Who Turned The Lights Out?

With the loss of Island services, it didn’t feel like we should be putting out April Fool articles today.

Ever since VentnorBlog started, we’ve run April Fool articles on the morning of 1st April. This year we’re not. It didn’t feel right on a day that many of the cuts in council services take hold.

Who Turned The Lights Out?Instead, we’re turning VentnorBlog black for the day in mourning of the loss of Island services (If you can’t see it, do a hard refresh in your browser, or clear its cache).

Closures hit today
As of today, the doors of the Tourist Information Centres that have helped visitors and Islanders alike are closed and their staff have been told that they are no longer needed.

Further job losses at the council mean that today, many council staff are no longer in employment.

Lots of public toilets across the Island are also locked shut. Inaccessible.

Many feel it’s plain wrong
Many who have contacted VentnorBlog feel that the closure of the TICs on the high streets of the Island’s major towns is just plain wrong, especially in a year when a huge influx of new visitors are expected for the Island Games.

They find it hard to understand why the council would carry out TIC and toilet closures on an Island where many depend on tourism for their employment.

The concern over the reduction and possible loss of local library services is also a huge worry for many Islanders.

Cross-political concerns
The people objecting to these cuts in services cross political barriers. They aren’t the political firebrands. They are people terrified that once these services are lost, they will never come back.

Image: Brunkfordbraun under CC BY 2.0

Opinion Piece

Friday, 1st April, 2011 12:18am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/lightsout

Filed under: Budget Cuts, Community, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Opinion Pieces

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

45 Comments on "Who Turned The Lights Out?"

newest oldest most voted

I very much respect Simon and Sally’s stand on this sad, sad day! Though we’ve had our disagreements lately, all of us have our hearts in the right places. Which is more than we can say for Messrs Pugh, Brown, Mazillius etc – they don’t use these services and therefore think they are unnecessary and a waste of money! What a sorry, sorry bunch of no-marks!


I hear that Councillor Pugh has gone to the mainland and caught Government flight a private flight to Libya in the hope of taking over a recently vacant position. He was promised several gold bars every month and a house thrown in!
Happy April!


Well done, Simon and Sally.

Thoughts with everyone who have lost their jobs and their services today :(

Power Boat Race Cowes to Monaco 2014 plus coinciding Cabin Cruiser Rally at Cowes! And planning with expensive infra-structure. I note East Cowes mega Marina is still going ahead! Are we ALL in it together? Answers on a post card please to No 10. The Council Closures are but pence in the scheme of things; mean mean mean. It won’t be forgotten. It has changed many peoples… Read more »
someone else

Sad Sad Sad day indeed, i feel for all those people who no longer have employment i know exactly what they will be going through as it is 2 years almost to the day, i and 500 others found out we were having this same fate (Vestas). Pugh and Co. flushing this beautiful Island down the toilet. Thanks so much!!


I didn’t think he could do that- he closed most of them!

someone else

good point!!

James P

I’m sure the salaries of the twelve people who manned the tourist information centres will make all the difference! Penny wise and pound foolish – yet again.

BTW, I quite like the new colour scheme…

witchfinder general

Oh come on! It ain’t that bad, somebody has just got a well paid job in the department of ‘WELLBEING’

You could not make it up!


the black looks well cool…

Thanks to Simon & Sally for leading the way, I shall follow suit with a black arm band. At Ryde station yesterday there were some elderly visitors from Wales looking for a toilet, there faces dropped when they saw the sign saying ‘toilets closed’, and then lifted when someone directed them to one of the chosen few public ones that will remain open. I pity the distress… Read more »
Mrs Bookworm
Today is indeed a sad day for the Island. Shame on those who voted this sabotage of our services through – this will not be forgotten and as Rick says “”Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life” and hopefully at election time, you will regret this (not as much as us tho). On a lighter note, I hope that… Read more »
allan marsh

i like this in black much easier to read

allan marsh

can we keep it please ,or at least until we get rid of “brown pugh and the nasty smells” (good name for a group )


Loved the Mirror April Fool piece…a tax on fresh air.Although on reflection I woulsn’t put anything past this lot so perhaps it isn’t a joke after all.

Will the 37% who voted this rag bag of a government stand up and be counted? Or are they hiding in shame at the destruction they are instrumental in causing to our way of life.

