Isle of Wight community leaders are reacting to news that a multi-million pounds deal has been agreed, which will see the Isle of Wight Council take on the deteriorating Parkhust estate in Newport.

The true figure of the one-off payment from the MOJ has not been released, however - discussions were held in private earlier this month and neogiations had been ongoing.

Concerns had been raised that it might not be enough to future-proof the maintenance of the prison estate, as it is not included in the Island Roads PFI contract.

Now, members of the Island's community are reacting to today's (Thursday's) news.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Calling for more detail on which roads would be upgraded - and when - Parkhurst ward councillor (and May 6 candidate) Andrew Garratt said he was pleased a deal had been agreed.

The Liberal Democrat said: "Since my election in 2017, I have worked with residents to lobby the Ministry of Justice, as the estates had deteriorated for over twenty years.

"For example, in some roads, no streetlights work and there are bad potholes in many roads and pavements.

"We had made some progress in lobbying the MOJ - a number of streetlights were repaired and replaced last year.

"I am very pleased that discussions between the Ministry of Justice and the council has led to this agreement as, hopefully, it will take things to a new level.

"Residents will be keen to hear from the council as to which roads and areas are affected.

"I hope the council will be able to do that speedily, but I recognise that they may still have to do some work to confirm the details.

Cllr Garratt has also called for community involvement to allow residents to be involved in decision-making about where the improvements will be made.

Conservative local election candidate for Parkhurst and Hunnyhill, Cara Lock, said: "This is of critical importance for people living in the Parkhurst area and I am therefore delighted that the go ahead has now been given.

"From the perspective of local residents, this is the first important step in a longer-term process.

"I appreciate that this decision does not resolve all of the issues – and there are some roads which are partly in the ownership of some residents – but these are the details which need to be worked through, as we work to ensure that the extent of the benefit to the local area is maximised."

Isle of Wight County Press: Our Island leader Jonathan Bacon said: "This is a politically controversial matter.

"There seems to be too little information available to make a proper judgment on the deal that has been reached but serious questions exist as to what will happen if the infrastructure in question is not part of the Highway system that Island Roads supports and maintains.

"The contract is due to last for another 13 years.

"What will happen if problems arise after the initial promised investment?

"Unfortunately this is is not the sort of debate that can be sensibly pursued during an election period, so it appears that this announcement is being made purely to earn political capital at this moment in time rather than having proper regard to the long term implications."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Green candidate Joe Lever (Carisbrooke and Gunville) said: "A 'major win' would be securing the future of the Camp Hill site as affordable housing for hundreds of islanders.

"A 'major win' would be the council running a cross-Solent ferry service at minimum cost for essential journeys for islanders.

"A 'major win' would be the promised £7 million "Island Deal," which our MP and Council Leader said that we would be receiving years ago - and still no sign.

"A 'major win' would be business rates relief for all high street premises, to encourage regeneration in our forgotten Island towns.

"This Parkhurst estate deal is welcome, but it is not a “major win”.

"Labelling it as such shows a lack of ambition for the Isle of Wight. I’m confident Islanders will agree when they go to the ballot box on May 6."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Richard Quigley for Island Labout said: “We welcome any inward investment to the Island, I think all residents would agree that’s a good thing.

"However, the Island Conservatives are big on fanfare and small on detail.

"No agreement has been made about ongoing costs, which with this council’s track record, is something we should all be concerned about.

"The outline plans are also short on detail.

"Let’s hope they can do a better job than the botched investments in warehousing in the North of England.

"I also notice our MP welcomes the decision, I assume because it deflects from his lack of delivery on the Island deal he promised over 18 months ago. 

"The Island needs a consistent and structured approach to investment, Island Labour wants to spend more of the council budget with Island companies, creating real community wealth, rather than waiting for piecemeal handouts from government and elsewhere. 

"This investment is needed year after year and not just when an election is on the horizon, much like their government in Westminster, they treat the electorate as mugs.

"The Island deserves better than the continual reduction in services on one hand, yet the promise of ‘jam tomorrow’ on the other."

Isle of Wight County Press:

For the Vectis Party, Daryll Pitcher said: "Clearly any investment in infrastructure for the residents of the prison estate is welcome. 

"However the devil will be in the detail regarding long-term investment and maintenance. 

"Generally developers who wish their roads to be adopted need to provide the finance for such for the duration of the roads PFI contract. This doesn’t seem to be the case here. 

"It would be a terrible let down if there was a burst of investment followed by years of neglect due to insufficient allocation of resources. 

"The Conservatives should come clean and at least explain how ongoing maintenance is to be funded."

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Isle of Wight Green Party: “Without a fully costed repair strategy any figure is meaningless, as it may well fall far short of the amount required to bring the roads up to scratch.

"Again it appears a central government 'deal' has arrived on the table just before the Island heads to the polls, and we are not sure that Islanders will be falling for that line again.

“The Isle of Wight Green Party would like to see a fully thought through, imaginative, and sustainable upgrade of these roads with provision for biodiverse verges and protection for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and walkers. This announcement is desperately short on detail.

“Time will tell if Dave Stewart has indeed landed the Island a “big win” or just another big problem.”

Isle of Wight County Press:

Our Island: "A figure does not mean a great deal without knowing about the terms and conditions attached.

"As things stand it looks as if this is £6.3million heading directly to Island Roads for the next 13 years that they remain in control of our road system.

"At least we got something but, as with all these situations where we are told money has come to the Island, we need to know more details before we can work out if this is a good deal or whether the work that will need to be done is going to end up costing far more and draining resources from elsewhere."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Island Independents Group: “There needs to be greater detail and transparency regarding the ring-fencing of this funding.

"How was this figure arrived at and will any overspend have to be made up from IOW Council taxpayers’ money? Is the contract going out to tender and will the awarding of the contract follow due process or be hidden behind “commercial sensitivity”? Will there be any tangible public consultation to identify a priority programme for the remedial works?

"The answers will not come until after the election."

Note: This story will continue to be updated with reaction.