The Sixteenth Edition of our Bulletin
Here is the original PDF version
The Fifteenth Edition of our Bulletin
Here is the original PDF version
We have also received this guide for safe travel from Southern Vectis.
The Fourteenth Edition of our Bulletin
Here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
The Thirteenth Edition of our Bulletin
Here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
Please note that the next edition of the Bulletin will be on Wednesday July 15th.
Covid 19 response report from Ryde TC
A report from Ryde TC which we've been asked to circulate alongside our bulletin. Happy to oblige!!
IWALC Response to a Consultation

Here is a copy of the The Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils response to the NALC consultation for the Labour Party's programme post Covid 19.

Additionally, although not on a strictly COVID theme, is a copy of The decline of rural buses:A Joint Inquiry by the County APPG and CCN County APPG is the County All Party Parliamentary Group and CCN is the Coonty Councils Network. There are links in the document which will explain more.
The Twelfth Edition of our Bulletin

Here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
Please note that the next edition of the Bulletin will be on Wednesday July 1st
IWALC- members comments re visitors to the Island and second home owners

Read the comments here.
The Eleventh Edition of our Bulletin

Here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
The Return to School

The two documents attached should be self explanatory.

The first is a collection of responses to an email fron Cllr John Cirrone.
The Second is a collection of comments from members on the same subject.
The Tenth Edition of our Bulletin

The change of routine still has not resulted in any requests for a different version so here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
The Ninth edition of our Bulletin

The change of routine did not result in any requests for a different version so here is the original PDF version
If you need an HTML version please let me know at
The Eighth edition of our Bulletin

A change of routine brought about by other pressures on time here is the original PDF version
If you need the HTML version please let me know at

A ZOOM call for all IWALC members with Susie Sheldon, the Island’s Lord Lieutenant
has been arranged for 3pm on Thursday May 14th
Please let me know ASAP if you would like to join this call.

The next ZOOM call for all IWALC members with MP Bob Seely will be on Thursday May 21st at 4pm.
These have been very successful so please let me know if you like to join this call. (
The Seventh edition of our Bulletin

We are continuing to provide the Emergency Response Hub. We are, however, reviewing the longer-term need for such a service and its mode of operation. Meanwhile, our youth service, Network Ryde, is providing a virtual youth club, that is proving very popular and likely to be needed for some time.
We have decided to continue operating under delegated powers until September. The main reason for this is the difficulty of organising virtual meetings that all councillors and members of the public are able to attend. However, smaller, internal meetings are being held virtually. Since we were unable to hold our Annual Meeting, the existing office holders will remain in place until May 2021, unless challenged at the next Full Council meeting. Between now and September we will be reviewing all our activities in the light of the impact of Covid-19, including the recently adopted Ryde Place Plan.

Diana Conyers

All is well here, but we're going to listen to the Govt update this evening prior to starting the planning for a possible wind down. Overall we're very pleased - 94 volunteers to date and we are even sending our minibus to Ryde to take one of their patients to hospital tomorrow. Lots learnt, so I've been tasked with writing up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) so we (or our successors) can start it up again should/when we have the next emergency! The greatest lesson is the need for the Communities to have access to a dedicated minibus. As a PC we've been after one for years, but it has been difficult to justify it to some.
John Boileau Goad

All three Councils cancelled their April and May meetings. Very few Cllrs (and not the Clerk) have the equipment to be able to use Zoom (no camera/microphone, old software). It’s not caused any problems really and I am paying invoices on-line. Fingers crossed for June!
Mike Taplin

Everything is going well here, no problems so far and we are conducting our business by email.
Katie Riley

It’s been a very productive week for us. As of May 6th 475 people have asked for help, 427 people have volunteered to help and support, 396 people have been assisted with prescriptions, 30 people are receiving hot food deliveries, and 200 sets of scrubs and face masks plus 160 wash-bags have been made for local Care Homes. Although the Foodbank is closed, vouchers are still available for those in need. Please contact the Hub (752168) for details. If you have received a Government foof parcel which you don’t need, we can help to cancel future deliveries and help donate food to the Foodbank for those in crisis.

Everything in Shorwell is ticking over quietly. We are lucky here that everyone knows their neighbours and are happy to keep an eye on the less mobile. We have had some specific volunteers, but most needs have normally been sorted by friends & neighbours. The village shop has been excellent and has been arranging free deliveries and adapting it’s stock as necessary( now even having some plants & grow bags for those missing the garden centres). The PC has not had any specific issues to concern it, and has considered a Zoom meeting but deferred this at present. Have only had one planning application since lockdown which was dealt with via email, and I have been sending out updates to cover any invoices that need paying etc.
Michael Davies

Some thoughts about the current situation we find ourselves in…
……For me, is that you give thought every day how to keep you and your family safe the longer this Pandemic lock down goes on. I also think about the information we are given and the daily figures and how lucky we are not to be included in the statistics. The NHS staff and the Care Home staff have my on-going support and admiration as they carry on despite the danger, looking after the needs of others. I am sad about some of the circumstances when a relative can’t be with them when they are very ill or dying, and we are relying on someone else, who we may not know to fulfil our role, which is a big responsibility. I miss my children/grandchildren terribly as they are a great part of my life, but it’s a small price to pay as I want to get through this and be safe and well, and we have a duty as a responsible person not to spread the infection.
So, when this is over!? I wish I had a crystal ball! The work will begin for our government and all councils to rebuild all economies and the society. I don’t think it will ever be the same again as our outlook must change as we are not immortal, and we have a duty to leave this planet a better place for our children, grandchildren and for all mankind.
Finally, social distancing is an essential tool in keeping people safe and I respect that. However, we all have, in the future, a responsibility to rebuild the confidence in society to meet and enjoy the company of loved ones, friends and colleagues.
Peter J Whiteman

I found the app very easy to download but Dave has not been able to do it on his phone as it is not compatible - it's too old! Being in the senior generation I think we don't change our mobile phones just because a newer model has come out I had to replace a lost phone last year or I also would not be able to download. As the virus is supposed to be most dangerous for us seniors then I think phone usage and age of users on the island has not been taken into account. Perhaps this is a glitch that can be rectified before it rolls out to the rest of the country.
Sue Hardy

Easy to download, my phone is Android so needed location for Bluetooth, (not a problem for me). I did wonder why we have to have it working (Bluetooth) when we are at home? No one comes here except delivery people and we stay inside for the length of the delivery. It tells me I have to have it on for the app to work, but care workers are told to turn it off sometimes.
Liz Wills

It is impossible to download as my phone is not new enough! Apparently the Irish one, the Singapore one and many others work on any version of 'android'. The UK one will only work on issue 8 or later. So unless I go to a shop that's not open and buy a phone that I don't need or want, I am excluded from it.
John Graney

Very interesting session and it was good to hear him destroy some of the recent rumours about caravan and visitor numbers arriving on the Island. I would suggest that this is a regular session as it shortens the communication trail and allows us to get fast answers, even if he has to research the question.
John Boileau Goad

I find the meetings very good and certainly useful to raise issues or concerns directly with our MP especially in the situation we are in currently. I am surprised the attendance is not higher, but that may improve, I hope the meetings continue.
John Cirrone

I think somebody should be minuting the questions and answers so we get a hard copy of what was said.
Peter J Whiteman

It would be interesting to see what Island T&P council's comments' are on whether to have public conveniences open or not, and of course any advice from IWALC. Ours in Cowes are currently closed but this will be reviewed if lockdown arrangements are lifted/modified. Please share any information you are able to.
Kate Gibbs (Asst Town Clerk Cowes TC)

The decision to open a public toilet would rest with the individual Town and Parish Council. I don't have any guidance that I can share on this with you, but a common sense approach would appear to be: Keeping a public convenience open would allow the potential for spread of Covid19, due to numerous personal contacts with the surfaces, such as doors and taps and other items of sanitaryware. It would be difficult to practice social isolation in such confined spaces. My thoughts are that people shouldn't need to use public conveniences currently in respect of the Government lockdown request and that release from lockdown, whenever that is would require this question to be reconsidered by the Town and Parish Council. be reviewed if lockdown arrangements are lifted/modified. Please share any information you are able to.
Jayne Tyler (IWC)

That is the thinking that we had when we closed the toilets. The downside is for delivery drivers who need to be at various locations throughout the day and rely on public conveniences and of course those who have medical needs who may be doing their permitted exercise or essential shopping. Unfortunately we can't please everyone. We will review once lockdown is lifted / modified. be reviewed if lockdown arrangements are lifted/modified. Please share any information you are able to.
Kate Gibbs

People are going to be disadvantaged. However, delivery drivers are resourceful and after six weeks will have strategies to deal with this. I would hope that if were a major problem we would have had it flagged up before now. It is right that T&PCs show an awareness of the problem and look for solutions, but they are stuck with having to take a non-involvement position until more information comes.
Helena Hewston (Iwalc Chgair)


…and please, make sure you check out this totally random RUSSIAN video clip featuring our very own Mayor of Cowes TC, Lora…and her two dogs! (From 1 min 15 secs to 1 min 42 secs…just before the Queen!

Boris’s Address to the Nation
I’m sure you will all have seen our Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday evening. I want to reiterate that the steps outlined are by no means an end to the current lockdown. Here are the key points in case you missed them:

• You must continue to work from home if you can. Those who cannot work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.
• Avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.
• There will be new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure.
• If you go to work if possible do so by car or even better by walking or bicycle. But just as with workplaces, public transport operators will also be following COVID-secure standards.
• From this Wednesday, you can take more and unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. This means you can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.
• You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them.

We will hear more details about the Government’s plans this week but for now please all continue to stay home if you can, stay safe and continue to practise social distancing.

Contact Tracing and Testing
We have seen an excellent response in the number of downloads on the contact tracing app the Island is testing on behalf of the NHS and there is evidence to show that Islanders have been using it. The response so far has been amazing. Individuals, companies and organisations have really rallied round to support this project. I would like to thank everyone who has supported it so far and urge anyone who hasn’t to do so immediately.
The link is available here: It’s simple to install on your mobile phone. I want us all to get behind this new app and show our support for it.
We are doing this to protect life. This is an extra layer of protection for us. We can trace this virus on the IOW and protect Islanders by doing so, especially at-risk groups.
I want to reassure Islanders that this is not a lifting of lockdown. This first stage is about finding out where the virus is now. This is to protect the NHS and save life.
We are getting it first and we can help iron out any issues and help the tech people to refine it before it goes out to the rest of the country. The Island is at the forefront of ground-breaking innovation, as it has been many times before.
We have a critical role in leading our nation by using this new tech to defeat the virus. The more people use it, the more successful it will be. Working together we can help get the UK back on its feet. There may be glitches, but that’s the reason why it’s being tested here first. We can help shape the app and make it the best it can be. If you have any feedback about the app, please email me so that I can pass this on to the team developing this app or alternatively submit your feedback here:

Support for Businesses
I welcome the latest Government announcement of additional support for small businesses, including B&Bs that were previously outside the scope of existing support measures. The new discretionary fund announced last week, set aside up to £617 million for small businesses – an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.
Businesses that have been targeted for the new assistance include those in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities who will find out the exact amount they will receive this week.
I am pleased that the Government has listened to the needs of small businesses and in particular B&Bs who I know have been struggling.
I hope that Island B&Bs will feel supported through this difficult time by this new funding. I look forward to hearing from the IW Council about how they intend to distribute the money as and when they receive more details.
The announcement for additional support for small businesses follows the news of the Government’s £6.1 million fund - announced last week - to help high streets and town centres through the pandemic. More details for the two funds can be found here:
top up to local business grant funds scheme
and funding boost to help high streets and town centres
Bob Seely MP

(St Mary’s Church, Carisbrooke & St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe)
I'm sure that I was delighted as everyone else to hear that we might soon be able to start to leave the lockdown strategy and begin to return to normal. I have a number of wedding couples who are eagerly waiting to hear if their weddings can go ahead, and if so, in what form. (As the Diocese get advice and guidance on that, I will let you know.) However, I think we all still need to be aware that we cannot begin to rush madly into something that would precipitate a further lockdown - caution and 'staying alert' will still be needed. We are already being issued new guidance that clergy may start to return to their churches (but only with other members of the same household) to stream services, but this is not an offer that I intend to take up. I can pray just as easily at home, and why should I be able to enter the church building when no-one else can? If I was wanting to write a sermon, I'd remind us all of Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. However, as I'm not, I'll leave you instead with Proverbs 14:16 - One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

With the increase in Coronavirus related scams the National Cyber Security Centre has set up a phishing email for us to send our suspicious emails to.
Phishing emails may look like the real thing but are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords. The criminal’s goal is to convince you to click on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details).
If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to The message might be from a company you don’t normally receive communications from, or someone you do not know. You may just have a hunch. If you are suspicious, you should report it. If the emails link to malicious content they will be taken down or blocked so by forwarding these messages you are protecting the UK from emails scams and cybercrime.
Trading Standards are warning Island residents to be really cautious if looking for a new pet at the minute. While we are spending more time at home currently you might decide to take this time to introduce a new four legged friend to the family however please be careful. Scammers are exploiting this opportunity to con us out of thousands of pounds through fake online adverts for pets. Google searches for “buy a puppy” soared by 120% in the month after lockdown and “adopt a puppy” saw a rise of 133% in online searches. Reports of animal scams tripled in April to 524 across the UK and has seen 669 people lose a total of £282,686 after paying for pets they had seen advertised online but never received, and these are just the cases that have been reported to Action Fraud.
In some cases, fraudsters are using the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions not only to exploit victims for an initial payment, but to con them out of additional money by asking for the cost of insurance, vaccinations and delivery.
Sally Ash

Nothing major from us at the moment. The only thing worth saying is that we’re constantly reviewing the number of people using each route and journey and adding capacity if required. We’re awaiting an update from the DofT about what they’re expecting from public transport operators when lockdown starts to ease properly. I doubt we’ll get further clarification until later in the week.
We’re not sure what social distancing measures will be required on public transport, but if we do need to comply with the 2m rule, then it will reduce capacity of a double decker from 80 to 15. The single deckers we use on the Island would probably reduce to negligible numbers.

Richard Tyldesly

At Southern Water, we’re here to help during these difficult times.
Do you know about our Priority Services Register? It allows us to make sure we’re looking after those who need a little extra help – something that’s more important now than ever. For example, our register lets us know who to prioritise if our water or wastewater services fail.

You can register if you have:

• Physical or mental health challenges
• A medical conditions requiring a constant supply of water
• Difficulty communicating
• Reached pensionable age
• A child under the age of five
• Another reason you need a little help

How to register.

You can register yourself – or apply on behalf of others in your family. We’re particularly keen to register customers who are currently shielding.
Registration is straight forward. Simply complete the online form here: Register for the PSR today!
Stay home, protect the NHS and save live

The leader of the Isle of Wight Council has urged all Islanders to help turn the Island into a “beacon of light” at this time of need and help lead the nation out of the darkness of coronavirus. He said: “Make no mistake, this could be one of the most important days in the history of the Isle of Wight. We have been asked to lead on the development of this pioneering technology and with your support we can give a great response.
“I make this plea not as a politician but as a father, grandfather and proud Islander — please do what’s right for the health of your own families, for everyone you love, for our special Island community and for the nation. “By downloading this app, you are standing shoulder to shoulder with Britain’s leading scientists at the frontline of the coronavirus threat — an invisible enemy that has already claimed the lives of 35 Islanders. “This is our chance to make a difference in our own way that could help save the lives of millions. “There is so much about this Island that fills me with pride — but most of all I’m proud of you. Our tight-knit community has risen to this unprecedented challenge with courage and commitment.
"We have suffered loss and endured pain and hardship, but now we are ready to lead the fightback. “You have stayed at home, you have protected the NHS and all the key workers on the Island and you have saved lives, now I ask that you, please, do one more thing — download the app.
“Let us be the nation’s vanguard so that in years to come, Island schoolchildren will learn about the crucial role their community played in leading the nation out of this darkness and into the future.
"Now is our time so let’s seize the moment and show just what we can deliver — download the app and be part of history in the making."
Developed by the NHS with a team of world-leading scientists and doctors, the NHS COVID-19 app will play an important role in the fight against coronavirus.
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, the app will:

• anonymously warn other app users who have been near you;
• provide advice from the NHS on the right action to take to help stop the virus spreading further; and
• help you to get a swab test.

This is essential in allowing the country to stay one step ahead of the virus. Island MP Bob Seely added: "This is an important day for the Isle of Wight, and by extension, the start of a crucial journey for our country. It is evident that there is tremendous enthusiasm among fellow Islanders to play their part over the coming weeks in rolling-out this app. “This will not just help make us safer, but allow the Island to make a meaningful contribution to making the rest of the UK safer as well. I am proud that our community is rising to this challenge with such gusto. “I would ask Island residents to not just download the app but encourage neighbours, friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
“All of us should stay at home, install the app, improve the tech, protect the NHS and all key workers and save lives. The more people use it, the more successful it will be. Working together we can help get our country back on its feet.
“There may be glitches with the app, but that’s how we are going to help: by shaping the system before it rolls out nationwide. If you encounter any difficulties, please provide this feedback – and your ideas on how to improve it – so we can help get this right.
“The Island is at the forefront of this ground-breaking innovation, as it has been many times before. As the Health Secretary said — where the Isle of Wight goes, Britain will follow. Let’s do it.” Download the app at,

A managed re-opening of the Island’s household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs)
will begin this week. The arrangements will not be the same as normal opening.
In order to maintain effective social distancing measures, to protect our staff and visitors, the HWRCs (Lynnbottom and Afton Marsh) will limit the number of visitors within 30 minute periods. Visitors must book a slot online:
Residents will be able to book a time slot to go to the recycling centres (HWRCs) from Wednesday 6 May. Slots are available to book for up to four weeks in advance. Households will only be able to book one slot within a two-week period to ensure as many people who need to visit can do so.
There will be 10 slots available per half-hour at Lynbottom and five per half-hour at Afton Marsh. Lynbottom will re-open with this reduced capacity from Monday 11 May and Afton Marsh from Saturday 16 May 2020; booking slots will be available from 10am to 5pm.

There will also only be a limited number of items that can be taken to the HWRC:
• Garden waste
• Asbestos and plasterboard with a permit ONLY (plus booking slot).
• Waste electronics and electrical equipment (WEEE) no larger than an under-counter fridge.
• Batteries
• Wood (man Made and natural)
• Hard Plastics.

No general waste (non-recyclable/black bin), rubble, soil or DIY waste will be accepted on site. No vans, trailers or pickup trucks will be admitted in order to maintain flow of car-sized vehicle waste volumes only.
HWRC operatives will not be able to assist removal of waste from vehicles as they normally would, in order to maintain effective social distancing.
Natasha Dix, Strategic Manger for Waste said, “While people have been on lockdown, we appreciate that they may have focused on organising at home and may need to remove some excess items from their properties that they cannot store or that cannot be collected at the kerbside. “We are still operating bulky waste collections if people cannot or do not want to travel to the tip. There are also a limited number of green waste subscriptions available if people would like to sign up for a fortnightly kerbside collection of their garden waste.”

ISLAND ROADS is putting its full support behind the NHS’s Covid-19 app. The company has written to its 200-strong workforce encouraging them to download the app, and is also looking to promote the technology on its VMS signs that are currently displaying information on the St Mary’s roundabout scheme (as well as showing supportive messages for NHS staff and carers on Thursday evenings).
Island Roads is also keen to carry any advertising for the new app on its vehicle fleet which remains active as key workers continue their role in keeping the network clean, safe and moving for those who need to use it.
Stephen Ashman, Island Roads service director, said: “Islanders have been doing their bit by obeying the current restrictions, but this new app gives them the opportunity to really lead the way in fighting back against Covid-19.
“All our staff – around 200 people – live on the Island and I am absolutely sure they will be doing their bit for the local community and for the rest of the UK in making this trial a success.”

