The Conservative leader on the Isle of Wight says the party might make a partial u-turn on its decision to introduce controversial parking charges on Gurnard seafront.

A 3,000 signature petition, set up by Adam Provis in 2020 and championed by Cowes West and Gurnard candidate (and incumbent Isle of Wight councillor) independent Paul Fuller, along with hundreds of objections, were received by the local authority.

However, at a meeting of leading Conservative cabinet members in January, the opposition to the plans was dismissed and the charges were given the green light.

Parking meters have not yet been installed and the County Press has been told the work is pencilled in for early summer.

Stopping short of guaranteeing that the plan would be scrapped, Cllr Dave Stewart said there could be a review of the decision.

He told the County Press that Conservative councillors would 'discuss with Gurnard Parish Council how the village can be supported, through a flexible approach, if at all possible.'

He also suggested that short-stay visits, to allow use of the seafront playground, might be a possibility, however both depend on the outcome of the election on May 6.

In January, Cllr Stewart backed the new charges, saying they would bring the area into line with others around the Island.

Conservative Ian Ward, incumbent cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said the charges were designed to achieve fairness and consistency.

In February, after the decision was made, Conservative local election candidate Tim Jeffreys, who is standing in Cowes West and Gurnard, set up a petition, calling for the Isle of Wight Council to reverse its decision.

After collecting 794 signatures, Mr Jeffreys wrote on Facebook: "As a result of the outstanding support for our petition...Cllr Dave Stewart and Cllr Ian Ward have both committed to a full review.

"It is highly unlikely that we will see any new parking charges for Princes Esplanade and Gurnard green this summer, as the initial plans have already been pushed back to at least June 2021.

"Hopefully not at all!"

Also standing in Cowes West and Gurnard is Labour candidate Josh Pointing.

In the 1990s, Councillor Fuller chaired a committee that threw out similar proposals - his grandfather and father helped build the promenade.

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