At a Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council hosted public meeting last night to discuss the IW Council plans for nearly 4,000 new homes within the town over the next 15 years, ‘blue on blue’ differences were clearly on display. The plans are based on government targets and represent 38% of planned future building for the Island.
Isle of Wight Conservative MP Bob Seely has been touring the Island over the summer opposing the Tory IW Council’s draft planning strategy and was present.
Abraham: “Opposing a waste of time”
At this meeting though, IW Council Cabinet member Barry Abraham told the meeting that opposition was a waste of time as government will not listen.
Much dissatisfaction with that was expressed by both the meeting and Mr Seely, who all called for some backbone from their elected IW Councillors.
Parish council unanimous in opposition
Long-serving Newport councillor Geoff Brodie explained to the meeting that the Parish Council, during the strategy’s consultation process, had been unanimous in its opposition to many of the more significant housing site proposals in the draft strategy.
Including 900 homes for the New Fairlee Farm site, between Fairlee and Staplers Roads.
Cabinet members brought forward the plan
He reminded the meeting that half of their Parish Council were also IW Councillors, including himself, and that Cllrs Steve Hastings and John Hobart (both present) were also members of the Cabinet who had brought forward these plans.
He himself would be very happy to campaign with Mr Seely against the housing plans despite political differences.
Seely: Hold IW councillors ‘feet to the fire’
Mr Seely urged the meeting to hold their IW Councillors ‘feet to the fire’ over the IW Council’s plans at which point Cllr Hastings declared he would oppose them in Cabinet. Other Newport IW Cllrs Julie Jones-Evans and Matt Price also indicated opposition
The meeting concluded agreeing that the future housing plans were entirely unsustainable and calling on all their councillors to campaign in opposition.
Brodie: IWC Cabinet will need to really fight the Government
After the meeting Geoff Brodie said,
“It was a good meeting, though I was quite surprised as to how strongly Mr Seely is opposing his Conservative colleagues at County Hall over this issue.
“There was no doubt of the feelings of the meeting and I am pleased that most of those IW councillors who were there expressed support for a campaign of opposition.
“Of course the final decision on future targets will lie at the door of Government and it will need the IW Council Cabinet to really fight in the months to come to reduce them.”
The meeting was attended by about 200 residents and chaired by Parish Council Chair, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans.
The above report was provided by Cllr Geoff Brodie, in his own words. Ed