LONDON: Isle of Wight Council Leader, Dave Stewart, has met with met the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, in London to discuss the plight of the Island and any potential Government support. The meeting is ahead of a scheduled private meeting on the Isle of Wight next Thursday (23). Councillor Stewart said: “This was a pre-planned meeting and we had a wide ranging discussion covering topics including the unique features of the ‘Island case’, our overall need for additional funding support, the passion from local business to work hard to grow the Island economy and proposals I am bringing forward shortly about ways to improve our public sector services. “We also spoke about skills development on the Island and other initiatives to help our young people in their future careers. “This was a great opportunity to speak to Sajid Javid on behalf of the Island and it was clear he was aware of our situation and was keen to visit the Island and learn more.” Councillor Stewart was accompanied by the Council’s Chief Executive, John Metcalfe and Senior Finance Officer, Dave Ward.
This meeting followed Councillor Stewart attending and opening the Apprenticeship Levy event at the Lakeside Inn, Wootton, encouraging support for more apprenticeships in the workforce and helping the local economy. Councillor Stewart’s day ended with him attending the local Solent Local Enterprise Board meeting and being elected as a director – meaning he will now represent the Island at this forum. Councillor Stewart added: “It was a busy and engaging day but as council leader I am determined to take advantage of every opportunity I can to promote our Island – which is what I said I would do when I was elected leader in January. “If I am re-elected in May I will continue to take this approach as I believe this is how I can best help the Island going forward. We need to show we are ‘ open for business ‘ and others need to know this is the case. This Island has a great future ahead of it and I determined to help ensure we are able to achieve the success we deserve”