Election: Priest ousts Pugh

By Emily Pearce

Friday, May 3, 2013


Election: Priest ousts Pugh

Independent Richard Priest (centre) with former Isle of Wight Council leader David Pugh.

UPDATED 15:44*

CONSERVATIVE council leader David Pugh has been ousted by independent candidate Richard Priest, by just ten votes.

Mr Priest triumphed in Shanklin South, with 629 votes to Mr Pugh's 619, after pledging to protect public services and return power to people rather than politicians.

*His victory was one of many for independent candidates today, who now have the most seats in County Hall.

Island Independent group co-ordinator Ian Stephens said members would meet this weekend to discuss the future direction and leadership of the Isle of Wight Council.

"We are now in a position where we can effect change in the local authority and I would like to think we can effect positive change and move forward to create better services for the Island.

"What the Island really need now is a positive way ahead.

"We will be looking at returning to the committee structure, rather than have scrutiny panels and a cabinet," he said.

He added that he was sorry Chris Welsford and Vanessa Churchman lost their seats.

"The council can ill afford to lose such experienced and talented figures," he said.

Richard Priest said: "I'm proud and privileged to represent the people of Shanklin, and I'll do that to the best of my ability.

"It's time for a change, to work together for the benefit of Island people, and this is a great moment to seize that opportunity.

"Now we have to have a conversation about how the Isle of Wight Council goes forward."

Mr Pugh admitted he was 'taken aback' by the result.

"Clearly it's disappointing, but I've worked hard on the council for eight years and I have other things to do now. I'm looking forward to getting my life back," he said.

"I am surprised, I'm taken aback. But the people have had their say. 

"I'm grateful to everyone who voted for me.

"Goodness knows what the Isle of Wight Council will look like now."

Mr Priest's running mate in Shanklin Central, Jon Gilbey, defeated Tory incumbent David Williams, by 528 votes to 432.

UKIP was also celebrating after it saw two candidates elected onto the council, the first UKIP members to sit on the council.

Labour's Geoff Lumley, who has been joined by a second Labour candidate, Allan Hollands, said: "I'm delighted, and grateful to the people of Newport East for re-electing me.

"I've known Allan for years and we will work well together.

"I quite liked being a lone voice, but Reg Barry can have that role now for the Lib Dems."

Independent candidates, the majority of whom stood under the Island Independents banner, have gained 20 seats, compared with the Conservatives' 15 seats.

Labour and UKIP each have two and the Lib Dems have one.

Independent candidate Steve Stubbings, who won Ventnor West, where the voter turnout was highest, said: "We have made real inroads, and now we want to re-engage people with politics and make decisions based on the wishes of the electorate.

"What we are not going to see is a dictatorial Tory regime that tells everyone what to do."


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Displaying the last 10 of 33 comments - Show All Comments

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by Chris Dodd

6th May 2013, at 16:36:24

My comments of 4/5/13 refer to the 'buck stops here' principal. I consider the buck has to stop with the elected Cllrs. Have you seen the amount of pages of Reports produced by officers for almost every meeting of the full Council, the Cabinet & other Committees/Panels etc. It is endless & I do not believe many Cllrs in the recent past have had the time or inclination to read objectively or critically consider very many of the arguments put to them by officers. Most have 'gone along' with what their Party superiors have determined. Paid staff have been keen to please the most influential employer-Cllrs & the 'other' Cllrs have in effect rubber stamped whatever was put before them. I have plenty of evidence that legal carefulness & proper democracy has undoubtedly & repeatedly been the looser over many recent years. Our new mix of Cllrs, although nominally independent must cooperate wisely & together promoting, debating & making the quality decisions of

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by alan naylor

6th May 2013, at 12:55:38

Dear Mr Hitchman For Mr Shouler and all the NIMBYS to be against development is indirectly stating exactly whats in my statment and you are right it is pathetic to be faceicus I apoliogise

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by Mark Hitchman

6th May 2013, at 08:38:45

Alan Naylor, I hope that is a pathetic attempt at humour

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by alan naylor

5th May 2013, at 22:28:31

I agree with Daivid Shouler that the 1300 homeless and the childen of families that cannot find work all clear off to the mainland were there is work and just let all of us retired and well pensioned people live in the enviroment we love

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by Mike Crowe

4th May 2013, at 19:16:17

Sarah, do you know the difference?

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by Terry Pearson

4th May 2013, at 19:05:34

What on earth does David Pugh mean: "Goodness knows what the Isle of Wight Council will look like now"? It looked ok before he became involved, and ~ with the right people doing the right things ~ it will look ok again in the future.....

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by Mike Crowe

4th May 2013, at 17:36:00

Chris, are you saying that the Councillors make a decision, tell the Isle of Wight Council EMPLOYEES to carry out their instruction and the EMPLOYEES say "Go away we don't want to do that" ?

I am not saying that you fit into this category, but too many people cannot differentiate between 'Isle of Wight Councillor' and "Isle of Wight Council Employee".

Derogatory statements have been made time after time over the 'Dic***ads in County Hall' thinking that everybody who goes into County Hall fits the description. WRONG.

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by Chris Dodd

4th May 2013, at 15:02:25

David Shoulder below is really hoping for properly thought out and sustainable development for the Island. I am hoping a new administration will start to actually recover authority for the management our Island from the paid officers we al and our Councillors actually employ. I hope that our new Councillors will actually give directions to officers and expect them to execute them as per instructions. Of course that has to be after advice is duly given, but that advice must be rigorously examined and much more often questioned. I am quite sure good intentions have far too often been kicked into the long grass by officers for some unacceptable or negative reasons or other. It would be nice to hear of Councillors talking to lay local people, taping into their knowledge and experience, about proposals and negative advice from officers before finally making up their minds

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by geoffrey clynch

4th May 2013, at 13:24:25

agree mr.shoulder

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by david walker

4th May 2013, at 10:34:13

Its ok mr pugh apparently god loves a looooser

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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