What’s happened to Richard Priest’s pre-election promise on parking?

Before the election Richard Priest promised to “Promote high streets not penalise motorists”. Now, a year on, he and Jon Gibley are overseeing the opposite.

Richard Priest pre-election parking promise

In the run up to the 2013 Isle of Wight council elections, Richard Priest and his running mate Jon Gilbey distributed a leaflet with their seven promises on it. Indeed each promise started with a letter to build P R O M I S E, to accentuate the point.

The first under the banner, “We PROMISE:” was P – PARKING – “Promote high streets not penalise motorists.”

Damaging small businesses
OnTheWight talked to Richard at the time and he spoke extensively about how the then-current Conservative administration were damaging small businesses in Shanklin and other areas of the Island by not allowing people to park close to shops by levying charges on them. He felt this was bad for Island business.

Just over a week ago, the Island Independents currently in charge of Isle of Wight council – of which Richard and Jon are Executive members – proposed a considerable number of increases in parking charges and the removal of a lot of what was previously free parking around the Island.

Obvious imbalance
Given the obvious imbalance between the pre-election promise given and the recent parking proposals, OnTheWight dropped Richard a quick question this afternoon

Richard – How, before the election, could you promise to your electorate that you’d “Promote high streets not penalise motorists”, but now you’re in power you’re proposing jacking up parking charges across the Island – including Shanklin – and removing most, if not all, of the free parking in shopping areas?

We’ll let you know when we get an answer.

Update: Cllr Priest responded and then again, some time later.

Those promises in full
(Click on image to see full screen version)
Richard Priest and Jon Gilbey pre-election promises 2013

Tuesday, 20th May, 2014 7:15pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2bWI

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

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35 Comments on "What’s happened to Richard Priest’s pre-election promise on parking?"

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Simon, I think you’re being rather disingenuous going on the attack over the IWC trying to raise income, when you know there’s a massive budget shortfall. Gilby and Priest may have been rather naive using the term ‘promise’, but neither had been a County Councillor before, as well you know. Just look at what they replaced and what that had promised and then not delivered previously. Unfortunately… Read more »
Sally Perry

The £28m budget deficit was well known before the elections. It was not something suddenly discovered once in power.

Agree with you ThomasC. It’s more than the total sum of money to be recouped that needed to be known by then-new councillors, but also the inter-relation of processes, structures and needs, and the reading of complex info and statistics, all of which pressures noone can fully appreciate till it hits them in office, I daresay. After all that, they then have to do something creative with… Read more »
steve s
To be fair, I don’t think ANY of us knew quite how bad the financial situation was. We didn’t know the extent of the reduction in the government grant, the extra costs attached to the arrangement with Hampshire brought on by the failure of education and children’s services, the full horror of the situation at Cowes CEC, the potential local significance of some major natural disasters… This… Read more »
sam salt
Steve, I find it astounding that you say none of you knew how bad the financial situation was. I did because I kook an interest in what was/is going on. Sally is right in her comment above. Are you saying that you and your cohorts did not do your homework before you stood for election? I understand that you have to select options, but should all these… Read more »
steve s

Yes, the better care fund is ring-fenced.
I take on board your other comments and thank you for your observations.

sam salt
Thanks for confirming that the money is ring fenced for the better care fund Steve. I take it this is all monies including one off’s. You did not answer my question on another subject on this forum and that was about buses. Can you confirm their is a robust audit trail in place concerning payments of bus subsidies to SV? Can you also confirm that SV are… Read more »

Well said Steve. You are doing a great job. It doesn’t come readily to a lot of people to appreciate the issues you outline, and some will miss the old political argy bargy and try to re-create it where it doesn’t exist. Don’t waver from your collective course!

I don’t think Steve sounds petulent at all! He was saying he accepts that people can disagree with the policies he’s been involved with and vote him out, but he won’t take any aspersions that he doesn’t care about his electors,(or hopefully those who didn’t vote for him, too!) That’s absolutely fair enough. I think he’s permitted to stand up for himself! I think ‘kicking a few… Read more »

that’s a bit naughty Simon /Sal we all knew they would have to make some pretty unpopular decisions to sort out the mess left behind by the last shower ,some of whom are now trying to pretend it was nothing to do with them ,


Please don,t hold your breath,i have yet to meet a politician who has ever kept there promises they do not care about the people who elected them or believe,v there promises. No change from the last lot

Actually they’re a big change from the last lot – they don’t have a reserve to spank on vain-glorious projects and plans that will screw our IWC budget for the next 25 years (the PFI). Politicians are people – I guess it’s very easy to snipe at them from the unelected sidelines, but these local guys are poorly paid and trying to make a difference in some… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore
Like the LibDems before the 2010 election, the ‘Independents’ made these promises as a means to persuade the electorate to vote for them and, as Simon writes here, they knew very well that there was a huge deficit. Now we have the bizarre scenario of the Tories opposing increased parking charges (as opposed to when they were in power)and the Independents seemingly championing the rises (subject, of… Read more »
So how would you resolve the deficit, Mr Blackmore? People are very quick to claim things like the ‘independents’ (no need for quotes – they’re independent of any party!) knew all about this. Hell I stood, didn’t get in, but I don’t think I was fully aware of the massive deficit, or how the hell I would help resolve it, but I was prepared to put myself… Read more »
That’s a pretty useful excuse “no-one knew the budgetary situation”. The previous administration (of which I was no fan at all) set the dire circumstances out. They did it in such a way that it was nothing to do with them or their government but they didn’t wrap up the extent of the financial straits. If anyone read any Council papers they would know that it was… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore
ThomasC I also stood for election to the IWC and I very carefully did not make such promises. I didn’t win either. The reason that there were so many Independents (and the main reason they formed the ruling group)was precisely because they persuaded the electorate that they had the answers. Cllrs Gilbey & Priest, as I wrote before, were quite unequivocal about parking charges as can be… Read more »

