Ventnor Coastal Centre: IW Council refuse nomination as Community Asset

The Strategic Manager for Economy, Tourism and Events informs Ventnor town council that the Coastal Centre will not be protected for future economic and community use. There is no right of appeal.

Coastal Centre

Readers will remember that the IWC last year refused to consider leasing the Ventnor Coastal Centre to the Ventnor Town Council (VTC) as part of the VTC’s plan to create an enterprise hub for new small businesses in the town to help regenerate the local economy.

Sell on the open market
Outgoing Chief Executive, Steve Beynon and Leader of the council, David Pugh, told the VTC they planned to sell the building on the open market asap.

The VTC subsequently nominated the building as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under the ‘Community Right to Bid’ part of the Localism Act on 7 January 2013.

“Application unsuccessful”
This week, the VTC have received a response from the Isle of Wight council, who refuse to recognise the building would be of community benefit.

The reasons given for the decision are:

  • The previous use does not qualify as being of community value or facilitate/further social wellbeing
  • The proposed use does not qualify as being of community value or facilitate/further social wellbeing

Strong support from residents
Following a consultation in the town on the future of the Coastal Centre, a whopping 1,625 residents replied in favour of the building being saved as a Community Asset.

A report from Town Clerk, David Bartlett, says

As the letter from the Isle of Wight Council states, there is no right of appeal provided by the Localism Act, but it is clearly unacceptable that, given the spirit of the Act and the democratic nature of our society, the Isle of Wight Council should be able to reject such a strong case on the basis of its own decision-making without challenge.

The VTC will consider their response at Monday’s monthly meeting.

We’ll be contacting county councillors for Ventnor, Susan Scoccia and Chris Welsford for their views on the council’s decision.

The report
The report, which contains the refusal notice from the council as well as responses from residents (and can also be found on the VTC Website), is embedded below for your convenience.


Image: © Used with the kind permission of Richard ‘Tenspeed’ Heaven


Location map
View the location of this story in Ventnor, England, United Kingdom.

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Thursday, 14th March, 2013 10:39am

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72 Comments

  1. RTUC's comment is rated +37 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Mar.2013 11:00am

    The Ryde and East Wight Trades Council denounces the decision of the Isle of Wight Council as a travesty of justice.Salisbury Gardens belongs to the people of Ventnor regardless of the dubious transition of “ownership” to the IWC. The Trades Council supports the stand of the Ventnor Town Council in protecting public property.

    Reply
  2. Meursault's comment is rated +35 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Mar.2013 11:23am

    Seems like Pugh & Beynon are rewriting the past and ignoring the future to come to their conclusions.

    Was the Coastal Visitor Centre not considered ‘of community value’? Personally as a student I found it a great local resource and so did the many school visits they hosted.

    And moving forward how can an enterprise hub for small businesses not be of immense ‘community value’ to both Ventnor and the wider Island economy?

    Reply
    • septua's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      19.Mar.2013 12:47pm

      Part of the building was also used by the IW Natural History & Archaeology Society as offices and library for many years – definitely community use.

      Reply
  3. hussar's comment is rated +15 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Mar.2013 4:52pm

    Another of the Junta’s 100% undemocratic decisions and, considering how close their demise is will they have time to sell it a at knock down price to their developer friends before they’re “ex councillors” ?

    Reply
  4. Bystander's comment is rated +14 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Mar.2013 6:26pm

    As part of the response to this white wash the people of Ventnor could mount a campaign making it clear to any potential purchasers that they intend to boycott any business venture established following its sale.

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

    14.Mar.2013 6:52pm

    Normally Pugherile makes great play of any number of dissenting voices being worthlessly small. I hope he has the maturity to be logical, & say how impressed he is with 1,625. (Doh, what am I thinking of….)

    Reply
  6. old bull's comment is rated +9 Vote +1 Vote -1

    14.Mar.2013 11:59pm

    Family silver – flog it off. CX redundance to pay. Simples!

    Reply
  7. Tony Minx's comment is rated +10 Vote +1 Vote -1

    15.Mar.2013 9:16am

    I wasn’t aware that we were living in a Dictatorship on the Island until now!! What kind of Democracy exists here? If we were French, we would be manning the barricades and demonstrating in the streets! I wonder what Private Eye will say about all this!

