Tonight (Wednesday) sees the November Isle of Wight full council meeting take place at County Hall from 6pm. As usual, OnTheWight will be reporting live.
The agenda (see below) includes the presentation of a parking petition, proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, a motion by Cllr Lilley about the red Box Project, a motion by Cllr Andre about the Island being designated an ‘Island Park’, a motion by Cllr Nicholson calling for the council to “appreciate the important contribution that public houses make to communities”, and another motion by the same councillor to recognise the “freedom that service men gave to us by fighting in the 1st World War”.
The live updates that appear below will automatically refresh in the page. Items in double brackets (()) indicate comment from the author.
Live updates will appear here:
6pm Public questions
Tanja Rebel asked if council will await independent studies on impact of 5g before making any decisions.
Cllr Hobart refers to his answer given at last Cabinet meeting. He reads the answer again – connectivity aim of digital Island, upgrading comms will be vital. Being piloted on the mainland and outcome will be considered before instruction on the Island. Will ensure public consultation before decision.
Cameron Palin: Floating Bridge been under warranty for 15 months – if not officially accepted
Cllr Dave Stewart: Will send written reply but warranty has been extended.
Cameron: Why are the taxpayer paying for additional work?
DS: Some of the additional work is not under warranty and some are improvements.
Nick Stuart: Given recently surfacing of Mili Rd when will IWC issue strategic plan to control speeding cars and motorbikes?
DS: Happy lots of improvement made in West. It will be maintained for next 18 years by Island Roads. Re Motorcylists, IWC are concerned about speeds and police have been engaged to sort out calming down of speeds.
NS: No strategic plan to protect Mili Rd into the future.
DS: There are concerns for next few years for section nearer Freshwater, but discussions about re-routing at that section. Main Mili Rd is crucial artery to West Wight. Consultation with range of people over the next few years.
Catherine Pugh: Re National Park status, planning developments in Ryde it will be too late. Any chance of a cap on future applications?
DS: IWC duty bound to act within lawful planning regs. Planning committee can’t respond as they must remain impartial. Aware of planning development in Ryde. If we reject the Inspectorate will overturn it.
CP: Is national planning dept taking itno0 account that Island different plans to mainland?
DS: Meetings held with Gov over that will come up later in the meeting.
Mark Chiverton: Given growing public concern on removal of LACs service will IWC consider putting decision on hold and have full public consultation?
Cllr Clare Mosdell: Decision has been made but looking at LACs and thorough transition will be made. Task and Finish group looking at resilience. Ensure we look at how LAC service was run and ensure in future have proper community resilience.
MC: Given public dismay, to have involvement of service users and staff to consider all issues? Decision based on number of misunderstandings.
CM: Task and Finish already met and many people involved across board and will include service users – it will be funded by other than Public Health.
Diana Conyers volunteer with CAB – Is IWC aware programme of referring back has already started. They were referred to LAC because there wasn’t capacity in system and now being referred back but still not the capacity.
CM: Can’t get involved in operational matters but have meeting with senior officer of Public Health
Ryde Cllr, Karen Lucioni presents the parking petition against proposed changes to parking charges in Ryde. 3,851 signed and no public consultation.
Town and businesses need to be supported. Ryde is a commuter town and gateway to the Island, so first impressions count.
Online shopping and out of town shopping is affecting the town. IWC is considering a decision that is opposite to government strategies.
Urge you all to think carefully to any decision you make. Consider wider effects of your decisions.
Cllr Axford (Ryde) thanks Karen for the speech and work in compiling petition. Says that personally he also against attempt to charge parking in these areas. Shops already have too much competition and we should help the shops as much as possible. Re zones of parking, anomaly in Union Street which has four zones. Some people take advantage moving their cars around to get free parking, some of which work in the shops. Proposal is to have one parking zone for entire road. Discussed at Ryde town council, imagine all would be against charging. Residents want somewhere to park at weekend.
He recommends the cabinet reconsider their decision.
