News updates from Beacon’s regular East Wight council columnists:

News from Cllr Wayne Whittle

After the strong Easterly March winds, I asked the local Island Roads representative to get the sand removed that had blown in volume on to the Esplanade and North Walk. I know I go on, but this happens because there is far too much sand piled up on our beaches.
During these difficult times, we have had to drastically change the way we live and for those who read my monthly reports and because I can no longer sit on North Walk outside my business where everyone can find me, I want to share my contact details as the Town and County Cllr for Ryde North East: [email protected] or call me on 07768118766 or @RydeAbide on twitter or Wayne Whittle on Facebook.
My ward runs from Ryde Pier to Inshore Rescue (so most of the Esplanade and beaches) and goes South inland up Appley Lane and at the pier end up George Street and then right into Anglesea Street, then left into the High Street, then up to the Star Pub where it turns left, then all the way down Star Street and Park Road, right into West Hill Road up to the end at East Hill Road, then right into Appley Road, with left after the mini roundabout taking you back into Appley Lane.
If you encounter any problems, breakages, damage, or vandalism on the beaches or seafront, or have any local or personal issues whilst you live within my ward, do not hesitate to contact me.
If you need any local information on the Coronavirus and you have internet access, this is a good site: www.iowcoronavirus.co.uk.
There is also a vulnerable residents helpline open seven days a week, 9am til’ 5pm, call 01983 823600.
I spend most of my time between attending Skype online Council meetings and doing all those DIY jobs around the house I’ve been putting off for years, while staying at home with my wife and daughter.
Ryde Town Council working with Isle of Wight Council, Aspire Ryde and other organisations in the community has created a local support community, Hub for Ryde residents.
You can access:
          • Assistance for those in food poverty
          • Assistance for those struggling to obtain food or supplies
          • Assistance for those in vulnerable situations
          • Assistance for those experiencing difficulties with self-isolation
          • Advice and information from the Citizens Advice Bureau
          • Assistance with dog walking, post and prescription pick-ups
          • Mental Health support
          • Packed lunches are being distributed at Ryde ARCH, Upper High Street – to pupils of Ryde Academy registered for free school meals. You can come and collect them between 12pm and 2pm, Monday to Friday.
          • The Ryde Community HUB is linked to an Islandwide HUB and Helpline coordinated by Isle of Wight Community Action. This can be reached on (01983) 823600 and is available 9am – 5pm, seven days per week or 811105.
          • Alternatively, you can email [email protected]
Can everyone please keep in touch and check on their neighbours, young and old (even if its calling over the street or wall) whilst keeping your distance. Due to our confinement, there will be an inevitable rise in domestic violence and if you hear anyone in danger call 999. There is a support number for those in need at You First by calling 0800 234 6266 or email: [email protected]
There has also been an online site set up for those who cannot leave their house called ‘A to Z to Me’ where you can find local businesses that deliver food, medicines, meals and more, direct to your door at http://atoztome.com
The Isle of Wight Council has confirmed it is now in receipt of government grant support amounting to £62.8million to help qualifying Island business ratepayers during the coronavirus crisis. Only 50% of our small businesses have applied whilst writing this.
 
Three grants are available for businesses to claim, in these categories:
          • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all eligible business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
          • Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 and under.
          • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000
          • Businesses will need to check if they are eligible, providing the relevant details to ensure payment — which can be done via a form on the council’s website: www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice
Keep in, keep safe everyone and look after yourselves. Any problems or issues get in touch.

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News from Cllr Michael Murwill

