Letter: ‘Derogatory comments’ in election leaflet are hurtful

Wife of county councillor feels compelled to write letter in response to what she feels is an attack on her husband in a leaflet recently distributed by a Conservative candidate for the 2013 elections.

Tony Marvin, the Conservative Isle of Wight council candidate for Ventnor East in the 2013 elections recently distributed his election flyer to Ventnor residences. It ends, “With the councillor elected for Ventnor East in 2009 having moved to Niton, many residents feel we are currently without a proper local representative.”

The leaflet also encourages residents to get in touch with Tony Marvin before the elections, and he claims he will, “speak to the council directly on your behalf”.

The elected county councillor’s wife, Wendy Welsford has sent on The Wight the letter below in response to the claims made in the flyer. It was published in the South Wight Chronicle yesterday – Ed.

My husband, Chris Welsford, is the Independent County Councillor for Ventnor East.

Anyone who has had occasion to seek his help will know that he works hard as a County Councillor and has resolutely represented the interests of Ventnor at County Hall since his election in June 2009.

As Mayor of Ventnor he was one of those who helped change Ventnor Town Council into the modern council that it is today; an effective body that is able to help Ventnor in its regeneration and make a real difference to the lives of Ventnorians.

Comments are deeply hurtful
The derogatory comments made by Mr Marvin in his recent electioneering leaflet to residents are deeply hurtful to me.

As the wife of your representative at County Hall, I know only too well the long hours that Chris dedicates to serving his community.

As a non-­party political opposition councillor, Chris is constantly challenging the policies of the ruling Conservative group that Mr Marvin would like to represent.

Getting results for the town
For example, without his intervention the seaweed situation in the haven would not have been resolved as it was he who insisted on the legal opinion being provided that forced the Isle of Wight Council to take full responsibility and fund the solution.

This is not to mention the many Planning and Highways issues he deals with for residents and on behalf of the town. To suggest that residents are not represented because their councillor is not a member of the ruling group is ludicrous.

Living in Niton irrelevant
Furthermore, Mr Marvin’s suggestion that our moving to live in Niton has left residents without representation is simply not true.

Quite aside from the fact that Mr Marvin himself, does not live in the ward he seeks to represent, Niton is hardly the mainland. We owned our house in Niton for many years, Chris having moved there aged 18 after his father died.

Family involved in Ventnor Community
It is our family home but this does not mean we are not part of the Ventnor community.

I am heavily involved in Ventnor’s Country Market, selling my ‘Niton’ free range eggs and other produce and Chris is a long-standing member of the Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team.

Chris felt we should ignore Mr Marvin and his political manipulation of our situation, but I could not stand by and watch my husband’s good work go undefended.

Wendy Welsford

Friday, 16th November, 2012 6:09pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2afn

Filed under: Letter to the Editor, Ventnor

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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18 Comments on "Letter: ‘Derogatory comments’ in election leaflet are hurtful"

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Of course Chris has never made a derogatory remark about a political opponent has he.You must have a selective memory.I’m quite sure the people of Ventnor East will vote for the person they consider will represent them best.Hopefully that will not be the Conservative candidate.

Don Smith

Do not worry madam – Tories are past their sell by date.
Unless of course you are an ex-Etonian:-)

Think Independent!

Stewart Blackmore
I very much agree with all that Wendy has written above in respect of Tony Marvin’s (prospective Tory CC candidate in Ventnor East) newsletter. I live in the ward (Ventnor East) and am myself standing for election in Ventnor West at the next election. I have always found Chris to be a diligent and hard-working County Councillor. Where Chris lives is not a matter which impinges on… Read more »
sam salt
Your husband is quite right Mrs. Welsford, ignore the leaflet and rise above it. This sounds very much like the leaflet that Mr G Giles has sent out in Bembridge. His leaflet also contains allegations of non-representation in Bembridge because our very good independent councillors live in the neighbouring village of St Helens. Mrs Welsford, I really would rise above this propaganda being put out by the… Read more »
Those of us who live outside Ventnor East have not seen Mr. Marvin’s election flyer, so I ask if OTW could post it here ? I realise that this might be against the rules which govern election candidates’ publicity, but it would be good to read it. I have great respect for Chris Welsford because he worked hard, and suffered much, during the regime change at Ventnor… Read more »
This is obviously a tactic by the ruling Conservative Group as they have done a similar thing in Ryde East. The annoying part of this is that where MPs are concerned if you have a constituency matter(say with the Hospital) you have to go to your own member even if you didn’t vote for him’her. BTW given the support Michael Mates got on the Island in the… Read more »
Mark L Francis

Niton – oo arrh, folks there be diifernt in um?
Mus’ be well over a country mile away…

If that is the worst they can say about him, he must be a good councillor. Maybe people should vote for him.

Now if someone were to say something like “Marvin the Paranoid Android” or “Life? Don’t ta;k to me about Life…” – that would be personal and deeply hurtful.

In the small print is says these leaflets were published by Alan Wells through the conservative office. Chris Welsford and both Brading, St Helens and Bembridge candidates have received comments made against them about not living in their ward or part of their ward. How then do the Island conservatives reconcile the fact the Chris Whitehouse lives in Totland and is standing in Newport West? Perhaps Alan… Read more »
Mark L Francis

Doesn’t Michael Mates live in Sussex ?


I think you are right Mark but he rents a room somewhere in Hampshire which made him eligable to stand for the Police Commissioner post. He was not a very good loser. He would have been better refusing to be interviewed after his defeat rather than come over as a grumpy old man.


Seeing him so angry was the highlight of my day.

Mates still does not regret his support for Asil Nadir.


He was probably thinking of all the money he spent on the ferry crossing to talk at Ryde School recently, in the expectation of beefing up his vote…..


I believe it was Christ the King College that Mates spoke at, not long after another Tory, Miss Widdecombe.

I concur with previous advice to ignore the comments of Mr Marvin, hopefully that’s what the majority of Ventnor East residents will do too.

Mark L Francis

say no more, squire.

Your comments regarding Widdicombe and Mates (two arch Tories) speaking at the school, emphasises the fact that certain schools still try to turn their charges into little church-going tories. I attended a grammar school and we were always trooping down the road and into the local church for this thanksgiving service or that memorial service. As it was C of E, Catholic and Jewish pupils were excluded.… Read more »
Mark L Francis

I know what you mean BRIAN but I think John Stonehouse was a Labour MP.

I had left Ryde School by the Miner’s Strike but I heard they had some old buffer to give a speech who said he knew all about miners because daddy had been a mine owner.
A friend of mine nearly got expelled for his comments (or as they called them “threats”)


Quite right, Mark, my memory let me down there. I have a suspicion that he started out as a Tory but I could be mistaken

Mark L Francis

Hard to tell the difference sometimes innit?