Important road safety work to improve skid resistance at key sites across the Island is to begin this week. The activity by Island Roads will be undertaken by crews of two who have undergone recent training to help them work in accordance with latest Government advice.
The work will involve laying new anti-skid, high-friction surfacing at around 30 sites including busy junctions, the approaches to pedestrian crossings, at roundabouts, bus lanes and at traffic signals. Work on the busiest locations will be done at night and while traffic lights will be used at some locations, in others it will be necessary to implement road closures. Information boards will be displayed at locations prior to work commencing.
Steve Ashman, Island Roads service director, said: “Although a large part of the population has been asked to stay at home recently, we have continued work to keep roads and surrounding areas safe and properly maintained so the key people who need to get to work, especially our NHS staff and emergency services, are able to do so without delay or increased road risk.
“Though resurfacing schemes have been on hold, we have continued to undertake important tasks such as repairing road defects, keeping the streets clean and bins emptied, cutting the grass so that it does not reduce visibility and keeping the traffic signals and street lights working.
“Making sure there is the required skid resistance at the necessary sites is also an important part of keeping the network safe.”
He added: “Our work falls within the construction sector where government advice is to continue with these activities. It is about balancing the need to maintain a safe network with our duty to protect our staff, their families and the wider community.
“We remain in conversations with the IW Council about resuming other highways improvement work in a way that complies with all Government guidelines and we hope to be giving more details of that work shortly.” The historic air raid warden’s shelter in Wellow has been refurbished by Island Roads in time for VE day. An Island Roads district responder team has made sure the structure on the Main Road, through Wellow, was clear of vegetation before being prepped and given a fresh coat of paint.
Dave Wallis, Island Roads operations and maintenance manager said: “It is certainly one of the more unusual features on the highway network, and we were pleased to have it looking in top condition in time for VE Day. “It is important that local historical features like this shelter are preserved, and it is nice that we have received some positive feedback from the local community.”
During the Second World War, one of the jobs of ARP Wardens was to monitor and report bomb damage after a Luftwaffe raid. A network of these shelters was established throughout the country and they were connected by telephone or messenger to higher command.
Today, as well as being used as a shelter from the elements, the hut is also used to display village notices and information.



I welcome today’s announcement about the Isle of Wight trialling the use of apps, testing and contact tracing. In conversations with Matt Hancock and Health Ministers recently and over the past few years, I have made the case for the Island piloting schemes, especially in ideas around telemedicine and the use of drones - to drive improvements in patient care.
I have always said that I will champion the Island getting pilot schemes to make sure we get the benefit of good ideas and new tech as soon as possible. My priority is to keep Islanders safe. I want us to be able to find and isolate the virus here and make our Island safe again. If that can happen first in the country, so much the better.
We need to find a way out of the current situation. We need to start planning. The Government is doing the right thing and I believe that this pilot will help make the Island as well as the UK safer. It’s important that we are clear what is happening. I want to reassure Islanders that this is not a lifting of lockdown. This first stage is about finding out where the virus is now. This is to protect the NHS and save life.

Nationally, the lockdown is not a trade-off between lives v. the economy; it is between saving life now versus saving life later. Cancers are at risk of going undetected and heart conditions untreated, whilst business bankruptcies will lead to stress and possibly a rise in suicides. Vulnerable children are in potentially unsafe homes longer and women suffering domestic violence at higher risk. Young people are missing their education. We need our economy to pay for our public services.
This pilot scheme is good news for the Island. We will be leading the country in terms of using the very latest tracking and testing technology to keep us safe and halt the spread of this wretched coronavirus. There may initially be some glitches in how this works but that’s point of a pilot scheme and our experience will help shape it to make it work for ourselves and the rest of the country. >We have a moral duty to protect life now - but we also need to protect life in future. This pilot scheme is an important stage of getting life back to normal in time and I am proud that the Island is leading the way. More news and information from Bob later


On behalf of the Island I am very pleased we can be the first place to use this new digital technology in the country. I have always been keen to ensure we keep our special community safe from the virus but at the same time explore ways to enable us to get back up on our feet and move forward from it. This scheme offers the tightly controlled approach we need to help us do just that. Widespread tracing and testing holds the key to this ambition and if we are able to help the country move forward then the Island will also have done its part in helping government in tackling this virus and re building our lives through safe social distancing when the time is right. I am sure Islanders will rise to the challenge and help avoid post lockdown spread of the virus and keep people as safe as possible.
The ambition of test and trace is to enable the UK to start to come out of some elements of lockdown. This will be a gradual process and our experts are considering how best to do this in a way that keeps citizens safe and protects our NHS.


The best part is that the medical centres are now, at last, on side and listening to us so our Social and Medical Liaison team has been able to direct the Medics and Social Services to those residents most in need. Up until the end of last week both Primary Care and the Social Services were keeping a very low profile and we were very much out on a limb, but now it seems some common sense has been allowed and our most needy residents are now receiving treatment. So far this week we will have undertaken 4 patient minibus shuttles between the hospital, homes and medical centres and in another case we’ve saved a pensioner from spending upwards of £60 on a taxi trip to another appointment.

The list of active volunteers from the Village and the Undercliff is standing at 84, divided into 4 differing teams, depending on skill levels. Fifty percent of the work is the immediate “operational” stuff, delivering food, prescriptions, patient travel, etc while the remaining activities, window cleaning, grass cutting, dog walking, phone a friend etc is undertaken by about 40 percent of the remaining volunteers, with the final tasks of running the Crab Community Swop Shop covered by another small team. The separate Social and Medical team is small and discreet and I am pretty confident that we have identified all the very high risk individuals and families in the area, (fingers crossed!), and the team is working with the various agencies to ensure the necessary support is provided in a timely manner.

Finally, on Friday (May 1st) we will be hosting our first CRAB Business Alliance (CRABBA) conference using Zoom to which all businesses from Chale, Niton and Whitwell have been invited. We intend to discover what common threads are running through the current financial stalemate and what will be the best way forward as the lock down is eased sometime in the future. By luck we have a couple of City Financiers in the Undercliff and they have agreed to join in and help, both for the CRABBA as a whole and also on a one to one basis. It is our intention to ensure that CRABBA continues after this emergency has died away.
Jon Boileau Goad

Update- the PC had its first experimental meeting using the Zoom application, great fun! So we propose to use it for our next official meeting.
Our villages seem to be coping well during this crisis. The only fly in the ointment is the ignorance of second-home owners in the village who are still visiting despite the new powers, and seem to be ignoring Dave Stewart’s pleas to self-isolate upon their arrival.
Sherlie Burridge

Most people in Havenstreet are keeping to the government’s social distancing rules. The recreation ground has been partially closed and the IW Council has advised that people should not drive there. The Community Centre is closed but the Parish Council have managed to re-purpose a disused bus shelter as a book-and- plant swap for local residents, and a space for notices. Repairs have been made and planters installed.

With the decline in car use there is much less traffic than usual, Havenstreet and the surrounding area has become a much pleasanter and less dangerous place for walkers, horse riders and cyclist taking daily exercise.
Mick Lyons

Fishbourne PC are holding their second zoom meeting next week. The first one went well apart from my broadband dropping just when one of the councillors was making a proposal! Chillerton and Gatcombe PC are using the email proposal system for any decisions and will re evaluate if necessary, particularly for AGAR purposes, if we are still in this position in June.
Maxine Warr

Ryde Town Council continues to provide various forms of support to local residents. The telephone support service for those experiencing stress or anxiety is now well underway. It is the first tier in a new Island-wide mental health support system and several referrals to higher tiers have already successfully been made.
Diana Conyers

More great work being carried out in West Wight….. Some numbers from there as of April 30th….462 people have asked for help or support, 313 people have volunteered their support, 374 people have been assisted with prescription delivery, 26 have registered for hot food deliveries and 38 households are making PPE. Cowes Enterprise College in addition are making more face shields.

Thanks got to Hursts of Freshwater who donated fifteen boxes of disposable gloves for volunteers to use.

Warren Farm have donated one of their fabulous beef boxes to be auctioned to raise funds for the Centre. The boxes contain a full selection of every cut of beef and would retail for £110 and they will deliver to anywhere in West Wight. This is a great opportunity to support West Wight Sports & Community Centre. The box will go to the highest bidder (with a reserve price to reach). Email your bids to: Please put your bid in by Friday May 8th
Thanks to Mick Lyons for once again representing IWALC at the

Much of what is discussed is not for circulation due to its nature, but Mick has been able to share these brief notes with us-
The suggestion of the IW being a pilot area for testing and tracking was discussed. Bob Seely said that this would be a good thing for the Island as it would reduce the rate of covid-19 infection. It is not linked to the easing of restrictions or an early lifting of the lockdown. A tracing App would become available. I asked about people, maybe elderly, that do not have smart phones. Cllr Mosdell said that there would also be a team of people doing the tracing and tracking. I also asked about the number of deaths outside hospitals in care homes and elsewhere. Cllr Mosdell said that the IW Council had these figures but she was not prepared to release them to the public as they were unreliable.
Age UK.
The Soup Kitchen was working with age UK to provide food for residents who lived on their own being released from hospital.
The ferry companies said they were doing their best to discourage the few people, such as some second home owners, coming to the IW on non-essential trips. If people know that this is happening in their area they can inform the police or Bob Seely and the police will pay them a visit.
It is with sadness that I have to let you know that Patrick Tobin sadly passed away last week. Patrick was one of our Executive Members and had been co-opted onto Fishbourne Parish Council in July 2017 and many of you will know him and no doubt agree with Fishbourne Parish Clerk, Maxine, that he was a lovely man. Our sympathies go to his wife, Margery and to his family.

Thanks to all of you who responded to Ryde Town Council’s Diana Conyers’ question about whether or not other Councils had closed their Public Toilets or kept them open. Some interesting and contrasting responses were received…thank you.

A reminder for you that the second Zoom meeting between IWALC and MP Bob Seely will be held on Thursday May 7th at 4pm. If you would like to be a part of this and haven’t already ‘registered’ with me, please email your name, your T or PC, your title and your preferred email address to me as soon as possible. Maurisa, will then send you an invitation with all the sign-in information needed to join the call. If you can’t be part of the call but have a question you would like to put to Bob, please email that to me as well as soon as possible, please.
And probably, during the following week IWALC hope to hold another Zoom meeting, this time with the Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon. More details will be circulated as soon as a day/date and time have been confirmed. In the meantime, please put some thoughts to any questions or worries you may have which you think have not been addressed, but which may fall within the power of the Lord Lieutenant to deal with. So many of our Town and Parish Councils were planning community celebrations to mark VE Day on May 8th and these have have to be drastically scaled down. Nevertheless, many of you are intending to mark the occasion at 3pm on Friday May 8th in small…. but innovative ways. Let us know how you have commemorated this day!

I expect you’ve read or seen reports of Thursday evening’s convoy of local business vehicles, led by George Jenkins once more, driving past St Mary’s Hospital at 8pm. It would be quicker to name the businesses who weren’t represented in this bid to raise funds for key workers, and down at the Hover terminal there was also a smaller but nonetheless just as important show of support.
Back to St Mary’s though which even in spite of current guidelines and advice on travel, attracted a large number of spectators, many of whom had obviously driven there specifically to watch the spectacle. To reduce the risks, people are being asked not to do this in future.
And finally… a few personal reflections on these strange times….
It is not unpleasant here in Havenstreet now that we seem to be getting regular Tesco deliveries. Walking and running are much more pleasant with the greatly reduced traffic through the village and there is a lot to do in the garden at this time of year, as long as the weather is fine. I got absolutely drenched walking to Ryde yesterday.
Mick Lyons

Lighthearted Look at Lockdown!
Actually I'm a bit miffed, I feel like I'm missing out - on missing out! Having worked at home on and off for 13 years there's no change there. I don't have my hair coloured or thread my eyebrows and I paint my own nails, so no panic there either. I'm no longer a party animal, having burnt myself out in the 80s, and Graham and I are a pair of ‘Billy-nomates' ….so not missing anything there.… We haven't been out for a meal or gone away since the beginning of December 2019, due to my jaw issues, so I got used to home catering a few months back. The only thing I could do with is a good haircut, but I'm sure there are a pair of scissors around the house that could do the job......!!
Maxine Warr
So…panic over! I managed to bag a wine kit, which is now merrily bubbling away in the corner of the kicthen though my wallet almost needed CPR and I actually wonder if I would have been better off waiting for the next Sotheby’s Fine Wines Auction??!!
It’s interesting to hear/read about your various experiences with Zoom. I hope none of you have had a similar experience to that of Welsh Minister, Vaughan Gething who was taking part in a virtual Welsh Assembly session, forgot to mute his microphone and then proceeded to say some quite uncomplimentary words about a colleague! Many of you are embracing and enjoying holding ‘virtual’ meetings… and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is enjoying seeing how other people live?
However, as someone who has spent the last decade or so with a post-it note folded over the laptop camera…. hmm….. I’m maybe not quite so eager to join in! Partly because it would probably mean I would need to be dressed, as opposed to being in my Star Trek onesie, but also because I can’t decide between Farrow & Ball’s ‘Broccoli Brown’, ‘Mouse’s Back’ or ‘Dead Salmon’ for the wall behind my desk….and ‘weighty tomes’ from ‘Books-by-the-Yard’ are out of stock so I either wait …or opt for ‘aga-sagas and bodice rippers.’ Next year I expect one of their best-sellers will be any number of variations on ‘1001 Things to do with Pasta!’

Here is some good news from our branch - we are excited to share that we are preparing to re-start animal adoptions under safe guidelines and directives as it relates to RSPCA policies and DEFRA guidelines. Please note that from today all available animals can be viewed ONLINE ONLY, our branch remains closed to the public. Please go ahead and view our wonderful cats and rabbits who require loving homes. We will be open for email and phone conversations from Monday May 4th at 10am.
Please note that given the incredible volume of applications we have received over recent weeks, and that we continue to operate with minimal staff, we will only be contacting those applications from households selected for immediate adoption. Also we do not have any dogs available for adoption at this time due to ongoing training programs, please keep checking our adoption page as this will change as dogs become available for adoption. All the information you need is contained in this URL link including animal match forms. Thank you all for your support during this crisis.
Suzanne Pugh
- Branch Manager
RSPCA - Isle of Wight Branch , Guardian to adopted Chocolate Labrador, Tarka
BOB SEELY, MP continued….
Vital transport links to the mainland for people living on the Isle of Wight (and the Isles of Scilly) have been safeguarded during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to an emergency package of up to £10.5 million, granted by the government. The funding will support the continuation of crucial passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight over the next 3 months. This deal will ensure supplies of essential food and medicine will continue, that urgent medical treatment can be accessed by those who need it and key workers can continue to come to St Mary’s and other sites.
I would like to reassure you that this does not mean that visitors will now be coming to the Island. It means that cross-Solent ferry operators can maintain a lifeline service which also meets the requests of the

IOW NHS Trust.
The Transport Secretary also committed to fast track the launch of a new trial using drones between the mainland and St Mary’s Hospital, helping ensure it is equipped to tackle the virus. I’m delighted this scheme has been fast-tracked by the Government. It follows many talks I’ve had with Government Ministers about pilot schemes that could benefit the Isle of Wight. I’m glad the Island can be part of this pioneering approach using new technology to improve quality of life and, potentially saves lives. The use of drones is just one element of this.

Bed and breakfast providers on the Island are struggling to access financial support from the Government - and I intend to do all I can to help them. B&Bs, who have been forced into closure, can’t currently access emergency Covid-19 grants intended for small hospitality businesses because they pay council tax – rather than business rates. I have been contacted by B&B owners on the Island who say they have been hit very hard by the current situation with Spring bookings cancelled and no idea when they will be able to reopen. Despite a plethora of financial packages of support for businesses coming through from the Treasury, it seems bed and breakfast providers may have fallen through the cracks and we must address this. With so many Island businesses dependant on the visitor economy, it is vitally important that B&Bs are not forgotten about and I will do all I can to ensure the Government is made aware of their plight. I will be raising the issue with Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston, and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to see what can be done.

Government Loans for Small Businesses
A new 100 per cent government-backed loan scheme for small businesses was announced by the Chancellor this week. The scheme - which allows businesses to borrow up to £50,000 - has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can access finance in a matter of days. The Government says not only will it provide lenders with a 100 per cent guarantee for the loan - and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months - but no repayments will be due during the first 12 months. I’m sure this scheme will be welcomed by many Island businesses. Support schemes like this will enable businesses to get back on track much more quickly. The more businesses we can help to bounce back from the effects of Covid-19, the more livelihoods we can save. I encourage all small business owners on the Island to consider how this scheme could help them to keep their business going through this challenging time. Businesses can apply through an online form available from Monday 4 May.

Government Grants for Seafood Industry A new £1 million grant scheme designed to increase the supply of local seafood during the Covid-19 pandemic has been announced by the Government this week. The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme is designed to help seafood businesses adapt to changes in their markets caused by Covid-19 by funding changes to their businesses and/or infrastructure that will help them to sell their products domestically.
The scheme can be used to assist the industry to set up local and regional distribution such as plant and equipment to help with local fish processing, or assets that can be shared at port such as storage and refrigerated vans. I welcome this support for our seafood businesses on the Island. Things have changed quickly for our local businesses in a very short space of time. This fund is there to help them adapt to those changes. I urge all businesses on the Island in the seafood industry to look at this funding pot to see if it can help them. I welcome any feedback. Applications for the new scheme, can be made here until 11 May:
As well as this financial support, qualifying seafood businesses may also qualify for other Government support. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has produced a guide to what is available:

Urban Trees Fund
Round 2 of the Government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund is open for individual applications and small tree planting. Applications are invited from small organisations or community groups who are looking to deliver small scale projects.
I invite any interested Islanders to see if they can use it to enhance our urban areas. It would be great to see new trees planted across the Island to improve the aesthetic appeal of our towns and to help remove pollution. The fund is open for applications up to 31 May 2020. More information on how to apply to the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, can be found here:
Bob Seely MP

There has been a 25% increase in people seeking to join Neighbourhood Watch Schemes. Now, more than ever, it is important that communities come together to support one another in these unprecedented times. Neighbourhood Watch is about making sure that no one has to feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated in the place where they live. It's about people looking out for each other, crossing barriers of age, race and background to create strong, cohesive communities that benefit everyone.
The community response during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has been amazing, with hundreds of individuals, groups and organisations coming forward on the ground, and through social media, to offer support. It’s great to see the community coming together to help each other in this way and in the words of our Neighbourhood Watch President 'crime doesn't flourish in communities that care.' Never has this been more important and there are many elderly and vulnerable people in our communities that will be be feeling particularly isolated, alone or struggling to support themselves currently that we need to look out for. We can all play a part in supporting our elderly, vulnerable and more isolated neighbours and family members.
Many support groups have been formed but as there is no way to validate some of these groups we would remind everyone to please exercise caution in sharing personal details with unknown people. You can find out if you have a scheme in your local area by visiting the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Neighbourhood Watch website: If you don't have a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street already why not consider using this time to set one up? If you’d like more information about starting one then please visit or email the Secretary at
We know many of you are already looking after each other in your community already and we know that the vast majority of our residents are complying with the current guidelines to help reduce the spread of the virus, to protect our NHS and help save lives. We are very grateful to you all for your support with this.
Dave Humphries
(Chief Inspector, Local Policing Delivery Unit) and (Police, Digital Communications Officer, Hampshire)

