NEW ALLIANCE OF 18 COUNCILLORS TAKE CONTROL OF COUNTY HALL

A new alliance of councillors from across the political spectrum have taken control of County Hall for the next 4 years.

18 Councillors, including Independents and Green Party members, have come together to form a group who, supported by Liberal Democrat Andrew Garratt and Daryl Pitcher of the Vectis Party, have a working majority enabling them to take control of the Council.

Yesterday evening (Wednesday), at the first Isle of Wight Council meeting since the recent elections, Councillor Lora Peacey Wilcox was elected as Leader of the Isle of Wight Council. Councillor Ian Stephens has been named Deputy Leader.

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Council Leader Lora Peacey Wilcox has said:

“On 6th May 61% of electors voted for a change from the previous Conservative administration. Since the election results were announced the new Alliance of Councillors has been working together closely to form a strong disciplined group that respects the wishes of voters.

“We will shortly be announcing our detailed plans to take the Council forward, including restoring democracy and opening up engagement with residents, businesses and our Town and Parish Councils. We must prioritise Covid recovery. In doing so we must have particular regard to the mental health and wellbeing of Islanders. We must also help our local businesses and High Streets recover. With this in mind we will be looking carefully at car parking charges. There are also many issues relating to planning and housing that require urgent attention.

“To further these aims I have already appointed a new Cabinet from across the membership of the Alliance, ensuring that people with the right skills and abilities are in the right posts, rather than being restricted by political party restraints.”

Councillor Geoff Brodie, who has been elected as the Chairman of the Council, has said:

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“A lot of damage was done to the Council and the Island by the previous Conservative Administration. We need to deal with that and, in the process of doing so, restore the peoples trust and confidence in the Council and their elected representatives. Openness and transparency have been sadly lacking in recent years. We have to change that.

“As part of the restoration of democracy we have restored the long-standing practice that an opposition member should be in charge of Scrutiny and that Council Scrutiny committees have reverse proportionality, meaning that they are in the control of the opposition. We are not afraid of examination and scrutiny, indeed we welcome it as part of the proper functioning of a local authority.”

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox added:

“There is a great deal of work ahead. Because so much was dealt with by the Conservatives behind closed doors, not least the Floating Bridge, we are going to need time to find out what has been going on, but we are going to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. However, what I can promise you is that from tonight the Isle of Wight has a new political culture; one of political inclusion rather than political competition, where councillors and staff work as a single team and invite into County Hall all the available local expertise to create equal partnerships with our public sector partners, our local councils, business organisations, charities and emergency hubs, to deliver a safe route for all out of this crisis, and to put us on the road to an ecologically sustainable future and a better quality of life.”

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Cabinet members have already been appointed which include:

  • Councillor Jonathan Bacon – Environment
  • Councillor Phil Jordan – Infrastructure and Transport
  • Councillor Chris Jarman – Resources
  • Councillor Julie Jones-Evans – Regeneration
  • Councillor Debbie Andre – Education and Children’s Services
  • Councillor Karl Love – Adult Social Care, Public Health and Housing
  • Councillor Paul Fuller – Planning

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Kev
Kev
11 months ago

I sincerely hope the good intentions of the new Council are carried forward into a meaningful administration fit for purpose that moves this Island forward in a new direction and away from the disastrous previous sad joke we suffered from as a Council.

Dusty Fanny
Dusty Fanny
Reply to  Kev
11 months ago

Well there’s no chance of that happening.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Dusty Fanny
11 months ago

Absolutely agree with you, remember the fiasco of the last independent council? They brought the island to its knees. Maybe this one will order another floating disaster. So 67% of the 37% of islanders who wasted their time voting wanted a change? Well the island is in the muck again for another 4 years

Sunshine
Sunshine
Reply to  Dusty Fanny
11 months ago

If for God sake, don’t be so negative. Give them a chance to right a lot of wrongs and there are many. Don’t be so judgemental. Wait and see.

Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
11 months ago

High and mighty sounding words, lets hope they will do the right thing for Islanders, not bow down to pressure from ferry companies, tourist board and Seely.

Sunshine
Sunshine
11 months ago

The island needs ‘fixing’. There is much to do and I REALLY hope these new Councillors can deliver. The post sounds really positive. I hope the island and it’s residents now have a council that care and we all will see changes for the better?!?!?!?!?!?!
Including, the housing numbers come from Westminster, but we don’t want the island turned into a concrete jungle.
Homes for residents only.
Don’t house problem families from the mainland for cash.
Thank you and good luck.

Old Mike
Old Mike
11 months ago

Of course their biggest problem will be the officials in County Hall

Andrew
Andrew
11 months ago

Oh dear, hope this is not a sign of what our new council is going to be like? I know she is a woman but Council Leader Lora Peacey Wilcox’s statement of “A lot of damage was done to the Council and the Island by the previous Conservative Administration” is what we used to refer to as ungentlemanly conduct. In a polite society it’s the decent thing to thank the previous administration, how ever much you disagreed with them, and then tell the electorate what your plans are. Not a good start I am affraid Ms Peacey Wilcox! Hopefully we can expect better in future?

 

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