Isle of Wight local election 2017: Catch up on reporting from hustings

Leaders of all the main parties and groups will be taking part in a hustings tonight at the Apollo Theatre, Newport. If you can’t make it along follow our live reporting here.

Reporting with mobile phone from meeting -:

Vectis Radio will be hosting the first Leaders’ hustings tonight (Thursday) for the 2017 Isle of Wight council elections.

Leaders of all the parties/groups fielding candidates will be taking part in the debate, with Joe Plumb from Vectis Radio chairing.

Mobile reception permitting, OnTheWight will be reporting live from the hustings for those who can’t make it along.

Live updates
The live updates that appear below from the Apollo Theatre will automatically refresh in the page. However, to see latest comments added to the article, you’ll need to refresh the page. Items in double brackets (()) indicate comment from the author.

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Vectis Radio will be recording the Hustings to be broadcast at a later date.

Image: sskennel under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 6:39pm



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

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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43 Comments on "Isle of Wight local election 2017: Catch up on reporting from hustings"

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Feisty start! This is exciting.

Lumley has already walked out as apparently Joe Plumb didn’t ask him to prepare an opening statement. Joe seems to be denying this.


Joe Plumb did not rebut Geoff Lumley’s allegation…

steve stubbings

Did Joe Plumb ask the other candidates to prepare an opening statement?

Geoff Lumley

He told me he did, but I showed him the invitation that makes no mention of it. This is the second time Green supporting Joe Plumb has tried to stitch me up. Vectis Radio needs more professionalism.

steve stubbings

That does appear to be very poor indeed. :-(

Zoe Thompson
Oh come on Geoff. You know Labour policy inside out, you are passionate about your work on the island. You should have stayed and put the Labour point across. It certainly needs it now more than ever! When have you ever attended a public meeting where you don’t have to have a few minutes to introduce yourself etc. Just walking out and refusing to engage with people… Read more »

Candidates were asked to prepare opening statements, Vix Lowthian said she wasn’t asked either. Dave Stewart definitely was as he was concerned about the order they were read in.

Opening statements were read at the youth hustings which Vix attended so I’m surprised she wasn’t expecting that.


I don’t think anyone expects anything but disarray from labour though these days do they?


So who is the winner? I’m voting Lib Dem but I think Julie Baker-Smith won this debate on points and passion. Even with the handicap of former Cllr J Bacon in the audience!

steve stubbings

J Bacon is still a Cllr.


Hold on “we didn’t walk away”… erm… Alternative Fact?

Steve Goodman

Erm no, as covered last night and previously OTW?


Nearly every discussion tonight – besides the Indy proposal to buy Red Funnel – has been about nationally controlled issues, education funding and NHS care.

Just goes to show that whoever is in charge is going to be completely hamstrung by the nationally imposed funding cuts.

#pointless #goingroundincircles

Geoff shows yet again that he is his own worst enemy. How can Labour hope to hold any respect (let alone votes) if it permits this prima donna behaviour? Apparently several candidates (although not Con and Indie) had not been formally told of the intended format, but they all rose to it except Geoff, who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find something to say about his party at short… Read more »

Both Vix and Julia are very capable candidates. It would be wonderful to see Julia as our Council leader and Vix as our MP.

As a general point, all the progressive parties should get together and show a united front, locally and nationally. They have too much in common and too much is at stake. We urgently need compassion back in politics.


I find it very frustrating when politicians don’t answer direct questions, do you support a fixed link feasibility study? Yes or No

Instead with Vix and Dave Stewart you are left to read between the lines which I guess is a No in this case!

Vix Lowthion
It is feasible. We know it’s feasible and possible to build a tunnel. Why commission a study which we already know the answer to? I support an impact study, looking at how any fixed link would irrevocably have an impact on jobs, housing, schools, roads, environment and our hospital – positive and negative. That’s the study we all need to read before we even think about whether… Read more »

Vix, I don’t think that you have grasped what a feasibility study involves!

Steve Goodman

Vix is less dim than Tim might be; grasped that and more.


Steve, Some of us are trying to have a sensible conversation but now that you have raised the issue I’m quite happy to sit an IQ test alongside Vix and of course your good self.

In the meantime I suggest that both you and Vix get some idea of what is involved in a feasibility study.

Especially those for big public infrastructure projects.

