From Mrs W. Wardrop, Cowes:

At an informal Isle of Wight Council (IWC) cabinet meeting with Cowes Town Council on January 10, IWC was asked, inter alia, why it had invested money in two sites in Manchester and Kent using money borrowed from the government and why it had not invested in Island property.

Within the response, the IWC deputy leader also explained there had been one opportunity only on the Island but it did not meet the investment criteria.

Of particular concern here is the fact this criteria had been set earlier by the IWC when agreeing the strategy.

Why and how can our elected councillors have so little faith or interest in the Island(ers) they represent that when agreeing a strategy criteria it is so low that their/our own Island does not qualify?

Do our elected representatives, therefore, consider the Island such a worthless and undeserving backwater?

Such lack of faith on our behalf does not give local voters any reason whatsoever to re-elect them into power in the next (still all too distant) election when it is hoped these decisions are not forgotten.

Two further issues are (a) the acquisition of the prison for £1 along with (b) Section 106 (S106) money for ‘affordable housing’ emanating from the IWC, permitted expensive housing developments springing up all over the Island.

Regarding a) The prison is ready-made accommodation of cells/bedrooms for homeless people acquired at a knockdown price. Will the IWC explain any reasons for such use not being seriously considered? If it is the usual “health and safety” reason trotted out time and again, is it really better to have people rough sleeping, especially at this time of year, instead of being housed?

If it is the running and/or cost thereof, are the many social services, including Red Cross, Salvation Army and many other volunteer forces, unable or unwilling to assist in any way? Alternatively, why cannot affordable housing money be used towards this extremely needy section of the community?

b) I had always understood in theory that development S106 contributions had to be for affordable housing. It seems I am possibly not up-to-date as to my amazement it appears that this money can be used for capital projects instead, such as enhancing a central open space in an Island town.

In no way does this resemble affordable housing except, very loosely, in that there are two benches within the proposed enhancement area providing any rough sleeper with future very nice improved surroundings along with the added convenience of nearby toilets.

With very little hope of response, can we please have some explanations from our elected representatives?