SEVERAL new faces will take their place at County Hall following the Isle of Wight Council elections.

We asked a selection of them some questions about their new role, and their hopes for the Island.

They are David Adams (Independent), Joe Lever (Green), Suzie Ellis (Conservative), Richard Quigley (Labour), Karen Lucioni (Island Independent Network) and Chris Jarman (Independent).

How do you feel to have been voted on to the council?

David: Honoured.

Suzie: I am honoured to have been voted on to the Council by Central Rural residents and look forward to working hard on their behalf.

Richard: I am very humbled, but extremely excited.

Karen: I am absolutely elated and also relieved at being elected for the Ryde Monktonmead Ward. The election campaign was such a great experience, as I had great support from across the district with residents delivering leaflets on my behalf. This fantastic support has made me feel humble but determined to do positive things for Ryde and the Island.

Joe: It all still feels a bit surreal. I feel very privileged to have been elected and I’m so thankful to everyone that helped with the campaign and/or voted for me.

Chris: Honoured to have been chosen to serve my community that have put their trust in me to represent them fairly and honestly.

Isle of Wight County Press: Conservative councillor Suzie Ellis.Conservative councillor Suzie Ellis.

Why did you stand for election?

David: To give the parish/ward a voice.

Suzie: I was inspired by the #gethertostand campaign and the movement towards encouraging more women to get involved in all levels of public service. I have always enjoyed being active within my local community, I work well with others, and am not afraid to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in!

Richard: If we don't try, nothing changes. We had a very ambitious manifesto that wasn't a wish list, it is what I see as the minimum we should be aiming to achieve.

Karen: This Island is unique and I really want to assist in driving forward positive change which will result in a cleaner environment, healthier lifestyles and community focussed projects which support employment and opportunity for our young people.

Joe: I stood for election because I felt I could offer people something different. I’m a Green, so people get an idea of where I stand on issues. However, as Greens we don’t ‘whip’ our councillors, so I’m also free to stand up for what’s right in my area, rather than toe a party line.

Chris: I have been involved in local charity and other well-being programmes since moving with my family permanently to the IW 16 years ago. I have worked with many local groups and over time have realised there is only so much one can achieve from outside of the decision making framework. The retirement of our long standing councillor John Howe, a close friend, provided both the opportunity and incentive to take this substantial step.

Isle of Wight County Press: Independent councillor Chris Jarman Independent councillor Chris Jarman

What are the main challenges going to be?

David: To get meaningful engagement between the parishes and the Isle of Wight Council and to be transparent.

Suzie: The biggest challenge facing the Island will be recovering from the pandemic. It has affected each and every one of us in different ways and supporting the whole community as we move forward is vital.

Richard: Making up for the continued reduction in government funding, we need an investment strategy that does that.

Karen: The big challenge is finance when seeking support for new initiatives, however there can be opportunities from ‘invest to save’, and grant funding partnerships with business and stakeholders.

Joe: The main issues I heard on the doorsteps were regarding the sheer level of development planned for the ward — particularly in Gunville — and also the safety of our roads. People are, rightly, concerned about the the local infrastructure keeping up with the increased volume of people so much new housing will bring. The floating bridge fiasco came up quite a lot too!

Chris: My lifetime in innovation, technology and managing businesses provides only a few of the necessary building blocks for my role. The IW Council is a large complex body with established procedures. Forming relationships with other councillors and with council officers will be essential to achieving the best results.

What's your first task?

David: To listen to the electorate.

Suzie: To listen to what my residents need and seek to get their concerns resolved. This includes making the case for the oil drilling proposals for Arreton being refused.

Richard: Start tackling the issues in my ward.

Karen: My first task is to look inside the Isle of Wight Council and search out areas of both strength and weakness, which can be done through a peer review, which is an assessment of the council by independent off-Island members of the Local Government Association. This type of review has not been undertaken since 2013 and would assist in highlighting areas of concern which need attention.

Joe: My first task is just getting to grips with everything — we have a pretty intensive first three weeks of inductions. And to get going on tackling the issues raised by residents!

Chris: Learning. Attending as many of the in-person and online training courses as possible over the first few weeks. At the same time getting to know the senior players involved and how the organisation is structured, financed and how the decision making processes work.

Isle of Wight County Press: Green Party councillor Joe Lever.Green Party councillor Joe Lever.

What do you hope to achieve as councillor?

David: To stop erosion of democracy, invest in the Island and engage with all towards a collective Island approach for improvement.

Suzie: I hope to be a fair and effective councillor, to represent my ward to the best of my ability, and to work as part of a wider team for the good of the Island as a whole.

Richard: Community wealth building, focus on eliminating child poverty and build affordable and council homes (and one hour free parking as part of a total overhaul of parking).

Karen: I would seek to bring more frontline environmental officers and dog wardens onto our streets, targeting the most voiced concerns. The Respect Ryde project which I started within the community assists with litter picks etc. I think this type of initiative could be co-ordinated into an Islandwide project, which could include community safety and more.

Joe: Ultimately, I just want residents to be happy that they made the right choice. That means putting in the hard work, being accessible and delivering on the issues people have raised.

Chris: A better quality of life for residents and a more welcoming and supportive environment for businesses to help drive training and employment opportunities. We have a substantial disconnect between the needs of Island residents and infrastructure. A clear case is the great need for truly affordable housing while at the same time an accelerating programme of larger property building, under-utilised second homes and empty properties.

Isle of Wight County Press: Independent councillor David Adams.Independent councillor David Adams.

What do you love about the Island?

David: The open spaces and it still has a charm, which needs protecting.

Suzie: I love the strong sense of community, I love that all of us have access to the outstanding countryside and beaches on our doorsteps. I love our heritage, history and diverse natural environment.

Richard: It's a huge magnet for creativity and, apart from the cost of ferry travel, the Solent sometimes provides a welcome break.

Karen: My love for the Island includes so much from our heritage to beaches and open space. Natural habitats and woodland including trails and footpaths need protection, for all to enjoy.

Joe: The main thing is that you have pretty much everything on your doorstep. I think that’s what makes us such an attractive destination for tourists too. I was one once, and now I’ve been here for seven years and have no intention of leaving!

Chris: Our beautiful open spaces, majestic breathtaking countryside and the genuineness of the residents. People are willing to be engaged in our desperately needed regeneration, knowing we all need to be part of the solution.

Isle of Wight County Press: Labour Party councillor Richard Quigley.Labour Party councillor Richard Quigley.

What's your message to Islanders?

David: Do not give up and keep challenging to conserve and preserve our Island's unique heritage.

Suzie: We have a unique opportunity to embrace a new way of doing things post-pandemic. I hope to work with many of you over the next four years and look forward to doing so in an inclusive and productive manner.

Richard: Don't accept that there isn't another way. There is. You have voted not to accept that we are a "blue Island" forever. It's not going to be easy or quick, but we need your support to make the positive change the previous council wouldn't.

Karen: As a councillor I will respectfully endeavour to work with all in my term as a councillor and continue to be open and honest with all and focus on our community.

Joe: My message to Islanders is to encourage them to get engaged in local politics. The council is spending your money so make sure you have a say. Turnout for the election was so low in some areas of the Island and we need to find ways to change that.

Chris: We need an open, honest and direct relationship between the Islanders, businesses and IW Council. We need to ensure transparency to build trust. Engaging with local people, groups and parishes on their issues is essential, to both understand local needs and fully embrace the community we serve.

Isle of Wight County Press: Island Independent Network's Karen Lucioni.Island Independent Network's Karen Lucioni.

Read more: Meet Claire Critchison of the Green Party.