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

    15.Mar.2013 12:27pm

    I agree with comments above regarding protest or direct action over this total disregard for the wishes of Ventnor residents.
    As there can be no appeal, we have no other option.
    So, do we surround the building holding hands chanting “We want it now!” ? do we mount a protest at County Hall ? Do we refuse to pay our council tax bill which arrived today ?
    I wonder what our Ventnor West Conservative Councillor Susan Scoccia will have to say about this at Monday’s Town Council Meeting ?

    Reply
  9. a person's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    15.Mar.2013 8:07pm

    I have to wonder why, if “The previous use does not qualify as being of community value or facilitate/further social wellbeing”, why was the place not closed years ago?

    Clearly it was of massive community value, or the IWC were wasting our money keeping it open. I know which one I think is true

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

      15.Mar.2013 9:25pm

      Strikes me that the press office is now peddling a possible shift in policy…..
      Ventnor be afraid, your votes are clearly wanted now.
      Call me cynical but stranger things have happened at sea

      Reply
  10. Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    15.Mar.2013 11:02pm

    Am I the only person who is not sure that the Town Council’s plan for the building is the best use of this iconic building in a truly amazing location with stunning views?

    We live on a tourist Island and I have never been able to fathom why this amazingly located building was not a hotel or similar with a terrace restaurant just in front. I suggest that such a use for the building would be the best outcome for the Ventnor economy, creating much needed employment, enhancing Ventnor and the Island’s reputation as an amazing tourist destination. It would be a stunning place to stay and enjoy great hospitality.

    I think that Ventnor Town Council’s plan for an enterprise hub has great merit and I hope that they find a venue for it, but why do start up businesses need to be housed in a spectacularly located iconic building with the best views on the south Wight?

    Surely there are other more appropriate locations in less a ‘prime’ site. Start-up businesses need low overheads and would be better off on an industrial estate or town centre location, leaving the best views to the tourists paying top dollar and increasing the overall contribution to the local economy. Surely the local councillors have thought of this as they look out of the windows at the spectacular coastal views.

    Could the IWCC restrict future use of the building to a hotel before selling it on the open market? If that were possible that would be the best use of the building in terms of contributing to the Island economy in my opinion.

    If I am wrong, please tell me what I have missed.

    Reply
  11. tryme's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Mar.2013 5:47am

    I’ve never been into the building, & I suppose that if it were filled with start up private businesses I never might, which would be a shame, because there wouldn’t be public access, which I would like to be paramount.

    Perhaps new businesses should be too busy to enjoy the views!

    I wonder how much anyone beyond the owner of the` suggested hotel would benefit – would it be a ‘destination’ in itself.

    I would prefer it to be an art gallery with great restaurant, if the lay-out is feasible, or a maritime museum (if I dare use the word museum nowadays); or some other focus of great interest & intrigue, but definitely with free PUBLIC ACCESS, which I think is the paramount factor, albeit with paying facilities like restaurant, & should be the condition, if in private hands.

    Reply
    • steephilljack's comment is rated +7 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 8:23am

      @ tryme: your suggestions for this building are much the same as those coming from the voluntary sector in the town.
      There have been discussions with VTC where these ideas have been considered: heritage displays and art of the Undercliff, but we have to secure the building first !

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

        16.Mar.2013 8:37am

        Yes, steephilljack, we are being a bit previous to fight over what we will do with it! I didn’t see those displays, but was prompted by the initial post.

        It hadn’t before occurred to me that a start-up building, which sounds great as regards the purpose, would bar most of us from access as much as would purely private use like a block of flats.

        A thriving community centre could have a lovely mix of art, heritage, training, cafe…the closest model on the Island might be Quay Arts. It would be a destination place for me! There I go again, doubtless this has already been said many times.

        Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -11 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 8:54am

      Who is going to run an Art Gallery? With the greatest respect to VTC they have not been able to run the Winter Gardens successfully in the past. I would be horrified to see them become art gallery managers.

      Why should the building become something that needs subsidy and support, costing the community fortunes in refurbishment and ongoing management when it could be a profitable private enterprise?

      It would be lovely to see a gallery in Ventnor, but please tell me why it should be in this building which is far better suited to hospitality. The building was used for this or similar purposes from 1899 to 1945 after all.

      It only came into use as a public building due to the wartime bombing of other offices. Should we not know respect its history, appreciate its potential and return it to a hotel which can contribute to the local economy instead of being a drain on already stretched public finances.

      Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -8 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 9:08am

      With regard to the benefit from it being a ‘destination hotel’ ask any shop keeper in Ventnor whether affluent tourists in the town makes a difference to thei business and the answer is a resounding YES.

      Local suppliers of goods and services would benefit. The farmers, butchers and grocers as well as brewers and wine merchants!!!

      The wage bill of such a business would be upwards of £350,000 employing more than 12 people full time and others part time and spending that money in the local economy.

      A hotel would be fantastic for the local economy

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

        16.Mar.2013 9:13am

        Other people will know better than me, but aren’t there one or two expensive hotels in west wight, & is the local economy of (say) Freshwater consequently booming?

        Reply
        • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          16.Mar.2013 9:35am

          …perhaps the vintners might be!

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

            16.Mar.2013 11:53am

            Why the building would be a great gallery? Any art lover would imagine the natural light is absolutely glorious; & the location conducive to creative thought & feeling…

        • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -6 Vote +1 Vote -1

          16.Mar.2013 7:42pm

          Not sure I know enough to comment on the West Wight economy, but there is a luxury hotel in Yarmouth which employs plenty of people and buys local produce, adding to the local Yarmouth economy which is tragically blighted by the proportion of second homes.
          Is there another expensive hotel over there? Farringford is no longer a hotel. Maybe the West Wight needs more luxury hotels!!!!! :-)

          Reply
  12. Meursault's comment is rated +15 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Mar.2013 11:19am

    VV – I agreed that it would make a fantastic hotel and terrace restaurant, and it may be the case that VTC take that view, dispose of it and reinvest the revenue in an alternative site in the Town.

    But the point is that decision should be down to the people of Ventnor and the proceeds/benefits of the sale should be retained by the Town, not hived off by County Hall to underwrite the financial mismanagement of Pugh et al’s administration.

    Selling off the family silver, much of which over time has been donated to ‘the people’ of the Island, with no political mandate, via dubious ‘delegated’ powers is morally corrupt, if not verging on criminal.

    Reply
    • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 11:33am

      Then, has specialised legal advice been obtained on the matter? (If so, it may not not be a good idea to say here what it is).

      Reply
      • Meursault's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 12:11pm

        Legally it seems VTC have attempted to follow the appropriate legal framework via the Community Right to Bid in the Localism Act 2011.

        The problem is that the legislation is fundamentally flawed as the final decision is taken by the Local Authority, the same body that is trying to sell the asset in the first place – and there is no right to appeal.

        So other than allowing a 6-month delay in proceedings it is not really worth the paper it is written on. Just political fluff to ease through the fire-sale of public assets.

        If the government wanted the legislation to be truly democratic and effective they would have at least included the right to appeal.

        Reply
        • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          16.Mar.2013 12:49pm

          I suppose I was thinking more of a legal person looking at the way the IWC took over the property from VTC; & whether every step of procedure under the Localism Act has been taken in correct manner. I pop up & say this here now & then, but Judicial Review can become relevant.

          (Interesting that my asking if legal advice has been taken incurs 2 reds!)

          I remember at the time of the first of the Banking crises, & first talk of tightening belts, I thought – what an absolute godsend for this administration of the IWC! They had racked up a huge deficit of their own before that – was it £11 mill? – & hey presto, suddenly took no responsibility for it! And everyone seemed to forget about what they’d done, (probably not on VB-as-was though!)

          Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -8 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 7:12pm

      Have I missed something? VTC have nothing to do with this decision. They do not own the building. All they do is rent a few rooms there. IWC will sell it and pump the proceeds into the black hole of their finances.
      With the location of the building it is most likely it wil be bought by developers and turned into luxury flats which will be bought by rich people from the mainland who will not pay council tax (under current regs) and will contribute only a little to the town.

      I would prefer to see a hotel employing 15-20 people and bringing high value spending tourists to the town, The hotel would also buy goods and services from local businesses.

      If the hotel did a good job its visitors would go away saying what an amazing time they in a greatt hotel in the most stunning location in the most wonderful town of Ventnor. perfect marketing for our wonderful town.

      Alternatively you could have 10 Ventnor Councillors in there for the odd meeting, a few start up businesses having their rents subsidised by the tax-payers to enjoy the view when they would be just as well off in a less iconic location, and who would pay for the refurbishment? The Ventnor tax payer.

      I look forward to this post receiving negative comments too!!!!

      Reply
      • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 7:46pm

        2 negatives already!!! (after 6 minutes) Can those who dislike what I am saying please tell me what they think would be right for the building. It might be a constructive debate.

