Letter: ‘Derogatory comments’ in election leaflet are hurtful

Wife of county councillor feels compelled to write letter in response to what she feels is an attack on her husband in a leaflet recently distributed by a Conservative candidate for the 2013 elections.

tony-marvin-flyer

Tony Marvin, the Conservative Isle of Wight council candidate for Ventnor East in the 2013 elections recently distributed his election flyer to Ventnor residences. It ends, “With the councillor elected for Ventnor East in 2009 having moved to Niton, many residents feel we are currently without a proper local representative.”

The leaflet also encourages residents to get in touch with Tony Marvin before the elections, and he claims he will, “speak to the council directly on your behalf”.

The elected county councillor’s wife, Wendy Welsford has sent on The Wight the letter below in response to the claims made in the flyer. It was published in the South Wight Chronicle yesterday – Ed.


My husband, Chris Welsford, is the Independent County Councillor for Ventnor East.

Anyone who has had occasion to seek his help will know that he works hard as a County Councillor and has resolutely represented the interests of Ventnor at County Hall since his election in June 2009.

As Mayor of Ventnor he was one of those who helped change Ventnor Town Council into the modern council that it is today; an effective body that is able to help Ventnor in its regeneration and make a real difference to the lives of Ventnorians.

Comments are deeply hurtful
The derogatory comments made by Mr Marvin in his recent electioneering leaflet to residents are deeply hurtful to me.

As the wife of your representative at County Hall, I know only too well the long hours that Chris dedicates to serving his community.

As a non-­party political opposition councillor, Chris is constantly challenging the policies of the ruling Conservative group that Mr Marvin would like to represent.

Getting results for the town
For example, without his intervention the seaweed situation in the haven would not have been resolved as it was he who insisted on the legal opinion being provided that forced the Isle of Wight Council to take full responsibility and fund the solution.

This is not to mention the many Planning and Highways issues he deals with for residents and on behalf of the town. To suggest that residents are not represented because their councillor is not a member of the ruling group is ludicrous.

Living in Niton irrelevant
Furthermore, Mr Marvin’s suggestion that our moving to live in Niton has left residents without representation is simply not true.

Quite aside from the fact that Mr Marvin himself, does not live in the ward he seeks to represent, Niton is hardly the mainland. We owned our house in Niton for many years, Chris having moved there aged 18 after his father died.

Family involved in Ventnor Community
It is our family home but this does not mean we are not part of the Ventnor community.

I am heavily involved in Ventnor’s Country Market, selling my ‘Niton’ free range eggs and other produce and Chris is a long-standing member of the Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team.

Chris felt we should ignore Mr Marvin and his political manipulation of our situation, but I could not stand by and watch my husband’s good work go undefended.

Wendy Welsford

Friday, 16th November, 2012 6:09pm

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2afn

Filed under: Letter to the Editor, Ventnor

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18 Comments

  1. mywifesheelsr2high's comment is rated -17 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Nov.2012 6:42pm

    Of course Chris has never made a derogatory remark about a political opponent has he.You must have a selective memory.I’m quite sure the people of Ventnor East will vote for the person they consider will represent them best.Hopefully that will not be the Conservative candidate.

    Reply
  2. Don Smith's comment is rated +8 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Nov.2012 7:01pm

    Do not worry madam – Tories are past their sell by date.
    Unless of course you are an ex-Etonian:-)

    Think Independent!

    Reply
  3. Stewart Blackmore's comment is rated +18 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Nov.2012 7:12pm

    I very much agree with all that Wendy has written above in respect of Tony Marvin’s (prospective Tory CC candidate in Ventnor East) newsletter.

    I live in the ward (Ventnor East) and am myself standing for election in Ventnor West at the next election. I have always found Chris to be a diligent and hard-working County Councillor. Where Chris lives is not a matter which impinges on his work as a Councillor; there are a number of Councillors (Tories included) who do not live within the boundaries of the ward which they represent. It is for their constituents to decide whether they represent them satisfactorily or not.

    The next County Council elections, in May 2013, will be decided on the record of the incumbent administration, not on where Chris Welsford lives. It will be a time to remind voters exactly who was responsible for toilet closures, disgraceful school standards, library upheaval, the Winter Gardens debacle, the disgusting state of our roads, the state of pathways and bridleways…….. the list is nearly endless.

    If Mr Marvin is fighting on the present Council’s achievements he will find that he has a lot of persuading to do.