Still on ‘policing’ matters, can I take this opportunity to say ‘a huge thank you, congratulations on your retirement and wish you all the best for the future’ to West Wight's Neighbourhood Team stalwart, PC Tim Campany. Tim retired from the Police Force on April 30th after more than eighteen years with the Island’s force, following a similar length of time with the Army and then the Fire Brigade. Many of you will know him well and have massive respect for the quiet and calm way he has handled his duties and become a valued part of our communities.
In my own role as Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for Chillerton & Gatcombe, Tim’s support, help and advice over the last fifteen or so years has been invaluable. We wish him well and hope he has long and happy retirement! The Victim Care Service, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner and provided by Victim Support, has launched a new website to ensure anyone affected by crime in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton can access support and advice.
The website offers tips on how to protect yourself from different types of crime and advice on what to do if you experience them. It also includes a comprehensive database of organisations that can be searched by individuals and professionals looking to meet a specific support need. The Victim Care Service provides support for victims and witnesses of crime to cope with, and recover from, >the harmful effects of the crime they have experienced. The Victim Care Service is open to all victims, no matter what the type of crime, regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police or not, and no matter how recently or how long ago the crime took place.
The service also has specialist teams who deal with the most vulnerable victims for example those who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse and children from the age of four upwards. Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, said: “While we have seen our communities pull together to help each other during this time, sadly, we have also seen those who wish us harm exploiting the situation to take advantage of the vulnerable. I would like to remind everyone that the police are still working to fight crime, protect victims and tackle anti-social behaviour. And equally reinforce that support services for victims like the Victim Care Service very much remain in place and stand ready to offer help and advice. This new website complements the support over the phone that the Victim Care Service continues to provide during the pandemic.”
Victim Care Service freephone number 0808 178 1641. The service is open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday but there is also a Live Chat service that is contactable 24/7 on Victim Support’s website.
It has been widely publicized that during the recent weeks of the pandemic, incidents of domestic abuse have
increased by 25%. For most of us, the nearest we may ever come to experiencing such abuse could be through the current and very timely Coronation Street storyline between ‘Geoff’ and ‘Yasmeen’. You might ask ‘Why doesn’t she just >leave him?’ Victims of domestic abuse know that it isn’t ever that simple, but there IS help, if you can be brave enough to take those first steps.
For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:
Police: 999 press 55 when prompted if you can't speak
Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
And from Friday (May 1st) Boots Pharmacies are providing ‘safe spaces’ where those experiencing domestic abuse at this time can speak to trained members of staff in confidence and privacy.
New applications for funding are being welcomed by the WightAID Foundation. Since launching its crisis appeal last month, and working with six other grant giving organisations, the group has distributed more than £60,000 to over 20 local worthy causes working at the forefront of the coronavirus response.
Among those to benefit from the appeal so far include the Isle of Wight Foodbank along with Pan Together, the Isle of Wight Youth Trust and Isle of Wight Carers. Geoff Underwood, WightAID chairman, said charities and community groups critical to sustaining the Island through the pandemic had been supported by the group, which includes The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation; The Daisie Rich Trust; The Isle of Wight Sports Foundation; The Isle of Wight Foundation; The High Sheriff’s Trust; The RYS Foundation, and WightAID. People can support WightAID or apply for funding here:

First grant round — total distributed £30,000
Isle of Wight Soup Kitchen — £1,000 - Funding towards fuel and extra ingredients needed to complete meals.
Pan Together – £1,000 - Funding towards offering meals to residents. At present they have to charge £4 and they would like to provide them for free for poorly and hard-pressed people in their local area.
Isle of Wight Foodbank – £5,000 -Funding towards purchase of food and the running of services.
Suicide Prevention & Intervention Isle of Wight — £2,400 - Funding towards the setup of a new app. To help people with mental health concerns and people with suicidal behaviour, there will also be access to a live chat. PPE and radios for new team members.
Citizens Advice Isle of Wight — £2,500 - Funding towards ‘Help Through Crisis’ scheme, which enables residents to access quickly, help with food, gas, and electricity in an emergency.
Age UK — £5,000 - Funding towards their ‘Emergency Coronavirus Response Team’. To provide shopping, collection and delivery; prescription collection and delivery; telephone or digital befriending and well-being checks.
Isle of Wight Youth Trust — £5,000 - Funding towards Laptop and headset to enable the team to deliver online counselling to existing clients. To provide phone/online support and digital drop-in sessions for young >people.
DIDDI — £500 - Funding towards offering free food to less fortunate and homeless people in the Sandown area.
Wight Dash — £1,000 - Funding towards running costs to help vulnerable people who are affected by domestic abuse.
Home Start — £500 - Funding towards phone costs; staff are calling parents at least once a week to offer emotional support and video calls when possible.
Isle of Wight Carers — £600 - Funding towards running costs to be able to distribute food, pick up prescriptions to carers on the Island. They are also offering a seven-day manned phone line for carers to contact them.
People Matter (AIM) — £500 - Funding towards running costs to delivery and collect sensory equipment to children and young people with autism as they can not access the Sensory library.
West Wight Community Support Hub — £5,000 - Funding towards West Wight Coronavirus Support Hub. Cleaning and heating of building, cost of phone line, cost of printing; hardship fund to support costs for those unable to fund prescriptions; wholesale shopping of food and provisions to support those in need; provision of hot meal and service for vulnerable.

2. Second grant round — total distributed £32,000
Ability Dogs 4 Young People Isle of Wight — £500 -Funding towards the costs to keep helping the vulnerable young people whose lives have been turned upside down. To provide telephone support, supplies to recipients and trainer walking the dogs where the family are ill.
Baby Box — £4,000 -Funding towards the costs of helping families with low incomes, who are struggling to find the provisions they need for their babies and children. They supply nappies, baby formulae and at present are helping 22 families in the Ventnor area.
West Wight Men in Sheds — £500 -Funding towards the running costs of their van. They are currently helping the West Wight Support Hub and their costs have gone up.
Sight for Wight — £5,000 -Funding towards helping their 625 members. They provide phone call support for their members, newsletters, and weekly talk news.
Wessex Cancer — £2,500 -Funding towards the costs of providing their telephone helpline and virtual counselling services for three months. Due to the current situation they have already had over 200 Islanders contact them.
Vectis Housing — £3,000 -Funding towards their hardship fund which helps to relieve poverty as a direct result of living on a low income. The money is used to provide food shopping vouchers, topping up gas and electric keys, and assisting with household bills.
Aspire Ryde — £2,500 -Funding towards the Emergency Response Fund to cover April and May. They require funds for food collection costs and utility costs, cooking fuel to keep the kitchen open and the Response Hub room.
Haylands Farm — £500 -Funding towards their running costs to ensure vulnerable people with learning disabilities living alone and/or with elderly parents are safe, have shopping, cooking, cleaning, and medication they require.
CABS — £2,000 -Funding towards ‘Help Through Crisis’ scheme, which enables residents to access quickly, help with food, gas, and electricity in an emergency.
SPII — £1,500 -Funding towards running costs to help people with mental health concerns and people with suicidal behaviour.
Embracing Age — £10,000 -Funds were towards purchasing masks and other protective equipment to care homes and care providers on the Island.
We are encouraged by the Chief Exec and Chair of the Council to raise a glass (or the refreshment of your choice) on Friday May 8 at 3pm, along with the rest of the nation and undertake the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
Links provided by the IW Civic Affairs Manager
I know that these are trying times, and it is lovely to hear so many stories of people helping their friends and neighbours. I know that it may seem at times like the Island has been almost unaffected by Covid-19, but please believe me when I say that it is here and affecting people's lives. Please keep up the good work, and continue to follow the Government’s guidelines to the best of your abilities.
At this difficult time, one of the positive effects has been the huge increase in people exercising by walking and cycling. We know that this is good for people's general health and their mental well being. All indications are that social distancing is likely to be a part of our lives for some time to come. In some places social distancing is already difficult with narrow footways and cycleways making it problematic for people to exercise safely and in a socially responsible way. At present, people walking and cycling are able to make use of more extensive space because of the very low traffic volumes. As lockdown measures begin to be eased, it is imperative that steps are taken to enable effective social distancing and keep people safe.
We have sent a list of ideas of roads and paths, that could be adapted to give more space to people, to the Leader of the Council. This is happening all over the world. On the Island, the Council's Access Fund has launched a scheme to hire bikes to key workers. This has been very successful with over 60 bikes lent in just a couple of weeks. Both stories show that if given the opportunity people will participate in Active Travel. We would welcome the opportunity to work with people on the Island to make a real difference to our community.
Tim Thorne

In the first two weeks of this pandemic, Foodbanks in our network distributed 6250 food parcels EVERY DAY. Food banks in our network experienced a record 81% increase in need, and a 122% increase in food parcels for children, compared to the same period in 2019. This is the busiest ever period for food banks across the UK. Food banks are working incredibly hard to continue to provide emergency food safely to people who cannot afford to buy the essentials – but they cannot continue to pick up the pieces.
Now, a new coalition of charities is coming together for the first time to urge the government to strengthen the anchor it has already put in place to protect people from being swept into poverty. Together with charities including the Independent Food Aid Network, Child Poverty Action Group (UK) - CPAG, The Children's Society, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, StepChange Debt Charity and Turn2us, we’re calling for a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support scheme to support people. Find out more here >…/
Please consider adding one or two of these items to your shopping list this week. Long life milk, tinned potatoes, tinned spaghetti, tinned fruit, tinned vegetable (not sweetcorn, kidney beans or chick peas, thanks), rice pudding, packet rice, custard, long life fruit juice, coffee, puddings (ie fruit in jelly, Instant Whip)
Thank you for all your donations. As a charity who depends on the generosity of the public, we are very grateful for those who are able and are still donating.
Many thanks to The Farm Shop & No. 8 Café in Bembridge and customers for your continued support through your collection point at this time. BULLETIN FIFTH EDITION UPDATE

We held our first meeting using Zoom last Monday. The feedback was good from attendees. As a clerk it was a bit tricky to host it as well as take notes (I am an IT geek in a past life so I took on the Zoom hosting role) but that may well get easier with time and if a Councillor becomes more confident with the technology they may take over hosting duties. We will keep using it though.
Brian Jennings

Our Town Council's emergency response system continues to operate smoothly. We now have nearly 200 volunteers and are supporting up to 600 residents. Meanwhile, we are beginning to consider the longer-term impacts of Covid-19 and how this will affect the Council's services and its mode of operation.
<1>Diana Conyers

It has been a very quiet week in Chillerton and Gatcombe. I had a talk this morning with the volunteer coordinator in Rookley and they are having a very similar experience with very little in the way of requests coming in. There are probably a couple of reasons for this. One is that those volunteers looking after groups of houses are dealing with low level issues very effectively. I have heard of what people are doing for their neighbours and this is splendid work. This means that very few things are coming up which need to be allocated. A second reason is that the local shops have been very good at delivering food to the village. As a result, we haven't been getting many requests for help with shopping, and none at all in the last few days. A third reason is that one of our residents who works at Godshill Surgery, has been superbly delivering all Godshill surgery prescriptions to people in the Parish. However there have been no prescription requests for Carisbrooke Surgery for several days. We have also not had much transferred to us from the Isle of Wight Helpline. The arrangement we have there is that any requests from within our Parish or Billingham come through to me. On average the Helpline has been having 131 requests every day, but we have only had two come through since the crisis started. I am however very grateful that you are all ready to go into action and the situation could change at any time.
There are some changes which have needed to be made though. We have now reached the situation where I may only allocate someone with a DBS certificate to collect prescriptions. Of course this does not apply where you are doing it for family, friend or neighbour, only when it is in direct response to a ‘formal’ request.
Nigel Phillips

Once more we have been overwhelmed by offers of support from people in the community and many people have contacted us, asking for help. To date (April 24th)-
432 people have asked for help or support
322 people have volunteered support with shopping, phone contact and prescription collections
23 people have registered for hot food deliveries
25 households are making PPE for local care homes.
Cowes Enterprise College have manufactured and donated 300 face shields.

We were approached by the West Wight Care Homes to help with making scrubs for the WW care homes. We are now producing scrubs made from quilt covers, flat sheets and also T shirts donated by Rapanui. A team of people are making the scrubs in their own homes. If you can help, please get in touch although we can only work with West Wight residents, to reduce travel time. We also need quilt covers, pillow cases, cord, thread, bias binding and elastic. Please drop these off at the Centre when it is open. Huge thanks to Hellerslea Fabrics, Isle of Wight Jobs for collecting the Rapanui T shirts and to the team who have been so busy on this project.

Thanks to Mick Lyons, IWALC’s Vice Chair, for being our representative on Heads of Organizations Zoom calls and his report from last week’s meeting.
“This came up today at our H of O meeting. Basically Dave Stewart and Bob Seely are saying that lifting the lockdown in the near future is not going to happen until we are "safe" and that the story about the IW being a pilot area was "irresponsible reporting" by the media.
Having said that, they went on to discuss various ideas that might happen - a "kite mark" for socially responsible tourist destinations so that holiday makers could come here; temperature tests for visitors at ferry ports on the mainland and that if restrictions were going to be lifted, they would rather the IW was first rather than last.
Other matters that were discussed:
•Ferry firms are getting money from the government (via IWC) to maintain current timetable - but will
• There will be a covid-19 testing site at Medina. Access by appointment for key workers who are isolating and have had symptoms in the last 5 days.
• Some festival gatherings are advertising tickets for sale for events in August. Trading Standards can be notified as they may be advertising something that will not happen.
• There are some problems with dairy production on the Island.
• IWC have received about £62 million for grants to businesses, but only spent about £20 million so far as not enough businesses applying. If unspent they may be able to keep this money for other purposes.
• There is some evidence that corona infection in care homes and people’s homes is under reported if patients don't go to hospital.”
Mick Lyons

Please complete the FINANCIAL IMPACT SURVEY which was included in Jonathan Owen’s Chief Exec’s Bulletin of Friday April 17th link to survey
The in-put from Councils should help in the Isle of Wight's arguments for more governmental support. Our MP does represent us, but any support we can put forward for ourselves shows our understanding and commitment to the running of the Island.
Helena Hewston
(IWALC Chair)
ROUND UP (County Officer - Jill Webster)
A slimmed down Bulletin for you this week as we all adapt and settle into the ‘new’ normal. Zoom calls with Bob Seely - Following the recent very helpful and successful Zoom call between IWALC members and Bob, another one is being arranged. If you didn’t take part in the first one, but would like to be involved in this one, please let me know and let me have your name, title, email address and contact details. A date and time will be circulated when it has been arranged.
Away from the coronavirus situation, we’re trying to maintain ‘business as usual’ despite restrictions caused by the lockdown. Your questions to the IWC’s Dave Stewart and John Metcalfe were submitted last week by email in lieu of our scheduled quarterly meeting with them. Jayne Tyler assures me she will do all she can to obtain satisfactory answers.
NALC have been able to guide and advise on two non-virus situations which have come up for our member councils and we’ve been negotiating our way through changes to audits and PWBL issues which have been affected by the situation.
As you know, our scheduled IWALC meeting on Thursday (April 30th) has been cancelled. Going forward, if Councils would like us to set up a Zoom call to replace our cancelled may meeting, we would do so. This is a different idea to the video conferencing discussions of March - this time it would be through Jill, Mike and Helena. As this distancing is likely to continue the business of IWALC could be done through Zoom? Please respond by May 7th.
Finally… what an amazing and impressive sight it was on Thursday evening at 8pm to see around twenty or more of George Jenkins’ lorries driving along the dual carriageway past St Mary’s Hospital, with their horns blaring - supporting our NHS workers. If you haven’t seen it, the video clip is on the Isle of Wight Radio’s website.
Zoom Calls - if any of our Councils have ben involved in these calls could you let IWALC have a report which could then be circulated ?

Nothing to update on from Southern Vectis. All is very stable at the moment.

For anybody who is having financial difficulties in paying their water bill, please follow this link The work we are doing at Tolt Copse to refurbish and clean our reservoir is complete. This will mean from this week, the village’s will be supplied by Chillerton water works whereas for the past 6 months the water has been coming from Carisbrooke.
Keith Herbert

We have received reports from residents about unsolicited phone calls offering to sell face masks for £29.00. These are scams. These criminals are preying on all of our vulnerabilities at the minute and trying to scare us into parting with cash or bank details.
If you receive a phone call like this hang up straight away, do not engage with the caller and never give bank or card details over the phone to strangers.

Trading Standards have also received a couple of scam warnings from astute residents. The first is allegedly from Apple – it looks very genuine and lists items that you have reportedly ordered. The instructions advise you to click on a link in the email to contact “support” or log into your Apple account using a link provided. This will be a phishing exercise to gain your information or even payment from you. The email address that it comes from, when checked is not a valid Apple address. This is a SCAM – Do Not click on any links, delete it straight away.

The second purports to come from TV Licensing and is telling you that your TV licence could not be automatically renewed so you will need to set up a new direct debit via a link provided. This is a SCAM – Do Not click on any links, delete it straight away.
Sally Ash


Support for Research and Development Businesses
The most recent multi-million-pound package of support from Government that will help Islanders through this Covid-19 outbreak is designed to protect firms who are driving innovation and development in the UK. The Chancellor’s new £1.25 billion package, includes a £500 million investment fund – called the Future Fund - for high-growth companies impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

The Chancellor has also allocated £750 million of grants and loans for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

The Island has an abundance of companies at the cutting edge of innovation that may be eligible for assistance. It is important that we try to keep every sector of our economy going. Start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths both nationally and on the Island and they will have a major part in helping the economy emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

I want to make sure businesses are aware of the support the Government is making available to help them through these difficult times so that we come out of this awful situation as strong as we went in. It will take time to do so, but the support packages we are seeing from the Government are very welcome. It is vital that, today, we support the businesses that will drive the economy and provide jobs in the future. More details on the funding are available at this site

I have notified the IW Chamber of Commerce and the IW Federation of Small Businesses about the new package of support and I urge all businesses who think they may be eligible to investigate this support. Furlough Scheme Now Open

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - where employers can claim a cash grant covering up to 80 per cent of the wages for a furloughed employee up to a cap of £2,500 a month – became live last Monday. Island businesses can apply for Government cash via an online portal. I want to make sure that Island businesses are the first in the queue for this cash, which can take up to six working days to appear in company bank accounts.

I know businesses here need funds right now and I’m glad the Government has been able to get this scheme up and running quickly – given the current circumstances. This money is absolutely vital in the fight to keep our businesses – and our Island – going.

We need to keep Islanders in employment to avoid further problems and get our economy back on track as quickly as possible after lockdown lifts.

HMRC’s portal has a step by step application process and up to 5,000 staff are manning phone lines and webchat services to ensure any questions can be answered. Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system. The link to the online portal can be found here More information about government support for businesses can be found here

Solent LEP Funding
I would like to remind you all about emergency funding which is available through the Solent Local Economic Partnership for IW businesses.
There are two funds available for Isle of Wight businesses. The first is the Isle of Wight Rural Business Resilience Fund, exclusively for Island businesses, offering matched-funded grants. The second is the Crowdfunding Programme ‘Pay it Forward’ which provides support for existing micro and small businesses seeking to cope in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage all small and medium-sized Island businesses to check whether they are eligible for this support. Further details on the schemes can be found here:
• Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - Isle of Wight - Rural Business Resilience Fund
• Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - crowd funding programme pay it forward

Please continue to stay safe by staying at home and do get in contact if there’s anything I can do.
Email: Telephone: 01983 220220
Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news of what I’m doing for the Island.
Twitter: @IoWBobSeely Facebook: @IoWBobSeely Instagram: @IoWBobSeely

A drive-through coronavirus (Covid-19) mobile testing facility is to open on the Isle of Wight as part of the government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers. The Island facility has been arranged through close partnership working of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to enable key workers having started to experience symptoms of Covid-19 within the past five days, to access local facilities, rather than having to travel to the mainland.
The mobile testing unit is visiting Medina Leisure Centre car park, on Fairlee Road, Newport, on Saturday (25 April) until Tuesday (28 April).
Local organisations are being contacted directly to encourage their key workers who have experienced symptoms of Covid-19 themselves, or who have a household member who have experienced symptoms, within the past five days and are self-isolating, to contact 03333218865 to obtain an appointment to visit the facility.
If people are eligible key workers, they can also call 03333218865 to obtain an appointment. Advice will be given to individuals on contacting the appointment booking line about eligibility, what they need to bring (including employment identification) and details about what to expect on the day.
Who is a key worker?
•All NHS and social care staff, including hospital, community and primary care, and staff providing support to frontline NHS services (for example accommodation, catering) and voluntary workers.
•Police, fire and rescue services.
•Local authority staff, including those working with vulnerable children, adults and victims of domestic abuse, and those working with the homeless and rough sleepers.
•Defence, prisons and probation staff, and judiciary.
•Frontline benefits workers.
•Other groups of critical workers, including those delivering critical medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies in both the public and private sector. More detail around key workers eligible for testing can be found at the following link:

Required ID:
•Key workers attending the drop-in session will need to bring their work ID with them to access the service.
•Household members will need to be accompanied by a key worker with their work ID.
•A smartphone is also recommended as this is part of the process that you will have to go through once you are on site

A new scheme to encourage key workers to choose cycling as their preferred mode of travel has got off to a flying start.
Within a week of its launch, the Isle of Wight Council's Key Worker Cycle Scheme has given more than 30 key workers access to a bicycle and enabled over 100 more to repair bikes which they already own. The initiative enables key workers to have free access to a bike on long term loan, and where a key worker already owns a bike, the scheme will provide a £50 voucher which can be redeemed against repairs and essential accessories.
One of the first participants in the cycle loan scheme was Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Cath Quin, based out of Yarmouth. She said: “The arrangement to loan a bike was really easy and the bike was delivered quickly. It’s making a big difference to my ability to get around the rural West Wight and do my job.” The council is working in partnership with established Island cycle hire businesses, Wight Cycle Hire and RouteFifty7, as well as cycle shops and mobile cycle mechanics to deliver the scheme. It forms part of the council’s Connect2Work initiative, which promotes sustainable and active travel options to employees and jobseekers, and its Access Fund programme, delivered using external funding secured from the Department for Transport. All hire bikes loaned to key workers through the new scheme include a helmet, a lock and delivery. For full details of the scheme please visit
The Isle of Wight Council has processed government grant payments totalling £29.9 million to 2,550 qualifying Island businesses, as of today (Monday). The council is urging any eligible businesses that haven’t yet provided their up to details for payment via a special online form to do so. The form can be found at It is estimated the council will complete direct payments to all those it has up to date bank details for over the next few days. These include those who the council already had up to date bank details for at 11 March, and those who have completed all the required information and submitted the online form. The council has written to all other business ratepayers it believes may be eligible, and is also trying to contact them where it has email and phone details. It is estimated there may be 5,081 businesses eligible for the grants on the Island. There are three categories for government business rates grant support:
•Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
•Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000.
•Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value of £15,000 and under.