        Reply
      • Beer lover's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

        17.Mar.2013 2:42pm

        A rather ill-informed comment. Second home owners currently pay 90% council tax and from April will pay 100% council tax.

        Might be a good idea to get your facts right before spouting off.

        Reply
        • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          17.Mar.2013 10:51pm

          Fair enough. It was being discussed on the radio recently and I must have misunderstood. I see councils have discretion to allow discounts of 10- 50% and on the IOW it is 10 %. My mistake. I believe this may soon be changed though.

          Reply
      • Beer lover's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

        17.Mar.2013 3:04pm

        Have you forgotten that the Winter Gardens is being developed into a luxury hotel?

        With VWG, The Hambrough, Hillside and The Royal, all of whom will be battling for customers in an economic downturn, do you really think there would be enough business to sustain them, as well as yet another luxury hotel?

        Reply
        • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          17.Mar.2013 10:44pm

          With the right product in that location I think it could do very well.

          I would like to view it as an opportunity to bring more visitors to Ventnor at the expense of hotels in other towns.

          Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -4 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 8:53pm

      I agree 100%.

      It would be great if it was Ventnor’s decision, but it is not, it is IWC.

      It would be great if the proceeds of the sale could be used for facilities to add to the life, community and economy of Ventnor….but they will not, I expect.

      Would you have described the Winter Gardens as ‘the family silver’. Its accounts prove it to have been a hideous millstone and I suspect that the same would be said of Salisbury Gardens. I can see no public sector use which would:
      a) guarantee to pay for itself quickly with minimal investment.

      b) provide services which NEED to be in such an iconic location and whose economic contribution would greater than that of a high quality hotel and restaurant.

      Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 9:19pm

      Meursault….Love your name! Do you want any? ;-)

      Reply
      • Meursault's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        22.Mar.2013 8:12pm

        Although sharing a french connection you are more likely to find me under the blistering Algerian sun than in the Burgundy region of France :)

        Reply
  13. Stewart Blackmore's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Mar.2013 3:29pm

    Here’s an idea. The Island is a tourist destination and the IW College has a reputation for training people to be hospitality professionals, so the Coastal centre would make an excellent training hotel for our young people.

    It could become a fully functioning centre of excellence, under the banner of the College, giving our young people an excellent foundation in hospitality skills: cooking, front of house, back of house, various supervisory & management levels, bar tending, finance……the list goes on.

    It could become self-financing in the long term and be no burden on either the Town or County Councils.

    Reply
    • steephilljack's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 4:13pm

      Great idea Stewart, but who would own the building in this case ?

      Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 6:51pm

      Great idea….. Which already happens on the IOW and also in Ventnor already to an extent. The Albert Cottage Hotel is owned by the lady who owns HTP training and is a great training environment for her students.

      At the Royal the kitchen usually has a high number of apprentices in the kitchen.

      It happens IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR ALREADY. It is never going to happen in the public sector. IOW College or the council are not going to spend the £800,000+ to turn it into the kind of hotel it needs to be to match the location.

      Reply
  14. tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Mar.2013 4:17pm

    As noone has responded here whether specialist legal advice has been obtained on the whole matter, I trust it means someone is keeping it up their sleeve. I would have thought a professional would have offered it or been approached.

    Don’t accept off-putting legal advice from IWC or friends!

    Reply
    • bob's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 4:58pm

      Its Saturday and you only asked a few hours ago. Quite why the VTC would respond to you here on a Saturday is beyond me, but if you really are expecting them to then at least give them a chance.

      Reply
      • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 5:58pm

        Hey bob, you mistook my tone, I wasn’t being grumpy! I was taking into account that I had mentioned legal advice several times before now & it wasn’t taken up, so it wasn’t just the last couple of hours I’d been wondering about it. If anyone ever does respond to me about anything, I’m grateful & pleased!

        I thought there would be quite a few people who would know the answer, I wasn’t expecting to go straight to the top! Especially if they’re going to feel cross about it.

        I was only keen to ensure people involved get the support they need. But as I said, it may be best not to give any legal details here, & risk undermining the case.

        Reply
        • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          16.Mar.2013 6:01pm

          By ‘a professional …approached’ I meant that a solicitor has probably been consulted, one way or another, (& not that I myself expected to be approached).

          Reply
  15. DavidBartlett's comment is rated +8 Vote +1 Vote -1

    16.Mar.2013 7:42pm

    Apologies for being distracted by six nations!

