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Boundary changes reach final stages

A move to redraw the Island’s political map could take a significant step forward this month.

Tynwald will be asked to agree a new boundary of 12 constituencies – each of which would be represented by two MHKs with an average population of around 7,000.

It would replace the traditional mixture of three, two and one-seat constituencies around the Island which has been criticised by some as unfair and undemocratic.

It’s an historic opportunity to equalise constituencies and end what critics say have been decades of inequality amongst voters.

The final proposals are similar to those outlined in a draft plan published in the New Year but there are changes in Maughold and Onchan following talks with local representatives.

The boundary committee is now recommending Maughold remains with Lonan and Laxey in the new East constituency and that Howstrake - not Birch Hill as originally proposed - should be the part of Onchan included in that neighbouring constituency.

Under the plans, village landmarks such as St Peter’s Church and the Vicarage would be retained within Onchan Urban.

If Tynwald back the plans, they would be introduced in time for the next Manx General Election in 2016.

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