) The coterminosity of parliamentary constituencies with boundaries as defined in subsection (1A) may be specified when the following support such a proposition-

(a) the principal local authority or authorities within the area proposed;

(b) all sitting Members of Parliament representing constituencies wholly or partially within that area; and

(c) at least two-thirds of all civil parish, community and town councils or parish meetings within that area who make a representation; and where the Boundary Commission is satisfied, from its own soundings amongst the electorate and the business and voluntary sectors, that such a proposal is widely supported.'.

Amendment 207, page 10, line 16, at end insert-

'(2A) The Boundary Commission for England shall take into account counties as listed in Schedule 1 to the 1997 Lieutenancies Act in so far as is possible in accordance with rule 2 above.'.

Amendment 12, page 10, line 17, leave out sub-paragraph (3).

Amendment 13, page 10, leave out lines 18 to 24 and insert-

'Specified areas

5A (1) The following shall be allocated whole numbers of constituencies by whichever Boundary Commission is responsible for them:

(a) Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas;

(b) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar council area;

(c) The Isle of Anglesey county area;

(d) The Isle of Wight county area;

(e) The County of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly council areas.'.

Amendment 183, page 10, leave out lines 18 to 25 and insert-

'Whole numbers of constituencies

6 (1) The following shall be allocated whole numbers of constituencies by whichever Boundary Commission is responsible for them-

(a) Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands council areas;

(b) Comhairle nan Eilean Siar council area;

(c) the Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn Isle of Anglesey county area;

(d) the Isle of Wight county area;

(e) the County of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly council areas;

(f) the Highland Council area;

(g) the Argyll and Bute Council area.

(2) The number of constituencies to be allocated to each area shall be determined by dividing the electorate of the area or areas concerned by the United Kingdom Electoral Average and rounding to the nearest whole number, unless this would mean that rule 4(1) could not be satisfied, in which case the area concerned will be allocated the smallest number of constituencies required in order to satisfy that rule. Each area must be allocated at least one whole constituency.

(3) In this rule "United Kingdom Electoral Average" means (where E is the electorate of the United Kingdom)-

E / 600 .'.

Amendment 1, page 10, line 25, at end insert-

'Isle of Wight

6A (1) All parts of the Isle of Wight must be included in a constituency which is wholly in the Isle of Wight.

(2) Rule 2 does not apply to any such constituency.'.

Amendment 4, page 10, line 25, at end insert-

'Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

6A (1) All parts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly must be included in a constituency which is wholly in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

(2) Rule 2 does not apply in relation to any such constituencies.

(3) The electorate of any constituency in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly shall be:

(a) no less than 95 per cent. of the Cornwall and Scilly electoral quota; and

(b) no more than 105 per cent. of that quota.

(4) The "Cornwall and Scilly electoral quota" means C/E where C is the electorate of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and E is the number of parliamentary constituencies which the Commission has determined should be allocated to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

(5) The number of Parliamentary seats allocated to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly shall not result in the electoral quota of any other constituency being compromised in respect of Rule 2.'.

Amendment 189, page 10, line 26, leave out from beginning to end of line 7 on page 11.

Amendment 192, page 10, line 27, leave out from 'Ireland' to end of line 7 on page 11 and insert-

' the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland shall establish a Northern Ireland electoral quota by dividing the electorate of Northern Ireland by the number of seats allocated to Northern Ireland as determined under rule 8.

'(2) The electorate of any constituency in Northern Ireland shall be no less than 95% of the Northern Ireland electoral quota and no more than 105% of the Northern Ireland electoral quota except where sub-paragraph (3) applies.

(3) Where the Boundary Commission consider that they can best have regard to factors in rule 5(1A) and achieve an appropriate allocation of the seats assigned to Northern Ireland under rule 8 they may recommend that some Northern Ireland constituencies may be outside the limits in paragraph 2 above, provided that they are not less than 95% of the United Kingdom electoral quota and no more than 105% of that quota.'.

Amendment 14, page 11, line 22, at end insert-

'(5) The total number of seats to be allocated to any country shall not be more than 10 per cent. above or below the current number of constituencies. If the number of seats allocated by the process described in paragraphs (3) and (4) exceeds or falls below that limit then additional or fewer seats shall be allocated as appropriate sufficient to bring the allocation within 10 per cent. of the current number of seats in the country concerned.

(6) This adjusted number of seats shall be the allocation for that country for the purposes of these rules.'.

Government amendments 220 and 221.

Amendment 204, page 12, line 10, leave out 'The United Kingdom'.

Government amendment 21.