    Comments on this have been for me an interesting addition to the consultation VTC has been conducting over the last month. Appreciated.

    It’s perhaps worth adding in response to the comments that VTC is not wedded to one particular future for the Coastal Centre: the Business Hub with which we opened was a specific attempt to access last year’s Coastal Communities Fund. We were Stage 1 successes for £70k but had to withdraw due to the IoWC’s political leaership’s unwillingess to discuss the possiblility of the building’s release to us.

    Since then we’ve been approached with a number of very interesting suggestions for the building’s development for the community and are still interested in exploring all of them.

    The critical issue is, of course, that of ownership. As the consultation document on the building’s future we circulated to every household last month made clear, past Ventnor residents have already paid for this building through its 1945 purchase by Ventnor Urban District Council (£6,100 then, £395,000 at today’s prices) and it has served the town since: the moralcase for its continued public ownership and service to the town is overwhelming.

    Section 88(b) of the Localism Act 2011 defines a building as of community value if ‘it is realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be a non-ancialliary use of the building…that would further..the social wellbeing or social interest of the local community.’
    The case VTC submitted for that in its now rejected nomination for listing as such can be read in the main article. In this context, the decision of the IoWC is disturbing.

    However, as commentators have correctly noted, there is no right of appeal and, in any case, listing does no more than provide the opportunity to delay a sale by up to 6 months.
    We have been able to draw on the experience and advice in this area of Locality, the national charity funded to progress the Localism Agenda.
    VTC will be considering that and all other available options on the private agenda of its meeting this coming Monday. The Town Council will be very aware of the substantial support its commitment to retain the building for the benefit of the town has received.
    In total, from the returned reply paid business cards, petition forms and web site contributions, a total of 1,571 have already signed up to their support: 1,410 of them are Island residents and 1,341 live in Ventnor – 26% of the local electorate.

    Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -6 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 8:11pm

      Hi David, Good to have your fact based input.

      Apologies for not having my input in a more official form earlier. I picked up a form but……

      Has the private ownership hotel idea been looked at / proposed?

      If so with what response?

      If a town centre location is required for various facilities required by public service, was the NHS site next to the Post office considered? It is / was on the market, conveniently located, has parking and is not is a stunning location more appropriate for tourism.

      You say the critical issue is ownership. Is that because if you can claim ownership you can use the funds elsewhere?

      In my opinion (as I have made clear on here) I think your ideas for a business hub are great (in a different location).
      I believe that the best use of the building would be a hotel in private ownership. In which case why does it matter who has the moral rights of ownership?

      Most important is whether restrictions can be put on the use of the building to ensure that the building gets utilised for purposes which will most benefit the town.

      I look forward to your response.
      Matt

      Reply
    • bob's comment is rated -6 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 8:23pm

      “past Ventnor residents have already paid for this building through its 1945 purchase by Ventnor Urban District Council (£6,100 then, £395,000 at today’s prices)”

      Ventnor Urban District Council became part of the IoW council. Never mind “moral rights of ownership”, the building is legally owned by the IoW council on behalf of ALL the people on the island. They had a go at letting VTC run a publicly owned building and ended up having to sell it for £1. Why would they make the same mistake again? This asset should be put to good public use for EVERYONE on the island or disposed of to the private sector. Just because it happens to be in Ventnor doesnt mean Ventnor has any right to its ownership. Under the localism act, if you could put forth a sensible case, then fair enough. But you didnt, and the IWC rejected your case. I think they rejected it correctly as the small business centre you propose would be better in a different location, such as Newport where it could centrally serve the ENTIRE island. The building in question should be disposed of and hopefully become a hotel, ideally one willing to employ and train Island students in hospitality.

      Reply
      • Janet Scott's comment is rated +5 Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 8:59pm

        Somewhat harsh Bob.

        Reply
      • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 9:05pm

        Who was responsible for the management, maintenance and upkeep of the building in the last 20 years?

        Reply
      • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        16.Mar.2013 9:15pm

        Bob, I can agree with much of what you say, but:

        Why would Ventnor Town Council propose a centre for start up businesses in order to encourage local development and build enterprise in Ventnor and then site it in NEWPORT????? You are missing the point. The reason for retaining the building (which I believe is misguided) is to provide services and a hub for businesses IN VENTNOR.

