Jonathan shares this report from the first Island Forum event. Ed
The Island Independent Association staged the first Island Forum Meeting, ‘The State of the Island Debate’, at the Riverside Centre in Newport on Wednesday 6th September.
The event was a great success, attracting nearly 100 people who heard from speaker Martin Young and then engaged in active discussion and debate about the issues that face the Isle of Wight.
Bringing people together
Earlier this year the Independent Association, decided to start holding a series of meetings to provide the public with opportunities to discuss problems on the Isle of Wight and to bring together those who are willing to discuss potential solutions.
The meeting on Wednesday allowed attendees to move between tables discussing different topics, such as Tourism, Transport, Education and Social Care, and to identify areas of concern and ways that they might be tackled.
Variety of topics
Topics discussed included the need to improve higher education provision on the Island in order to support Island Industry, how to strengthen and extend the tourism market and the need to ensure adequate social care provision.
November meeting: Social Care
Based on the findings, further meetings are planned to highlight topics, with the first of the subject specific meetings taking place on 8th November at Aspire in Ryde which will concentrate on Social Care.
The results of the discussions at the meetings will be collated and published to provide decision makers with information, ideas and proposals to inform their work and help address key issues to assist the Isle of Wight economy and community.
Extremely worthwhile event
Peter Whiteman, Chairman of the Independent Association, said:
“It was an extremely worthwhile event and it has achieved the goal of the Association by bringing all interested parties together. Further they all appeared to want to participate in the very important topics raised.
“We will be feeding the findings back to everybody after we have assessed the data received. I would like to thank all our team for all their efforts and everyone who took the time to come along and try and shape the future of our Island.”
Thought-provoking and constructive evening
Kathy Foulkes of Wight Karting and a Ryde resident who attended the event, said:
“It was refreshing to have a well-organised open debate without an agenda thrust upon one.
“There were unimposing, unreported cluster groups free to air ideas and move-onto another topic. It was a thought-provoking and constructive evening.”