News shared by Michael Lilley on behalf of Our Ryde. Ed
A group of Ryde residents have come together under the banner of Our Ryde during Covid-19 and started talking via zoom about their vision for Ryde post-pandemic.
They were inspired by the leadership of the Mayor of Ryde, Cllr Michael Lilley and the Chair of Finance, Cllr Phil Jordan, who have been leading voices in the Town for transforming Ryde Town Council into an inclusive, listening, engaging and proactive Town Council.
Active members of the community
Michael and Phil are standing as independents for Ryde in the forthcoming Isle of Wight council elections and been encouraging Ryde residents to stand for the 16 Ryde Town Council seats.
In past years many RTC councillor seats have not been contested and not been truly representative of the community.
Lilley: Mentoring and support for candidates
Cllr Michael Lilley says:
“At the start of Covid-19, I initiated the Ryde Covid-19 Community Response Team, which helped many Ryde residents during the past year and I saw the incredible community spirit in the town and the hundreds of residents volunteering to help those in need.
“It was a fantastic response. I felt it was important that these voices within our incredible community should be encouraged and engaged with more.
“I started to encourage residents who would never get involved in local politics without support and mentoring. Our Ryde formed out of this dialogue. It is an incredible beginning and so proud to stand for Ryde Town Council with the seven other Our Ryde candidates.”
A diverse group of Ryde residents
Our Ryde is a diverse group of Ryde residents that support the Ryde Charter agreed by Ryde Town Council in 2021 and the positive actions in purchasing Vectis Hall, the Harbour and St. Thomas’s Church and plans to purchase Ryde Theatre.
Seeking wider diversity
The group wants to support a wider diversity with more community representative candidates to give the Council improved engagement with all parts of the Town.
In the current Council the average age has been over 70 and there are only four women. Our Ryde aims to change this situation and make sure that all seats are contested by a diverse and broader range of candidates.
Jordan: We work for you
Cllr Phil Jordan added,
“Our Ryde is a ground-breaking initiative to build upon the great work and successes we have already seen in Ryde and I am determined to continue the transformation we have made to our council and to the services we deliver for our community.
“We as a council and councillors work for you, the residents, and I want to ensure that the Council continues to develop into a role model council working with the community and improving our town for everyone.”
Achievements in last 12 months
During the past year, Ryde Town Council have invested in the community, created and supported Ryde Unite delivering services to the most vulnerable in the community, supported the Waterside pool to ensure it survives Covid restrictions, invested around £180,000 into an award winning Youth service, protected and secured the future of historic buildings in the town, secured the management of the Kickstart scheme providing jobs for over 30 of the younger people in our community and supported grant funding for events throughout the year.
Last summer, Ryde Town Council funded the Ticket to Ryde events throughout the town.
Sabine: More democratic decision-making
Jenna Sabine, owner of Monkton Arts standing in Ryde Appley Elmfield says,
“I am passionate that decision-making at local government level becomes much more democratic. People want and deserve their opinions to be listened to and their ideas brought to fruition.
“Ryde Town councillors should be a reflection and inclusiveness of the demographic of Ryde, showing diversity and representation. I am the owner of Monkton Arts and I would like to see cultural events and exciting community things happening in the town that I live in and love.”
May: Standing to represent the views, aspirations and needs of residents
Richard May, previous head teacher of Greenmount Primary School, standing for Our Ryde in Ryde West says,
“I’m a firm believer in the right of the local community to positively engage with and influence their environment and I see the town’s council as a key expression of this right.
“I am standing to represent the views, aspirations and needs of residents as Ryde enters an exciting new decade – building on the ground-breaking work of the last few years, there are so many things that can be done to make our town an even better place to live, work and visit”.
Park: Give back to the community
Joanne Park, standing for Our Ryde in Ryde South-East says:
“I have lived in Ryde my whole life and feel this is such a special place.
“I feel very passionately that Ryde, and the support of Ryde, played a huge part in making my life what it is today and I would like to give back to the community helping others to fulfil their dreams.”
Carter: I didn’t know what the council was for
Lisa Carter, is a single parent mum, and standing for Our Ryde for the Ryde Appley and Elmfield for one of the three places with Jenna Sabine and Michael Lilley, says,
“I am keen to raise awareness of Ryde Town Council and how it can serve its community just as much as I am keen on becoming a councillor.
“I am not ashamed to admit I didn’t know what the council was for, or who my local councillor was.
“I would love to engage more people in our community discussions and give us all a sense of involvement in our Town that we love so much.”