THE Isle of Wight must work together to get the Island Deal, is the message from County Hall.

In a motion submitted to the Isle of Wight full council by its leader Cllr Dave Stewart, he called for the support of strong local communities, town, parish and community councils and all councillors to help regenerate the Island by securing funding from the government.

Isle of Wight County Press: Cllr Stewart's motion.Cllr Stewart's motion.

Following the 'enormous impact' of the 'worst public health pandemic the world has faced' has had on the Island which 'drained the community, finances and our ambitions of the future' and exposed the Island's fragile economy, Cllr Stewart said the 'Island Deal', in whatever form it comes, was never going to be an easy achievement but is satisfied the government is working with the council to secure a deal.

Cllr Wayne Whittle, cabinet member for regeneration, said the Island was at a critical point in its future and the council needs to 'speak with one voice' to secure the support from government.

He said: "We need the recognition of our projects to restore, recover and regenerate our community. Our regeneration needs a financial leg up.

"The government's plans to secure levelling up funds apply to the Island just as much as any northern or midlands county and the funds they will shortly announce need to find their way across the Solent."

Indepedent Labour representative Cllr Geoff Brodie, for Newport East, brought forward amendments to the main motion which said the fragility of the Island's economy was exposed by the impact of '11 years of an austerity-obsessed Conservative government and four years of a Conservative council' as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Isle of Wight County Press: The amendment to Cllr Stewart's motion by Cllr Brodie.The amendment to Cllr Stewart's motion by Cllr Brodie.

Cllr Brodie said the motion was political posturing and he could not see any results of the money spent on regeneration in the last few years and asked what had actually happened.

He said: "The Island has lost nearly £100,000,000 in funding for the authority, which has taken down the local economy. And to be clapping yourselves on the back as if everything is fantastic is just a joke."

Cllr Brodie's amendment fell however, with 31 votes against, four for and three abstentions.

Cllr Michael Lilley said while he was uncomfortable with some of the wording in the main amendment, we needed to be passionate about creating jobs and bringing money and the only way to do that was by working across parties.

Cllr Reg Barry said if the Island was waiting for some money out of the government they would have given it by now, instead of another £50,000 for a survey.

Cllr Stewart's motion passed with 35 votes in favour, two against (Cllrs Brodie and Barry) and one abstention (Cllr Ian Stephens).