In an unprecedented step, a group of Independent Councillors on the Isle of Wight have called for an urgent “State of the Island” debate.

It’s likely to take place at the next Full Council meeting on the 25th January. The group had wanted a separate meeting to discuss the matter.

Independent Group coordinator, former Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, Ian Stephens said: “Many Councillors realise that there is an urgent need for a wide-ranging public debate on the challenges facing the Island today. We had hoped that this debate would have warranted it’s own dedicated meeting to which residents and other stakeholders, such as Town and Parish Councils and charitable organisations, increasingly responsible for the provision of services, would have been invited. Sadly it has been decided that the debate should have the status of a motion to Full Council and therefore it cannot give residents and stakeholders an opportunity to voice an opinion or express their view”.

Councillor Stephens continued: “We really need to hear from the community. We want to ensure that their views can be fully aired at the Council debate, and to this end Independent Councillors will be holding a special meeting at the Riverside Centre on Saturday 21st January to which all groups and individuals are invited to give their views on the issues they see as being fundamental to the future prosperity and wellbeing of the Island and its residents. More details of this meeting will be made available early in the new year”.

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