Chris Locke, Ryde:

Second homes council tax increase could be a disaster for Island. 

As someone whose family can be traced to the Isle of Wight section of the Doomsday Book I think I have a right to comment on the proposal to double the council tax for second home owners.

I agree that those who only visit two or three times a year should pay more but those who spend much of the year here should be encouraged to stay for these reasons.

They don't use the GP services, hospital, dentists, schools and other council services but still pay full council tax.

They do however spend vast amounts of money renovating derelict buildings and support local restaurants, garages and shops etc. 

They also bring friends and family over who spend vast amounts of money on the Island each year.

If large numbers desert the Island, waiting lists for all the council services would increase, property prices will fall, revenue to the Island will drop so those introducing these council tax increases will shoot themselves in the foot. 

Surely it would be better to say that those whose properties are empty for say more than six months a year pay double council tax and those second home owners and families who spend more than six months a year should be encouraged to stay.

I hope the council have thought this through properly as if they have not there will be a lot of angry Island companies and traders who will lose valuable income.

Also there will be many angry Islanders who find the already stretched council services will be even more stretched and waiting lists even longer.