IW Council accused of ‘arrogance’ after banning Coastal Centre survey from library

The Isle of Wight council is accused of taking an arrogant approach towards Ventnor’s plans for the Coastal Centre

Coastal Centre

Many thanks to Evelyn Knowles for this report from last night’s Ventnor Town Council meeting. In her own words. Ed

‘Arrogance’ was the word most applied to the County Council’s withdrawal of Ventnor’s ‘Have Your Say On Coastal Centre‘ leaflet from Ventnor Library. So said the Town Mayor, Steve Stubbings, reporting on the views he had received from fellow Councillors and local residents at last night’s Ventnor Town Council (VTC) meeting.

The leaflet is part of the campaign to ‘retain the Coastal Centre for the benefit of the town.’ Distributed throughout the town, it explains the history of the building and how it was purchased, through a loan, by the then Ventnor Urban District Council in 1945. Residents are asked to send in their views and/or complete the petition.

Banned from the library
It was when some copies were handed in to the library that the heavy hand of IW Council, with authority from the Deputy Director of Resources (Corporate Governance) Davina Fiore, ordered their removal.

Town clerk, David Bartlett reported, “An email to the Head of the Library Service to ask why that had been done, elicited a reply on his behalf stating the reason it could not be on display in the Library as: ‘the document is in direct contravention of the Libraries policy on the display of leaflets in that it only covers one side of an issue and because it also contains a number of misleading comments.'”

(OnTheWight will be writing to the council to find out what those ‘misleading comments’ are. Ed)

‘Arrogant’ has been their behaviour throughout, it was said, with Cllr Pugh refusing to explore the options with the VTC, and now an “undemocratic attempt” to interrupt the written word.

Seeking support from Cllr Scoccia
A question to County Councillor Susan Scoccia at the meeting asking whether she would give the Town Council her full support, simply brought a guarded reply that she supported their ‘Community Right to Bid’.

10% of electorate reject plans to sell
Already Ventnor people have welcomed involvement and have come forward with their views.

David Bartlett revealed that 10% of the electorate had already responded, rejecting the Isle of Wight council’s plans to sell off the building.

Petitions are in the shops and information has been put through letterboxes. The VTC Website has very clear information showing the history of the site and the plans for the future (also embedded below for your convenience).

Mayor Steve Stubbings said ‘the fight will continue’.

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

Tuesday, 19th February, 2013 10:39am


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

Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Top story, Ventnor

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17 Comments on "IW Council accused of ‘arrogance’ after banning Coastal Centre survey from library"

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How long before they burn the books?

Jonathan Bacon

Does this mean that any book tha ‘only covers one side of an issue’ and ‘contains .. misleading comments’ must be removed from the shelves? Do On the Wight readers have any nominations? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would seem to fall into this category.


Orwell’s 1984

Island Monkey

Ironical – this council DOES only want one side of any story to be told – THEIRS!

The daily flow of rubbish from the County Hall bunker is pathetic. With all the things they have to deal with, the endless failures and ongoing incompetence, you have to wonder where they find the time to ban leaflets or manage Riverside Centre bookings?

The worst ever IOW administration? I think so.


2010 Manifestos of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties?


Wragge&Co: Undercliff Drive Final Report

steve s

I invite the reader to check out the first two paragraphs of our banned ‘campaign leaflet’ (above) That looks very much like both sides of the issue to me.

Amazing that the best that Susan Scoccia can do is say that VTC has the right to bid.This we know already. Guarded answers from her and other prospective Tory candidates will not wash with the electorate. It is clear that the Conservative office is pushing the line of selling off the Isle of Wight Silver to the highest bidder.In towing the line they are in fact disregarding… Read more »

Correction: Salisbury gardens not Spring Gardens.


Another totally un-democratic move by the Pugh dictatorship. Yet another reason for the people of Ventnor to ensure that no tory gets in on May 2nd !

IWC seems to be in some form of slow-motion car crash at the moment. Their actions at the best of times have been questionable but the current shenanigans are bizarre to say the least. They seem to be going from one PR disaster to another? How much do they spend on comms? The only logic I can think of is that Pugh wants to well & truly… Read more »

Judicial Review?



..in a word…nope!

By the way, you forgot to mention that the pound for the VBG also came with a £250,000 funding from the Council (to the new owners) for the first year of operation as a privately run CIC.
I hope that didn’t flash by people who maybe missed that aspect of the *deal*


sam salt
This has happened before. When the local library in our area was asked to put a notice of a public meeting because we were about to lose the library and all the public toilets the then librarian said they could not display the notice. This was on the orders of the IWC. Cllr Pugh and Cllr Giles were invited to the public meeting, both said they had… Read more »
@Sam Salt: The reason that an Independent Councillor is being viewed that way is because there is a head of steam mounting and the conservatives are very aware of it…. The Independents have a cohesive grouping and are a real threat in May. This administration are sensitive to it and know that they must fight not only lib dems …but they must fight a collective Independent group….… Read more »
sam salt
Agree with every word WW. In my particular ward we already have an Independent Councillor who has done a great job. He will get my vote come May and I am already out there spreading the word and will continue doing so. The local tory candidate here was heard to say that they had been shown a file supposedly highlighting failures of independent councillors drawn up by… Read more »

another good reason for islanders to sign the petition for Pugh to go,