Richard Priest and John Gilbey were Independent of the Independents before the election result.They joined the
Independents after the election result could you check Sal? Change of policy?

Sally Perry
I’m not 100% sure. The results from the count that took place on 3rd May 2013 show RP and JG as Island Island Independents, but that may have been down to them saying on the day they were joining (my memory was also that they were initially independent of the Island Independents). Those who stood independently of the Island Independents then joined to make the number up… Read more »
Polo Jockey

Wake up people Richard Priest is just a Tory in disguise as an independent.

Michael G

Isn’t it true that money raised through parking charges could only stay within that cost code/budget?

Alison Hayden
Are our memories really so short? Are we not all forgetting just HOW bad things were at County Hall? Everyone is so quick to snipe and pass judgement, I wonder how many of you actually put yourselves forward to make a difference. Not many is my guess! For the majority of Islanders we are actually beginning to see real change. Decisions made in public, not behind closed… Read more »

I agree with you Alison. Seems like there’s a worry that non-combative, intelligent and inclusive ways of working may not be exciting enough without injecting rather synthetic controvesy!

I am not a Tory, but I can see the reasoning behind all the cuts. Overstaffed, overpaid and underperforming civil servants and local authority staff needed thinning out. All the time the amateur politicians are having the wool pulled over their eyes by the Council officers the cuts to services will continue to happen. Get rid of the top heavy admin, pay a reasonable rate, not an… Read more »
There would appear to be no coherent strategy for the council’s actions. Each proposal and action that is made seems to be done independently of others and without due regard for covenants which may or may not exist (in the case of Appley car park) There is little point in contributing to David Thornton’s organisation to get tourists and holidaymakers to come to the island if the… Read more »
As I live off the Island, I am following this correspondence with interest. I note that several supporters of the current council are talking about cleaning up the mess the previous administration left behind. I seem to recall some contributors to this board complaining about the Coalition Government justifying every proposal as clearing up the mess Labour left behind. This, in other words, is what politicians do.… Read more »
I don’t mind saying that I voted Independent and one year on I continue to support the Independents. They have made some great steps forward in some areas, but I also support On The Wight asking questions and looking further into where they may find discrepancies. I suspect that if the Tories had planned the same changes (with one of their candidates saying they would protect the… Read more »

RJC is right & someseveredecisions are necessary but the current INdependant majority are not able to wield the axe. There should be a 10% immediate pay cut implemented right the way through county hall.

Don’t you realise that it isn’t simply a question of cohesion? The genuine Independents were a small part of our “Velvet Revolution” last May. We had a clear out, but not a complete one, of the Augean stables. There are still many Tories left and the outsourcing ideas and cuts are still coming. More people need to step up to the mark and take part in the… Read more »
Steve Goodman

We need more Greens then. In politics, in public life, & in private life.

Greens? Bit of an all round disaster in Brighton (the only place they have control of a Council and have an MP). Even if you discount the endless internal wrangling and attempted coups on the leadership, even something as basic as the recycling rate is down from recent years – even the Tories had a better record. And if they can’t get something as fundamental to their… Read more »
Steve Goodman
I. – I’ve been helping Green councillors & candidates campaigning in Oxford & Reading, where they are increasingly appreciated by residents because of what they actually do for everybody; the same applied when I previously helped in Stroud. Apart from a small involvement in a Brighton safer streets campaign, I’m not familiar with their local Greens, but I didn’t think things there were as bad as you… Read more »
Do look again at Brighton – a vision of a place with a Green Council and a Green MP. I think the electorate find the Council very disappointing: I don’t know what they will think of Caroline Lucas as an MP – the fact that she is well known and personable may help her escape from the taint of the Council. Oxford Greens – going nowhere electorally… Read more »

“When the Revolution comes, we’ll all smoke cigars!”
“But I don’t like cigars!”
“You will smoke what you are damn well told!!!”



Going Green is a joke – its a nice romantic ideas full of flaws and petty bickering by a bunch of ex-tree huggers from the other 3 main parties. It certainly won’t work on the Island as there will neverbe enough support.

Steve Goodman
Is ‘business & politics as usual’ a joke? Is bailing out failed bankers a joke? Are our huge debts & need to keep borrowing a joke? Is failure to live within our financial & physical means – not enough money to cover existing debts, running out of the stuff we have come to rely on, & harming our only life support system a joke? Is tax avoidance… Read more »