Cllr Dave Stewart replies. Thanks Karen for presentation of petition and feedback. Has come out earlier to allow this type of feedback from the public. Look forward to receiving alternative solutions. Cabinet met with Newport Biz Ass. Pleased to say a number of possible options put forward. Meet with Ryde reps next week and hope to see positive proposals at that meeting. He turns to opposition to say come forward to with alternative budget suggestions. Only Cllr Lilley come forward with ideas so far. Engage with your residents and come forward with ideas of how to save £5.5m each year for next three years.
Cllr Brodie (Newport) on parking charges, concerned of extension of parking charges. 65% of all parking income from Newport and time Newport treated fairly in relation to rest of Island. Make several suggestions should he be given responsibility of parking in Newport.
Cllr Michael Lilley (Ryde) Many small shop owners have loyalty from Ryde residents to use those shops. Residents rely on getting into town by car as they live up the hill etc and say they would be less likely to make the trip if there was no free parking. This could be make or break for many businesses.
Cllr Whittle (Ryde) idea was given to him when chair of Rude Biz Ass. Traders complained about lack of space available for customers. Many cars belong to people who work in Union St. They want one zone. On Sunday not many shops open. High Street blocked by cars park all day. Free on Union St all day. Not many left for customers. Will support Cllr Axford.
Cllr Stephens (Ind) will support the petition and Cllr Lucioni. Pleased talking to Biz assoc. Been along round enough to hear four zone and one zone suggestions. Need to start to move things forward to get churn. Not one size fits all scenario. Need to attract people into the car parks. Asks for named vote so we can see who has the interests of local businesses.
Cllr Barry (Libdem – Didn’t know four zone in Union Street. Surprised Wayne Whittle hasn’t brought up before as in ruling group for sometime. Got to do more to protect Union Street against Tesco.
Vote: Chamber request cabinet reconsider parking charges in Ryde
Yes : ? Number not given but large amount
No : Zero
Abstained : Cllrs Nicholson (Con) and Ward (Con)
Two additions to his report.
Full Ofsted inspection taking place in children’s services dept. Last inspection starting point of engagement with Hampshire. Results due 30th November.
Meeting with MD of Visit IW, figures of interest – in Q3 £139m spent on Island up 13% from last year. £286m spent on Island over last 12 months up 1%, 51% of visitors visited one or more of Island attractions up 45% in same period last year.
Cllr Lilley (Ind Green) – Item 21 Biz Rate Retention – chancellor cutting biz rates by 1/3. Talk about £650m transition fund for high streets and £40 for heritage high streets. How is the discount to small shop owners affect biz rates that will come in?
((Chair shuts down Cllr Whitehouse (Con) who is attempting to heckle Cllr Lilley))
DS: 2nd part would be fully funded by Gov and will give written response. Re first part, agree to partner with Portsmouth and Southampton biz rate pilot. Result of pilot was that IW gained £2m from that. Investment pot of about £4m . Gov have reduced pilot process to 75% of biz rates. We should pick up in excess of £1m.
Cllr Brodie (Ind Lab) – re financial position, since last full council the failing and wounded PM has announced austerity is over. Explain when this will start bearing fruit for public services.
((Applause from public gallery))
DS: Pleased with way presented Island case to Gov. Justify claim for £6.4m disadvantage. Minister has accepted principal and gone to Portsmouth Uni to confirm. MP has taken battle to Gov. Cautious person, so budget is predicated on not getting the money. Disagree with reserve levels. We must have sound reserve base and £5m is not enough. Funding review is the time to expect change from Gov.
Cllr Andre (Ind) – Local Gov Awards – video about LACs, is the huge success of LACs included in submission for awards. Are organisers going to be made aware
DS: If for Adult Social Care might not include LACs as they cover not just adult. Answer is no, it was not immediate part of that. Credit to Island ASC team can be selected for award. Cllr Mosdell fought tirelessly for vulnerable has been nominated for national award.
Cllr Jones Evans (Ind) – item 20 combined fire service – shared service agreement Avon and Glos fallen apart – any lesson learnt.
