‘We are ready to respond’ says Isle of Wight council leader light of Coronavirus crisis

Leader of the Isle of Wight council said, “We are fortunate to live in a place where community spirit is second to none and now is the time to harness that spirit”

Dave Stewart

“We are doing all we can to protect you” — that was the message from the leader of the Isle of Wight Council today (Friday) as he moved to reassure Islanders the authority was ready to take on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) threat.

In a message to Islanders posted on social media, Councillor Dave Stewart said the council’s focus was the health and wellbeing of its communities.

Vulnerable residents a priority
Maintaining essential services to our most vulnerable residents will be a priority, as will supporting the many local businesses already hard hit by the pandemic, he said.

Councillor Stewart also called on residents to take sensible precautions such as washing hands, keeping social space, self-isolating when required and seeking medical advice through the 111 service when needed.

He said:

“I want to assure you now that we are doing all we can to protect you and the rest of our Island community as we enter the storm of Coronavirus in the days and weeks ahead.

“In the midst of this international public health crisis, the Isle of Wight is stepping up to ensure all our community have what they need to cope with the impact of Covid-19 — we know it will be tough but we are ready and we will respond as necessary.”

Dedicated helpline
Cllr Stewart said the authority would be identifying those most in need and maintaining regular contact with them. A dedicated helpline to support them was also being set up, he said.

He also reassured businesses that the council was working hard to be ready to swifty deliver the package of funding support announced by the government with further details to follow soon.

Other measures to be taken
Cllr Stewart highlighted other measures the council was taking, including:

  • closing all council-run leisure centres, museum and theatre;
  • encouraging council staff to work from home to minimise travel and support social-isolation; and
  • working with partner agencies to ensure plans are in place to provide further support to the community.

He said ferry companies were ensuring goods and people could get to and from the Island through safe and regular services, the police and fire service were fully prepared to respond to any emergency that needed their support and Southern Water had robust plans in place to ensure essential water supplies were maintained for everyone.

Stewart: Community spirit is second to none
Cllr Stewart also praised the Island’s community spirit and the outpouring of public kindness and generosity. 

He said,

“This collective community response is what will see us through this and ensure we do everything we can to overcome Coronavirus and rebuild our community afterwards.

“There will be opportunities to help others and everyone can play their part.

“We are fortunate to live in a place where community spirit is second to none and now is the time to harness that spirit.”

Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).

Social distancing
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.

Seeking advice
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

News shared by Isle of Wight council press office. In their own words. Ed

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

Friday, 20th March, 2020 1:27pm


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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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6 Comments on "‘We are ready to respond’ says Isle of Wight council leader light of Coronavirus crisis"

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Benny C
Dave, see my commentary under the daily updates. You’re wrong. Not enough people are doing what’s needed. Many are, but not enough. There are way too many health experts out there who seem to love the cheap thrill of appearing superior by claiming they know better than the scientists and presumably thinking they are already immune, or it’s all a hoax. Ventnor this morning was a case… Read more »

Just shut the ferry services down! Only allow freight on and off of the island! I get that there are people that rely on the ferries for work and other reasons but the health and safety of the greater population of the island should be the priority!

The virus is already here so turning us into prisoners on the island only has the potential to slow the infection rate, not stop it. Also some travel is necessary (e.g. hospital appointments, key workers, etc.). Far better to prevent the spread of the virus by following social distancing and hygiene advice and refraining from panic buying than engage in dramatic knee-jerk actions that have the potential… Read more »
@prof I must that I agree with stevechapman0789 on this. I have just read a report from a Skegness resident saying that the town is really busy with holiday makers. Holiday makers in the middle of a global pandemic? There are going to be lots of Darwin awards handed out very soon. The Chinese have stopped the virus by adopting very strict curfew and containment measures. They… Read more »

What a joke you are Cllr Stewart, have you been to the supermarket lately to witness empty shelves where those greedy selfish individualistic morons could not give a xxxx about anybody but them. Wake up for gods sake.


The thumbs down brigade need a reality check.