Councillor David Pugh’s response to an appeal by the IW Association of Local Council (IWALC) to halt decisions to restructure the Coastal Management team has lead to a series of replies from members across the Island.
Below we share replies from Jonathan Young, Niton and Whitwell Parish Council IWALC delegate; David Bartlett, Clerk for Ventnor Town Council and Gill Kennett, Chairman, IWALC. We expect there will be more forthcoming over the next few days.
Dear Cllr Pugh,
Hysterical scaremongering? Anyone who was at at this week’s IWALC EC meeting will know that David Bartlett’s presentation was sober and informative, as befits his postion; and that it was accurately reflected in IWALC’s subsequent letter to you. It focussed chiefly not on people’s employment rights, important though those are, but on the disbanding of a world-renowned centre of excellence at at time when it has never been needed more. The notion that this is none of anyone’s business except yourself and a few of your senior officers is both arrogant and offensive.
Niton and Whitwell Parish Council IWALC delegate
Publicly accusing Ventnor Town Council of ‘hysterical scaremongering’ is unworthy of the Leader of the this Island’s County Council.
I’m attaching a copy of the Delegated Decision report SL012/10, Decision Under Delegated Powers, Economy and Environment Directorate Restructure – March 2013 in order that those to whom you circulated accusation can judge for themselves.
Hopefully, we can move forward in this, as in all matters affecting us both, on the basis of fact.
David Bartlett, Clerk for Ventnor Town Council
Thank you for your timely response.
As Chairman of IWALC I need to respond to you on this. John, as you know, is our secretary and wrote to you at the request of members
I note your comment regarding “hysterical scaremongering by Ventnor Town Council”. I would state that the concern regarding the disbandment of the team went far beyond the concern expressed by Ventnor Town Council and I would not describe our debate as in any way hysterical. As regards copying our letter to the media, as there was a full report in the County Press on the day that this letter was sent expressing our concerns I hardly think it was breaking news and our letter closely mirrored what we saw published in the press.
This winter has seen a catastrophic land slip at Totland Bay, our members have also reported on real concerns on coastal erosion across the Island. I note your comments regarding the PFI providing stabilisation of several at risk roads and welcome this ” over the next few years” may well, however, be too late for the Military Road and Bouldner where there has recently been a further slip at the lookout. The Coastal Management Team have the knowledge and expertise needed at a time when our coastal defences are under threat due to the excessive rainfall this winter and to lose this team and their collective skills would seem to be the wrong decision at the moment.
I am sorry if you feel our letter is in anyway inaccurate and we would appreciate the opportunity to speak to you further on this to discuss it further.
Best wishes, Gill
Gill Kennett, Chairman, IWALC
Image: © Used with permission of Rob Jennings