DS: Number of options – PCC can take over fire service, only county to do take is Essex. Out to consultation at moment. Our rep on board will be Cabinet member.
Cllr Stephens (Ind) – item 11 – Help for island children and families – smacks of replacing the LACs with something else and what the cost?
DS: Doesn’t have figures – will give written reply. Refer to Cllr Brading.
Cllr Brading (Con): Nothing to do with LAC review. Focus on certain area, interviews and mentoring. Taken on extra staff to strengthen three key areas.
Cllr Garratt (Libdem)- item 9 – re cross-Solent travel – outline steps to ensure good work through consultations with gov not lost.
DS: Yes I can. Mp has met with new health secretary and contiue at a pace – hope positive news will come forward.
Local Council Tax Support Scheme
Cllr Hutchinson (Con) presents report. No proposals for any further reductions. Continue to offer support which cost IWC £10m per year funding £7 in every £10. Still have hardship fund.
Cllr Garratt moves an amendment. ((Read out too quickly but wants consultation))
Wants to return to 80% not 70% support. Has spoken to finance officer to ensure it would work within budget. Voted against drop to 70%.
Cllr Fuller (Ind) supports proposals for further consultation. Impacting on ordinary overlooked families. Step in the right direction.
Cllr Lilley supports amendment – he speaks to people at Ryde foodbank – who are in debt, many with council tax, amount of debt collection. Clear link with mental health problems and debt. Has already put forward proposal of how to help those in debt crisis to cope and manage it. Can look at other ways to get money in, so this money goes back into people’s pockets.
Cllr Stewart – Some people diluting one piece of info with another. Hardship fund remains. This council must set a lawful and balanced budget that is financially sustainable. Says last administration said it could not be done but they are doing it. ((lots of jeering from the public gallery)) Leaders asks chair to deal with it.
Cllr Jones Evans (Ind) – supports the amendment – has volunteered at Newport foodbank for last seven years. These are strivers and people who want to get on. Only 36 affordable houses built last year. Can this be a year when we play catch up and get houses built.
Cllr Brodie – his ward has largest areas of deprivation on Island. See contradiction. Health and Wellbeing board promote project to tackle social deprivation, set against some of policies from administration and government. Superb LAC operating in East Newport out of work at end of March. Reduction from 100% year on year on year. Hardship fund is something he squeezed out of indie administration years ago. Don’t know in my 14th year how I can explain to residents at tough end of life that the IWC is serious about projects to tackle social deprivation when they proposed horrific cuts. How can PM say austerity is over when reps on Island deliver the austerity they should be ashamed of.
((Huge applause from public gallery ))
Cllr Stephens support the amendment. Leader refers to Indie administration walks away. He put himself forward for leadership. Didn’t walk away. Cllr Stewart and cabal seized the moment. They were showing the distaste for government cuts and budget.
((Huge applause from public gallery ))
Cllr Andre (Ind) – support the motion – it’s a false economy.
Cllr Hutchinson – feeling of deja vu – same debate when made reduction from, 80 to 70%. Put in place hardship fund – set to £250,000. All claims assessed. Fund only issued £24,000 of support. Suggestion by opposition not as serious as claimed.
Over next six years, no choice but to find additional £16.5m – 20% on top of £76m found. Will; not reinstate when not needed.
Vote for Amendment:
Yes : 11
No : 22 ((shame on you called from gallery))
Vote for motion
Newport Harbour Regeneration
Cllr Whitehouse presents motion about regeneration of Newport Quay.
Cllr Stephens suggested they move on to next business as already being supported by the IWC. Seconded by Cllr Barry.
Vote to move on:
Yes – 8
No – 23
Abstained – 0
Cllr Price (Con) says it must respect heritage of the Quay
Cllr Jones Evans has met with masterplanners twice and satisfied they understand how Newport works.
Cllr Ward supports the motion. Feels IWC could to do more to enforce rules on compulsory purchase orders. Some successes, but hands are tied. Regeneration of harbour will be brilliant for the Island.