The Isle of Wight Council has worked to ensure that accommodation providers are shut to holidaymakers as part of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response. The authority investigated 12 reports from residents alleging some holiday lets were still open to people visiting the Island or advertising for bookings. Three complaints related to holiday parks, four to holiday lets and four to hotels/guest houses or bed and breakfasts.
One report remains under investigation but in all other cases the complaints were unfounded or the lettings were permitted.
Lockdown restriction laws - known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 - require all hotels, guest houses, holiday parks and campsites to cease trading unless the accommodation is required for:
•someone who cannot return to their main residence (including key workers who are isolating from their family);
•someone who uses it as their only or main residence;
•needs accommodation while moving house;
•needs accommodation to attend a funeral; or
•needs accommodation for the homeless. Domestic abuse services on the Island have reported a surge in calls since social distancing guidelines came into force.

YouFirst, the Island's domestic violence and abuse support provider, has reported a 20 per cent rise in calls during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis via their contact number, 0800 234 6266. It comes as the government launches a new public awareness campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they are still able to leave and seek refuge. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure domestic abuse sufferers that support is available during the Covid-19 crisis.
The campaign is publicising support available including the freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, the UK's largest domestic abuse charity. If you're a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your home or relationship, then call Childline on 0800 11 11 or go on their website.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at serious risk of harm, you are advised to call the police on 999.
For more information on the Island’s domestic abuse support services visit

I would encourage your members to keep checking for updates from us. I would like to thank the P&TCs that confirmed whether they are holding meetings and/or will still be commenting on planning applications.
Just a reminder that we are now sending neighbour notification letters, instead of placing site notices, for householder and minor applications. These applications will also be advertised in the local press. This approach complies with national legislation.
We are still accepting major applications and making the information available on our website, which is starting the consultation period with statutory consultees, but not the consultation for the general public. We are not currently erecting site notices (which is a requirement for these types of applications) and will not
do so until the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ restrictions are relaxed. Putting up a site notice will then trigger the 21 day public consultation period. If anyone has any queries please do contact me or one of the planning officers for confirmation of our approaches.
Ollie Boulter

(St Mary’s Church, Carisbrooke and St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe)
What a rollercoaster the last few months have been. It seemed that as fast as we received and acted on one set of coronavirus instructions, new instructions were issued even faster. At first our strategy seemed to be simply to be sensible. On the 10th March advice was issued to limit actual physical contact, so the common cup and handshake at the peace was suspended, and in the week that followed I went out and purchased a supply of individual 'cups' to use on the following Sunday. Before we could use them, the advice changed, and by 19th March we were cancelling our regular services, while allowing the church buildings to remain open. And then on 24th March, two weeks after the first restrictions came into effect, we were directed to completely close the churches!
At that time, in an open letter to the clergy, the Archbishops and Bishops collectively wrote: "These are unprecedented times. We are all having to get used to being the Church differently. It is not easy. However, our belonging to Christ has never been measured by the number of people in church on a Sunday morning (though we long for the day when this way of knowing Christ can return) but by the service we offer to others." So we find ourselves in extraordinary times. Church buildings are closed…. but the church remains active and alive. Here, we remain active and continue with newsletters and weekly updates. We may not be able to gather together physically, but we can still do so in spirit.


Last week saw the first Zoom conference call between IWALC members and MP Bob Seely. Feedback from those who took part was very positive….
There was no problem getting in and it was a helpful session. Nigel Phillips (Chilllerton & Gatcombe PC)
It was very good to have direct contact with our MP - very useful. Signing in was no problem, the session was great and if possible, we need to have another in around two weeks? Lora Peacy-Wilcox (Cowes TC)
I thought the general idea was great and managed to hear all that was said. Some appeared on screen, some in sound only - it would be good to agree the "rules". Also some of the microphones showed as being switched off, not sure if this was so. Malcolm Hector (Fishbourne PC)
I thought it went very well. Everyone that wanted to got to ask questions. Whether they liked the answers is another matter of course. Bob is suggesting another meeting in a few weeks time. A couple of things that I picked up that might be of wider interest. Age UK on the Island are in urgent need of funds. Because the Red Jet has been suspended Red Funnel are offering a concession to passengers travelling to Southampton Hospital on the car ferry - they can take their car for free and just pay passenger fares. Mick Lyons (Havenstreet & Ashey PC)
Just to say I found the process fairly easy - I did press something wrong and nearly left the meeting, but was then able to recover it and joined on time. It was a useful meeting, but I am not sure if all councillors received the answers they would have hoped for? But with everyone unable to meet Bob individually to discuss their concerns and raise issues, it’s the next best thing. John Cirrone (Brighstone PC)
I thought it was a very useful session and one that I would like to be repeated. Very time saving for Bob and interesting to hear questions raised and in most cases answered. Vilma Barraclough (Nettlestone & Seaview PC)
I thought it was excellent. Worked well. Good idea to do it regularly- every 2 or 3 weeks. Vivian Roberts (Arreton PC)
Everybody’s thanks go to Maurisa (Bob’s Parliamentary Asst) for organizing this call and to Bob, of course! If you would like to be part of the next session, please let me (Jill) know and I will add you to the list.
And now….more news from our IWALC T&PCs across the Island…

RYDE TOWN COUNCIL The Emergency Response Hub, which is operated in conjunction with local community organisation Aspire Ryde, continues to work well and to demonstrate the benefits of partnership working. We now have at least 120 registered volunteers. They are matched with residents in need of support. Various forms of support are provided, depending on the individual's need. This includes delivery of food parcels and frozen meals, shopping, collection of prescriptions, chats over the phone and referrals to other organisations for specialised advice or support.
This week we have established an Emotional Wellbeing Telephone Support Service, to support residents who are experiencing anxiety and emotional stress as a result of the corona outbreak and its ramifications. We have 17 registered volunteers, each of whom will support up to four people. The volunteers are ‘befrienders’ not counsellors, but they have received some training and will have regular supervision. And if any of the people they are supporting need professional mental health support, they will be referred to the appropriate organisation.
We have also set up an appeal fund, to raise money to support Aspire and other community organisations in Ryde who are contributing to the emergency response.
Diana Conyers

staff and councillors are working closely with IWC and Age UK to provide shopping and medication to vulnerable local residents seven days a week. Some of our councillors are very heavily involved with volunteering and the Council has donated additional funds to Age UK and Foodbank to assist them.
As for meetings, we haven’t actually had any yet so I’m not sure what direction those will take, especially as not all of our councillors have computer access. Watch this space for an update!!
Lucinda Molyneux

In Rookley there is an independent group of volunteers who have got together to help those in need - collecting medicines, food etc and just providing a voice on the phone. Personally, we are so grateful that we too have the benefit of a garden to enjoy the weather - I feel sorry for those less fortunate.
Ian Rigaud Barrett

In Fishbourne we set up a Support Group early. The whole Parish was leafletted, asking if residents wished to volunteer and also alerting folk who were in the vulnerable category that help was available, and who to contact. The information also went in the newsletter. Since then over 30 people have volunteered, offering to do shopping, collect medication, dog walk or phone up for a chat. One has offered the use of his large van amongst other things. The idea is to link those asking for support with a suitable and geographically close volunteer. After such time, (all being well), they can make their own arrangements.
We have not been inundated with requests but have matched 5 or so people and it is going well. Everything is recorded on a shared document and volunteers are reminded about health and safety, confidentiality and the now normal social distancing rules.
April PC Meeting We had a virtual zoom meeting! An unusual way to carry out our monthly Parish Meeting but it was extremely successful and enabled Parish business to be conducted as normal and for councillors to touch base with each other.
Susan Honeywill

Up until now , I have balanced things well as the Parish Council day job has taken a bit of backseat whilst I have lead our Community response to the COVID19 lockdown. As I have now shown the Councillors how to use Zoom, they have decided to resume normal monthly meetings (next one is the 20th April) and hopefully we will be able to transition the Community support work away from me and on to some of them. With the Councillors picking up the baton and running with the community support, we should be in good shape! On a more personal note - how are we finding ‘lockdown’? I do feel sorry for people who are totally alone at the moment. Home schooling is challenging as my wife is also still working from home too. The School is great as they upload a fresh set of work each day and we have set our daughter up with a desk next to us so we can set her off with work. My daughter is in year 5 and we are lucky as until July I worked at her school (ICT teacher) and worked with year 6 in the mornings to assist the teaching of English and Maths so I am able to mark her work and provide guidance, but it is time consuming and I cannot imagine what most parents are doing about marking English work!! Maths is not so bad as the school publishes the answers the next day, but the English will remain unmarked by School. Like all children though she is finding it a struggle without her friends and knows that lots of children in her class aren’t really doing the school work as they keep in touch on email and hangouts!
Brian Jennings

Our community hub is still operating thanks to our clerk Brian Jennings and 40 volunteers. Quite a few volunteers have buddied up with vulnerable residents to be their main point of contact and I believe we receive the £5,000.00 from the government this week to assist the most vulnerable. Virtual parish council meeting this evening, so business continues.
David Adams

It is now a month since the Parish Council set up a network of volunteers to support the residents of Chillerton and Gatcombe during the Covid 19 Pandemic. I have been delighted by the number of people in our community who have come forward to help their neighbours.
We can help people with shopping, collecting prescriptions and walking dogs. If they are in emotional distress we can get experienced people to contact them. If they have other difficulties we may be able to get help to them. The main contact for volunteer support is through me,
Nigel Phillips
, (Chair) on 721382.

Some excellent community support is being provided here. To date, 370 people had registered for help, 304 people had signed up to offer support, 215 people had had their prescriptions collected, 68 people had been helped with essential shopping, 70 people have registered in case they need assistance at a later date, there have 41 referrals from the council‘s support line for people living in the area, and 16 people are being supported with hot food deliveries.
An appeal was launched on March 24th to raise money to continue to support the community through this crisis and to date, almost £13,000 has been raised online and a further £4,000 raised through off-line donations.
Lots of people have joined in the online classes and workshops which have been provided…. from yoga and Pliates to the more strenuous HIT workouts…Spanish for beginners and a Cookery Workshop….something for everybody. For much more information about West Wight Support - Tel 752168 - or email

As a Cabinet Member we have needed to meet online three times a week so far and we are now checking on how we can run other meetings online for the duration of this Pandemic, such as Planning and Licensing. We are in touch remotely every day to keep up with what is happening within the Council and making decisions as we go along.
I have written reports for all of my Parish Councils which I have sent in even though the meetings are postponed at present. I have tried to keep up with my reports for the Beacon and Island Magazine as usual. We have meetings remotely with our MP Bob Seely also to keep up with what is happening on the National Stage.
The Cabinet Members also receive regular update reports from the Chief Executive, John Metcalfe and he joins our remote Cabinet Meetings for questions and updates.
It is a strange world having meetings online when you are used to seeing the whites of others’ eyes in real life whilst making judgements on what they are saying to you.
I am keeping in touch as much as possible with local hubs and Parish Councils and I am responding via Email as required and linking Parish with County or Island Roads etc. as required.
With no local Parish meetings going ahead at present I am reliant on members contacting me should they have any queries and I have had a number of those to deal with especially on waste management and green garden waste for instance.
It is a strange time to run into such a Pandemic just as we are approaching end of year and AGM meetings being postponed at present, I guess all we can do is our best, stay calm and carry on.
If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Wishing you all well and stay safe.
Kind regards,
Cabinet Member for Procurement, Waste Management and Special Projects. Member for Central Wight. Tel: 07870127024 - Web:
• Email:

Thanks go to Mike Bulpitt, Tony McCarthy, Amanda Coyle, Lora Peacey-Wilcox, Jonathan Bacon, Lisa Dyer, Rachel Thomson for trying to sort out problems for carers/volunteers etc at the various supermarkets.
Thanks to Mike Bulpitt for letting us know about the farmer who is selling sacks of potatoes!!
Thanks to you all for giving us regular updates, news and information. …and it’d be great to hear how Councils using Zoom for their meetings are finding the experience!!

Financial impact survey-
We need your help to gather evidence on the financial impact of the coronavirus on local councils. This information is vital to our representations to the government on the loss of income to local councils during these difficult times, and the need for a tailored financial support package for the sector. Earlier this week we published a short survey which includes questions on precept, staffing and income, so clerk colleagues it would be helpful to have this data to hand when completing the Covid 19 Financial Impact survey.
Please help us to help you by taking a few minutes to complete the survey as soon as possible or by 24 April at the latest. NALC’s Super Councils Network has already completed a separate survey and does not need to complete this survey. We are also working with county officers on a separate survey on the financial impact on county associations.

IWALC Chair, Helena Hewston urges T&PCs to complete this survey. “The in-put from Councils should help in the Isle of Wight's arguments for more governmental support. Our MP does represent us, but any support we can put forward for ourselves shows our understanding and commitment to the running of the Island.”
There is a huge amount of information about the Covid-19 crisis on the NALC website. IWALC Members should have the password so that they can freely access this information - if not, send me an email and I will remind you what it is.

I’ve just asked a question to the CCG about the arrangements for emergency dental action. It seems that there should be a central dental hub for the island - with triage arrangements in place. However, this isn’t operational at the moment because they haven’t got the correct PPE. The matter is being addressed urgently. In the meantime, your GP surgery should have the phone number for the ‘Out if Hours Emergency Dentist’ and this service is operational.
I have asked the CCG to update me on the Dentist situation, and will report back to this group when the central dental hub becomes operational.
Carole Truman

Update for this week:
IW Rifles
The IW Rifles are going to be used to support the coronavirus effort on the Island. The IW Rifles are part of the Royal Logistics Corps and 11 Brigade. It's a sensible move to use our local reserve unit to support both the regular troops from the Scots Guards and the Island community more widely. There is much that needs to be done, both in the hospital and in our wider community to prepare for the weeks ahead. We have a significant volunteer effort already, but the additional support is extremely welcome. It is reassuring to know that we have a unit here who can be utilised to support the NHS, volunteers and, above all, Islanders when we really need them.

Construction Industry
There has been some confusion around who can continue working so I have sought to clarify this. The advice is clear. Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire are permitted to remain open at this time. The construction industry can also continue where it can take place in line with the social distancing guidance provided by Public Health England. Construction workers who cannot work from home, who show no symptoms of Covid-19, and who live in households where no person is self-isolating, should still go to work. We need essential works – and this includes sites such as St. Mary’s Hospital - to be able to continue. If anyone is in any doubt about what they should and should not be doing they must refer to the official advice published by the Government.
Advice for shops permitted to remain open: and sector guidance on social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19: for the construction industry

The recent reductions in ferry services has been decided following discussion with the Department for Transport and the NHS on the Island. The new timetables will provide a minimum level of service whilst ensuring health and essential needs are met. I would like to reassure you all that the ferry companies are working together to ensure lifeline services continue.

Government Support for Businesses
The IW Council has been working hard to distribute the £62.8 million it received from the Government to businesses who qualify for support. I urge all small and medium sized businesses on the Island to see if they are eligible for the packages of support from the Government. Even if you don’t think you’re entitled, it’s worth checking. We need to keep our businesses and our economy going so that when we emerge from lockdown we are in the strongest position we can be to rebuild our economy and get people back into employment as quickly as possible.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Treasury has amended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - where employers can claim a grant covering 80 per cent of the wages for a furloughed employee up to a cap of £2,500 a month - will see the number of people eligible to be furloughed increased. When the scheme was announced individuals had to be employed on 28 February 2020 but new guidance has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020. The change to the scheme – which should be operational next week – means employers will be able to claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This is very welcome news. We need to keep as many incomes ticking over as possible and support businesses to keep going through this very difficult period. The support to allow employers to furlough staff will help more businesses to be ready to resume their operations as quickly as possible once we emerge from lockdown. If any employer now thinks they are eligible for support, they can find out more here

Solent LEP Funding
I am encouraging Island businesses to take advantage of emergency funding which is available through the Solent Local Economic Partnership. There are two funds available for Isle of Wight businesses. The first is the Isle of Wight Rural Business Resilience Fund, exclusively for Island businesses, offering matched-funded grants. The second is the Crowdfunding Programme ‘Pay it Forward’ which provides support for existing micro and small businesses seeking to cope in challenging trading conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage all small and medium-sized Island businesses to check whether they are eligible for this support. These are unprecedented times that are causing real issues for all sorts of businesses. This support exists to help businesses through this difficult period – it could provide a lifeline to many. Further details on the schemes can be found here:
• Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - Isle of Wight - Rural Business Resilience Fund
• Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - crowd funding programme pay it forward

Island Visitors
Many Islanders are concerned that holiday-makers and second home owners continue coming here in droves. I’ve seen no evidence to support these claims. Each ferry firm has assured me passenger numbers have significantly reduced – as reflected by their greatly reduced services - with the majority still travelling being key workers and folks going about essential business. Police continue to patrol both sides of the Solent and I was pleased to see Islanders continued to follow the Government advice staying at home over Easter. Please continue to stay safe by staying at home and do get in contact if there’s anything I can do.
Telephone: 01983 220220
Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news of what I’m doing for the Island.
Twitter: @IoWBobSeely
Facebook: @IoWBobSeely
Instagram: @IoWBobSeely

Here is a summary of our current branch activities as we are responding to the current crisis and how people can help. Thank you!
Our biggest need is immediate financial support so that we can direct funds to areas of greatest need, medical, food, safety equipment etc.
With a reduced team of just 6 staff we are working hard to support vulnerable people across the Isle of Wight who are hospitalised and unable to provide care for their companion animals.
At our animal centre we are already caring for companion animals of those hospitalised and due to the closure of our charity shops and boarding business, we have no current income stream yet we are designated as essential/key workers.
We will continue to provide a critical community service, removing/receiving companions from homes of those suspected and diagnosed with Covid-19.
Our staff require PPE, our facility requires ongoing deliveries of disinfectants as we protect and maintain the health of our staff and care for those community animals housed in isolation for 72 hours and their ongoing daily care, as we support the effort to reunite vulnerable people with their companions as soon as possible. This is a coordinated community response plan to support those humans and their animals who need immediate help.
We receive no funding from other sources. All donations are gratefully received as we work hard to care for existing animals in need and those animals caught up in this crisis. Thank you.