A very sad day with worse to come. Pugh and Co remind me of a gang of vandals that are slowly wrecking this Island and Islanders lives. They seem to think power = arrogance and have no shame or show no regret. Pugh is brainwashed by Tory ideology and is just using this Island and his position as council leader as a springboard to become a future… Read more »

If Pugh ever gets nominated as a Parliamentary candidate anywhere in the UK, I for one will be offering my full support to his opponents of whatever colour and will pass on as much of his details as I’ve managed to save in a file marked “Stench Mk1”

His scheming ambition will probably fail just as it did at university. He might be smiling now with a smug grin over his face although nothing is certain in this life. If he doesn’t manage to be selected as a Tory candidate and then loses his Shanklin seat, poor old David will have to sign on at the Job Centre and join the people he is making… Read more »
Don Smith
Sorry to disappoint you Daveq, but if Mr Pugh is nominated he will get elected here on the IoW. That’s if AT is sent to the House of Lords, which I think he will be. This is Tory island, and with AT obtaining a majority of 10.000 [Helped by the postal votes and the old dears in the nursing homes] a Tory will be your next MP.… Read more »

Exactly my thoughts! Mr Pugh feels he is invincible in his rise to the top! But, inadequates like him (ie emotionally unintelligent people) invariably get their com-uppance! I will ensure too that wherever he goes his past misdemeanours will be known!

The dye has been cast & like the shade of VB today a dark cancerous shadow sits over the lungs of the Island’s economy – shaped like PFI. A scheme that many feel has influenced the decision to cut. I remarked yesterday that over the next 25yrs different national governments will take differing views on PFI – it appears from the local governement lawyer website, this current… Read more »
I also applaud the stand that Ventnor Blog has taken BUT have to ask what happened to the tourist industry? Ten years ago it was a strong and organised lobby that the Council would not dare to treat with such distain. What on Earth has changed in such a relatively short time? Tourism is the only sustainable economy that the Island has got and it could provide… Read more »
adrian nicholas
one has to remember that on the mainland, many senior coalition members, their private corporate sonsors like avia and axa, private outsourcing companies like G4S,etc and many non-dom tax avoidance companies and coalition personal family banking and ‘trust’ fund interests will be making money from the ostensensible ‘cuts’ -even though as in health, the longer term public cost and will year on year increase by the consequences… Read more »
I am not happy with the cuts the Council has made. However as I have pointed out previously every Council in England has had to go through this process irrespective of the political party in charge. Lady Eaton of the LGA(a Tory I believe) has pointed out that the Government’s front loading of the cuts has been a problem for all Councils. I have to say that… Read more »
Nobody here is stupid enough to not be aware some cuts are going to happen…but this cowboy council has used the cuts to hide its own generated £9million deficit..hense the rise in the cuts from £8million from the government to £17million to include this diabolical councils defecit. Why should we carry the can for this councils inability to do its job…PFI is to cover its lack of… Read more »

If they hadn’t spent £7m on “preparing” for PFI (including paying JJ on an unbelievably lavish scale) and had saved another £2m on high-priced consultants, then the £9m deficit wouldn’t have been there and the reductions in funding could have been weathered.

Steve Goodman
The word cut is certainly in the minds of many just now. As for our “slow death” putting off visitors, we will continue to have the sea & some sun, but beyond that I’m not sure what can be guaranteed. Maybe our council could use some of our plentiful money to pay consultants for several years to devise a scheme to get contractors to pay minimum wages… Read more »
I don’t believe anyone is arguing about the debt, however that is not problem, it’s the deficit. The UK is running a massive structural deficit, enlarging everyday. This means the UK is borrowing money just to run everyday expenditure. Additionally it is also worth bearing in mind that what is missing from the statistics are the limited options available to any leadership of this country, namely the… Read more »
Sailor Sam
It seems to me that certain organisations still appear to manage to ‘survive’ the cuts and even see them as an opportunity. Closing the council TICs (possibly one of the few services that the council can be given credit for) will no doubt have a knock on affect to their suppliers who provided the many books, cards, DVDs gifts and souvinirs which were sold through the TICs.… Read more »
Its very sad to think that this Island, this Tory stronghold can’t acknowledge the great things the Labour party has done in its time in Government, and recognising the fact that Gordon Brown (for all his public unpopularity demonised by most of the media) that we were going through a WORLD WIDE financial crisis. Instead of blaming him personally and the Labour party for our situation we… Read more »
hazel wyld
I have been told that the so called service which will run from the bus depot at Yarmouth actually is manned by the bus drivers who do the school runs so will be missing half the morning and half the afternoon, sadly tourst office about to close at Yarmouth was packed with bewildered visitors…we may not feel the pinch this year but by next year I expect… Read more »

Can this Tory council be so stupid they are prepared to cut off the hand that feeds them? If they end up destroying tourism, the future economy of the Island looks very bleak.

