It’s official: Independents in overall control of Isle of Wight Council

Ian Stephens has been elected as group leader for the Island Independents, who with the majority of members, will now become the ruling party.

As OnTheWight covered at last week’s local elections, it has been confirmed today that the group of Island Independent councillors is now made up of 20 members.

Ruling majority
With more members than any of the other political parties on the Isle of Wight council, this places the Island Independents as the ruling majority.

The Island Conservatives made big losses last week, reducing from 24 to 15 seats. Labour and UKIP now have two seats each, the Liberal Democrats have one seat.

At next week’s Annual Council Meeting, members will be asked to vote on the new chairman, vice-chairman and new Leader of the council.

Group leaders
Cllr Ian Stephens was voted as group leader for the Independents at a meeting on Sunday.

Meanwhile, as reported earlier today, Cllr Dave Stewart, has been elected as Group leader for the Island Conservatives.

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Wednesday, 8th May, 2013 1:21pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, 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. Bystander

    8.May.2013 1:29pm

    What a pity Wayne Whittle didn’t stand as an Independent this time around as he would have made an excellent Council Leader to take us forward with a common sense approach.

    • Bystander

      8.May.2013 3:43pm

      lol I thought that might stir up the predictable response, still he would be a fine leader

      • Which personal qualities do you feel he would bring @bystander ? Honesty with the electorate? Not sure standing as an Indy whilst being a secret Tory supporter demonstrates that? (although he wouldn’t be alone in practicing deception there) Integrity? Would Trading Standards agree? Perhaps his slogan for standing could have been “Lead Kindly Light(er)” (A little pun for the hymn-lovers there:) ).

        • kevin Barclay-Jay

          8.May.2013 9:29pm

          I think (hope) its a joke

          • Now, now Kevin – this is a very serious and worthy, worthy, worthy Council. No place for jokes – it’s all about doing the right thing for the Island (note that it seems that the slogan for any aspirant other than Indy should have been “doing the worst we can for the Island and LOVING it”) :)

        • Bystander

          8.May.2013 10:54pm

          Recognition of the futility of Independents as they just wanted to take the credit for popular decisions but held their hands up, claiming independence, when it came to anything unpopular. Leaving two choices, either quit of take the strategic ‘if you cant eat them’ approach and try to facilitate change from within, for the good of the Island.

    • playingthenumbers

      8.May.2013 4:45pm

      Oh dear, missing the Tories already? On a thread concerned with a new democracy too.

      Never fear Bystander, it’s your lucky day. Here are a couple of snippets to help you while away the long years.

      Firstly an Adam Smith quotation, oh how the Tories love Adam Smith, perhaps you can discuss it with Cllr Whittle next time you two hook up. “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”

      Or secondly how about a little song from the Boss, for old times sake,

      • Bystander

        8.May.2013 6:56pm

        If you really think I’m a Tory supporter you haven’t been paying attention again. I am talking about who is the best man for the job regardless of party political divides. Which I thought was the whole point, at least it was when Independents were independent.

        • playingthenumbers

          8.May.2013 9:09pm

          What happened to your famed sense of humour?

          I don’t recall calling you a Tory sympathiser (that would be low); it was just that your idea of promoting a Cllr, who admits to having had run-ins with trading standards, is a notorious turncoat, backed-up the actions of one of the most disliked & discredited councils in living memory & was part of the losing side as leader of the council was funny & IMHO, warranted a comment. Your own reply to your 1st comment set the tone – lol = laugh out loud, yes?

          • Bystander

            8.May.2013 11:08pm

            lol was in reference to the predictability of the visitors to this website. Who are ironically very very conservative in their views and the tolerance of views other than those usually expressed here.
            Does it make one iota of difference to my life if my views get 30 negs, and is it likely to stop me holding those views? Lets hope not, as if I think Whittle is a good man I will say so.

    • kevin Barclay-Jay

      8.May.2013 9:09pm

      or maybe Geoff Clynch..another Independent that failed to get elected

    • Pity he lied to his electorate and jumped ship into the Tory machine. What is hugely amusing is the fact that he now finds himself in opposition once again. What joy this brings to me and the thousands who were so angry with the previous regime that he and the others who sneered at us are now out of power, and many of the top brass kicked out by their electorate who they have taken for granted for far too long. Let’s hope the new Council bring back some sense and democracy to the Island

  2. IMHO, those who change political allegiance without resigning and seeking fresh election are like cracked plates: no matter how well they are refurbished they are, one does not feel comfortable trusting them completely again.

