ONE of the most familiar faces in Isle of Wight politics — long-standing councillor Reg Barry — is retiring.

He stepping down as ward councillor of Seaview and Nettlestone, it has been announced.

Cllr Barry, who is in his mid-Seventies, has been a member of the authority since 1993 has been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to the community of the Isle of Wight.

Liberal Democrats revealed the final four candidates putting themselves forward for the May 6 election.

Nick Stuart, chair of the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats, said: "With the 12 Liberal Democrat council candidates, and Richard Murphy as the candidate for police and crime commissioner, everyone on the Island has the opportunity to vote for a Liberal Democrat.

"The Island public has seen the Liberal Democrat councillors, Andrew Garratt and Reg Barry, show a professionalism in pushing for fairness and representing their voters.

"Holding the Conservatives to account for their many failures, unfair actions and inability to deal with Island issues.

"They demonstrate how Liberal Democrats can hold those in power to scrutiny and work towards an effective council for the whole population of the Island."

He said the Island owes Reg Barry a debt of gratitude for his 'long service and many achievements' as a councillor and mainstay of the local community.

He said: "As the link to the successful years of Liberal Democrat control of the Isle of Wight Council, he is a great example of public service and a reminder of how badly the Island has been served recently.

"With strong candidates and a new purpose, the Liberal Democrats look forward to seeing the current incompetent arrogant Conservative administration replaced."

The newly announced candidates are:

Julie Burridge for Osborne: Julie has a successful background in social care and education and is currently a Shared Lives Carer supporting adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs. She is keen to support her community to get much needed infrastructure, jobs training and community development, including fighting for an environmentally friendly future for Osborne, East Cowes and the Island.

Isle of Wight County Press: Julie BurridgeJulie Burridge

Patricia Packham for Fairlee and Whippingham: Patricia is a retired fruit packer and has lived in East Cowes for nearly ten years. She is a keen gardener, and artist and creates cards. Working with Beavers youth group she is keen to support the educational of children and job creation on the Island while preserving the environment of the Island from excessive development.

Isle of Wight County Press: Patricia Packham.Patricia Packham.

Steph Burgess for Cowes South and Northwood: Steph grew up on the Island, and now lives in Northwood. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, 14 of those on the Island. As a mum of two girls, and stepmum to one boy, she is passionate about what wider society can do to ensure young people get the best opportunities. In recent years she has fundraised for various cancer charities — she completed the London Marathon in 2018, and has organised charity balls at Northwood House. She is a life-long sailor and lover of beach-meandering, as well as being a – somewhat reluctant – runner she can be seen pounding local streets or out walking with her cockapoo.

Isle of Wight County Press: Steph Burgess.Steph Burgess.

Mike Locke for Totland and Colwell: Mike works in the internet industry and has been a Totland and Colwell resident since 2017. He is part of West Wight Social Club, West Wight Sports and Community Centre, the West Wight Help Hub, Friends of Freshwater Library, Feline Welfare and other local initiatives such as Beer and Buses. He believes that as the Island rebuilds after Covid-19 the benefits of recovery are available to all residents and to fight to keep the unique character of the Isle of Wight.

Isle of Wight County Press: Mike Locke.Mike Locke.

The County Press featured eight other Liberal Democrat candidates recently.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Isle of Wight candidates

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