OUTGOING leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Dave Stewart, has used his last council report to list the achievements of the Conservative-led administration in the past year.

Following the polls earlier this month, Mr Stewart lost his seat on the council to Green candidate, Claire Critchison, by 240 votes.

With this shock result, the Island Conservatives lost the leader of their party — who has since been temporarily replaced by Cllr Steve Hastings — and the majority of the Isle of Wight Council, leaving the authority in a state of no overall control with no leader.

Mr Stewart was the leader of the council for four years, taking over from recently re-elected Cllr Jonathan Bacon who stood down in 2017.

At every full council meeting, the leader uses their report to update fellow councillors and the public on what they have done or what has been achieved since their last meeting.

Ahead of the first full council meeting since the elections next week, Mr Stewart provided his last report full of the 'Conservatives achievements' with praise for council officers, staff and all those involved in the Covid response on the Island.

The achievements listed by Mr Stewart in 2020/21 included investments in:

  • Venture Quays
  • Branstone Farm for affordable homes and a rural business centre
  • Investment to secure the last leg of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September 2022
  • Permanent provisions for the homeless
  • Island Line
  • St Mary's Junction
  • Prison estate infrastructure
  • Yarmouth Primary's newly built school in Freshwater

Mr Stewart also said financial stability, through five lawful and balanced budgets, was one of the achievements.

The greatest achievement of the Conservative-led administration, however, Mr Stewart said, was the support provided to and within the community during the pandemic.

Finishing his report, Mr Stewart said: "I wish all new councillors well and hope to see the Island go from strength to strength building on the solid foundation the Conservative Led Administration has provided."

Decisions about who will lead the Isle of Wight Council, who forms the cabinet and if a party will take a majority are all set to be made at the meeting next Wednesday, May 26.