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