IWALC express concern over re-structure of Coastal Team

The Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils (IWALC) join others in expressing their concern over the re-structuring of the coastal management team

Coastal erosion - Isle of Wight

Following the news broken by OnTheWight earlier this week that Isle of Wight council director, Stuart Love is planning to break up the highly respected Coastal Management Team, the Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils has joined Ventnor Town Council in expressing their concern at the plans.

IWALC Secretary, John Medland, has written to council leader David Pugh (see his letter embedded below for you convenience) urging him to reconsider the “restructuring of the Coastal Management Team which would lead to the disbanding of this critical staff group”.

Deletion of Principal Engineer post
He was responding to the news that Coastal Management Team would be lost in its current format from April 15th with the Principal Engineer being made redundant and other officers allocated to different departments.

At Wednesday’s last full council meeting, Cllr Chris Welsford asked the leader of the council whether he was happy with delegated decisions being made about the deletion of the Principal Engineer post and breaking up of the Coastal Management Team.

Cllr Pugh replied, “Members of this council lead the authority and officers of the council run the authority.”

He said he was very comfortable with the policy framework, and that implementation of HR policies is left to officers to undertake.

Pugh: “More coastal protection … than we’ve had in years”
The leader went on to say that far from coastal protection being abolished from the council, under the highways PFI scheme, “there’ll be more coastal protection and stabilisation schemes than we’ve had in many, many years or probably ever before.”

He added that he was “very comfortable” that a senior director in the authority was “undertaking a re-structuring to ensure coastal management function is fit for purpose in the future.”

Image: © Used with permission of Ian Pacey

Sunday, 24th March, 2013 4:24pm


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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. Janet Scott

    24.Mar.2013 6:53pm

    Yet another arrogant reply from Pugh.

    I would be interested to know who this ‘senior director’ has in mind to ensure our coastal protection in the future and what credentials will he have.

  2. Black Dog

    24.Mar.2013 7:04pm

    I have spot for Councillor Pugh – A SMALL PLOT AT THE BOTTOM OF MY GARDEN

  3. Robert Jones

    24.Mar.2013 9:10pm

    Good to see the Association of Local Councils actually taking a stand on an issue important to all of us; I’m afraid my Secretaryship of that body ended in disaster for them and for me, most of which was my own stupid fault: but they were quiescent, dominated by the Tory party, and frankly fairly ineffective: all credit to them for emerging from that self-effacing status and reminding IWC of what’s actually important.

  4. Robert Jones

    24.Mar.2013 9:19pm

    Dave Allen used to say he had a soft spot for the Rev Ian Paisley: “a bog in Ireland”.

    Saw the boy David in Niton on Saturday, there to support Dave Stewart, Niton’s Tory councillor; I probably haven’t agreed with Cllr Stewart on anything since he got elected, but have to say that he does hold local surgeries and tries to involve people; showing that there is good, bad and indifferent in all parties, and will be amongst the Independents too should they be elected.

    Not too long to go now – the electoral map could look very different in a month or two; Richard Priest against David Pugh? Well – I’ve known Richard for years; we’ve had our ups and downs, but the thing about Richard is a) he listens, b) he doesn’t hold grudges. He’s also got his feet screwed well down into the solid earth of reality – and I’d love to be there on election night if he wins the Shanklin seat.

  5. retiredhack

    24.Mar.2013 9:39pm

    Pugh has this evening sent IWALC an extremely intemperate reply – and copied it to Uncle Tom Cobley and all – accusing Ventnor Town Council of, amongst other things, “hysterical scaremongering”. He seems rattled.

  6. You have all missed the big picture here. Mr. Pugh has new advisers, first the DNA for dogs, now get rid of the coastal protection. Why? let Ventnor fall into the sea, no more Ventnor, no more of those nasty bloggers. Simples!

    Oh and get somebody else to announce it David, there must be another fool who will do it.

  7. Look forward to seeing the letter and Ventnor’s response. Has Mr Pugh forgotten all the work Robin McInness put into the coastal team on the Island? He was admired and a world authority yet in a few short years we have Mr Pugh and Mr Love willing to undo all he did. Shame on you both. I do hope that if there is a new ruling party that some of the more stupid decisions taken by this duo can be rectified.

  8. Billy Builder

    25.Mar.2013 8:50am

    In order to make informed decision about technical issues such as coastal protection it is essential that you have access to professional advise, and listen to that professional advise. Unfortunately Stuart Love has the arrogance to believe that he knows better than the professional’s. He proved this incompetence in how he mis-handled the Comes Enterprise College new school delivery, when he took control of the project that was on-track for delivery in November and essentially halted that delivery.

    Stuart Love is incapable of listening to or taking advise from anyone other than his political masters in the Cowes Mafia.

    May 2nd will give us the opportunity to remove the rotten wood at the top of the tree. Let’s have a clean start with a new team of senior officers who are qualified to do the role for which they are responsible, and are willing and able to take advise from others.

  9. Why oh why is this council – members and directors alike – unable to work their way out of simple issues and why do they constantly aggrevate each and every situation to suit particular personal and political agendas? This is not a very professional and productive attitude and one that must challenged before its to late. May is getting closer but these arrogant group of people appear to be getting bolder. Anyway their fall will be higher and more painfull but never trust them again.

  10. There’s lots of talk about officer redundancies; what about some councillor redundancies?

  11. Billy Builder

    15.Apr.2013 11:15am

    Hi Sally/Simon,

    Has there been any update on this issue, as I believe that the Coastal Protection team were due to be disbanded from today.

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