Just to add to Penelope Baker’s comments on food and water security in last week’s paper (CP 02-06-23).

On the Island, we have a good story to tell.

The Island has over 50 local food and drink suppliers. We have an exceptional range of locally produced meat, dairy, seafood, breads, porridge, fruit and vegetables.

By making more of the final product ourselves, we keep more of the profit and the money on the Island.

I very strongly recommend that Islanders buy local wherever possible rather than relying on supermarkets which aren’t always the best value.

My local grocers in Brighstone is a brilliant example of a village shop that supports local food suppliers; Calbourne Classics ice cream and yogurts, Briddlesford milk, Arreton Valley asparagus, Mary Case honey, Calbourne Mill porridge, steaks from Andrew Hodgson’s fabulous Isle of Wight meats, and Isle of Wight tomatoes, to name but a few.

Nationally, for foods that can be produced in the UK, we produce 74 per cent of what we consume - a figure that has been broadly stable for the past 20 years.

We are largely self-sufficient in wheat, most meats, eggs and some vegetables.

And in regards to Penelope’s points about water security, under the Government’s new national water plan and the ground-breaking Environment Act, the water firms will be investing about £2 billion a year, four times the amount they did when nationalised.

In the past two decades, water leaks have been reduced, the standard of drinking water increased and now a major national effort is going into reduced pollution doing into a rivers and seas.

In addition to Southern Water’s  project to reduce sewage discharges on the Island, the company is investing £31.4 million in maintaining water supply assets on the Island and £30.5 million in wastewater treatment.

I know a few people always prefer to think things are always getting worse, but in many ways the opposite is true.