Items currently in short stock - Long Life Milk, Tinned tomatoes, tinned spaghetti, tinned potatoes, tinned vegetable, packet rice, tinned fruit, rice pudding, coffee, long life juice/squash.
We are partnering with @bankuet - they make it easier for you to donate food to us from the safety of your own home. Got 30 seconds? Here is a video explaining :
T H A N K Y O U to T K MAXX in Newport. Upon closing down in March, they donated some of their food goods to different charities, which included The Isle of Wight Foodbank.
T H A N K Y O U to Sandown Carnival Association and Ben Holbrook, Parades Director, for presenting us with a cheque for £750. Many thanks for your very generous donation. This will help us greatly in continuing our work to help local people in crisis.

The Isle of Wight Foundation (the charitable trust founded by the partners in ISLAND ROADS) supports frontline local charities with emergency crisis funding.
Two frontline charities currently supporting vulnerable Island residents during the Covid-19 outbreak have been boosted by a grant from the Isle of Wight Foundation.
The IW Foodbank and Pan Together have both been awarded funds by the Isle of Wight Foundation - one of six local charitable trusts and foundations coming together at this difficult time to pool resources in support of the Crisis Appeal – launched by Island’s High Sheriff Geoff Underwood to help local charities in their work tackling the effects of Covid-19.
Together the trusts and foundations will over the next three months donate around £45,000 to such local good causes.
As its contribution in the first month, the Isle of Wight Foundation will give £1,000 to Pan Together and £2,500 to IW Foodbank. The Foodbank has also been awarded a similar amount under the Crisis Appeal from the Daisie Rich Foundation.
Rachel Thomson, Community Centre Manager at Pan Together, said: “We are over the moon. This money will really make a difference to the support services we're providing to those extremely vulnerable people. in our local area who are most affected by self-isolation and who have little support.
“If anyone within Pan, Pan Meadows and Barton would benefit from our meal deliveries, essential shopping and/or prescription collections, please call 01983 248 170 from 9 am to 5 pm, seven days a week or email".
Hannah Jones, administrator at the IW Foodbank said: “We are extremely grateful for these donations which enable us to remain a viable operation and feed those in need on the Island.
“We would not be able to continue without support of this kind especially at this worrying and uncertain time where food seems to be out of reach even more for those who are already vulnerable.”
'The Isle of Wight Foodbank can be contacted on 01983 292040 or email For more information you can alternatively view our website The trusts and foundations coming together for the Crisis Appeal are the Isle of Wight Foundation, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, The Daisie Rich Trust, The IW Sports Foundation, The High Sheriff’s Trust and WightAID.
You can donate via If you need any further information about the Foundation this can be found on Island Roads’ website

We have no major updates and we’re not planning any further timetable changes at this point as we’re probably at a level we can sustain for the time being.
Bus usage is down to about 10% of what it was on average, with some better than and some worse. We have furloughed around half of our bus drivers, as well and engineers and administration staff. As always, please let me know if you or anyone has any further queries.
Richard Tylsdley

and the Revenues department are warning businesses to be careful when applying for Government support due to Coronavirus. We have had reports that companies are offering their services but are charging £99 to apply on your behalf. This is a free to claim service and you can do this yourselves with relative ease. Please go to Application for support for business affected by Covid-19 where you can log in and claim for free. Scams aren’t just aimed at individuals these criminals will target whoever they feel is vulnerable and right now that is all of us so please be wary when receiving emails, texts and messages – remember genuine organisations will NEVER ask you to click on links in messages or ask for your bank details. Trading Standards are warning residents to be wary of emails received purporting to be from Council Tax. The message says that there has been a reduction in your council tax and you are entitled to a refund and asks you to click on a link to action the refund. This is a SCAM
- The Isle of Wight Council will never contact you in this way,
- NEVER click on links in messages – delete the message straight away
We will continue to update you with any scams that we become aware of.
Please keep yourselves and your businesses safe.
Sally Ash

Dear fellow Island resident, I wanted to write to you following the government announcement yesterday evening that the lockdown will be continuing for a further 3 weeks. Firstly, I really want to thank everyone who is following the government guidelines which I am pleased to say is the vast majority of people. We all have a part to play in preventing the spread of the virus so it is crucial we all: -
• Stay at home
• Protect the NHS
• Save Lives
If you are asking yourself why this is so important – well it is really clear that you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms and we must limit our contact with others to stop the spread of the virus. Sadly this does include not meeting up with others, even friends or family. So the things you can you leave your home for are as follows: -
• shopping for necessities
• exercise
• any medical need and
• travelling to and from work but only where you cannot work from home
The policing role as well as working in partnership with a whole host of other agencies through the Local Resilience Forum in response to this, is ensuring everyone is doing all they can to stop that spread of the disease in line with those government directions. We are very clear that we police by consent in the country and that is something we cherish and so our approach to gaining compliance is to Engage with the public about their reasons for being out and about; Explain the government guidelines and how what they are doing does/does not fit with those; Encourage them to comply and return home. Only where this is unsuccessful or there have been numerous breaches will we use our Enforcement powers. Whilst we have had occasion to use our enforcement powers on the Island, they have been relatively small in number and I am pleased to say that the vast majority of people have responded positively to our engagement. For those following Isle of Wight Police Facebook page you will have seen the patrol work we have been doing and the updates we have been giving not only on Coronavirus related work but also on normal policing work. We have a great following already and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive about the connection we are making with the community - you do not need a Facebook account to follow us.
We are carrying out patrols across the Island, ensuring that locations where people could gather are regularly monitored and speaking with people who are there. I would urge people to exercise common sense when it comes to contacting us. If there was a mass gathering, we would want to know about it can be dealt with. Where possible, we are asking these are reported online via our website. www.hampshire. by clicking on the ‘Tell us about’ button.
Unfortunately we have seen assaults on officers during this time, most recently four officers were coughed at and the man spat inside a police van. I am pleased to say that has been jailed for six months as a result. Assaults on any key workers are totally unacceptable and will be dealt with robustly. Throughout this time I can assure you that normal policing business continues and we are out on patrol keeping the community safe. We have seen an overall decrease in crime during recent weeks, but I would want to remind people to ensure they are being vigilant and ensuring doors and windows are locked, as are car doors, and that CCTV is working at places like businesses. We have lots of crime prevention advice on our website,
Sadly, there have been reports across the country of fraudsters taking advantage of this situation, with reports of telephone scams or phishing emails. We are working with government partners to ensure the public have the information they need so that they are not caught out by opportunistic people. There is lots of good information on scams, which is regularly updated, on the Action Fraud website.
One area of crime that research suggested will see an increase is domestic abuse. We are closely monitoring this as protecting vulnerable people and preventing harm remain our priorities, and responding to domestic abuse is, and always will be, part of our core operational response. It’s vital people know that they can still call 999 if they are in danger and we will respond – we are still here. The support services for victims are still available, just being delivered differently. Information on those services can be found at It’s also crucial that as well as victims knowing there is support for them, anyone who is abusing someone or who feels they might can also get support as well and there are groups available for them to contact as well.
For the most vulnerable residents there is a help line set up by the Isle of Wight Council on 01983 823600
where people, who do not have a local network of support, can seek support.
Finally, I appreciate that the announcement of a further 3 weeks of the lockdown is difficult for many people, for many reasons. I completely understand the desire to see family friends, but I would re-iterate that we must all do our part so please stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives. Thank you.

Dogs on beaches
“The Isle of Wight Council has agreed to extend the period of time that dog walkers can use beaches to exercise with their dogs, beyond 1 May when the normal restriction comes into force. "This decision will help people to follow government guidelines for social distancing when exercising by keeping the beach available for this purpose and reducing the need for people to converge on alternative areas. People are reminded to only ever walk to the beach or this purpose, in line with national guidance, which states that people should stay local, use open spaces near to their home, and not travel unnecessarily. “If people can access beaches on foot from their homes then they should ensure they are practicing social distancing measures (keeping 2 metres apart from others outside their household). Unless people are with members of the same household, gatherings of more than two people in public spaces should not take place. “People should not sunbathe, picnic or otherwise use the beach for anything other than daily exercise for themselves or their dog.” The public are reminded that you should only leave the house for very limited purposes and practice social distancing when doing these activities, everyone should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensure they are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of their household.
Charities and voluntary groups leading the fightback against coronavirus (Covid-19) can now access two financial support funds launched today (Monday 6 April) by the Isle of Wight Council. The Third Sector Lifeline (TSL) and the Community Essential Shopping and Delivery (CESD) funds have been set up to get money out to where it's needed as quickly as possible. By providing loans and grants to charities and voluntary groups delivering essential services to Island communities, the council aims to keep them on a sound financial footing. Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "We have seen from our colleagues in the voluntary sector an unprecedented response to the Covid-19 threat.
“However, we know some are struggling to maintain their operational costs and deliver the additional work to support the Island.
"They are supporting some of our most vulnerable residents so we in turn must do all that we can to support them in their important work without financial worry.
"These 'lifeline' loans and grants, accessible through these two new funds, will ensure the voluntary sector continues to thrive now and after the crisis."
The TSL fund offers loans of up to £30,000 to help not-for-profit organisations and community interest companies 'bridge the gap' while they wait for government funding through schemes such as furlough. The fund also offers grant aid to help towards the operating costs incurred by charities working on the Covid-19 front line.
Through the new CESD fund, the council aims to support the army of volunteers delivering essential shopping and medical supplies to vulnerable Islanders.
This fund of up to £5,000 is being made available to community groups in the form of loans and grants to enable them to support residents by advancing monies to pay for and deliver essential shopping. Residents will be expected to repay the costs of the shopping to the community group. For more information about the funds, including eligibility and how to apply, visit
"On 26 March, as part of the government's response to coronavirus (Covid-19), all councils with housing responsibilities, including the Isle of Wight Council, were tasked to move all homeless people into single person accommodation (i.e. no hostel or dormitory type accommodation) within 48 hours. "In addition, all councils with housing responsibilities, were directed to provide emergency accommodation to all people presenting as homeless, regardless of the reasons for that homelessness. "The directions from government aim to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on people facing homelessness and ultimately to prevent deaths during this public health emergency.
"Achieving these directions has been an extraordinary challenge. The council’s homelessness service has had to move everyone out of the council’s emergency winter shelter as well as several other homeless people living in dormitory type accommodation.
"Indeed, the council has needed to accommodate more than 60 homeless individuals across nine accommodation sites – six hotels and bed and breakfast establishments and three caravan parks.
"The council had to identify, design and commission support incredibly quickly. Our homelessness service approached many of the Island’s hotels and bed and breakfast establishments – some of which had already decided to close entirely because of the pandemic and others who were not able to support the need for additional accommodation for homeless individuals.
"We have also needed to commission support for the residents – and especially for those whose support from other agencies has been reduced or removed during the current crisis. "It is important to stress that not one homeless family is currently based in a hotel or bed and breakfast: the homelessness service has used other forms of accommodation to ensure that homeless families containing children are able access their own facilities wherever possible.
"The council is very aware there have been some public disruption and community safety issues relating to a small number of the individuals who have been housed in this emergency accommodation. We know that some residents are concerned as a onsequence.
"We are actively working with our partners, including the police, in the affected communities in order to address these incidences and to find solutions during what is an incredibly challenging situation and period of time for us all.
"As part of this, the council is continuing its search for additional accommodation for the rising numbers of people presenting as homeless so that we might reduce, if not remove, some of the issues that have been the cause of concern in the last few days."
A scheme which supports some of the Island's most promising sporting stars has been extended by six months in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
It means the group of 79 sportspeople who qualified for the latest 2020 Talented Athlete Scheme will continue to receive support well into 2021, when hopefully the crisis will have passed.
The scheme, run by the Isle of Wight Council, helps athletes who are competing at county level or above with discounted travel for mainland training and events, courtesy of Wightlink.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "The sporting calendar may have been obliterated for the foreseeable future by Covid-19, but we did not want this year's talented athletes to lose out.
"Many are unable to train because of the government's lockdown measures or have seen their championships postponed or cancelled altogether.
"Extending the scheme by six months will give them the chance to build for 2021 and provide, at the very least, a full year of competition.
"The knock-on effect of this is that the application window for future years will move to August/September time.
"We feel this is the best approach for the majority — it doesn't penalise anyone who has recently been accepted onto the scheme and allows everyone time to achieve the performance levels required to be accepted in 2021/22."
This year's group of sportspeople, aged from nine to 81, represent 20 different sports including surfing for the very first time with 11-year-old Jago Tasker receiving support.
Jago has been competing nationally at Surf England events and came fifth in the Rip Curl Grom Search 2019. Athletes also receive free access to the council’s 1Leisure Fitness facilities across the Island, as well as discounted treatments from RMA Sports Injury C linic and Cowes Chiropractic Clinic and special rates at Love Running. The value of the scheme is upwards of £2,000 per athlete. Swimmer Joe Carter is a previous beneficiary of the scheme. He said: "Without the talented athlete scheme it would not be possible for me to carry on swimming at such a high level.
"The One Card has allowed me to take training up to the next level and train in the gym an additional three evenings a week, and without the backing of Wightlink it would be so much harder to attend all the competitions and training camps needed to up and down the country."
Stuart James, Wightlink’s marketing and innovation director, added: “We have supported the Talented Athlete scheme for a number of years and really understand the difference it makes to the individuals involved. "Even during these unprecedented times we are amazed at the dedication of the Island’s sporting talent who continue to find ways to train and keep fit under difficult circumstances and are proud to support them. "Wightlink is really pleased to be able to play a part in helping the Island’s future sporting stars as they progress within their chosen sports and looks forward to supporting them with cross-Solent travel when sporting fixtures resume.”
The Island's annual Armed Forces Day event has been cancelled because of coronavirus (Covid-19). The Isle of Wight Council event was scheduled to take place on 20 June this year, but due to the current restrictions on public life in response to the pandemic, it has been called off.
The popular event normally celebrates the contribution of Armed Forces personnel with a veterans' parade and salute.
Council chairman, Councillor George Cameron, said the organising committee was "deeply disappointed" to make the decision, but said it had been done in line with government advice. He said: "We understand that the cancellation of this event will be very disappointing for Islanders but safety must come first.
"We must be responsible and follow the government's measures to protect the NHS and save lives. "However, the focus now turns to next year and arranging a fantastic event for us all to show our support and gratitude for those who have served of are currently serving the forces, and their families." Armed Forces Day is organised by members of the Royal British Legion and people with armed forces connections. The council is the main sponsor but generous support also comes from town and parish councils. Councillor Cameron added: "Town and parish councils that have already contributed will be contacted and, with their permission, we will roll the money over to next year's event."
In order to keep our community and registration staff safe and at home, registration of deaths is now being undertaken by telephone only.
Registrars are now registering deaths by telephone, from home. Appointments to register can be booked by calling (01983) 823233 and pressing option 1.
Funeral paperwork will be emailed directly to the relevant agencies.
Certificates will not be produced at the point of registration. They can be ordered online at Please allow ten days for delivery.
Birth registrations are currently suspended. New parents will need to register their child’s birth at a later date once the national suspension is lifted. Further communication will be undertaken at that time. For further information, visit Deaths/Register-a-death

The community response during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has been amazing, with hundreds of individuals, groups and organisations coming forward on the ground, and through social media, to offer support.
It’s great to see the community coming together to help each other in this way and in the words of our Neighbourhood Watch President 'crime doesn't flourish in communities that care.' Never has this been more important and there are many elderly and vulnerable people in our communities that will be be feeling particularly isolated, alone or struggling to support themselves currently that we need to look out for.
We can all play a part in supporting our elderly, vulnerable and more isolated neighbours and family members. The attached information leaflet provides details of helplines and routes to registering others as vulnerable. Please speak to those nearest to you, family or neighbours to ensure they are getting the help or support they might need and register them with the government support service if you feel that's needed. Many support groups have been formed but as there is no way to validate some of these groups we would remind everyone to please exercise caution in sharing personal details with unknown people. If you don't have a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street already why not consider using this time to set one up, again a web address can be found on the attached leaflet. We know many of you are already looking after each other in your community already and we know that the vast majority of our residents are complying with the current guidelines to help reduce the spread of the virus, to protect our NHS and help save lives. We are very grateful to you all for your support with this.
Dave Humphries
Chief Inspector
Local Policing Delivery Unit

Thoughts from a Lap-Top Chair
“It is written” that good writing does not contain cliches, but we do find cliches “easy on the mind” and on the pen so it's becoming my style for a while to include these and quotations. A foil to the dry accuracy of document speak.
A busy week for many. One would like to think that isolation would achieve a reduction in contacts but keeping in touch has led to an explosion (and frustration) in the use of media technology . Most of it will be “here to stay” So keep up the personal battle with downloading Skype and Zoom.
Any government directive and guideline seems to start out as a “blanket that fits all” but our life styles are numerous and complex and we want answers. Initative and the application of logic in this health situation is one where the “spirit of the law” has to outweigh our Englishness of, the directive, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. My local parish council needed an on-line comment to a planning app this week. Most of us found the portal “playing up” and it was up to the clerk to get round it. Our clerks warrant a “pat on the back” for the work they do. They have always been essential but now they are “rising to the occasion” to prevent a “decent into chaos”. In the Thursday 8pm street applause think of them as well as the providers and operators that are keeping things going.
“They also serve who only stand and wait.” All of us who cannot, should not and must not volunteer are also doing “their bit”. Three weeks into crisis mode and by now most essentials are covered so there is a wealth of humour to start coming through. “Don't let the bu.... get you Down!”
Helena Hewston (April 2020)

We are almost there with our support scheme, with some details still to sort out.
We are planning to hold our meetings on Zoom which can be accessed by councillors and public alike. We will most likely have to bite the bullet and pay for a subscription to the service in order to avoid the 40 minute cut-off but have waited for the legal side of virtual meetings to be sorted before going ahead. The relevant Standing Order has been issued and hopefully NALC will supply a translation next week!
Personally, we are not in isolation ourselves so we can go out for exercise. Went for a walk up to the (Gurnard) village shop yesterday and came across an outdoor keep-fit session with neighbours on both sides of the road participating but keeping a safe distance. Fortunately the road is wide and the houses spaced well apart. Sadly it's not possible where we are (being semi-rural, the houses even further apart and half of those immediately around us are empty) but I like the idea.
Sheila Caws

has arranged similar services to the other Parishes to residents for shopping, picking up prescriptions, dog walking etc.
We have dropped fliers into many households to inform householders, and I am still going into the Brading Centre every day to check for messages. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor have both offered to have chats on the phone with isolated or elderly members of the community, and all our services are included on our website. I am grateful to the many volunteers who have offered their services.
I can be contacted by email and I do a daily check.
Just to let you know about a piece of community generosity, I'd like to tell you about the Fox family who own The Yarbridge Inn. They have been cooking up batches of meals that just need heating up in the oven, and delivering them to the elderly and vulnerable - not just in Brading, but all over! Completely free!
Linda Allen

are working with the Isle of Wight Council, Community Action IW, IW Age UK and Citizens Advice to coordinate a band of volunteers to assist individuals or families in need of help and support. Community Spirited at the Parkside Pavilion are also closely involved in this effort and will be working with our local councillors, Councillor Karl Love and Councillor Michael Paler, are the community volunteer hub coordinators. Assistance can be given with shopping, collection of prescriptions or just a friendly chat on the phone to those living alone. The Town Council are financially supporting a local scheme to provide bags of essential groceries free to those who have been identified as being vulnerable and in need. This will ensure that those members of our community, who are most in need, will have the essential items they require and will not be left to struggle. They are also providing financial support to the local food banks whose services are regularly used by East Cowes residents
. We do not intend to hold any meetings, virtual or otherwise until this is all over. Decisions of the council, financial matters (that are urgent or need to be approved) are being circulated by email, a consensus formed and a resolution made. All correspondence relating to the decision is electronically filed and will be ratified as/when things return to normal.
Sue Chilton

Ryde's Emergency Response Hub is now well established.
It is operated by the RYDE TOWN COUNCIL and Aspire Ryde. We now have over 100 registered volunteers. They are matched with residents in need of support. Various forms of support are provided, depending on the individual's need. This includes delivery of food parcels and frozen meals, shopping, collection of prescriptions, chats over the phone and referrals to other organisations for specialised advice or support.
This exercise has demonstrated the value of partnership working. Ryde Town Council could not have done this without the cooperation and support of Aspire Ryde. We are particularly fortunate in that we already had in post a Community Connector, funded partly be the Council and based at Aspire. It has also demonstrated the enormous commitment of the people of Ryde, including Town Council and Aspire staff, who are working incredibly hard under very difficult conditions, and the many members of the community who are helping in various ways in a voluntary capacity.
Diana Conyers

