From Jonathan Bacon, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet Member for environment, heritage and waste

I read the letter (CP, 23-07-21) from Cllr Adrian Whittaker about the assistance the IW Council has offered in the coming weeks to help keep our busy seafront areas tidy and attractive.

I had to read his views in the County Press as he did not communicate with me or any of my fellow councillors to air his views or, importantly to ask for any information about the proposed assistance,.

When the new Alliance administration took office we found there was some government money available for a limited period and subject to various restrictions.

A quick decision had to be made as to whether to accept it, which we did. The money comes from the ‘Welcome Back Fund’. It is a temporary fund only supporting temporary measures. I am surprised Cllr Whittaker does not know more about it as similar offers have been made to Parish and Town Councils.

Read more: How the County Press reported the announcement of the Welcome Back Fund

We have applied the money as best we can to help our tourist Island over what promises to be a very busy summer. We all know the benefits to the tourist trade also bring the problems of increased litter and damage to the environment.

What is being created is a monitoring service so that, if there are problems say with litter or maybe a blocked toilet, the right people can be notified to deal with it.

So, in addition to failing to understand what the money is available for, Cllr Whittaker has completely misinterpreted what is being offered.

However, if he is saying such assistance is not wanted in Lake and Shanklin, it can always be directed elsewhere.

I was much more impressed by an email I received from his fellow Shanklin town councillor, Mike Hailston, which included some positive ideas and suggestions about how to deal with the ongoing situation in respect of the Spa Site toilets in Shanklin. I am seeing if these can be advanced.

The aim of this administration is to help and support our tourist and hospitality economy that has suffered so much in recent months with whatever funds we can get our hands on.

With this in mind we welcome people getting in touch to discuss issues and offer solutions.

Doing so also allows explanation of what is possible and not possible.