Public outrage as Cabinet member caught browsing for trousers during Fire Service debate

Cabinet member captured browsing the Web for trousers during a discussion about sensitive and controversial plans for the Isle of Wight Fire Service. Cllr Ward appears dismissive.

ian ward looking for trousers at scrutiny meeting 640

There has been public outrage after the Cabinet member responsible for roads (and the Cowes floating bridge) Cllr Ian Ward, was photographed apparently browsing for trousers at Tuesday’s Scrutiny Committee meeting.

The images were captured by a member of the public from the public gallery during what they say was the sensitive and controversial item about the future of the fire service and posted to the Isle of Wight Fire Service Review and You Facebook Page.

Some calling for resignation
At the time of publishing over 80 residents had commented on the images, with some calling for his resignation.

OnTheWight has contacted Cllr Ward for a response and will add here when we hear back.

Ward: “Is that the end of the world?”
In the meantime, when talking to Isle of Wight Radio this morning, Cllr Ward appears dismissive.

He said,

“Let me put this in context. That was a three hour meeting, okay? And obviously we are not involved with every single aspect of the meeting. In fact, that was a scrutiny meeting where I had nothing on the agenda – I didn’t even have to be there but I went anyway because I feel that’s my duty.

“But during those three hours most of us try to do something productive rather than just sit there so I was going through my emails and answering queries and doing this and doing that.

“The fact that I should come across one from a retailer and look at if for a couple of minutes is that the end of the world? I don’t think it is.”

Members of the public have argued that although it’s not his portfolio, Cllr Ward should have been listening to all the discussion surrounding the item he will making a decision on tonight.

During the Scrutiny Committee meeting (catch up here), the Chairman, Cllr Andrew Garratt, said if he were a Cabinet member, he would not be able to make a decision at tonight’s meeting due to not having enough information.

The Cabinet members will be making their decision at the Ventnor Winter Gardens tonight (Thursday) from 5pm. Members of public are welcome to attend the large venue capable of seating at least 300 people.

OnTheWight will be reporting live from the meeting for those who are unable to attend.

Not the first
Cllr Ward is not the first and may not be the last councillor captured looking at non-council business during official meetings.

Cllr Chris Whitehouse apparently browsing Netflix during the meeting when councillors making budget setting decisions for the coming year.

Cllr John Howe was criticised after Isle of Wight Radio’s Facebook live video of a council meeting showed him looking at cars for sale on his iPad.

Thursday, 11th October, 2018 1:07pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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9 Comments on "Public outrage as Cabinet member caught browsing for trousers during Fire Service debate"

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This is the councillor who has been in charge of the floating bridge fiasco (along with Council staff). How hard is it when you’re on duty working as an IW Council Cabinet member, talking about life and death of islanders as the result of potential cuts to fire services, to at least PRETEND to be listening?! Most of the rest of us would be fired for playing… Read more »


Should resign.

I do not believe it

Is this chump a waste of space?
One word answers please!


Reminds me of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.


I’m always interested when I see the words ‘public outrage’ in a headline, as the outrage often seems to emanate from the serially offended, who tend to inhabit minority political groups.

Steady on, peeps. I wonder how many of the snowflake generation who have found something else to be offended about do exactly the same thing. Come on, you know you do. Facebook is ablaze with indignation. But just hang on a minute. How many people have attended a works meeting and dozed off? Me, I used to manage about half an hour at best before the interminable… Read more »

I’m sure the typos and spelling mistakes weren’t there earlier…doh

Colin, he is paid much more than other Councillors to be a Cabinet member. Should he have been paying attention during the fire services discussion, considering he was voting on it tonight? Yes. He shouldn’t have been doing work emails let alone surfing the web or online shopping. This Cabinet comes to Scrutiny meetings in an attempt to prevent Scrutiny from doing its job. So maybe Ward… Read more »

He didn’t need to listen. That was my point disguised in my cynical posting. The cabinet decided it was a cabinet matter and it didn’t even get to full council. It was voted through en masse as predicted. I agree with your comment about cabinet members coming to scrutiny. They are all playing politics.