Celebrating Ryde – Opportunity and Hope

The last financial year saw us coming out of numerous lockdowns of the world-wide Covid19 pandemic. It has been a tough two years and we are faced with the hard realities of world-wide events including war, climate change, and cost of living crisis.

Throughout this period Ryde Town Council has remained open operationally and open for business. We instigated improvements in service delivery and initiated new projects that will improve the Town and bring stronger benefit to the community.

This year I am delighted that my report is a celebration of opportunity and hope.

Investing in the Town, Heritage, and People

Ryde Town Council in partnership with IW Council and other local stakeholders attracted over £15M in investment. In last 18 months, Ryde Town Council purchased two buildings for preservation of our heritage and development:

As well as this we are seeing new events such as the start of the final leg of the Tour de Britain. National events are now seeing Ryde as a go-to destination and this will only increase!

These all add to the vibrancy to the Town which increases visitor numbers, creates new jobs, improves facilities and opportunities for residents and boost our economy and sustainability.

Grant Funding

Many of the events you see listed above have been made possible through our grant-funding programme. We are very aware of the ongoing benefit that grant funding can provide for these, and other, organisations within the community. Sometimes an important project requires initial seed-funding to become operational and self-sustaining, other times Ryde Town Council view events etc as a marketing partnership where the income generated for the town has far-reaching benefits.

Green Spaces

As part of the local Biosphere it is vital that Ryde lead the way when we look towards the environment. Ryde on Bloom continues to go from strength to strength, encouraging people of all ages to be more active in their gardens and we hope to have a record number of entrants in this year’s competition.

The 300+ allotments that Ryde Town Council administer are always a source of much pride and enjoyment for the allotment holders and for the council. We are planning a great deal of improvements across our sites and hope to work together with allotment holders to ensure that the allotment sites are the best they can possibly be.

We are delighted that the allotment that Network Ryde have at our Quarry Road site remains an important part of their service and one that is supported and worked on by a fantastic number of Network Ryde users.

Growth and Transformation of Team Ryde

The investment that Ryde is seeing will lead to an increase in prosperity and the number of jobs within the town. This is also true of Ryde Town Council where the team is growing along with the number of projects and town improvements that are progressing.

We have had some wonderful successes with different government schemes such as Kickstart and we also have a number of staff working towards apprenticeships as part of our upskilling of staff.

Ryde Town Council have facilitated over 20 young people to enter employment through the Kickstart scheme in Ryde, providing genuine career opportunities.

At the start of last year the number of staff working at Ryde Town Council, across all areas, totalled 15. In July and August this year that number will have doubled to over

30. This is a real mix of full time, part time and seasonal work with a blend of different jobs across the full spectrum of ages including a Business Development Manager and a whole Beachfront team. This new team works together to make Ryde Town Council more sustainable by creating surplus that can be reinvested.

The Facilities Team work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure that the town’s facilities, toilets, skatepark and many of the green spaces are kept in good order and available. This is often a thankless task but their hard work is definitely worth a mention here in the Mayor’s Report – thank you Liam and Shay for your efforts.

Finally, we are also incredibly proud of our Town Clerk, Lisa Dyer, who won the prestigious national title of New Clerk of the Year. Well done Lisa!

Place Plan Community Development – The Final Word

Ryde Town Council are primarily concerned with opportunities. Opportunities to improve the town of Ryde and increasing the number of opportunities for the people of Ryde.

Ryde’s Place Plan encapsulates this strive for improvement. What do we, as a town, want Ryde to become and how do we achieve that together? These are the most important questions facing Ryde Town Council and ones that we hope to go some way towards answer this year.

Cllr Michael Lilley

Mayor - Ryde Town Council