It is hard to keep up with everything in the Ward and things I am involved in. Planning issues of Pennyfeathers and West Acre Park continue to dominate Ryde Appley and Elmfield and are long way off finding resolution and updates are below.
A good link/source to the many things I am involved in is On the Wight which keeps a record of Isle of Wight activities that my name pops up in – Michael Lilley (onthewight.com)
Appley Tower Restoration Project Commences
I have been campaigning for the restoration and re-opening of Appley Tower and the funding is fully in place and the project has officially started led by Natural Enterprise.
West Acre Park
On the 21st March 2023, after 20 months since the meeting of the 21st July 2021, the West Acre Park application came back to IW Planning Committee. It has now been deferred by the IW Planning Committee to its 25th April 2023 due to confusion, an error and the introduction of the word “entirety” by planning officers.
Pennyfeathers Reserved Planning Application came to IWC Planning Committee on 21s March 2022. The application for 900 houses is significant and time ran out at the meeting so it was deferred to a special meeting in two weeks’ time.
Campaign against Child Poverty!
In February, every year since 2016, I have raised the issue of child and food poverty on the Isle of Wight. I organise an annual pancake challenge to raise awareness about the issue and raise funds and put forward motions about reduction of child poverty at Ryde Town and Isle of Wight Council meetings. 2023 was now different and I raised £2000 for 4 local food projects which will be split between Aspire Ryde, Oakvale Foodshare, Ryde/IW Foodbank and Oakfield School Community Pantry. I put forward a motion to reduce child poverty (currently at 32% on IW) by 2028. I had put a similar motion in 2019 with reduction by 2025 but child poverty in fact increased.
Last days of Mayor!
I am still getting out as Mayor of Ryde but stepping down is getting closer which is on 15th May 2023 after 4 years. The photo above is me supporting local campaign hero, Peter May, on his mission to raise funds for reduction of domestic violence.
I am holding a Mayoral Fundraising Gala on Saturday 13th May at Ryde School to raise funds for the new Ryde Community Development Charitable Trust.
I have been Mayor of Ryde since May 2019 and after four years in post I will be standing down on the 15th May. One of my key aims during the last four years has been to make sure that residents were supported through the horrors of the Covid-19 pandemic and that residents, business and voluntary groups had a future.
My vision was to see a Town Council grow its infrastructure and work with all stakeholders to support Ryde’s most vulnerable as well as encourage our most creative and inspirational residents. I simply love Ryde and want to see it prosper and to celebrate its potential. The last four years have not been easy for any of us, especially for some of the poorest within the town. As a community we have come together and are fighting back. Ryde is vibrant and the future is looking good with more events, building improvements, new businesses, and many residents leading the way with positive and inspiring activities.
I have been working with several inspirational Ryde residents and Ryde Town Council in developing the Ryde Community Development Charitable Trust. The trust will be able to increase support and access funding not available to local authorities, enabling projects that tackle the reality of poverty and more importantly nurturing opportunities that support and empower our children and grandchildren.
The sad reality is 30% of the Ryde and IW population is aged over 65 (including myself) whilst only 18% are aged 18 & under.
Focusing on future generations is key and this is the theme of my fundraising event.