There are lots of things buzzing in Ryde along with the bees in the blooming array of Ryde flowers. Ryde has a packed programme of events such as Mardi Gras, Armed Forces Day, Ryde Carnivals, IW Pride, Classic Cars, Scooter Rally, Beach Sports Festival, South Island Sevens and much more. Although, certain businesses have closed such as three banks in the Town, new businesses are popping up all the time. A new art gallery has just opened on Union Street. Ryde Business Association has had a change of personnel and there is an exciting group of local business owners putting energy and vitalisation in the Town. Building work has started on St. Thomas’s Church for it to become Ryde youth and community centre. Ryde has incredible community spirit and this came out at local Coronation events and voluntary action whether litter picking on the beaches and town centre or working with Haylands Farm/IW Mencap planting out in Co-op square. I am so proud of the Town and its community. I love Ryde.
Very Sad death of Victor Galluci, founder of Classic Car Extravaganza!
I was devastated to hear about the sad death of Vic Galluci. Vic was the founder and organiser of Ryde and IW Classic Car Extravaganza. He was a retired actor and closely associated with TV’s The Bill and had many parts on TV and films including being a lead Stormtrooper in the first Star Wars Trilogy. Vic’s real love was his annual Isle of Wight classic car extravaganza he has been running every September for the last two decades. He knew everyone in the classic car world and was determined to make the annual event the top event in the UK. I had weekly contact with him even the week before his sad death. Ryde Town Council and I are committed to make sure the event not only continues in 2023 but it is rebranded as the Victor Galluci’s IW classic car extravaganza!. He raised £1000s annual for local charities and will be very sadly missed; as he said the “show must go on” and Ryde will see the event continue. In 2022, Ryde Town Council awarded Vic with an “Outstanding Contribution to Ryde” award. We will miss you, Vic!
West Acre Park – Residents now seek Judicial Review!
On the 24th April 2023, IW Planning Committee met and approved again the planning application to build 470 houses on Westridge Farm site in my ward, Ryde Appley and Elmfield. The vote was 6 for approval and 5 against. Again this was a controversial decision and clear errors of process were made. On the 4th May, there was a residents’ meeting and residents voted unanimously to continue with their crowdfunded campaign to bring this case in front of a judge and seek judicial review.
Ryde Community Development Trust to support local initiatives!
The Ryde Community Development Trust was fully launched on May 13th 2023 at a Ryde celebratory Mayor’s Gala dinner at Ryde School. I have recently been elected as Chair of the Trust. The charitable trust has been established to support community-led local initiatives that improve opportunities for all Ryde residents. The first planned projects include accessibility for all on Island beaches, an Olympic standard BMX/Skateboard/and Scooter Park on the Esplanade, a “World is My Oyster” travel across the Solent programme for talented young people to access competitions/training
Supporting raising awareness in rise in domestic abuse on Isle of Wight!
Statistics show that more and more domestic abuse is being reported to the Police and there needs to be more help and support for victims. I have also campaigned for many year for the perpetrators of domestic abuse have programmes to change behaviour and continually raise this issue. I fully support Wight Dash and had Dash as one of my main charities to raise funds for at my Mayor’s Fundraising Gala. Peter May came and did his heroic treadmill feats by doing 4 hours on his treadmill on high-heels. Peter has raised over £16,000 in the last 12 months for DASH and on the night raised over £800. He is incredible!
Standing down as Mayor after 4 years!
On May 15th 2023, I have now stood down as Mayor and Cllr Richard May (represents Ryde West) has been elected as Mayor. Richard was the Headmaster of Greenmount Primary School for nearly 30 years and will make an excellent Mayor. Cllr Jenna Sabine also stood down after 2 years as Deputy Mayor. Jo Elliott (represents Ryde South-East) was elected Deputy Mayor. Jo lives in Oakfield and works for University of Portsmouth. Richard and Jo will make a great team.
I will continue my monthly column in the Ryde Magazine as I am still a local RTC and IW Councillor up until 2025.