Firstly, and most importantly I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. My April article was written before the impact and restrictions of the Coronavirus were fully known and how things have changed in such a short time; we are all now living in a much different manner.
This pandemic has been the largest challenge for the world, since the Second World War. It is a time to put political allegiances to one side and concentrate on what is best for the whole of the Island (and further). Key to this is the need to maintain our social distancing, be mindful of others and look after our neighbours, friends and strangers.
Despite the lockdown, where possible, Council matters still continue and I have been busy every day answering ward residents’ questions and queries regarding the Coronavirus and other matters. If you do have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me direct.
After the Prime Minister’s statement on 23rd March 2020, local communities throughout the Island came together to help those who are vulnerable. Over the last few weeks I have seen a community spirit that has not been seen for many years. Certainly within Bembridge, local businesses have worked together by providing home food delivery for those who needed it and there was tremendous support through Holy Trinity Church and by village volunteers to operate a helpline.
Such initiatives indicate that we are now all looking at our lives in a different way and going forward, both our social and business lives, will undoubtedly change. These changes can allow the opportunities for how day to day life can be improved and I hope that community groups continue to grow and be well supported in the future. The use of modern technology is growing, from family/friends to businesses using the internet to “meet”, to the use of drones for transporting medicines.
We have a tremendous group of heroes who are used to defending us from daily challenges: this list has certainly increased during the lockdown period and even the most experienced in their field are being tested. We must continue to show our gratitude by keeping safe and adhering to the Government guidance.
The Island’s domestic violence and abuse support provider has seen a 20% rise in calls during the coronavirus crisis. The Government has launched a public awareness campaign #YouAreNotAlone aims to reassure that, despite the Covid-19 lockdown, help is still available for anyone in this situation.
For more information on the Island’s domestic abuse support services, visit: www.iwight.com/domesticabuse
For those who need help, please telephone the Council Coronavirus helpline 01983 823 600 available 09:00–17:00, 7 days a week, or go to the Isle of Wight Council Coronavirus website, which also outlines the Government current restrictions:
www.iow.gov.uk/Council/OtherServices/Public-Health-Coronavirus-COVID-19/Advice1
I hope it won’t be too long before I see you, but in the meantime keep safe.
E mail: [email protected]
Councillor Michael Murwill
@cllrmurwill
Tel: 07754 463 040
Dates for meetings in May – at the current time meetings are not taking place. Please contact me for any further information.

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News from Cllr Charles Chapman

Dear readers of Ryde and the wider Island.

Firstly, a massive thank you to all those volunteers who helped me and many others at the beginning of our lockdown, please keep that work up, we need you now, even more so. Sadly on doctors orders I had to stop delivering and collecting locally. I am now finding other ways in which I can still contribute to our community without endangering myself or others. I have discovered that being on the end of a phone, supporting someone who is in life changing difficulties or more recently a couple over 80, one of whom has last stage cancer. They feel that they have to manage on their own, because and I quote, ‘they don’t wont to be a burden’, and feel that younger people should have priority. It has been more exhausting and frustrating than my many actives in delivering or collecting.

To move on and quote, ‘ this will pass!’ And we need to be ready for it. No going back to where we isolate our neighbours or ourselves. Where our maxim is to look after number one when number two, next door, needs help. Perhaps this pandemic has changed us all? Hopefully, to see the strengths in our society, create a new beginning, one where our children will thrive and older, less able people, previously often seen to be burden, will be included. Where we can develop new and more enlightened attitudes towards the young, people incarcerated, those suffering mental illness etc. Let us try and move towards a more ‘inclusive society’, where the bankers, lawyers, hedge fund managers, red tape enforces and money is no longer the ‘God’ and believe that they are in charge of making decisions for the rest of us, often without our consent or approval.

Moving on to more mundane but necessary information: although on hold we are planning to continue work within our Ward with Island Roads, as soon as possible. I have been assured that emergency repairs will continue. Should you need to: phone Island Roads. Dustbins and rubbish collections, together with our road cleaning services are still happening. Unsung heroes! Without whom our streets would be dirty and dangerous. A massive thank you!

Our police have been amazing, we are one of the few countries left in the world, who ‘police with consent’. That means that we all need to behave sensibly and remember that the police are only doing their job.

The ‘Arc’ and footpaths, within the Ward, are being kept open for your recommended exercise. Can I add here how brilliant it is to have such a marvellous amenity in our Ward and reaffirm my thanks to Sovereign Housing and the many other community groups who so busily cleared and made this area safe.

All that is left for me to add, from all members of my Ward, is the thanks to all the volunteers who have support ‘Aspire’, including the younger members of my own family; to local nursing homes ‘our unsung heroes ’; doctors and nursing staff; our marvellous local chemists and the clerical workers and cleaners who keep our society safe and who all too often remain unnoticed.

Many of you will have read by now of the help from the army. Our hospital has doubled almost ‘overnight’! Thank you and welcome to the Scots Guard, aiding our Island in a time of need.

This side of the Island has been fortunate. Keeping a reduced ferry service but family of my constituents have contacted me about the sudden closures of Yarmouth to Lymington ferry route which they have needed for work, including many ‘essential workers’.

Lastly keep smiling and keep safe and trust that you made the best of Easter?