On behalf of Our Island, Jonathan Bacon, shares his opinion of the Island Conservatives’ Newport Riverside Quarter plans.
In his own words. Ed
There are some good ideas in this, but they are not new. Similar proposals were being discussed over five years ago.
It’s interesting that the Conservatives have suddenly decided to put this forward now. We wait to see what other ideas they originally opposed, rejected or did nothing about in the last four years, will be put forward in the next few weeks.
Small businesses cornerstone of the Island’s economy
Our Island would support elements of such proposals, but only as part of a scheme to look at Newport and our other towns more widely to bring life back to our high streets and to support our small businesses, which are the cornerstone of the Island’s economy.
We need to get our local economy functioning first and only then look at the housing, rather than bowing to the ridiculous Conservative mindset that building houses, particularly ones that are not needed by our current population, constitutes regeneration.
IWC needs restructuring to work in 21st Century
The idea of knocking down County Hall goes back a long way. However we think the key issue in all of this is not just to rehouse the Council in its current form, but to completely restructure the Isle of Wight Council to make it work in the 21st Century.
Until this is done we will lack the capacity and organisation to properly advance any proposals to regenerate the Island, whether those brought forward today, or the better ones that more creative thinking would come up with, as the last four years have all too plainly shown.