Cllr Stewart : Think this will be a very supported motion. Newport Harbour our number one regeneration priority. If do nothing else over next two and half years but get county town recognised as moving forward, that would be it. Garden Island project linked to Camp Hill. Keen to see Medina Bridge, alleviate to pressure on town. Real opportunity – let’s work together.
Cllr Brodie – Harbour needs regenerating as well as town. In loft have two masterplans for harbour regeneration. Regen team set up two years ago with three year deadline. Have lived in Newport for half of my life. Looking for capital budget being put into county town next year.
Cllr Hobart (Con) says harbour board crated to manage the harbour to put rules into place.
Cllr Lilley – IWC should use section 125 of C&TP Act to enforce owners let properties rot. Cites Vectis Hall as one derelict property that could help homeless.
Cllr Howe (Ind) – Bridge across Medina and keep people out of Newport then talking about getting people into Newport. Can ruling group get together to have policy that we understand.
Cllr Smart (Ind) – Discussed for 35 years what we can do with harbour. Wants regenerating – agree. Must get it right. Think it’s going to happen.
Cllr Hastings (Con) – Most towns would give right arm to have water. If you’ve got water, use it.
Vote – 35 in favour.
He reads out the stats of young girls who miss school because they cannot afford sanitary products.
Cllr Whitehouse proposes an amendment stating that lots of schools already have this in place already.
Cllr Lilley refused to accept the amendment which has bee seconded by Cllr Brading.
Cllr Brading said all Island schools were emailed and responded with 12 primary, 1 secondary and the college. Cowes, Dover Park and Gurnard Primary already have alternative system in place. Don’t want to be prescriptive that only one service is used. Amendment gives flexibility.
Cllr Abraham (Con) supports amendment which has critical flexibility. Needs to send message to government about 20% VAT.
Cllr Jones Evans – Great so many feminist in the room. Part of movement to get VAT off tampons. George Osborne was going to take tax off and not done. Can Leavers confirm tax taken away in Brexit.
Cllr Barry vote against the amendment. If school doesn’t want to use the Red Box, they don’t have to. He doesn’t see sense in amendment.
Cllr Stephens – aim is to raise awareness and it has now been raised in this chamber. That is the essence of what we are here to debate.
Cllr Brodie – not clear on this – Whitehouse’s amendment is obscure. Number of people resolved there is a need for the Red Box project. Have to accept there are good reasons for them to do that. Great deal of effort put in by Cllrs Whitehouse and Brading for council officers to do research – why not share earlier? Wish we could have agreed motion, some consensus. We all want to do the same thing. Cllr Whitehouse more vague, Cllr Lilley more specific. Will vote for amendment and motion.
Cllr Fuller (Ind) – would say same as Cllr Brodie.
Cllr Lilley – speak against the amendment – have no right to – because group of women who have come to him to raise the issue and put forward. Therefore important that we keep within the motion the red Box Project. Can we fund wording that we keep this national project in the motion? Collection boxes inthe supermarkets.
Cllr Whitehouse says “this is really silly and we move to the vote”. He will not make any amendment to his amendment.
Move to the Amendment vote
No number read out by Chair – just that move to vote was approved.
Yes : 17
No : 10
Abstained : 4
(That’s the original motion with the amendment – removal of Red Box Project)
Want it on record that you have not recognised the Red Box Project. Sad that Cllr Whitehouse has wrecked something that he shouldn’t have, sad that he has disgracefully belittled the work of the Red Box project.
Yes : 27
No : 0
Abstained : 2
Motion with amendment passes
Leader asks for two min recess for monitoring officer to speak to Cllr Andre on declarations of interest.
((The live stream seems to have stopped))
Image courtesy of Julie Jones Evans
Motion – Island Park designation
Cllr Andre declares that the chair of the AONB (Jonathan Bacon) is well-known to her. Delighted to present this motion (see here).
