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

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


  1. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 7:26pm

    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.

  2. steve stubbings

    20.Apr.2017 7:36pm

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

  3. Geoff Lumley

    20.Apr.2017 7:45pm

    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.

  4. Zoe Thompson

    20.Apr.2017 8:09pm

    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 because you think they are biased to another party is not going to get anyone very far in convincing voters. Surely the whole point of politics is to try and redress people’s bias and change opinion.

  5. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 8:15pm

    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.

  6. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 8:16pm

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

  7. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 8:35pm

    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!

  8. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 8:37pm

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

  9. livingonanisland

    20.Apr.2017 8:54pm

    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

  10. electrickery

    20.Apr.2017 10:44pm

    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 notice.

    Null points.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

      21.Apr.2017 6:50am

      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 to go down that route.

      It’s not in question whether we can build a link. It’s a question about whether we should.

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

        • Steve Goodman

          21.Apr.2017 8:36am

          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

            21.Apr.2017 7:06pm

            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, but of course politicians support it because it appeases the fixed linkers without having to say no.

          • Steve Goodman

            21.Apr.2017 8:24pm


            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 ago when I shared a house with a senior government employee who had worked on the (then recently opened) Orwell Bridge project. Partly because of that, and having a civil engineer great great grandfather responsible for projects including many big (and small) bridges for the Indian sub-continent’s railways, and having a civil engineer great grandfather chip off the old block, and having an engineer father, and having an interest in the built environment, and having an interest in what governments were spending my money on, I still have some idea of what is involved in relevant feasibility studies thank you.

      • 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 i agree only once we have this information can we have an informed debate. So let’s get on and commission it!

    • Steven Goodman

      21.Apr.2017 7:35am

      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 we would all benefit?

      • 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.

  13. 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

      21.Apr.2017 8:27am

      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 far greater detail than Vix realises, and they include opportunities for the general public to express their views. They are not just simple statements of “we think that this is a good/bad idea”.

  14. electrickery

    21.Apr.2017 9:11am

    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 thinks HS2 and Trident are good value, so what hopes for something so peripheral?

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

  16. electrickery

    21.Apr.2017 12:23pm

    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 transport, offering tourists practical alternatives to bringing over their own cars, increasing local production of food and consumables, reducing waste, building affordable/rentable homes.

    £1.2Bn would go a long way towards that.

    • Steven Goodman

      22.Apr.2017 9:34am

      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 our present inadequate network, ideally incorporating ‘incredible edible’ enhancement.

      Some of us never lost sight of the related Ecoisland good stuff, and at the hustings even Dave Stewart demonstrated his growing awareness of one exciting ‘electric island’ possibility on our comparatively sunny and windy seaside underfunded ‘estuarine anomaly’. I’ve noticed that cons. (from government down) have started to say more about (keeping our roads congested with?) more electrically powered vehicles as replacements for those poisoning our air and aggravating our global climate crisis by running on dirtier fossil fuels, which is at least a step in the right direction; but as more aware people (like a lot of Greens and readers of that day’s Guardian) knew already, Britain’s energy networks cannot cope with the coming surge in electric cars and solar panels. The government recently had to ask electric car owners to ensure that they are not charging at peak demand times, simultaneous demand could result in unplanned voltage drops and network damage, solar panels are already disrupting the energy system, and costly investment is needed now. If the EcoIsland wheel is about to be re-invented at government/ taxpayer expense for some delayed R&D, implementation of improved generation and/ or storage technology, or some similar good reason(s), we are certainly well placed geographically to benefit if our politicians are serious about supporting an electric enterprise zone/ hydrogen hub or whatever. (What Dave didn’t tell us was what, if anything, was said shortly before about the rather less welcome suicidal filthy fracking forcibly favoured by his Con. government ‘possible Island enterprise zone provided you vote our way and can then make it pay’ visitor Sajid Javid.)

      Lastly, something Dave didn’t need to tell us, but told us anyway, was that we shouldn’t be ‘talking down’ the Island (nobody had – unless him or his colleagues had been doing that when they were entertaining Sajid), and shortly afterwards Dave’s UKIP collaborator Daryll said that ‘nobody wanted to trash the Island’. Which reminded me that Dave’s Cons. hadn’t done their duty to prevent the ten year trashing of the Island’s much loved Listed former Frank James Memorial Hospital. A lot was also said (mainly by Daryll) about making the best use of Island creativity and innovation, which reminded me that when we did just that during our long campaign to save FJ (well documented here OTW) we got no support from con. or kipper councillors, but a lot of support from a lot of other people and politicians, including the Island’s Con. MP.

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

  18. Moondance

    21.Apr.2017 9:10pm

    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.

    • Suruk the Slayer

      22.Apr.2017 8:33am

      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 rag, replacing the nude cleaners, I will start to look elsewhere to live.

        On subject, I think the greens are the only option to replace the Tories.

  19. Moondance

    21.Apr.2017 9:13pm

    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.

  20. 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 ….

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