To assist our residents with shopping etc the current local food suppliers delivering to Chillerton and Gatcombe include: Medina Foods, Family Fayre, Brownriggs and Shorwell Meats. We understand that the Village Shop in Brightstone is delivering to Billingham. It’s possible that they may extend to Chillerton if asked. Pharmacy news - we’ve been advised that Day Lewis in Carisbrooke are now delivering to patients over the age of 70. This may extend to those with conditions that make them vulnerable, but we do have our volunteers who will collect medicines.
Footpaths - while the Government guidance allows daily exercise outside the home our local footpaths are open. However notices have appeared where landowners have tried to close public rights of way. These have no validity, landowners do not have the authority to do that.
Nigel Phillips

Local authorities in England handed new powers to hold public meetings virtually by using video or telephone conferencing technology. Click on the link … or copy/paste into your browser for the full statement from Right Hon Robert Jenrick MP (Local Government Secretary)

Notes from NALC Management Board Meeting
Chief Executive, Jonathan Owen said it was good to hear that everybody was well and that parishes and County Associations were doing good things
Thanks were given to NALC staff for all their efforts and it was appreciated that with all the changes they are making, a couple now unwell and the huge demand for information/updates from CALC and councils that NALC’s focus and priority has to be on coronavirus.
The priority is to update the coronavirus webpage with current advice and to lobby government to take account of the sector when drawing up regulations for remote meetings and compensation for lost services. It was exciting for the LGA to contact NALC about charging for car parks too.
Measures to keep NALC and county associations viable over the next few months will be looked into. UPDATED - I know that the Government has issued regulations about remote meetings.
I will take up with Jonathan Owen. Regards,
Bob Blezzard

IWALC Vice Chair, Mick Lyons will be taking part in these calls and reporting back items of particular interest. From Friday’s meeting
Business: access to funding. Lots of talk about this and criticism of the banks. Concerns about big hotels that can't access funds on gov. scheme and small businesses that pay themselves dividends, but don't take a salary. Concern also expressed about a lack of seasonal workers. Government may be about to amend furlough scheme so that workers can transfer to seasonal agricultural work. Hotels and holiday businesses also concerned about lack of seasonal staff, but this is not considered essential.
LEP concerned about transport - ferries and Southern Vectis are finding it hard to maintain services. Bob Seely will talk to ferry and bus company to find out what the situation is.
IW Council - £62 million is being given to IW Council. Money will be used to support charities and small businesses on the Island. Clare Mosdel is working with the NHS, care sector and unions on PPE issues. NHS - The IW NHS debt will be written off. A third person had died on the Island. NHS being reconfigured Health and Well-being moving from St Mary's to Ryde to free up space at the hospital. They will also be using the IW College site and an army detachment will be arriving on the Island tomorrow to help organise medical services.
Mick Lyons

….. and…. how are some of our other members occupying themselves during self-isolation?
I have my wife with me so I consider very lucky as some people are alone. Julie gets on with the garden, her sewing, music, patchwork, knitting etc and I'm busy re-cycling the wood from a bench in Gatcombe into the new notice board to go outside the church, so we are fine at the moment. I have volunteered and we did our first collection of a prescription and deliver to Chillerton today - the lady was extremely grateful and left me a lovely note and some money, which I declined to accept, as we all work together for our residents. We also have our Cockapoo called Millie who wants to barks at every noise and moment, but t hat stops me nodding off and of course, she needs walks.
I feel it must be like the world wars were, without the bombs and guns. It’s a strange world we live in at the moment. But all I know is we must all do our best to beat this thing and get back to some kind of normality as soon as possible. But I'm sorry to say this is going to change us all for ever.
Peter Whiteman

The view from my “home office” window is much nicer than my usual one so that’s a bonus. It’s frustrating when you need to refer to a document or file that is back in the office but, hey ho, it’s not the end of the world! Its nice to be able to get on with work without the distraction of the office phone, but I miss the camaraderie of the team on a daily basis.
Sue Chilton

Good things to come out of it? Well, possibly neighbours/ communities getting to know each other better (ironic, I know) and the amount of ingenuity being displayed.
Bad things - well none for me personally yet, apart from my husband displaying early signs of cabin fever and our Norwegian cruise being limited to an away-day to Bergen airport (neither of which rank highly on any disaster scale), but it doesn't need much imagination to come up with possible examples.
Shiela Caws

All is well with us at the moment. I am hoping to use Zoom for a Pilate session. We are supposed to be self isolating as we are over seventy, but we aren’t able to get food delivery until next Friday so have to go out for food (and beer). The 2 metre apart queues for shops are rather variable - nothing like 2 metres at Wootton Tesco but OK at Briddlesford Farm. Inside small shops it's impossible to keep 2 metres apart. We have managed to get deliveries from Barrow Boys (vegetables) and Jarvis the butcher, both in Ryde. Tesco seems to have no delivery slots left now for at least three weeks, but there are some at Asda.
Walking and running still allowed at the moment so have enjoyed the good weather this week and have done lots of gardening. As cases increase on the Island, I hope the hospital will be able to cope.

MP BOB SEELY - Update for this week:
• We now have a package of support from government for the self-employed. Details can be found here:
• The Government has given the IW Council over £5 million to help the Island respond to pressures on services brought a bout by COVID-19. The money will be used to enhance hospital discharge processes so patients who no longer need urgent treatment can return home safely and quickly, making beds available to deal with people needing urgent care, including those being cared for with coronavirus.
• The ferries have now reduced their services significantly due to falling demand. Routes remain open for medical and food supplies, ambulances, key worker travel and postal services but visitors are no longer coming. I thank the ferry companies and Visit Isle of Wight for their work on that. The police are also looking ways to help ensure visitors are deterred for the time being.
• he government has given £62.8 million to the IW Council to support Island businesses. The money is to help support eligible business ratepayers and businesses and should be paid out to Island businesses from next week.
• A new Rural Business Resilience Fund has been created specifically for IW businesses by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. Natural Enterprise is managing the fund. It will be used to support small and medium sized businesses on the Island.
• The Health Secretary announced on Thursday that NHS debts will be written off. We are looking at whether this includes the IOW.
• The IOW NHS Trust has been working hard to ensure it is ready to respond to an increase in COVID-19 patients as we go through the next few weeks. All non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments have been stopped. The Community Unit has moved to Ryde Health and Wellbeing Centre, which has freed up beds on the main hospital site. Wards have been reconfigured to create Isolation Wards to treat patients confirmed as having Covid-19. The number of ventilated beds in the Intensive Care Unit has been increased. The Trust has been working with military planners to deliver a further 200 additional beds at the St Mary’s site. Other potential sites have also been identified.
• We are currently looking at ways to get more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Island to ensure all of our care workers can be protected.

Please continue to stay safe by staying at home and do get in contact if there’s anything I can do.
Telephone: 01983 220220
Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news of what I’m doing for the Island.
Twitter: @IoWBobSeely
Facebook: @IoWBobSeely
Instagram: @IoWBobSeely
Please see the link to my nformation page and pass to anyone who has questions. It is updated regularly.

Statement from Richard Tyldesley, General Manager, Southern Vectis, regarding the cancellation of specific public bus services on Sundays. In addition please noted the reductions of Southern Vectis on most routes Monday to Saturday commencing today (1st April) which are detailed on their website www.islandbuses. info “Southern Vectis will be introducing revised timetables for this Sunday, and future Sundays until further notice. The main thing to highlight, is that as a result of negligible passenger numbers, routes 6, 12 & 38 will be withdrawn on Sundays and Bank Holidays. They will retain a Monday-Friday and Saturday service, though - this is just a change to Sunday services. Other routes will operate on reduced frequencies, but where possible we will try and retain key links for essential workers.”

Local Councils affected by the cancellations of Sunday Bus Services:
Route 6
Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council
Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Council
Chale Parish Council
Niton and Whitwell Parish Council
Ventnor Town Council

Route 12
Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council
Shorwell Parish Council
Brighstone Parish Council
Freshwater Parish Council
Totland Parish Council
Route 38
Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council


If you could just let people know that we have a vet available at all times to attend any emergency situations. Also we are very happy to take phone calls and give advice, free of charge, over the phone if anyone is worried about their horse but doesn't feel that it is an emergency situation. Contact us on our office number 01983 533799. Many thanks, Kate Vincett
Vectis Equine Vets,
Systems House,
St Cross Lane,
Isle of Wight.
PO30 5BZ
Tel: 01983533799 Fax: 01983530078

Please follow us on Facebook

We are occasionally having comments in the comments section of our posts reporting concerns around breaches of the new COVID-19 legislation and guidance. Whilst we do try and keep track and follow up these comments, it is not the best way to report your concerns. We have set up a dedicated online way of reporting any issues in relation to COVID-19.

Please follow us on Facebook

Wow! Morrison’s have committed to giving £10 million pounds worth of goods to Foodbanks in the UK and that includes us!
At this time, still in such desperate need of food (thank you to ALL donations so far!) this is fantastic and will greatly help us in continuing to support local people in crisis.
We understand that it is sometimes hard enough to get food for yourself, but if we could all LEAVE some food on the shelves for the vulnerable and the key workers, GIVE some food to charity and BUY some food for ourselves, we can make sure there is enough food for everyone.

THE ISLE OF WIGHT COUNCIL and the funding body WightAID have joined forces to ensure frontline charities to the coronavirus response receive the support they so desperately need. For the next few months, WightAID will focus its grant giving to those in the most critical need. This includes — but is no way limited to — the Isle of Wight Foodbank as well as homelessness, mental health and bereavement charities working on the Island.
Geoff Underwood, WightAID chairman and High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight, said:
"As we enter a period of considerable difficulty, it is even more important than ever for us to stay together and support those most in need.
"Hopefully, this pandemic will reduce to manageable levels within a few months, but we have a fight on our hands.
"Now more than ever, we need the people of the Isle of Wight to dig deep and support those less well off. Even though times will be difficult, now is the time for everyone to do their bit." Businesses, both large and small, are being asked to show their resolve and put something towards their community via WightAID.
Every penny that you give will go straight to those charities and organisations — not individuals — working with those in most need in the community.
"With your help, we can weather this situation together. It's a daunting time, and cash will be in short supply, but please do something — no matter how small," said Mr Underwood. Council leader Dave Stewart added:
"The council is delighted to be working alongside WightAID in delivering crucial support to charities working at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis. " While recognising the enormous strain being placed on our business community at this time, I would implore you to give what you can to this important appeal." People can support WightAID here:

Parking charges across the Island are to be temporarily suspended by the Isle of Wight Council. All council car parks and the majority of on-street parking spaces will be free of charge until further notice — although residents must adhere to on-street parking time limits.
Esplanades are not included and charging remains in place to deter people from travelling long distances to the coast during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
At the same time, the authority is encouraging Islanders to use council car parks to free up much-needed on-street spaces for visiting key workers.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said the authority recognised the severe financial strain Islanders were currently under.
He said: "That is why we are going beyond the government's offer of free car parking for critical workers in the NHS and social care during the Covid-19 outbreak.
"However, let me be clear, the message remains: "Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives" — you should not leave your home unless absolutely necessary. "I would also ask residents to be considerate and leave spaces free next to pharmacies and supermarkets to allow people to get in and out quickly."
In a further move to support Island residents, the authority has also announced it is to freeze direct debit payments for all parking permits for three months. Residents do not need to contact the council or cancel the direct debit at their bank. The council will advise permit holders in advance of the payments recommencing.
The expiry date of all other paid for parking permits will automatically be extended by a further period of three months.

At a meeting of the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Board this morning (Wednesday 1 April), further alterations to cross-Solent ferry services were discussed.
It is clear that an almost total drop in demand of passenger traffic, coupled with reduced freight volumes means that many services are now under-utilised and not required. All operators are also acutely aware of the need to ensure adequate resilience in staffing levels to ensure that a lifeline service is maintained to the Island. As a result of these factors both Red Funnel and Wightlink are making amendments to their timetables: Wightlink will be reducing the number of car ferry sailings on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route and is suspending its Portsmouth to Ryde Fast Cat service. The revised car ferry schedule ensures that the demand from emergency services, freight operators, and other essential travellers will be met.
Red Funnel is announcing a reduction in its Red Jet services outside peak travel times. Full details of the timetable revisions will be announced by the operators.

Hovertravel will continue to provide its fast service, which not only carries foot passengers, but is also used by the Royal Mail and brings all the pharmaceuticals to the Island.
Board chairman, Christopher Garnett, said: “These measures have the full support of the board and will ensure essential, effective and robust cross-Solent ferry services can continue at this very difficult time. The board and operators are working closely together to ensure full resilience for the Island is maintained in all key areas.
“These are lifeline services for the Island, bringing in all our supplies and freight – including food and fuel and providing key connectivity in areas such as mainland travel for hospital appointmen ts, whether on foot or by ambulance.
“Each of the operators continues to put in enormous efforts to maintain these servic es in these unprecedented times, including the promotion of ‘essential travel only’.”
As part of the latest changes to services, all the operators are continuing to work together to maintain seamless services for passengers.
As part of this , in the event the hovercraft is unable to operate due to weather conditions, Southern Vectis will be arranging for its number 9 service to go via Wightlink’s Fishbourne terminal to provide a foot passenger connection from both Newport and Ryde .
The transport infrastructure board will continue to meet regularly to ensure that Islanders receive the best service possible through this very difficult time.

Children's services on the Island have issued important guidance on what to do if you are worried a child or young person could be at risk of abuse during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
It comes as charities nationally warn of an increased risk of harm, neglect and online abuse faced by vulnerable children amid the UK-wide lockdown due to the pandemic.
Teachers are often the first to recognise the signs a child could be at risk of harm — but with children s taying at home, there are concerns those signs could be harder to spot.
If you suspect child abuse:
• Do listen to the child.
• Do take what the child says seriously.
• Do act quickly.
• Do continue to offer support to the child.
• Don't delay.
• Don't probe or push the child for explanations.
• Don't assume that someone else knows and will help the child. You must act.
• Don't be afraid to voice your concerns, the child may need urgent protection and help.
If you are worried about a child or young person who could be in danger, or is suffering from harm or neglect, contact the Isle of Wight Council's child protection service on 0300 300 0117. The line is open 24 hours a day.
In an emergency always contact the police by dialling 999. Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children's services, education and skills, said:
"To many people, sending children home may seem like the safest option, but the sad reality is that not all children are safe at home.
"Teachers act as the eyes and ears of the community, and are often the first to spot signs of abuse and neglect, and can be fundamental in ensuring children receive the right support and protection.
"Daily contact with these trusted adults, also including youth and mental health workers, means children can raise issues that are worrying them, including abuse.
"In these difficult times, we all have a responsibility to look out for one another and this is particularly relevant for the well-being and protection of our children.
"If you have any concerns about the safety of a child or young person, please do contact our child protection service on 0300 300 0117, or if it's an emergency, dial 999." Charities are also warning that young people staying at home are more likely to be spending more time online, meaning they could be more exposed to cyber bullying, sexual grooming, self-harm forums and other harmful content.
To tackle these risks, parents should be having regular conversations with their children about what they are doing on the web and reassure them that they can talk about any worries they may have. Childline (0800 11 11) has also published new content on Covid-19 to support children, young people and their parents and carers:
Information and advice for children and young people on coronavirus.
Tips and support for parents on talking to a child worried about coronavirus.

Army personnel have been deployed on the Isle of Wight to help with the reconfiguration of St Mary’s hospital as part of the national planned mutual aid arrangements for military support for major incidents. The NHS on the Island is putting in place its plans for the expected increase in people who need hospital treatment because of COVID-19.
As part of this, a detachment of 40 men and women from the Scots Guards arrived on the Island on Saturday night. Their role is to support the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s Estates Department in imp lementing its plans to reconfigure large parts of the hospital so more beds will be available.
Work has already start d at the St Mary’s site on converting the Laidlaw Day Hospital, the Education Centre and the Outpatients Appointments and Records Unit into in-patient accommodation for a possible extra 200 beds. Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive of the Isle of W ight NHS Trust, said:
“It’s no secret that across the NHS, and certainly here on the Island, people have been working very hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and under extraordinary pressure.
"Our teams at the hospital and in our ambulance, community and mental health services have risen to the challenges of the last few weeks and we are hugely grate ful for their hard work. But we know there is more work to come and we are doing everything we possibly can to be ready. < br>“I am glad to welcome the Scots Guards to help us bring in 200 new beds to our hospital site. Having these brave men a nd women working alongside us will give us the extra support we need to get this huge amount of work done as quickly as p ossible."
Dave Stewart, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council said:
“It is comforting to know that we now have the m ilitary’s aid for the plans we have to support our community throughout these unprecedented times.
“However, we should never lose sight of the fact that if everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and follows the very clear advice for social distancing and self-isolation, then we can slow down the spread of the virus.
“We should stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

REV MARCUS BAGG (St Mary’s, Carisbrooke, St Nicholas-in-Castro and St Olave’s, Gatcombe)
celebrated Palm Sunday and continued to lead prayers in these unusual circumstances by posting another message on St Mary's Facebook page (, in time for 10.30am on Sunday, encouraging people, as usual, to join in prayer at that time.
“We are also trying to think of ways to mark Maundy Thursday and Good Friday,” said Marcus. “If you have any ideas or things you'd like us to do, feel free to let me know.” As this was Palm Sunday, Marcus encouraged people to make a paper palm cross for themselves, directing them to any number of videos with instructions that they could find, such as .
“Honesty time: I haven't tried this myself yet, so don't know how advanced your origami skills might need to be!” he added.
However, they wanted to do something special to mark the occasion as the church gathered. “Being Palm Sunday, we'd usually be handing out palm crosses to you all ... but clearly, that’s not going to happen! So please help us by drawing a cross on the palm of your hand and sending a photo to us. We'll then make these into a collage, and post them on St Mary's Facebook page where there is also an example of what we are asking for. Let’s fill our Facebook with Palm crosses, because no matter what else is happening:
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
God bless you all,

We recognise these are unprecedented times and very difficult for everyone.
Now, as always, safety remains our absolute priority and we continue to take our responsibilities to managing the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak very seriously.
Although a large part of the population has been asked to stay at home during this period, it is important that we keep the roads and surrounding areas properly maintained so that the key people who need to get to work, especially our NHS staff and emergency services, are able to do so without delay or increased road risk.
Island Roads employees undertake a key role for the Island by keeping the highway network safe and free flowing. We are therefore continuing to undertake important tasks such as repairing road defects, keeping the streets clean and bins emptied, cutting the grass so that it does not reduce visibility and keeping the traffic signals and street lights working. We will also continue to deliver other maintenance and improvement tasks as these all contribute to a safer network for vehicles and pedestrians.
Our work falls within the construction sector where government advice is to continue with these activities. We have followed this advice and have adapted all our activities to comply with Public Health England Guidelines. We have separated our operational crews into two shifts and have staggered the start times to help keep our teams separate. We are now also operating with only one person in each vehicle for 99% of our activities and have sourced additional vans to make this happen. We are helping our crews with safety equipment and providing guidance and support on hygiene standards. We have also set clear requirements on distancing from work colleagues and it is expected that this advice will be complied with for all but a limited number of activities where this may not be achievable.
As a result o This also gives us time between shifts for additional vehicle cleaning. We will seek to minimise noise at these times in particular and while we apologise in advance for any disturbance these temporary new measures may cause, we are sure people understand this new way of working is in the interests of maintaining both the safety of our workforce and the community. Furthermore, given all the above, we are suspending our highway and footway maintenance programmes, which require larger teams to work in close proximity, until it is safe to reinstate these activities.
We continue to work on the St Mary’s Junction Improvement scheme in line with current government advice to keep construction sites progressing where possible. We are also mindful of the impact the project has, under usual circumstances, on many people’s journeys every day and so we a re keen to continue to deliver this in line with the agreed timetable.
However, work has to be balanced against the lates t health advice and we are keeping this project under daily review. Fortunately, we are currently in a phase where required anpower levels are not as high as they have been during other elements of the scheme. This has made social distancing easier to achieve. While the information above outlines the current situation, naturally there is a risk that in the coming days an d weeks, our staff become unavailable either through sickness, through self-isolation or because they have caring duties. I anticipation, we have undertaken contingency planning with our partners and supply chain to ensure we have the required staff and resources to undertake our responsibilities. To assist us with managing any necessary highway reports, we would also encourage you to make use of our online reporting facilities. These can be found via the yellow button in the top right hand corner of our website homepage or via this direct link
Alternatively you can email us via

We continue to take highway related calls via our normal phone number 01983 822440. This team also deals with any contact and responses relating to highway emergencies, so we would encourage people not to make contact for items that are non-essential or low priority. We continue to keep a close eye on the advice from the Government and our management team are regularly evolving our daily delivery approach to stay aligned with this continually changing situation. We will continue to keep our website updated with the latest relevant information.
We appreciate your support and understanding during these times and hope you all keep safe and well.
Amantha O’Rourke

DEFRA Message
02 04 20:
Public Rights of Way and Covid-19
The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.
However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has sa id people can leave their homes for exercise once a day. NFU and CLA have told us that some landowners are still concerned being left open and dogs not being controlled.
To help address this we will publish a supplementary video on social med ia in advance of this weekend, reminding people to follow the Countryside Code. This will be published on Twitter @DefraGovUK and Defra’s Facebook page. We encourage you to share this with your members and networks.
Finally, further concerns have been raised by stakeholders that the use of public rights of way that run through gardens, farmyards and schools is increasin g the risk of exposure to the coronavirus to residents and farm workers.
The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others from people using public rights of way and other paths and trails is considered to be very low as long as people foll ow the Government’s instructions to maintain social distancing.
Landowners do not have the legal right to block or obstru ct public rights of way. However, in very limited circumstances where large numbers of people are using such routes, landown ers may consider the following measures:
• tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to t ouch the gate.
• temporarily displaying polite notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools. Note: this is a polite request only, and there is no power under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 for landowners to close or obstruct a public right of way
• offering an alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained. Key points to Note under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)
• Under Section 39 of CROW it is an offence to fail to comply with an order of the Magistrate’s Court to remove an obstruction. So a landowner must not obstruct any right of way.
• It is an offence under section 14 of CROW to display a notice that contains “any false or misleading information likely to deter the public from exercisi ng” a right of way.
• Land owners may be liable for personal injury under section 13 (6C) of CROW if they are reckle ss or intend to create a risk – for example by offering a dangerous alternative. This means that
• If a land owner of fers an alternative route, they must ensure that it is safe to use and that the existing right of way is maintained so tha t users with differing abilities have a choice.
• A notice must not imply that there is any doubt about the use of the existing right of way. These temporary measures must be lifted as soon as social distancing measures are relaxed.

