Former Isle of Wight Council Chief Jonathan Bacon shares the news of this official launch of the Our Island political party. Ed
Our Island is a movement that seeks to create a new political ambition for the Isle of Wight. It is based solely on the interests of the Isle of Wight and its people.
It will be promoted and produced by committed people working in a collaborative partnership. We are tired of the internal struggles between the political parties that have plagued the island and its council for so long and we want to make changes.
We seek to bring together the voices of the entire community. With such unity of purpose, we hope to regain control of our island and guide our community. Not only to a better future, but to the better future that we want and that the island needs and deserves. By working together we can be so much stronger.
Key objectives of our island
Today we released our Key Goals, setting out how we hope to begin the process of improving the political system on the island, what should be changed and the initial improvements this will allow us to make.
Our Island supporter, Neil Blues, said:
“I have lived, worked and raised my family on the island for the past 35 years. It is a great place to live away from the politics of the island. During that time, I have kept a journal of many of the costly, taxpayer failures the Council and politicians have caused.
“It is time for a meaningful change for the well-being of all the inhabitants of our island.
A new style of local government
At the heart of Our Island’s proposals is the intention to bring real localism to politics and decision-making by following the lead of the Flatpack Democracy movement which started in Frome, Somerset and is now gaining ground in all the countries.
Our island supporter, Chris Locke, said:
“I have heard how successful this new style of local democracy has been for over five years in other cities across the UK. So I was delighted to learn that Our Island would seek to introduce it to the Isle of Wight.
“It offers a new style of local government where voters have more to say and where our advisers can truly represent us rather than being told to follow the party line dictated by London.”
Bacon: residents and businesses should be involved in decision-making
Our Island was created by former Isle of Wight Councilor Jonathan Bacon, who said:
“My previous board experience and my work in and with a number of parish and city councils has convinced me that we need to change the way things are done and the way things are organized on the Isle of Wight. My hope is to facilitate a movement that will unite those who believe things can and should be done better.
“We especially want to introduce new advisers and those who might have been previously discouraged from getting involved in politics by committing to changing the system so that it works for residents and not just politicians. We need innovative and creative people to help us move forward. Key to the goals and proposals of the movement is that residents and businesses should be engaged and involved in policy creation and decision making.
Takeover of Isle of Wight council in May election
Key to bringing about the fundamental change in island politics that Our Island sees necessary is the need to take control of the Isle of Wight Council in elections due in May 2021.
With this main objective, the movement is currently recruiting candidates to stand for election and is discussing future working agreements with other political groups who share the same views and goals.
Laurenson: Need to encourage and support new candidates to enter politics
Laura Laurenson, Our Island candidate for Newchurch, Havenstreet and Ashey said:
“The Island’s political system is not representative of our diverse community and the voices that make it up and that needs to change. I want to be part of a movement that is changing and giving voice to those who are not heard.
“As only 15% of the current councilors on the island are women, we must encourage and support new candidates to enter politics. Our current system is an exclusive club that must be dismantled and rebuilt for politics to become accessible to everyone on the island.
Warren: Think and work closely with the community
Phil Warren, Our Island candidate for Ventnor and St Lawrence said:
“I firmly believe that all opinions of the community must be invited, heard and considered before informed action can be taken on any issue, large or small, that affects them. This fundamental principle represents Localism in action and must be followed both locally and on an island scale.
“Just as individuals and communities are most effective when working together, if elected, I will help make these aspirations achievable by applying the principles of Our Island, thinking and working closely with the community and working closely with the community. ‘other like-minded advisers. “
Bacon: Appeal to future advisers of Notre Île
Jonathan Bacon added
“We cannot make change without sharing democratic control over the existing system. We already have several candidates like Phil and Laura in place but we are always looking for more people to come forward. If you would like to apply for Our Island, please contact us at [email protected]
“We want to make sure we have a diverse mix of candidates representing all aspects of the Island community. As such, we can offer support and advice on how to become a candidate and the campaigning process, as well as plenty of advice drawn from the practical experience supporters have gained over the years.
Where possible, Our Island will organize meetings across the island so that supporters and those who want to know more can come together in a social and friendly atmosphere.
In the meantime, we are more than happy to meet people in small groups (up to 4) to find out more about us. Please contact us through our website.
Image: simonhaytack under CC BY 2.0