The Leader of the Isle of Wight Council could face a Motion of no confidence in the near future if the current Independent Administration continues to underperform, a Newport Conservative Councillor has warned with agreement from a senior Labour Councillor.
In a note to the Chair of Newport Parish Council, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans and Clerk Maxine Yule, Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Con. Newport West) says that his recent vote for Cllr Bacon as Leader of the Council was a “disastrous mistake” which he “deeply regrets”.
In a warning to the Parish Council, Cllr Whitehouse (pictured left), says:
“The main and deeply worrying issue that the Island is facing is that the Isle of Wight Council is almost completely dysfunctional under the current Independent administration. Whilst I did personally support the election of Cllr Jonathan Bacon at the recent Annual General Meeting, this was with a very heavy heart, and I now fear it was a disastrous mistake which I deeply regret.”
The Councillor went on to highlight the weakness of the Independent Administration, arguing that:
“The current Cabinet members simply lack the skills and vision to address the huge problems that need to be confronted to take the Island forward. They have lost all real sense of direction. This is a dire situation at a time when finances are so straitened.
“We are reaching such a low point in terms of delivery that it seems likely that we may see a Motion of No Confidence in the current Leader and his Cabinet moved at a future meeting in order that a genuinely cross-party team can be put in place to save the Council from total implosion before it is too late. That is just my personal view, but I know that it is one that I am not alone in holding.”
Commenting on Cllr Whitehouse’s note, Labour Group Leader Cllr Geoff Lumley (pictured right), who serves on both the Isle of Wight Council and the Newport Parish Council, said in an email to Parish Councillors:
“I completely agree with Cllr Whitehouse regarding the IW Council’s dysfunctionality under the current minority Independent administration.”
“I would be happy to support almost anyone as Leader who was prepared and able to pull together an all-party administration, as a reflection that no one group/party has an absolute majority on the Council. Even Cllr Bacon.”
Contrasting the Isle of Wight Council’s poor record with that of the Newport Parish Council, Cllr Whitehouse concludes:
“I feel it necessary to sound this warning about the chaos in County Hall because it makes the calm and efficient work of the Parish Council all the more important in serving the local community as it does so well.”