Information comes from Evy Skinner and Debbie Andre concerning the opening hours of two of the Island Foodbanks from 1 April until the lockdown is lifted. The Bay Foodbank at The Chapel (YMCA) Winchester House, Sandown Road, Shanklin will open only on Thursday - 4.30 to 6.30pm and Friday 9.30 to 11.30am. This Foodbank will be open on Good Friday but will close on Tuesdays until the lockdown is lifted. The Ryde Foodbank - Grace Church, Marlborough Road, Ryde - remains open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Our MP Bob Seely has also collected a mine of information about Coronavirus on his website
Covid-19 info rmation for the Isle of Wight
there is a great deal of information and advice there.
Web access to information about Coronavirus on the Island has been rationalised onto one site by wightcomputers
Covid-19 info rmation for the Isle of Wight
, Just about anything you need to know should be there.

Please share your experiences with us…

“Keep Calm and Carry on” instructs the poster. Not an apposite saying as we have nothing really to rant against. Oops… I'm overlooking the Care Home situation.
“Carry on Regardless.” Can't do this either because avenues for achieving things rapidly become cul-desacs. What other maxims come to mind in these “unusual times”? “Plough a straight furrow?” Yes, we can try that, but that is hard work and requires co-operation which is physically in short supply for anyone, let alone for any Council.
At present, “things sent to try us” include my lap-top with glitches that take time to sort out. Time I resent spending when I could be out for a walk or gardening. “A trouble shared” would be halved if only there was someone to share it with.
However, the “up side” of this is that I am learning stuff. “God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.” Now this I can relate to. There is better weather and spring is enhanced with the sunshine.
Pressure to financially assist businesses and individuals has produced results, but there are still more “lambs” needing succour. I can still grumble at the Almighty though for sending a cold wind. Is it an “ill wind?” “The other side of the coin” has meant the kitchen has been decorated – a task that has been “shelved” for some time and some embroidery, now finished, can be stored “out of sight and out of mind.”
“Mañana... tomorrow is another day” and I can “put off what I do not want to do today” with a happy excuse as there are another twelve weeks of this new regime.
No, I do not want to spend time reading email responses to these lap-top thoughts. What I do want is for you to recall lots of sayings and memories that show “everything changes” even though “there is nothing new under the sun.”
We do need to “keep the faith” that the “powers that be” will enable us to “Carry on and Keep Safe.”
Regards to you all,
Helena Hewston
(Chair of IWALC) 29.3.2020

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the Town Council's office is closed until further notice. The Town Clerk and Assistant Town Clerk are working from home and can be contacted via email or mobile, as below:
Town Clerk:
Assistant Town Clerk:
Mobile: 07502 444883
For those requiring assistance in the Cowes area, please contact:
Cllr Lora Peacey Wilcox on 01983 645765 or 07970 424214, email
Cllr Paul Fuller on 01983 289595 or 07935 090835
All meetings have been cancelled until 13 April 2020 and this will be reviewed subject to Government advice

Notice Board - March 20 Coronavirus - Wroxall residents
Are you are feeling vulnerable and don’t want to go out? Do you have health problems that leave you more susceptible to infections?
If you need help getting shopping, picking up prescriptions or posting letters etc we maybe able to help. Please contact Helen on 861280 or 07850125245 and we will do our very best to help you. This is completely free of charge. We all want to do our bit to help those who maybe vulnerable.

FISHBOURNE PARISH COUNCIL Coronavirus Support Group and Parish Surgeries
A Community Action/ Support Group is being set up to help if you are over 70 or self-isolating due to Coronavirus. If you are in one of these categories and need some support, or you are willing to be a volunteer and offer support, please contact one of your Parish Councillors or the Parish Clerk.
Email: or Tel: 07815990019 or Cllr Sarah Talbot 882655 and give your phone/ contact details.
Areas of help might be shopping, collection of medication, dog walking or even a chat on the phone. The Parish Council Tuesday surgeries have been amended to twice per month and will be manned by the Chairman on 24th March 14th and 28th April and 12th and 26th May.
Parish Clerk – 30 Fieldway Crescent, Northwood, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8AJ

Godshill Parish Council wish to ensure that local residents who need it receive appropriate support during these exceptional times.
Isle of Wight AGE UK is co-ordinating efforts Island-wide. Should you be self-isolating and need support (for example, collecting shopping or prescriptions, posting mail, a social chat) contact the charity on 01983 525282
If you are able to volunteer to provide support, you can do so via either the above phone number or the ‘Can You Help?’ Page of the charity’s website
Parish Clerk- GW Hughes, Westfield House, Shore Road, Ventnor, IW.
(Tel 853232 or email

In view of the current situation concerning the coronavirus now prevalent throughout the world, Chale Parish Council has issued the following advice and information:
Chale Parish Council are aware that some residents of the Parish may have difficulty regarding shopping for essential supplies, collecting or putting in for a repeat prescription, posting of letters or another Post Office Service. If you do require help there are people in the Village that are volunteering to do so.
If this is the case, please contact me on either (home phone) 551310 or 07767 712275 and I will arrange for assistance.
Ron Groves (Chairman)

Norris’s Stores and Niton Country Stores are offering home delivery for the smallest items. Small orders please - phone Niton Country Stores on 731344 or 730398 before 11am on Monday or Thursday for same day or possibly next day delivery. Large orders please email for automated instructions. If you know of people who need help and do not have email, please use your own email and send their shopping list to Joanna or contact Norris’s Store direct on 730275

All of our Foodbanks are open except for our Freshwater Foodbank. We are running at our usual times and days, but are not offering our wrap- around Cafe service as we are limiting the contact time we have between us and our clients, as you can understand. Our website and social media pages are being updated with any new and relevant information so please refer to those for any changes to how we are operating.

I'm back in an Ops Room after all these years as we have established a Community Response and Back up for Niton and area. Check out for much more information on how we can help. More updates on their way…

RYDE launches Coronavirus Support Hub to assist residents in need and offers a range of assistance to residents. We are all in this together and you live in a caring community. You are not alone. Coronavirus Ryde Support Hub – Call (01983) 811105
We know this a frightening and difficult time for everyone. Every area on the Isle of Wight has local community support Hubs emerging during the Coronavirus outbreak and this includes in Ryde. So please seek help. We are all in this together and you live in a caring community.

RYDE TOWN COUNCIL is working closely with Aspire Ryde and other organisations to help support residents of Ryde and the surrounding areas to get through this.
From March 24 there is a dedicated helpline for anyone seeking information and support during this period. Call (01983) 811105.
Free School Meals Ryde ARCH in the Upper High Street are distributing packed lunches to pupils of Ryde Academy registered for Free School Meals. They will be available for collection, from ARCH between Noon and 2pm Monday – Friday.
Other support - residents can access:
Assistance for those in food poverty
Assistance for those struggling to obtain food or supplies
Assistance for those in vulnerable situations
Assistance for those experiencing difficulties with self-Isolation
Advice and information from Citizens Advice Bureau
Assistance with dog-walking, post etc…

Mental Health support We hope to offer assistance with the delivery of prescriptions in the very near future. Get in touch If you wish to register for these services, have concerns about a vulnerable neighbour or friend, or wish to volunteer please call (01983) 811105 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
You are also able to access services by emailing

A message from the Mayor of Ryde Michael Lilley-
“Ryde Town Council and Aspire have now set up an operational Ryde Coronavirus Community Action HUB and we have a growing band of volunteers joining us to help out to people in need. I urge people to keep safe, self-isolate and only go out as instructed to shop or exercise but remembering to keep to social distancing rules. Ryde has a wonderful community and together we will get through this difficult time. Together we will create hope for all.”
Please note that support can only be offered via the numbers above and residents should not attempt to make an initial contact in person either at Ryde Town Council offices or at Aspire Ryde sites.
We would like to thank all those who have volunteered their services to help with the current situation. We will be contacting people in the coming days as necessary to assist in this work.
UPDATE - Michael Lilley, in his capacity as Chair of the Voluntary Sector Forum, is setting up a network of key people involved in organising emergency response systems at the community level. The aim is to share experiences and, in particular, identify any key issues or problems that need to be resolved at a higher level. He would like to know if you or any organisations in your area have set up some sort of coordinated response system and, if so, to have the email address of someone he can contact about it. The intention is for these key people to have an initial video conference discussion on Wednesday afternoon (1 April).
Please contact Michael directly, but copy Diana Conyers into the message.
( and

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.
Members of the public should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19. In some cases individuals may be pressurised on their own doorsteps to buy anti-virus kits or persuaded into purchasing products that are advertised on their social media feeds. In addition, some call centres that previously targeted UK consumers with dubious health products are now offering supplements that supposedly prevent COVID-19.
Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals. While there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help during self-isolation, there have been reports of criminals preying on residents – often older people or people living with long-term health conditions – by cold-calling at their homes and offering to go to the shops for them. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money.
There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.

COVID-19 scams identified include:
Doorstep crime
Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.
Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Online scams
Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.
Refund scams
Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.
Counterfeit goods
Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.
Telephone scams
As more people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.
Donation scams
There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.
Loan sharks
Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit
Members of the public are being urged to keep in contact with family members regularly and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them. If someone has been targeted by a scam it can be reported to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.
For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit:

We have set up West Wight Cornavirus Support, working from the West Wight Sports and Community Centre. Areas covered are Freshwater, Totland, Yarmouth, Thorley and Wellow. We have a base of volunteers, plus a core team running the support centre, doing things like picking up shopping, phone chat/contact, collecting medication, posting mail, urgent supplies, hot meal delivery, transport etc. The team have also set up protocols around safeguarding and good practice for the volunteers. The team are just “road-testing” the protocols, but once we are sure we have them right they are happy to share. The centre is, of course, now closed to the public so it is a bit strange. Adam Tucker, our Community Connector, has been a real strength in this work along with a number of organisations including Churches Together, WW Time Bank, Community Connector, Our Place team, Just Ask Officer, Totland, Yarmouth and Freshwater Parish Councils, local Fire Service, local businesses and the wider community.
Leaflets are being distributed to inform people of the support available and volunteers being recruited to help. At the last count we had 110 volunteers - matching the volunteers with the people requesting help has been exacting, but the team have a good database now.
Contact details 01983 752168 (this is the number that all calls come through - we are lucky to have 4 lines) Facebook www.westwightsportscentre

UPDATE - I wanted to update you on progress with the Support Network and attach notes from this morning’s (March 30) support network management group for your information which we undertook remotely of course.
It has been a hugely challenging few days for everyone and we are incredibly grateful to the fantastic community that we are part of who have rallied behind us and stepped up as volunteers in various capacities. Staff at the Centre have taken on the manning of the phones, which has been a two person job all week. They will be here over the weekend but Adam and I (and we hope Hazel) will be trying to have a bit of a break until Monday.
Please do get in touch if you have any queries. I do apologise if you feel left out of anything - this has not been deliberate - we have just been somewhat swamped. However, we are now getting processes and procedures in place and hope that things will start to be easier to manage from now on. Although clearly as time goes, hardship will increase.
For info we launched a fundraising site in the week and have to date raised nearly £3000 as well as more than £1000 donated over the phone. This will be used to fund the Support network as well as contributing to the future security of WWSCC. Please do share it as we really are going to need as much as help as possible.

Work carries on as normal.

More offers of assistance from Dave Jones of Chillerton -
Just thought I would let you know that I am a caseworker for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. We are there to assist any person (or their dependent family members), who have served in the Armed Forces. We are able to assist in many ways, usually financial assistance which we can almonise from the many service charities.
If you become aware of anyone who has served in the Armed Forces and who is in need of assistance at this difficult time, please point them in our direction. The IW branch office is contactable on 615379 - obviously the office is not manned at this time, but mailbox messages are picked up every few days.
I am happy, however for you to pass on the details of anyone who you become aware of who may be in need of our services and would like to be contacted, to me directly.

Emergency timetables started on Wednesday, but we’re already planning version 2 which reduce off-peak journeys further.
Patronage has decreased by almost 90%, but we’re committed to continue operating a basic level of service so that key workers and essential travel can take place.
Please advise people to keep checking our website

I just want to emphasise to you all how important it is to remain indoors where possible at this time. It is vital for the safety of yourselves and others that you observe the guidance being given by the government.
Our role as police officers is slightly different during this pandemic, and we are very much engaged in trying to reduce the spread of infection within our communities.
The new powers that we’re being granted will help, but we will first explain, engage and encourage, before using enforcement should there be a need to do so.
Our officers are out and about across the Island, and where there is a need to enforce we will do this as the public would rightly expect us to do this. However we would prefer that people follow the advice, stay at home and help us to help the national effort.
My message is simple – help us to help you, and please stay at home except for in the very limited purposes outlined by the government.

- COVID- 19 Coronavirus
Are you self isolating? Have you been asked to self isolate? Are you unwell and suspect you have or have been diagnosed as having Covid-19? The Parish Councillors and the Villagers of Chillerton & Gatcombe may be able to help with: Shopping, Getting your medication, Exercising dogs, Social support
If you are ill: Meals and drinks, Post.
For help, contact Nigel Phillips on 721382 or You may not need help now but this is a point of contact for the future
CAN YOU HELP? We need volunteers in Chillerton & Gatcombe to help support our neighbours in this time of crisis. If you can help in any way please contact Nigel Phillips
Following the Government guidance on Covid-19, my three churches recently closed their doors to all forms of worship. This means that there is not even private worship going on in those buildings. As a result, the church is finding and experimenting with new ways to reach both our usual congregations and the rest of our parish. Naturally, like everyone else, we're using a mixture of e-mailed updates, Facebook broadcasts, social media messages, telephone calls and good old-fashioned post to hold us all together.
Following on from the success of the national call to light candles, we're also continuing to encourage people to place a lit candle in their windows at 7pm on Sunday evenings, as a visible symbol to those around us that Jesus is the light of the World, and that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. (It has to be said, it looked much more impressive before the clocks changed!) Like the rainbows that are now appearing in windows all over the place, it is also a reminder that we are all in this together.
As a church, this latest nation-wide emergency has made us think, and forced us to react. But it has also given us new opportunities to link in to our communities. And St Mary's and St Olave's are doing their bit! But it is not just the church that has this opportunity. Communities are also finding ways to support each other, some more formally than others, some led by their councils, some led by specific individuals or churches. But it does highlight how important it is that we each do our individual part. This is an opportunity for us all to show just how much we care for the people whose lives intersect with ours. I encourage you all, to use this as an opportunity to change the Island in a way that has perhaps never been possible before and to create links that may well last far beyond the current pandemic. The possibilities are .... Endless. God bless you all,

ISLE OF WIGHT COVID -19 (website) Have a look at this new and very comprehensive website -

A quick update for you all on what’s been happening this week:
On Monday, I circulated the Government guidance on essential travel which asked people to stay in their primary residence during this crisis to ensure that that NHS can cope and that the virus is not spread to more isolated parts of the country. The advice is here: guidance
I asked people who have arrived recently on the Island to be considerate. I asked them to follow this guidance:
1. You should be self-isolating for at least a week once you arrive. Follow the guidance and please obey it for the sake of others.
2. Try to use a ferry where you can stay in your car.
3. Don’t panic purchase when you are here. There is plenty of food and we need to make sure that at-risk groups as well as NHS staff and other key groups can shop.
4. Use the Council helpline if you are in doubt or need help or advice.
5. Take exercise - go for walks - but do so practising social distancing. If you are an at-risk group, you need to fully self-isolate.
6. Please only offer to help others once you are sure you are not infectious.

Also on Monday I sought reassurance from the government that nurses – particularly those at the Island’s hospice - would be able to administer other opiates (aside from morphine) should these supplies become short. There is currently a ‘glitch in the system’ that prevents this. The Cabinet Office Minister, Penny Mordaunt, assured me that the issue of opiate administration was being looked into.
On Friday, the Government officially announced the relaxation of the rules under the Competition Act 1998. This is excellent news and the result of about two weeks of pushing the government. This means we can ensure resilience, protect Islanders and to keep the Island supplied with essential goods. I would add that this is about essential travel only, this is not about transporting holiday makers to and from the Island. It's about making sure we are ready to protect Islanders in case there are outbreaks of this illness between ferry staff.
This week the Chancellor announced that the government will pay the self-employed, who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. The government is also covering the same amount of income for a self-employed person as they are for furloughed employees, who also receive a grant worth 80%. 95% of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme.
On Thursday in response to a surge of coronavirus-related correspondence and casework (over 1,000 coronavirus emails alone this week) I issued a document containing a series of responses and useful information for residents which should cover almost every issue raised by Islanders. This can be found on my website and will be updated regularly Constituents who have contacted me about a specific need or issue raised in relation to personal circumstance will receive an individual response.
You may have seen in local news this week that two Isle of Wight families are stuck in India. I have been in contact with the families and I am helping them.
Finally please stay safe and do get in contact if there’s anything I can do.
Telephone: 01983 220220
Twitter: @IoWBobSeely / Facebook: @IoWBobSeely / Instagram: @IoWBobSeely /

is asking Islanders to be considerate neighbours when lighting garden bonfires which can aggravate lung conditions and cause a nuisance.
Multiple bonfires have been reported by residents across the Island during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.
Earlier this week, firefighters from Freshwater were called to tackle a large bonfire in Yarmouth which had been left unattended.
Afterwards, the crew posted this important message on Twitter: "Please stay home to help save lives and please don't light huge bonfires and leave them unattended because we want to stay home too as much as possible."
The council said it recognised the closure of its household waste recycling centres at Lynnbottom and Afton Marsh was an inconvenience but urged residents to act responsibly.
Should you have excess waste that you must arrange a collection for, please ensure that you use a licensed waste contractor, the council said.
It added that if residents must have a bonfire, then they should:
>>only burn dry material;
>>never burn household rubbish, recycling, rubber tyres, plastic paint or foam;
>>do not burn when the air is damp and still, or when it is too windy (as roads and neighbours may be badly affected);
>>keep fires under control and be mindful of trees, fences and buildings;
>>never use oil, petrol or methylated spirits to light a fire; and
>>never leave a fire unattended, put it out when you leave.