    Reply
  4. sam salt's comment is rated +19 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Nov.2012 7:32pm

    Your husband is quite right Mrs. Welsford, ignore the leaflet and rise above it.
    This sounds very much like the leaflet that Mr G Giles has sent out in Bembridge. His leaflet also contains allegations of non-representation in Bembridge because our very good independent councillors live in the neighbouring village of St Helens.
    Mrs Welsford, I really would rise above this propaganda being put out by the Conservatives because that is what it is. I hope that both your husband and independents elsewhere rise above this childish baiting, they are above all that.
    I know the work Chris has done for Ventnor, I know the work Jonathan Bacon and Patrick Joyce have done in our area and I can honestly say that is is far and above what our last conservative councillors did before them and before that one of Lib Dems.
    I know when the leaflets were distributed in Bembridge they were met with laughter and binned. Do the same Mrs Welsford.
    It is very hard when those we care for are attacked in the way these leaflets are attacking but the answer will be on polling day.
    I

    Reply
  5. steephilljack's comment is rated +9 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Nov.2012 9:13pm

    Those of us who live outside Ventnor East have not seen Mr. Marvin’s election flyer, so I ask if OTW could post it here ?
    I realise that this might be against the rules which govern election candidates’ publicity, but it would be good to read it.
    I have great respect for Chris Welsford because he worked hard, and suffered much, during the regime change at Ventnor Town Council.
    His subsequent election to the County Council confirmed Ventnor’s desire to be a Conservative-free zone and I think that Susan Scoccia got in by 9 votes last time.
    If he has had comparatively less impact at County Council meetings than the ruling Tory falange then that is because they ignore all the opposition councillors and make delegated decisions that are not debated.

    Reply
    • biggmarket's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Nov.2012 12:23am

      This is obviously a tactic by the ruling Conservative Group as they have done a similar thing in Ryde East.

      The annoying part of this is that where MPs are concerned if you have a constituency matter(say with the Hospital) you have to go to your own member even if you didn’t vote for him’her.

      BTW given the support Michael Mates got on the Island in the PCC Elections the odds are that the Tories will get back in next year.

      Reply
  6. Mark L Francis's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Nov.2012 8:49am

    Niton – oo arrh, folks there be diifernt in um?
    Mus’ be well over a country mile away…

    If that is the worst they can say about him, he must be a good councillor. Maybe people should vote for him.

    Now if someone were to say something like “Marvin the Paranoid Android” or “Life? Don’t ta;k to me about Life…” – that would be personal and deeply hurtful.

    Reply
  7. florrieflowerpot's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Nov.2012 9:17am

    In the small print is says these leaflets were published by Alan Wells through the conservative office. Chris Welsford and both Brading, St Helens and Bembridge candidates have received comments made against them about not living in their ward or part of their ward. How then do the Island conservatives reconcile the fact the Chris Whitehouse lives in Totland and is standing in Newport West? Perhaps Alan Wells, Chris Whitehouse might like to comment as to why they consider it so wrong for some to live in neighbouring villages to their wards get Mr Whitehouse can live halfway across the Island. I for one am confused.

    Reply
  8. florrieflowerpot's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Nov.2012 10:27am

    I think you are right Mark but he rents a room somewhere in Hampshire which made him eligable to stand for the Police Commissioner post. He was not a very good loser. He would have been better refusing to be interviewed after his defeat rather than come over as a grumpy old man.

    Reply
  9. tryme's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Nov.2012 10:50pm

    He was probably thinking of all the money he spent on the ferry crossing to talk at Ryde School recently, in the expectation of beefing up his vote…..

    Reply
    • Blackton's comment is rated -2 Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Nov.2012 11:25pm

      I believe it was Christ the King College that Mates spoke at, not long after another Tory, Miss Widdecombe.

      I concur with previous advice to ignore the comments of Mr Marvin, hopefully that’s what the majority of Ventnor East residents will do too.

      Reply
      • Mark L Francis's comment is rated -3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        18.Nov.2012 1:14am

        say no more, squire.

        Reply
      • BRIAN's comment is rated -2 Vote +1 Vote -1

        18.Nov.2012 7:44am

        Your comments regarding Widdicombe and Mates (two arch Tories) speaking at the school, emphasises the fact that certain schools still try to turn their charges into little church-going tories.

        I attended a grammar school and we were always trooping down the road and into the local church for this thanksgiving service or that memorial service. As it was C of E, Catholic and Jewish pupils were excluded. Then we had the local vicar turn up at a few morning assemblies.

        One speech day the main talk was given by our local Tory MP who wittered on about loyalty and service etc. Unfortunately the headmaster was left with severe egg on face when a few months later the MP disappeared in America only to turn up in Australia. Yes, our moralising Tory speechmaker was none other than John Stonehouse!!

        Reply
        • Mark L Francis's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

          18.Nov.2012 9:20am

          I know what you mean BRIAN but I think John Stonehouse was a Labour MP.

          I had left Ryde School by the Miner’s Strike but I heard they had some old buffer to give a speech who said he knew all about miners because daddy had been a mine owner.
          A friend of mine nearly got expelled for his comments (or as they called them “threats”)

          Reply
  10. BRIAN's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    18.Nov.2012 10:58am

    Quite right, Mark, my memory let me down there. I have a suspicion that he started out as a Tory but I could be mistaken

    Reply
  11. Mark L Francis's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    18.Nov.2012 11:01am

    Hard to tell the difference sometimes innit?

    Reply

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