I live in Gurnard, and the local candidate for the Conservatives, who is standing for election to the IW Council to represent this area, has been mailing out election material.

The flyers contain a personal attack on the independent member of the council who has valiantly represented this area for many years.

The attack claims that this councillor in question has done little for the area and makes a snide suggestion that he is not even local.

I have never been involved in local politics but I feel that I have to defend our hard-working councillor, Paul Fuller.

Firstly, he was born in Gurnard into a family who have lived on the Island for several generations; he attended school here and has lived in the area all his life, currently being resident in Northwood.

He travels around the area by bus, thus making many more acquaintances than if he just drove around in a car.

He holds weekly surgeries in the village and, to my knowledge, has never refused to help any resident who has approached him, and has always fought for the interests of the people he was elected to represent.

He makes many in-person calls, and I imagine that he knows a large proportion of the people in the village.

When the IW Council first mooted the idea of charging for parking on the seafront, he was extremely active in opposing this, and has continued to negotiate for some mitigation.

(The election flyer I mentioned infers that he just "gave up".)

All-in-all, he has dedicated a large proportion of his life to helping his local community, both on the county level and the parish level.

The political party who sent out this election material is trying to infer that a party member would have more clout in council.

However, I have always felt that, in local government, it is far better to have someone whose first priority is the people they are supposed to represent, rather than someone whose first loyalty will always be to their party.

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