Just been to Ryde – the TIC is locked of course. Over at the bus station the Southern Vectis information office is also locked, with ladder and paint pots inside. Lots of visitors off the ferry milling about – the guy in the railway ticket office is going his best to point them where they want to go, but hasn’t got any street maps. Noce co-ordination IWV/SV… Read more »
Political Historians have a rich harvest of data on how a once great manufacturing nation over 50 years os so has been brought to its knees by the ‘Establishment’. It’s quite easy really: First play to snob appeal; the Unions are working class and hold the country to ransome. Scargill walked into the trap of not holding a second ballot for the Miners strike which by the… Read more »
Many people only have the state pension to rely on Billie, private pension funds may have ended up being taxed by Gordon Brown but some of those ‘private’ pension funds have been used to support unethical businesses around the world, and the public only seems to care when it effects them e.g. their p.pension gets cut. At least when things are state owned there is more accountability.… Read more »

The Government relies on Banking and Industry returns to ‘pay it’s way’ and fund state pensions, health, social services, defence etc.

Pension Providers invest in Government Bonds and the same Stock Market that Government relies on for it’s returns.

I wouldn’t uphold recent UK Governments as whiter than white.

Steve Goodman
Some observations: I’m currently unable to call to mind any whiter than white gov’t, here or abroad. The gov’t relies on a lot more than banking & industry income; look at the whole taxation picture. Banks seem particularly good at tax avoidance, & we’ve seen how good they are at failing except when we are made to rescue them. There seems not to be much industry remaining… Read more »
Gary Mills

RESPECT to Sally and Simon for this very apt and sympathetic April fools day effort. The ‘Council Press’on the other hand, published the article “Please be seated for new library service” (p2 Weekender). What poor taste, when the library staff will virtually be halved in the next 2 weeks.

LETTER to Mr. CAMERON (re-THE BIG SOCIETY) follows: Date sent: 27 February 2011 Response: About 3 weeks later a ‘thank-you card’ saying the letter had been sent to the relevant department to answer! Conclusion: Mr Cameron has little interest in the ‘BIG SOCIETY’, it’s all a Conservative Con. Bourne out by our own MP’s clear disinterest in the plight of vulnerable and elderly Islanders. A great personal… Read more »
witchfinder general

The BIG SOCIETY meet in the House of Commons cafeteria, where they pig out on subsidised meals paid for by the starving tax payers, then sit back at their tables and puff a nice fat cigar where it it is still legal to smoke at the table.

Just have a look at Eric Pickles a prime example of the BIG SOCIETY.

Billie in reply to your comment about making out the Labour party have been whiter than white, I would like to say I’m not a member of the Labour party nor ever have been, nor would I be ashamed of being a member if I were, I was simply telling it as I see it. Also a number of things Labour did in Government I disagreed with… Read more »
adrian nicholas
in the upcoming legal review of superinjuctions, there was a statement to the effect that banking and financial investment information would still be except from FOI & to parliament even if deemed of public interest(see observer yesterday-business pages of main section). So much for transparency in banking and rights for public information in the sector that accounts for approx. 2/3rd of our financial services sector of economy… Read more »
adrian nicholas
Since NHS St.Mary’s PCT is also facing 600 job losses and an uncertain future by the corresponding Lansley Health Reforms.I would also cite the following story as an indication of the commensurat effect of health service cuts and changes to Islanders. Quite recently, the husband of an iow solicitor had a heart ‘tremor’ -not a full coronary episode, but very serious nontheless- during a holiday cruise. Fortunately,… Read more »
Lots of good stuff; info and personal stories. But really this needs to be sent to MP, Ministers, PM even. No they won’t read it, but at least it will be registered and counted on the computer. If sufficient comments arrive somebody jusy might think something needs to be done! It’s worth a try. Those of us on VB are only too aware of the problems. Governments… Read more »