The Isle of Wight Council's lead for education and corporate services, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, is to represent the Island at the third Islands Forum, which takes place in Scotland, on Monday and Tuesday.

Cllr Bacon, who is newly appointed to his role, will be at the event, which is being held on the Isle of Lewis and which will be chaired by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove.

This time, the forum will focus on connectivity, recognising the importance of physical and digital connectivity for islands, particularly those which, like the Isle of Wight, have no fixed links to the mainland.

October’s forum follows similar gatherings in Orkney in September 2022 and on the Isle of Wight in May, where members agreed to collaborate further on net zero and skills.

Michael Gove, speaking to the County Press on the Isle of Wight, in May

In May, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said he was confident progress had been made on the two day visit, taking in CECAMM in Whippingham and Wight Shipyard in East Cowes.

Meanwhile, former leader, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, told the County Press at the time: "I had to make the most of the time I had with him so he understood [the challenges]. We cannot survive if we do not have some form of funding. I think I probably said it to him 56 times during the two hour conversation.

"Just to make sure he doesn't forget, I sneaked a little postcard in his bag reminding him the number one thing he has to do was to get me millions [of pounds]."

Ahead of this upcoming October meeting, Michael Gove MP, said: "The Islands Forum is a significant bi-annual event bringing together island communities who contribute so much to the UK.

"The first two forums in Orkney and the Isle of Wight clearly demonstrated the strong appetite for us to all work together to benefit communities. I look forward to meeting again on the Isle of Lewis, to discuss connectivity, reflecting the physical and digital connectivity challenges islands face."