Is the council taking your wellbeing into account?

By Chris Cornford Nov 29, 2020

A councillor voted against her own motion during November’s full council meeting after it was changed to something she could not agree with. Newport councillor, Julie Jones-Evans, was asking the Isle of Wight Council to ‘put the wellbeing of residents at the heart of placemaking in our towns and villages’.

Cllr Dave Stewart, leader, proposed changing the motion to say the council ‘would continue to put the wellbeing of residents at the heart of placemaking’. He said while he agreed with Cllr Jones-Evans over the importance of wellbeing, the administration had already been taking the issue into account.

Cllr Jones-Evans said she could not accept the motion as she did not believe that was the case. She said: “There is no point in putting a motion forward to say we are doing very well. I don’t believe we are. If you add ‘continue to’, well then we will continue to do it poorly.”

Cllr Paul Fuller gave an example of the council ‘not thinking about people’s wellbeing’ with the proposed car parking charges along Gurnard Esplanade which could affect elderly residents who park on the seafront and go along for a flat walk. He said: “Local businesses are going to lose their livelihoods. They have already been kicked down by Covid-19 and we are now giving them a kick as well.

“The Isle of Wight Council does not seem to demonstrate to my community what they are trying to do locally to protect other people’s wellbeing by the decisions that they are [taking].”

The majority of councillors supported the amendment (24 to 15) and then passed the motion, with 31 votes in favour with eight against.

Those against included Cllrs Jones-Evans, John Howe, Karl Love, Geoff Brodie, Ian Stephens, Reg Barry, Andrew Garratt and Graham Perks.