Members of Ryde Town Council voted last night in favour of a motion to explore taking on the leasehold of the Harbour, which the Isle of Wight council are planning to shed responsibility for.
As reported last week, the Conservative administration are proposing making the decision away from the public gaze (by Delegated Decision) to approve the freehold or leasehold transfer of Ryde Harbour by way of an open marketing exercise.
Residents slam the plans
At last night’s meeting, Ryde residents slated the plans to sell off the harbour and accused the Isle of Wight council of ignoring a regeneration consultation.
There was concern that plans to sell the harbour to developers could result in flats being built on or around the seafront site.
Ryde Town Council’s response to the delegated decision
In a dramatic move, the majority of Ryde Town councillors voted to explore ways of saving the harbour, including buying it from the Isle of Wight Council.
Following a proposal from Cllr Michael Lilley, ward member for Ryde East, the Town Council agreed to make the following representation to Cllr Hutchinson, in response to the contents of the delegated report, before he is due to take his decision:
“Ryde Town Council objects to the recommendations contained in the Delegated Decision Report in regard to Ryde Harbour and asks that the Cabinet Member for Resources attend a public meeting in Ryde to discuss alternative options with the Ryde community within the next two weeks, which should include the option of the Isle of Wight Council selling the Harbour to Ryde Town Council for a £1”
It is hoped that a public meeting will be called within the next two weeks and the Town Council will ensure that this meeting is well publicised.
Ryde Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Ross said,
“The Town Council hopes that the Isle of Wight Council will listen to the strongly voiced views of the Ryde community before any decisions are taken about Ryde Harbour.”
Dent: Pressing ahead with plans to sell off the harbour
Jonathan Dent, a member of the Ryde Society, said that despite claims that Isle of Wight council has no intention of selling off public spaces in the town, he believes it now appears to be pressing ahead with plans to sell off the harbour.
“I find this underhand and clearly we the residents of Ryde have been lied to and require an explanation.
“Ryde harbour is one of the last remaining public assets that has not so far been sold off for the purposes of lining the pockets of a few.”
Whittle: Cabinet member and officers should explain the position
Cllr Wayne Whittle, the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and business development, said he supported the campaign to save the harbour.
“After sitting through the long public question time session on the harbour I feel a public meeting in Ryde where the Cabinet member and officers who wrote the paper can take questions and explain the IWC position would be helpful to all concerned parties.”
Comments from Ryde Town Council added.