        We run a business in Ventnor and we happily service THE ENTIRE ISLAND from Ventor. Why would we want to be based in Newport where the traffic is terrible, the rents and business rates are high and few tourists stay or visit?

        The business hub is a fantastic idea….. just not in that building!

        Reply
        • bob's comment is rated -8 Vote +1 Vote -1

          16.Mar.2013 10:07pm

          Janet – harsh, but true. the building is owned by the IWC on behalf of all islanders. VTC does not have any right to ownership.

          VV – Why should someone from Cowes have to travel all the way to Ventnor to benefit from a business hub? It should be sited in Newport so it can serve ALL islanders. It should be located in a public building so rent is not an issue, and run by the IWC for all island businesses rather than by VTC for businesses just in Ventnor and the surrounding area. Newport is the geographic centre of the island, therefore most accessible to most island people. This as I understand it is not about relocating business to a central location, but is instead about providing advice and services to local businesses. If I have that wrong, it further casts doubt on the validity of this proposal. A public building should not be used to host businesses, and if the hub is intended to provide advice to Island businesses it should be located in Newport. If it is intended to provide advice to businesses in Ventnor only, then it should make use of a building owned or rented by VTC, not a building owned by the IWC on behalf of all island residents.

          Reply
          • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated +1 Vote +1 Vote -1

            16.Mar.2013 10:53pm

            It appears you have missed the point and the function and purpose of the business hub, Bob.
            Please see the link to the business plan for the business hub here:

            http://www.ventnortowncouncil.org.uk/publications.php?dir=coastal centre development&by=date&order=asc

            THe hub is a location for start up businesses to promote business development in Ventnor. It is not some kind of advice facility for Island-wide businesses.

            It is a local plan to encourage local businesses to set up in Ventnor where there is very little office space above the shops as most of the properties are used for growing weed!!!!

            I digress. It is a VTC initiative to assist economic activity in Ventnor. Someone in Cowes should be encouraged to set up their business in Cowes. This was never intended as an initiative for the whole of the island.

            If you suggest you it should be located in Newport you have not understood the purpose of the project.

            You say a public building should not be used to host businesses. If a local council is trying to stimulate enterprise in a deprived environment and wishes to establish such an environment to encourage local business, why not?

            In the business plan VTC wanted to rent it from the IWC, (albeit for a peppercorn rent), but with maintenance of the property included in the business plan.

          • bob's comment is rated -10 Vote +1 Vote -1

            17.Mar.2013 11:55am

            the 2 words I have a problem with are “in Ventnor”.

            A facility like this should benefit the entire island, not just ventnor for ventnor. Therefore it should be located in newport, or even have a branch in every major island town to benefit all islanders.
            However, what disturbs me the most is that VTC has said, in the comment above, that they are considering several options. They seem more interested in obtaining the building and seem to have several ideas as to what could go in the building. It seems they forget that the building is legally owned by the IWC on behalf of all island residents.
            I guarantee that if David Pugh was part of VTC and was trying to obtain this building, there would be outcry. People would be moaning about Pugh trying to steal a public building for his own use. As it stands, that is exactly what VTC seems to be trying to do. They seem far more interested in the building itself than any business hub. Well, the building does not belong to VTC, nore should it.

    • Janet Scott's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

      16.Mar.2013 9:25pm

      David. Thank you for putting us
      ‘in the picture’ and for the work
      you are doing re;Coastal Centre.

      Unfortunately I think your second
      paragraph says it all, I don’t wonder why, as by then (stage 1) I think they already had a buyer.

      It seems, to me, that Messrs Pugh,
      Beynon etc; are too damned arrogant to ever listen to any alternative view to their opinion.

      Why can’t they use this excellent
      medium (OTW) to answer our reason-ably intelligent questions as you
      have done. Thank you again.

      Incidently, apologies accepted.
      Don’t do it again :):) !

      Reply
  16. peaceful_life's comment is rated +3 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Mar.2013 1:19pm

    It seems (somewhat) agreed that the building does belong to the people of the island.

    Question……why then……is it to be sold?

    Reply
  17. DRN's comment is rated +2 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Mar.2013 3:22pm

    Blimey the press office have been busy since I last posted – overtime or borrowed time eh?

    They were even talking to themselves for most of the time, peddling platitudes and backslapping, to keep the story going and get their masters messages out.

    I did warn that they were on the offensive, look thru VV, bob and co and they stand out a mile. Back to the story board guys and galls.