East Cowes
A feasibility study would be extensive and expensive. The island’s infrastructure cannot handle the extra vehicles without building many more roads. How many islanders would support knocking down their houses for a new road or ruining a “pretty area” with another road? We all love the concept, but the reality isn’t feasible. A feasibility study to prove the obvious is going to be a waste of money,… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Tim, thanks for your concern; I’m happy to confirm that my mind’s not yet infirm. (At least according to my medics.) And Vix’s brain? to us it’s plain – she’s more than right as rain. (As demonstrated at the hustings.) I am also happy to provide reassurance that I first ‘got some idea of what is involved in a feasibility study for big public infrastructure projects’ decades… Read more »
As people have posted my understanding is that a feasibility study is the study you are talking about would look at all these issues including the impact on the environment. If I’m wrong I’m happy to be corrected as this also the study I want. I think a lot of people don’t want a feasibility study because it will show there are more positives than negatives but… Read more »

That would be my understanding of a “feasibility study”.

It should cover all aspects, technical, financial and social.

Steven Goodman
We’ve also known for a long time that a lot of people want a FL, that a lot of people don’t want a FL, and that no people want to pay the lot of money needed to build a FL. So until something changes significantly, shouldn’t we be spending less time on the FL diversion and more on our urgent issues, and/or those VFM investments from which… Read more »

Infrastructure funds to the tune of £ 483Bn are apparently available via the DfT. Nobody from the IWC has asked for our share of these.

Anticipating the next question these are dedicated funds and not transferable to other departments such as NHS or Education.


SG, Government have already said that they would pay for the study and apparently there are businesses lined up to build as well as infrastructure money.

Steve Goodman

If that’s true, why is the study not being done, who is lining up to build, and how much money is available for this particular project?

According to the DfT the onus is on the IWC as highways authority to request the feasibility study but no such request has been made. The funding and tenders for construction follow on from the feasibility study only if the outcome is favourable. As I mentioned before the overall funding pot is £ 483Bn of which we require around £ 1.2Bn. Incidentally, DfT feasibility studies go into… Read more »
Steve Goodman

Anyone IWC readers care to comment on when the aforementioned request for the aforementioned free money will be/ was made?

Steve Goodman

Sorry: take 2
Any IWC readers care to comment on when the aforementioned request for the aforementioned free money will be/ was made?

Most people understand the term “feasibility study” as answering the question: can it be done for an affordable price? Vix is proposing an “impact assessment”, a much wider remit. The Flinkers think that some Good Fairy will do the study for free in the hope of some consequential benefit (which of course pre-supposes the answer). To be truly impartial will be expensive; we have a government that… Read more »

Also lots of other info on the DfT site for those with a genuine interest.

Thanks, Tim. Your example confirms that a “Strategic Study” includes both feasibility and impact assessment. In this example it pre-supposes that one of the options will happen, so is perhaps not that impartial. The amount of work involved for something that might, in the end, not happen, is perhaps investment of dubious value. But let’s start from where we are: reduce traffic volumes by improving/making affordable public… Read more »
Steven Goodman
I’m reminded that £1.2bn would also go a long way towards (guarantee, in fact) some less controversial beneficial infrastructure projects needing little additional work or funding to improve the health and wealth of locals, tourists, and nature; top of the list is the creation of the missing link to complete the circular Medina route for riders and striders, followed by more proven ‘no-brainer’ extensions and improvements of… Read more »

Another potentially interesting post ruined by Tim and the fixed link fairytale. Please, stay on topic!


A fixed link would permanently damage the character of the Island, not to mention the environmental impact. If you don’t want to live on an Island, nobody forces you to stay.


Conversely, when the fixed link is built, nobody will be forcing *you* to stay, either.

The recent survey suggests there is actually great interest for a fixed link. Suggest you start packing.

I hear Rockall is nice this time of year.


StS,If you know so much why are you not standing for elections then?

StS If ( and its a very big if) a fixed link is built, I will move, and not be on every forum moaning about why it was built and why now my life is not as fulfilling as it was or it could be. When I see all the homes, cars with the fixed link stickers, and the subject on the front page of the local… Read more »

Back to election issues: Vix would be a very good MP for the Island. She is knowledgeable and compassionate + has an eye for the whole picture – animals and future generations included.


Oh for goodness sake not the ruddy FIXED LINK rubbish again. There are towns and villages all over this GREAT country struggling with the same issues we have as an island. Think I need a brandy ….