The Island’s MP, Bob Seely, paid a visit to local charity Pan Together at their Downside Community Centre base in Newport on Saturday (10th March).
Mr Seely asked to visit the community centre after café manager Gayna Ryan had emailed him pointing out the hardship many local residents face in their lives as a result of Government public spending cuts.
The Pan and Barton community is recognised as being a very strong community, but with many deprivation challenges, such as child and pensioner poverty, poor health and educational outcomes and higher than average unemployment.
Whilst at the centre – which is part of the Pan community hub that also houses Barton Primary School and East Newport Family Centre – Mr Seely spoke with residents and volunteers and offered future funding advice for Pan Together.
Long-time local Isle of Wight Councillor, Geoff Brodie, was also on hand to offer Mr Seely background to the area, the group and the centre.
Afterwards Cllr Brodie said:
“I believe that the MP found the visit informative and to some extent troubling. This is probably a far cry from some of Mr Seely’s other Island experiences.”
Gayna Ryan summed up:
“I was quite angry about a government cuts announcement when I emailed Mr Seely, but I hope this visit will help him to better understand the lives of ordinary people in his constituency. He was very polite and interested in what we had to say.”