  3. Ooops! delete one of the the duplicated “they are”s

  4. It’s a bad day- now there are duplicate “the”s. :-((

  5. Don Smith

    8.May.2013 1:39pm

    Now you Independents! Forget party politics; you want someone as leader with experience in Council procedures; therefore, be bold and elect Geoff Lumley as the Councils new leader. A man of integrity, honesty and with the islands interests at heart.

    • I think the idea of forgetting party politics is what the independents are doing – electing a Labour councillor as the leader would be madness given the number of wards Labour have results in.

      The Isle of Wight has spoken quite clearly in the elections – most don’t want anything to do with Labour. Ian Stephens is a man of integrity, honesty and has the Island’s interests at heart. He’s also an independent. Why would the independent group choose a Labour candidate over an independent?

      • Ian Stephens has helped me and my group “above and beyond the call” in the past, he will make a fine Leader.

      • Bystander

        8.May.2013 4:06pm

        “Why would the independent group choose a Labour candidate over an independent?”

        Because most of them have previously stood for the 3 mainstream political parties perhaps, whereas Wayne has done it the other way round.

      • kevin Barclay-Jay

        8.May.2013 9:07pm

        My guess is that Geoff wouldn’t want the job….nut how utterly incredible and that anybody can criticise Geoffs efforts against successive administrations when the Independents were not even a seed in their mothers womb. In many cases he was the sole sane voice in opposition

        The Indpendents have signed to the Bell Principle that promises to ignore party division ..thats why it should be considered

      • Don Smith

        8.May.2013 9:18pm


        Please can you not forget party politics for once. You want a leader who can call a spade a spade and lead from the front.

        Councillor Lumley has done this time and time again; on his own, and was always a lone voice against the Tory ‘Yes’ mob.

        What is more, no other candidate received a larger majority than Councillor Lumley.

      • [comment removed by moderator]

  6. Anthony Wood

    8.May.2013 2:25pm

    Having worked closely in the past with Ian Stephens, and in particular during a rather difficult period at Ryde High School whilst I was Chair of the Governing Body, I endorse the comments made by ThomasC.
    I sincerely hope, for the good of the Island, Ian is elected as Leader next Wednesday.

  7. retiredhack

    8.May.2013 4:02pm

    It becomes clear from the picture (at the count) which illustrates this story that the Island Independents had quietly signed up some or all of the five “independent independents”, either before or on election day. I say this because Lora Peacey-Wilcox is wearing the Indies’ rosette.

    Good for them.

  8. Surely a majority of 40 is actually 21. And nothing is “official” until the Council meets. Or are we already back to the bad old days?

    • retiredhack

      8.May.2013 4:11pm

      I guess the assumption is that Geoff Lumley and his new Labour colleague Alan Hollands aren’t going to support the Conservatives. Or are we sticking our neck out on that one?

    • Chris Welsford

      8.May.2013 11:10pm

      Control (rather than a voting majority) is achieved through the casting voting of the Chair. With the support of Geoff and Alan in the Labour group and the sole LibDem, the majority for the import votes will hopefully be considerably better than the 17 (maximum) that the Conservatives will muster. That said, perhaps for the first time in a long time there will be cross party support for the Framework for Change?

  9. Anyone know what Mr Pugh is doing now he has plenty of spare time on his hands?

  10. John M Luckett

    8.May.2013 8:38pm

    As one of the Island Independent candidates who did not get through I am so thrilled for those that did and that they now have the mandate to put the “Framework for Change” into action, which is for every Islander from all walks of life. People should take the trouble to read it

    The reality is that it will have to be fought hard for, as we can already see that there will be those who will throw a spanner in the works at any given opportunity with less than noble motives.

    The joy of the new Island Independent run administration will be its inclusiveness and promotion of transparency and democratic practice – some may find this a bit of an alien concept but they have 4 years to get used to it :)
    People need to be patient as there are some radical changes that need to be made and we are of course working to the Budget as voted in by Conservatives.

    I only got involved with Island Independents since about February but it was obvious to me that we were onto something special with the quality of people involved and the spirit in which we did things. I truly hope this translates to the Council Chamber and we can get our beloved Island moving forward again.

    On a personal note I want to publicly thank the 126 people who voted for me and to 2 of my fellow Newport North candidates, Mary and Matt. It was an honour and a privilege to spend most of the day with you – 2 great people! After reflection, am pleased I stood and proud of my campaign (which I funded on my Nursing Auxiliary salary), and met some fantastic people.

    Would I do it all again?…Absolutely 100%!

  11. Seems that my remarks have been removed?

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