Isle of Wight Council

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Isle of Wight Council
Isle of Wight Council logo
Founded1 April 1995[a]
Preceded byIsle of Wight County Council
Chair of the Council
Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, Independent
since 17 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Dave Stewart, Conservative
since 18 January 2017[1]
Chief executive
John Metcalfe
since December 2015
Seats40 councillors
Isle of Wight Council composition
Political groups
     Conservative (25)
Other Parties
     Island Independents (8)
     Liberal Democrat (2)
     Independent (2)
     Labour (1)
     Independent Green (1)
     Independent Labour (1)
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
6 May 2021
Meeting place
County Hall at Newport
County Hall, Newport

The Isle of Wight Council is a unitary authority covering the Isle of Wight near the South coast of England. It is currently made up of 40 seats. Since the 2017 election, the Conservatives have held a majority of 25 and appointed Cllr Dave Stewart as leader of the council.


The council was formed on 1 April 1995, replacing the Isle of Wight County Council and Medina and South Wight Borough Councils.[2]


Prior to 1998, the Liberals and then Liberal Democrats had dominated the Council. Between 1998 and 2005, it was under no overall control, ruled by a coalition of LibDems and Independents.

Elections held in June 2005 led to significant change as the Conservatives took over from the Liberal Democrats as the largest group, winning seats primarily from the Lib Dems and Independents who had previously worked together.[3]

In the 2009 elections the Conservatives managed to retain their majority by securing 24 of the revised 40 seats; however this was the only Conservative council in the UK that lost seats.[4]

In 2013, the Island Independents gained 20 seats, one short of a majority, with the Conservatives only winning 15. As of January 2015, the Island Independents have lost four councillors through defections, and the Conservatives one. Leader Cllr. Ian Stephens stood down in January 2015, the next day announcing he was to stand to be the local MP. Cllr. Jonathan Bacon, representing Bembridge, Brading and St. Helens, was elected unopposed as the new Leader. He stood down, along with deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings, in January 2017 citing 'the unwillingness of government to lift a finger to help and the preference for too many elected members to act negatively rather than try to help.'[5]

Following the resignations of the leader and deputy leader in January 2017, Conservative members assumed control of the administration, with Cllr Dave Stewart appointed as leader.[6] A new ruling executive was formed, made up of five Conservatives, one UKIP member and three non-aligned members.[7]

Party Composition as of 2018 [8]
Conservative 25
Island Independents 8
Independent 2
Liberal Democrat 2
Labour 1
Independent Green 1
Independent Labour 1

Coat of arms[edit]

The Coat of arms of the Isle of Wight was first granted to the County Council in 1938. On its abolition in 1995, they transferred to the new Isle of Wight Council.

The shield shows an image of Carisbrooke Castle, which was the historic seat of many island governors. At the bottom is the island's motto "All this beauty is of God".


  1. ^ County council gained unitary authority functions.


  1. ^ "Isle of Wight Council selects Conservative leader". BBC. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  2. ^ "The Isle of Wight (Structural Change) Order 1994". Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Pledge to fulfil election promises". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Tories surge back in Island polls". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Shock resignation of Isle of Wight Council leader and deputy". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  6. ^ "New leader for Isle of Wight Council". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  7. ^ "New council Executive announced". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. ^

External links[edit]