At next week’s Isle of Wight council full council meeting Cllr Michael Lilley is hoping to garner support for his latest motion.
Government ministers have previously declared they recognise the Island’s unique status, but the Green councillor for Ryde East is asking for the authority to go a step further and lobby for this to be enshrined in legislation.
He believes the Island should be legally recognised as being at a disadvantage to its counterparts on the mainland, and be afforded exemptions to any national regulations that clearly put the Island at a disadvantage.
All Party Parliamentary Group
Last summer, Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, became the Chair of a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Islands.
The group set out to gather a wide range of information relating to Islands including; cost of ferries; broadband speeds; education standard; demographics; transport subsidies; the cost and impact of fixed links and the cost of being an Island.
“Although the information will be useful for all MPs representing Island communities in the UK, I am particularly focused on the specific challenges facing the Isle of Wight.”
OnTheWight has written to Bob to see whether, as MP, he’ll be supporting Cllr Lilley’s motion.
Cllr Lilley’s motion reads:
Portsmouth University in its report on Isle of Wight finances has stated that the IOW Council has a £6.5 million disadvantage per year compared to mainland Counties/unitary authorities.
The IW Council has to provide the Island population with services from this yearly disadvantage. The Council also has to work within many English regulations designed for the mainland which does not fit the reality of being an Island surrounded by sea such a planning regulations.
IW Council needs legislation which provides recognition as an Island and ability to have exemptions to any national regulations that clearly put the Isle of Wight Council and population at a disadvantage. This motion is designed to start a dialogue to get the legislative change that will give the Island equality with other counties and local authorities and develop a more sustainable future.
IW Council resolves to request the Leader in partnership with all Group Leaders to establish dialogue with IW MP and UK Government about the development of an Isle of Wight Equality (level playing field) and Island Status Act which clearly clarifies within UK law that Isle of Wight is an Island and as an Island has clear differences in issues compared to other Counties within England.
OnTheWight will be reporting live from the meeting which starts at 6pm on Wednesday 17th January 2018.