Cabinet Connection – Lora Peacey-Wilcox, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council

By IW Feb 26, 2022

As I said in my leader’s address at the full council meeting on Wednesday, I always seek to remind people of the challenges we face. I prioritise the needs of our most vulnerable; those without homes, people in financial difficulty and people with mental and physical health issues. That aim and those priorities are shared by the Alliance group and those who support us.

I have been reminded in the last couple of weeks that there still seem to be people who think that the way to act in public life is to try and make their case by means of threats, bullying and intimidation, rather than by providing positive ideas and entering into productive discussion and collaboration, so as to work together to find solutions for our beautiful Island.

It is unfortunate that we seem to have gone down a road in many areas based on an adversarial approach, unpleasantness and conflict. We saw too much of this sort of behaviour in the election last year. Unfortunately there was more of this behaviour in the Council Chamber on Wednesday evening.
All one gets from such behaviour is wasted energy and bad feeling. It doesn’t take us forward and, indeed, it often sends us backwards.

Spending all one’s time just arguing ‘my side is better than yours’ achieves little. I will always consider the bigger picture. Trying to help and aiming to find solutions will always be my approach. That is also the approach the electorate seemed to be seeking last May.

Indeed, that is also what the Alliance administration sought to do in creating the budget that was passed on Wednesday evening. Some amendments were made but overall we were able to drive forward an agreed change of approach. We might not have been able to address everything people wanted in the budget, but we did our best to address what the Island needs. In doing so we have created a framework for great things to come and a break from the process of managing decline that we have seen in the last four years. The next year will be a very busy one.