Lynnbottom remains open for business use for essential services.

However, for those forced to leave their homes to carry out vital, highly-valued work to support the vulnerable and keep the Island running, the Isle of Wight Council has welcomed the government's offer of free car parking for critical workers in the NHS and social care during the coronavirus outbreak.
Health and social care workers are working very long shifts — day and night — as they step up to the unprecedented challenge.
Today's announcement means they will be able to park in on street parking bays and council and NHS owned car parks without having to worry about cost or time restrictions.
Council leader Dave Stewart said: “However, we want to go further than the government offer and extend the offer of free parking to all key workers in council owned car parks at anytime. This will start from immediate effect and they need do nothing for now.
"This should help to minimise the spread of infection by supporting key workers who will be travelling by car or other vehicles to comply with social distancing advice.
"This includes our growing army of volunteers who are supporting those Islanders most in need, delivering essential supplies of food and medicine.
"It is our view that no health worker, social car worker, volunteer or teacher — in fact any key worker — should have to pay parking charges in our car parks during this crisis.
“I hope this will allow them to park near to those residences where they may be delivering hot meals, essential supplies or medicines, attending to a vulnerable person or perhaps park closer to their own home. “We are also introducing 30 minutes’ free parking in Newport High Street for all Island residents to enable them to visit the pharmacy or do essential food shopping without the need for money to park.
“However, the message remains: “Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” — you should not leave your home unless absolutely necessary. Only that way can we turn the tide on the Covid-19 threat.”
As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Island climbed to eight today, the leader of the Isle of Wight Council issued an urgent plea to Islanders to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
Councillor Dave Stewart called on Islanders to heed the government's orders to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or work where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
He said: "Our fantastic doctors, nurses, social care and care staff are putting their own health and wellbeing on the line to serve our Island community, but they are not the frontline of defence — you are.
"The virus doesn't spread — you spread it.
"I understand police have been carrying out patrols, speaking with individuals and even stopping vehicles to enquire as to the driver's reasons for being out.
"It is clear to them that some people are simply not heeding the government's orders and that concerns me a great deal because they are not only putting their own health in danger, but that of others too. "You are responsible for your own health; self-distancing will keep you and those you love well. You must take responsibility and stay at home.
"There is currently no medical solution to this highly infectious, indiscriminate disease — you are the solution. "Safe-distancing and staying at home is the only way to stay safe and I would urge all Islanders to listen to the experts, heed their orders and help turn the Covid-19 tide."
We have issued guidance to allotment holders to reassure them that they can continue to use their allotments during the coronavirus crisis, but with some significant restrictions.
The most important thing everybody can do in the fight against coronavirus is to stay at home. Staying at home helps protect the NHS and saves lives.
So plot holders can undertake their daily exercise, they will still be allowed to visit their allotment. Requirements to keep plots cultivated will be relaxed until further notice. So people who cannot visit their plot to cultivate it will have no action taken against them.
New instructions for plot holders include the following:
>>Spend a short time on your plot, not all day
>>If you are self-isolating you must not visit the allotments at all
>>Work alone. No groups are allowed on site and only family members that live with the tenant can enter the site if the tenant is also present.
>>Stay two metres (six feet) away from everybody else
>>Do not share tools or enter anyone else’s plot even if you have had prior permission >>Visit the allotments to work on your plot, but not to socia
lise. Sheds and greenhouses must not be used for social gatherings but only for storage.
>>Keep hand sanitiser with you and wash your hands regularly
>>Use hand sanitiser or gloves before opening and closing any gates and handling padlocks
>>Wipe your own tools after use
>>Minimise the contact with other people, for example no handshakes
>>Do not wash your hands in water troughs

By working in partnership with organisations and local groups,we are creating a hub at West Wight Sports and Community Centre. We are recruiting volunteers to help those in our community needing practical and /or emotional support. We are open to all and you can offer as much or as little time / support as you feel able to. If you can help in a practical way, by providing telephone contact, or offering a donation, we would love you to be involved. If you, or someone you know would like help, get in touch. We just need some details to best match you with people locally who can assist with what you need. See local posters, West Wight Sports and Community Centre Facebook or the leaflets going through doors for more information. You will be asked to consent to your information being shared with the West Wight Coronavirus Volunteer Support Team. Coronavirus is contagious. Avoid physical contact (keep 2m distance) and wash your hands regularly.

Coronavirus Support:


From Bob Seely MP….
A quick update for you all on what’s been happening this week:
I’ve lobbied ministers daily asking for support and clarity for businesses who need access to help quickly and also for help for the voluntary sector. We should be getting a voluntary package soon from the government.

One big success last week was getting the MCA to allow people to stay in their cars on the ferries. This was the result of working together with the ferry companies and the IW Transport Infrastructure Board.

I’ve asked the government to relax competition law so the ferry firms can work jointly on resilience plans. This is important. We need to work together.
I have been pushing for ferry staff to qualify as key workers.

I’m having daily updates from key leaders and organisations on the Island such as NHS and IW Council colleagues, IW Chamber of Commerce, Visit IOW and I have spoken with many Island businesses and voluntary sector organisations.

I will keep pushing government to ensure their measures work for Islanders. Please keep yourselves safe and follow the government guidelines here,

Please get in contact if there’s anything I can do.

Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news of what I’m doing for the Island.
Twitter: @IoWBobSeely
Facebook: @IoWBobSeely
Instagram: @IoWBobSeely

IWALC Executive Meeting - Thursday March 26th - Cancelled
IWC Seminar - Monday March 30th - Cancelled
IWALC/IWC meeting - Thursday April 23rd - Cancelled
Island Roads’ Annual Asset Management Workshop -Thursday March 26th - Cancelled

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Members of the public should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19. In some cases individuals may be pressurised on their own doorsteps to buy anti-virus kits or persuaded into purchasing products that are advertised on their social media feeds. In addition, some call centres that previously targeted UK consumers with dubious health products are now offering supplements that supposedly prevent COVID-19.

Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals. While there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help during self-isolation, there have been reports of criminals preying on residents – often older people or people living with long-term health conditions – by cold-calling at their homes and offering to go to the shops for them. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.

COVID-19 scams identified include:
Doorstep crime
• Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.
• Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Online scams
• Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
• Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.

Refund scams
• Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Counterfeit goods
• Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.

Telephone scams
• As more people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.

Donation scams
• There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.

Loan sharks
• Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit

NTS is also issuing urgent advice to help prevent people falling victim to COVID-19 scams through its Friends Against Scams initiative.

Members of the public are being urged to keep in contact with family members regularly and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them. If someone has been targeted by a scam it can be reported to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040. For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit:

An emergency meeting of the Parish Council was called on Monday March 16th with invited members of the local community.
Nigel Phillips (Chair) outlined plans to ensure that in the first instance, those people who lived alone and/or were especially vulnerable had a designated first point of contact should they become ill and need help.
There are approximately 200 households in the parish and these have now been divided into ‘clusters’ of no more than 15, with each cluster now having its own named first point of contact. Should anybody become ill and need help - with anything from shopping to dog-walking to collecting prescriptions - one of an army of volunteers will then step in and help.
It was agreed that the situation will need constant monitoring as some people at the moment will say they don’t need help as they have family and friends who will be supporting them, but as time goes on, the family and friends may themselves become ill, therefore the parish council realizes that it is vital to have established links in place as soon as possible.
Posters are now on all boards and leaflets will be delivered to every household. Check out the information on the parish website ( Praise and thanks for the speed at which the Island’s smallest Parish has reacted is already being heard.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the Council offices are closed until further notice. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. If your query for the Town Council is urgent you can email the Clerk at

Following receipt of advice from the Cabinet Office regarding by-elections scheduled to take place on dates other than 7th May, I am writing to let you know that the polls due to take place on 2nd April for Shanklin Town Council and on 16th April for Ryde Town Council have been cancelled.
Information on whether the existing vacancies will be filled will be provided to the Clerks of the Town Councils concerned as soon as it is available.

Some useful links for food/meals delivered to your door for those who may be self-isolating… are from East Sussex and have spare delivery slots on the island. can post cupboard stored meals that are vacuum packed and keep for up to 6 months. are also aoofering deliveries.
Also, keep an eye on for offers.
Brownriggs have said they will be doing deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays. You can order on their website They do meat, eggs, fresh vegetables and Grace's bread. They have significantly increased their bread order so should have plenty. £15 or more gets a free delivery, under that it is £3. They do lots of pickled and preserved stuff as well that they will add if you ask for it.
The Co-op at Rookley will be closing at 8pm rather than 11pm. This is to help the staff keep the service going.

Parish council / community action plan:
Vic`s Stores (Nettlestone – Londis) and the Seaview Village Community Shop:
Have enlisted a team of volunteers to deliver shopping to those in isolation and in general need of assistance.
Seaview Pharmacy:
As well as their usual medical delivery service, they are offering a Drive-by / Pick-ups for those who are self isolating.
Volunteers: As well as the shops having their own list of volunteers, the Parish Council will keep a list too – let the clerk know.
Questions About COVID-19:
Visit the Parish website and click on the new COVID-19 heading, where you will find NHS, Government, Age UK IW and anti-scam advice and resources on there.
Worried About Something Not Covered:
A friendly voice at AGE UK IW is waiting for your call on 525282.
The Kerry Fields children's playground is to receive daily disinfecting as of today, until such time as we are ordered to close it or we are in total shutdown.
The Parish Clerk (Brian Jennings), has organised a leaflet stating the above and it`s being delivered throughout the Parish.

It has already been reported that nationally, contributions to Foodbanks are down - what can we do within our communities to help?
From Hannah Jones -We have been working hard to balance the amount of volunteers who have quite rightly had to step back but WE ARE STILL OPEN
However, how we operate is looking different from previously. Our Foodbanks around the Island are still open and supporting locals in crisis (apart from our Freshwater Cafe). From now, food vouchers will be fulfilled with a pre-packaged food parcel. Depending on how busy we are, there may be a wait for food as we keep up with demand.
We have seen an increase in the number of people we are supporting and a definite decrease in food donations too. So we take each day as it comes and do our best at what we can. We will be communication a lot more in the days ahead as we keep up with the changes.

All of our latest info is available via this link;" The main message is that we’re currently still running buses as normal, but we plan to introduce emergency timetables from 6th April, or perhaps the week before. PLEASE keep checking the website for the latest information.

YARMOUTH TOWN COUNCIL West Wight Sports Centre have established a West Wight helpline 752168, details of which have been put up on the Yarmouth Town Council website. YTC has suspended all public meetings until further notice, and I shall be discussing an online forum with the Mayor in due course.

It hasn’t taken long for the scammers to try to cash in on the fear and concern surrounding the Coronavirus. Cyber criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries – In common with most other crisis situations, criminals are using emails, text messages, social media posts, online advertisements and phone calls to defraud their unsuspecting victims.
Beware of-
- Click here for a cure – emails are being sent purporting to be from a doctor claiming to have details about a vaccine being covered up by the UK and Chinese Governments. You will be taken to a fake web page where your details will be harvested. NEVER click on links in emails.
- Covid-19 Tax Refund Email – this has links to access a refund and you will be asked to put in all of your financial information. The HMRC will never advise you of a tax refund in this way. NEVER click on links in emails
- Fake Online Advertisements – these include, protective masks, sanitising gel, vaccines (these do not currently exist) and appeals from fake charities
- Criminals are also knocking on doors selling Coronavirus tests. These are fake and wont tell you anything. We haven’t had any reports yet on the Island but please be aware anyone acting legitimately would not be going door to door trying to get you to part with money.
DON’T get tempted into ordering any of these items – it is unlikely that you will receive your product and your money will be gone.
DON’T believe everything you read – for accurate and up to date information use reliable and official sources such as the Government Official website and the NHS

We have put measures in place to reduce the impact of the coronavirus, this includes keeping our delivery drivers and customers safe, Therefore, our drivers will be keeping contact with customers to a minimum, our drivers will not ask for delivery paperwork to be signed and will leave in a convenient place, for the foreseeable future.
Our terminal will remain open but with a reduced team, our stock position is currently holding well, and product is still being received as normal. We would kindly ask at this time that you do not visit the terminal. If you do need to visit for whatever reason, please call Lyn Wherry on 01983 292311 and we can advise accordingly.
If the situation changes, we will update you. (Gen Manager)

is extending its support for elderly people during the COVID-19 crisis. From Monday 23 March bus passes for Island bus users who are over 65 will be valid before 9.30am, to help older travellers access supermarkets which have made available early shopping time slots for elderly people. Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure & Transport said: “The Isle of Wight Council is extremely pleased to have reached agreement with our transport and health partners to extend our support for those residents with bus passes. This will allow them to access the offer from retailers to use their shops early in the morning.”

What does the law say about holding Council meetings?
There are a number of statutory meetings and deadlines that apply to local councils – you can find out more about these from your county association or by reading our Legal Topic Note 5 (located in member's area of NALC’s website —login required). There has been no change to legislation or government guidance to amend these statutory duties.
Where the law does not provide for a particular scenario (e.g. the holding of the annual council parish or town meeting outside of the statutory timeframe, if the government advises against meetings being held) we would be guided by the government as to what should happen. We will be engaging with government on this and a range of other issues and will keep you updated on any developments.

A new helpline number is now available to support the Island’s most vulnerable residents affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) self-isolation measures.
People who do not have a local network of friends or family to support them while they are self-isolating or social distancing can call (01983) 823600 (seven days a week, 9am-5pm).
The helpline has been put in place by the Isle of Wight Council in partnership with the Island’s voluntary networks, including Community Action Isle of Wight, Citizens Advice Isle of Wight and Age UK Isle of Wight, to support those who meet the coronavirus ‘vulnerable’ criteria.
Mike Bulpitt, from Community Action Isle of Wight, said: “We are working together to make it as simple and easy for people who need help and support to get hold of someone who can help. “Initially we want to make sure that people have access to groceries and medications to keep them safe and supported during this uncertain time.
“We have a large network of caring volunteers between us and many more people have shown an interest in volunteering to help those in need over the past couple of weeks.
“Thanks to everyone who has come forward to offer help – including those who responded to the Isle of Wight Coronavirus Community Help group on Facebook, who we are working alongside.”
The partnership is trying to keep in contact with those it knows are high risk to make sure they are safe, healthy and supported — and where necessary, offering this help. Please note that none of the partnership will ever ask you for bank or other financial details.
Jo Dare, from Isle of Wight Age UK, said: “Working together means that those most in need of help can be supported in the right way and at the right time.”
Council leader, Dave Stewart, said: “The coronavirus is a national emergency which means we must all pull together to help those in need.
“If you need help because of self-isolation, please get in touch. Or, if you are healthy and able to help by volunteering, please get in touch as well by emailing”

Island Roads are working in line with the local authority in line with the local authority re the coronavirus and how it may be impacting their services. However, it is business as usual at Island Roads, other than postponing meetings with external bodies.

We know how important Post Office branches are to our customers. And we, alongside our postmasters and branch colleagues are doing all that we can to keep our branches open, so that we can continue to provide our products and services to you and your communities.
At the moment, the majority of our branches are open as usual and our supply chain is running as normal. Our priority is to keep our customers, postmasters and colleagues safe and healthy. We have advised everyone working in our branches to practice good hand hygiene and we ask that our customers do the same, as well as maintaining a sensible distance between other customers and our colleagues.
We will keep you updated as the situation evolves. But please rest assured that we are doing everything we can to support our customers, communities, postmasters and colleagues through this challenging time.

Island businesses seeking key updates on access to government relief funding are being encouraged to visit a special page on the Isle of Wight Council’s website. The new page at is being updated as further information becomes available from the government over the coming days, including details of accessing business rates support. The page includes an online form for businesses to provide their details to help speed up the process of payment, once the funds are available.
Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: “We are doing our utmost to help speed up the process for delivery of payment as best we can as the fuller details emerge from the government. This includes ensuring we have the latest information from businesses on their details to facilitate payment.
“We are acutely aware of how vital cashflow is for Island businesses to operate in these extraordinary times and are trying to ensure all the processes are in place to assist them.”
The council is on standby to receive the latest government guidance on how and when the funds to support local businesses can be accessed.
All occupied premises in the relevant sectors (such as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, live music venues etc) will receive a revised business rates bill for 2020/21 confirming the 100 per cent rates holiday for 12 months.
Current government information for businesses and employers, including support, can be found at a href="

1. General information on support etc. is available on the CAB national website:
2. At the end of last week, we were continuing to provide a face-to-face service in County Hall, primarily for urgent enquiries. The intention was also to continue to provide a service in Ryde Library, but when I went there I found the Library closed. I don't know what will happen next week. When I have more information, hopefully on Monday morning, I will let you know. All other outreach services have stopped.
3. Residents can contact Citizens Advice remotely remotely, by phoning the national helpline (03444-111444 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm), by phoning the Newport office (01983-823898, currently Monday-Friday 9.30am- 3.30pm but that may change) or online through the Isle Help website
4. Then there is the new emergency helpline.
5.In Ryde, we are trying to set up a coordinated response service, which would include direct access to CAB volunteers in Ryde (probably by phone). We are not sure yet how that's going to work, but when it's set up, details will be on the RTC website.

Today (Monday, 23 March) the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Board held a telephone conference to discuss how coronavirus (Covid-19) was affecting Island transport.
The board welcomed the fact that Island public transport staff had been designated as ‘key workers’. All the operators are developing plans to enable them to continue providing a lifeline transport service for the Island.
The operators are, however, reviewing their level of service, both because of the reduction in the level of demand and to ensure they can continue to provide a service during this difficult period.
Discussions are about to start between the ferry operators to review what further actions might need to be undertaken if the situation worsens. These discussions will take place under the auspices of the Transport Infrastructure Board.
The operators will be putting out their own announcements of their plans and services.

The Isle of Wight Council has issued advice for households which have suspected coronavirus (Covid- 19) infections for disposing of waste.
The authority has issued new guidance for putting out rubbish to protect people and reduce the risk of speading infection.
When self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms for seven or 14 days, to protect our recycling and waste collection crews please follow these simple steps:
* Place all personal waste such as used tissues, wipes, kitchen roll and cleaning cloths in to a rubbish bag.
* When full, tie the bag and place in a second and tied securely.
* Keep this waste separate from other waste in the room/household in which you are self-isolating.
* Please keep aside inside your property for at least 72 hours (three days) before putting out for collection.
Other recycling and waste can be disposed of as normal.
Lynnbottom and Afton Marsh household recycling centres are open. Please remember to practice social distancing while disposing of your recycling and waste.
For more further information and service updates, visit our webpages at

The Government guidance on school closures is clear that children should stay at home if they can safely do that. However, children should not be cared for by elderly people or people with an underlying health condition.
Schools will be providing places for the children of parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (Covid-19) response and include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors so they can continue to work, where they cannot make other arrangements for their care.
Where required, schools will also make sure vulnerable children have access to a school place and that children who are entitled to a free school meal continue to receive it.
Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services and education, said: "Island schools have been brilliant, putting plans in place for this week at such short notice.
"Parents need to be responsible and only take up a school place if they are in the categories that the government has defined and really cannot make other arrangements.
“We are hugely grateful to all our schools and education colleagues for their efforts to make sure our most valued key workers can continue to do their vital work during this challenging time.
"We urge everyone to follow the latest government advice and check the council website for the latest local advice."
Information for parents on schools — closures, key workers, vulnerable children, school meals etc — is here and is being regularly updated Please check the IWC website for updates PLEASE keep me up to date with what is happening in your community…… Jill