15 December 2017
The Isle of Wight Green Party has announced that it will be selecting its candidate for the Central Wight by-election in an Open Primary. This primary will help the Greens select the best possible candidate for the ward in which they came second to the Conservatives in May 2017, with Labour a distant third. The Liberal Democrats and Independents did not field a candidate in the ward in that election.
In seats like Central Wight which are considered 'safe' for one party or another, party officials often choose the county councillor, rather than the voters. The Green Party welcomes the chance for the people of the rural Central Wight to have a County Councillor who attends meetings regularly and can devote their attention to the role.
Each of the prospective Green candidates will have to present their case for representing the ward, in an event at 7:30pm on the 18th December at the Riverside Centre in Newport. The individual that wins the most support at the primary would be expected to go forward as the official Green Party candidate in the forthcoming by-election. All prospective candidates must be members of the Green Party of England and Wales before the date of the primary.
Key issues for the next Councillor will be retaining services in the ward, including health care, buses, and local shops. With the licence for oil drilling in Compton Bay approved recently, conservation and protection of wildlife may prove to be the key by-election issue.
Isle of Wight Green Party chair and Freshwater councillor Daniel James commented: "Oil drilling could ruin the Isle of Wight for generations to come, and it's the rural areas and beaches that will be hardest hit. I don't know any Islander who doesn't love Compton and Brook. The County Council doesn't need another member who will wring their hands and say they don't support drilling here, but there's nothing to be done. However people voted at the General Election, I hope they'll do the right thing for their local area and return another Green councillor."