When Bob became the Island’s Member of Parliament in 2017, he set himself the task of delivering a better deal for the Isle of Wight.
Below are just some of the ways that the Island has been getting a better deal.
He has achieved this by working with organisations on the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Wight Council, as well as the Conservative Government.
From 2017 onwards:
- September 2017. Bob and the then Conservative-led Council, working with Sandown parents and teachers, successfully blocked attempts to close Sandown School. It is now thriving as an all-through school.
- May 2018. Bob secured priority funding status for the Island from the Arts Council, aiding all future arts bids, helping to create jobs and opportunities in the arts.
- December 2018. Bob persuaded the Government to accept, in principle, the additional costs of providing public services on the Island.
- August 2019. Bob successfully lobbied ministers to support the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s bid for a £48 million healthcare transformation programme. Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “I would like to thank our local MP, Bob Seely, for all of his support and for working so hard to get the Isle of Wight the recognition it deserves.”
- September 2019. Working with the then Conservative Council, Bob led the campaign to secure a £26 million upgrade to rolling stock, stations and track - the first significant investment in over 50 years.
- December 2019. Bob persuaded Network Rail to commit £20 million to repair Ryde Railway Pier to ensure that trains continue to run to Ryde Pier Head.
- July 2020. Working with the then Conservative Council and Homes England, Bob helped secure the Venture Quays site for the Island to retain the Columbine Building for shipbuilding. The purchase has protected hundreds of jobs in shipbuilding and support services in East Cowes.
- September 2020. Working with other Conservative MPs, Bob successfully lobbied the Chancellor to temporarily cut VAT on tourism and hospitality businesses to five percent, helping the sector recover during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- February 2021. Bob persuaded the Conservative Government to include almost all of the Island in the Solent freeport area. Now, the Island will be part of a key centre for innovation and business.
- April 2021. The Conservative Government pledged to invest millions to rebuild old parts of the Isle of Wight College and enable the College to offer new qualifications, such as T-Levels. The College will receive £25 million worth of investment in total. Bob has championed the plans with Government at every step of the way.
- August 2021. With others, Bob persuaded the Government to agree a Covid insurance scheme for festivals and events, helping the Island’s hospitality and tourism sector through the Covid pandemic.
- October 2021. Bob got the Island’s £5.8 million Levelling Up project prioritised and included in the first round of bids. This delivered a larger vessel lifting crane for the East Cowes shipyard, enabling bids for more work, and creating more jobs and wealth in East Cowes. It's also renovating Victoria Barracks.
- January 2022. Working with others, Bob secured a commitment from Southern Water to make the Island a national pilot scheme for environmental improvement. It is one of the most ambitious such programmes in the UK and part of £230 million investment on the Island.
- February 2022. The Government, after campaigning by Bob and representatives from Scottish Islands, instigated a national forum for UK islands to enable UK islands to speak with a strong voice with the UK Government.
- February 2022. Working with Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones, Bob secured the return of a dedicated Roads Policing Unit on the Isle of Wight. Bob and Donna have also delivered 30 more police officers on the Island and a new police station in Cowes.
- March 2022. Bob helped to secure a £10m grant from the Government to upgrade broadband on the Island. The Island will soon have some of the best fibre-to-premises broadband in Britain. The grant funding enables fibre-to-premises to be offered especially in more remote south and west parts of the Island.
- December 2022. Bob secured changes to planning law to enable the Isle of Wight to claim exceptional circumstances, making it possible to protect our environment and prioritise building for Islanders.
- September 2023. Working with the police, the IW coroner and others, Bob helped change the rules on burials at sea to ensure DNA samples are taken to support families with missing relatives.
- June 2023. Working with Island schools and the Department of Education, Bob organised an education conference for Island schools to help drive improvements in reading skills.
- October 2023. Bob helped secure £20 million from the Conservative Government's Towns Fund to support regeneration in Ryde.
- November 2023. Working with the Council's regeneration team, Bob helped secure a £13.6 million investment in walking and cycling networks on the Island, creating a new cycle route between Newport and Freshwater.
- November 2023. With other Members of Parliament, Bob persuaded the Government to extend the £2 max single bus fare scheme for another year and ensured Southern Vectis would be eligible. Every month, the scheme is helping thousands of Islanders, especially younger Islanders, use the buses more. By contrast, in Labour controlled London and Wales, bus fares have risen sharply.
- January 2024. Working with Council officers, Bob secured a total £4 million uplift to the Island’s funding settlement. Minister Michael Gove has specifically referenced the additional needs of Islands such as the Isle of Wight in his written Parliamentary answer.
Bob is focused on continuing to deliver a better deal for the Island; for better services, better jobs, better opportunities and better life chances for Islanders.