Cllr Whitehouse starts to propose another amendment ((however, he can’t be heard as his mic seems to have stopped working)).
Cll Stewart supports the amendment. Jonathan Bacon told him that he came forward with Island Park. He went to see Gov with cllrs. Responsible cabinet member should undertake research. Can undermine regeneration with possible muddying of waters with Island Park designation.
Cllr Andre- – says there is confusion in the chamber – Glover review is not about imposing something. She would accept amendment which removed “and threat” from motion. This is very real opportunity without threat.
Cllr Fuller – member of AONB – chair known to him as he is to most members in chamber, there is a lot of confusion. Coming from MP too. How is that going to impact to our planning authority. National park takes away from IWC. More research needed to take place.
As it is 9pm, members have to vote for meeting to be extended for at least an hour.
Cllr Abraham met with MP and Lord Gardner for call for evidence – questions Bacon on what was meant by Island Park and didn’t get clear idea of what he was proposing. Doesn’t not agree with MP about National park status. Fully support AONB. Mr Glover will come to the Island and meet with us. Rather than make rash decision, we do look at all designations across the Island and come to consensus. Must get Island Plan in to place.
Cllr Brodie – agree with what Cllr Abraham says – National Park would be counter to regeneration. Will not take lessons from a gentlemen who walked out on leadership who walked out on Monday of budget meeting, him and Stubbings. He is discredited and if he has solicitors he can use them on me anytime.
Cllr Barry asks why should sit here in extra time to hear a “slagging off of Jonathan Bacon, there’s no need for it and you should both be ashamed of yourselves”.
Cllr Hobart says there may be funding for this. Got a long way to go and very exciting and could regenerate the AONBs.
Cllr Andre – Thanks Cllr Barry for bringing back to matter in hand and thanks Cllr Hobart. It’s a call for evidence. No reason why we can’t work with Island Plan. We can shape this to be a designation that’s right for the Island.
The Amendment Vote
Yes : 25
The revised motion Vote
Yes : 19
Amended motion carried
Motion about pubs
Cllr Nicholson presents his motion about supporting pubs.
((Cllr Whitehouse has left the chamber))
Many cllrs wish to speak on the motion. Firstly Cllr Fuller who says he holds his surgeries in pubs and totally behind Cllr Nicholson on the motion.
Cllr Barry says a very serious issue for the Island. Village pubs affected. Imagine having a walking festival or cycling festival without village pubs, part and parcel of tourist trade but not protected. Island plan should state a pub should stay as it is. Every village pub should be an asset of community value. Was told each one would be taken on its merit and Roadside Inn lost. Should not be laughing and joking about it. If Newport loses a pub not the same as Porchfield losing a pub.
Cllr Bertie thanks Cllr Nicholson and CAMRA on putting on Beer and Buses event which attracted 12,000 people.
Cllr Abraham supports motion – pubs are the heart and soul of community. Owe it to the communities to try where ever possible to support the local pubs. Can work with town and parish councils.
Cllr Jones Evans – important motion, some publicans fighting with one arm behind their back. Budget item which will affect the night time economy – proposed overnight parking charges. How will this affect parking charges.
Cllr Hastings – spend time supplying pub trade – pub tenants often tell tale of foe – unfair how they are treated. Urge all town and parish councils to apply fort asset of community value.
Cllr Lilley was one of the founders of the Community and Finance Fund – supporter of communities taking over pubs. Do need to put support networks in the communities do they are able to get all the expertise to save local pubs.
Next motion from Cllr Nicholson
Recognising those who fought for our freedom in WWI.
Cllr Ward holding back the tears as he explains about 40 years ago this week doing military duty for three years in Northern Island and then 9 months in Bosnia. In tears as he says he is still looking for snipers as he walks down the street and as he drives down the road looking for ambush sites. He pleads with the chamber to support the motion.
Cllr Lilley thanks Cllr Ward for his moving words. He says his specialism is post traumatic stress disorder. he worked with Bosnian community and soldiers who served in Bosnia.
9.45pm – Meeting ends
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