    Reply
    • tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Mar.2013 4:23pm

      DRN – you earlier said the Council is “peddling a possible shift in policy”. They still mean to sell it, so what is the shift?

      Reply
    • bob's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Mar.2013 6:34pm

      DRN, stop spouting paranoid drivel. Just because someone has a different opinion to your own does not mean they work for the council comms department. Still, nothing like a paranoid conspiracy theory to make some people feel justified in having a moan is there now.

      Reply
    • Ventnor Vintner's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Mar.2013 9:27pm

      Hey DRN, Bless you!!!! You seem to think I work for the IOW press office. Actually my username gives it away. I am a wine merchant in Ventnor.

      I have an opinion which is contrary to that of many in Ventnor and we have had some interesting exchanges on here.

      It appears you see conspiracies around every corner. Do you really think the IOW press office could be bothered to post on here?

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

        17.Mar.2013 9:53pm

        I don’t know why you would say the press office couldn’t be bothered to post here, VV. As nefarious activities go, that would be pretty basic.

        We know Beynon has been very annoyed by OTW commenting, & I am reliably told that OTW unaccountably freezes when attempts are made to access it from council desktops.

        Reply
  18. DRN's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Mar.2013 7:11pm

    Ooouucchh! That hit a nerve;, there, there, then.
    Who said that, am I hearing things?

    Reply
    • bob's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

      17.Mar.2013 7:26pm

      hit a nerve? no, just made me realise how utterly paranoid and moronic some people are on here. If you seriously think the comms department bothers to post on here, let alone under a pseudonym, then you really do need to see a doctor and get your mental state looked at. Or is it just a way to try and undermine anyones opinion which does not agree with your own? either way, grow up.

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

        17.Mar.2013 7:31pm

        Why so over-the-top belligerent & personal, bob?

        Reply
        • bob's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

          17.Mar.2013 7:34pm

          perhaps it often seems like the only way to get through to certain people on here, even if it is exactly the kind of reaction they want.

          Reply
          • Ventnor Vintner's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

            17.Mar.2013 9:39pm

            Hey Bob, Funny you should say that…. I was wondering how to get you to understand that if VTC want to set up a business hub in Ventnor (a centre for new local Ventnor businesses)they should be applauded for trying to do the best for their town.

            All the business hub is is effectively serviced offices based in Ventnor. Ventnor needs jobs. Badly!!! Why do you want more office space in Newport where there is plenty?

            As I said earlier you have not understood what the proposed business hub is. I did post a link to the business plann. Have you read it?

            (NB I do not think it should be in the Salisbury Gardens building and I am not convinced that VTC should get the building for free from the IWC)

          • bob's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

            17.Mar.2013 9:55pm

            I understand completely the point you are making VV. I simply disagree with it. I think the business hub should benefit all island small businesses, not just those in ventnor. Locating it in ventnor will hinder all island businesses from accessing it. I also think that VTC is more interested in trying to take over the building than it is in actually starting a business hub.
            None of that is misunderstanding your point, it is simply disagreeing with it.

      • Stacey De O'Bvious's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

        17.Mar.2013 7:49pm

        You really need to get a bit more practiced at this.

        If you’re trying to pretend to post as someone that isn’t you, don’t fall into the rookie mistake of claiming to know what actions that person or body might or might not carry out.

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

          17.Mar.2013 9:59pm

          grow up. any person with the slightest amount of common sense knows full well that the comms dept have better things to do with their time than post on here, such as the jobs they are paid for.
          But why bother saying any of this? some people would rather beleive the worst regardless of the facts staring them in the face. i’m off back to the real world now, have fun in your make beleive world where everything seems to be a sinister conspiracy.

          Reply
        • steve s's comment is rated +4 Vote +1 Vote -1

          17.Mar.2013 10:18pm

          Bob,
          Upon what do you base your suggestion that VTC is ‘more interested in trying to take over the building than it is in actually starting a business hub’?

          Do you know something the rest of us don’t know?

          Reply
  19. tryme's comment not rated yet. Add your vote Vote +1 Vote -1

    17.Mar.2013 8:02pm

    I would like DRN to tell me what s/he meant about “a shift in policy”

    Reply
  20. DNR's comment is rated -1 Vote +1 Vote -1

    18.Mar.2013 12:21am

    Has anybody found bob’s dummy yet?
    Perhaps it’s in the wine shop in south wight?

    Desperation springs to mind…..

    Reply

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