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‘I Love Isle of Wight Milk’ – New Brand Launch

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Island dairy farmers and organisers of the ‘I love Isle of Wight Milk’ are preparing to celebrate their newly branded milk, which is produced, processed and packaged on the Island – from cow to cup! The official launch will be at the Cowes branch of the Southern Co-operative in Terminus Road at 11.00am on Tuesday 6th November.

The milk will be available in Tesco stores and the Southern Co-operative Stores in Cowes and Freshwater. Depending on public demand it is planned that it will be rolled out to other Co-op stores. The milk will also soon start appearing on the shelves of a number of smaller stores across the Island.

The campaign was launched by Island dairy farmers and Island MP Andrew Turner at the Garlic Festival in August. It aims to ensure Island dairy farmers are paid a fair price for the milk they produce and cut out unnecessary transport and costs. A public petition supporting the plans has attracted well over 4,000 signatures with more names being added daily.

Louise Hart, secretary of the Island Dairy Farmers Group, said:
“Working closely with Rew Valley Dairies we are looking forward to rolling out our new brand featuring our distinctive logo across the Island; we expect that to take a few weeks. Most milk is sold through supermarkets so we are working hard to get them on board, although there are lots of hoops to jump through. Tesco have sold Isle of Wight milk for many years and we are very pleased that this week the two largest Southern Co-op stores will join them. We are still in negotiation with other supermarkets and expect to make further announcements in the coming weeks. Our milk will also be stocked in a number of smaller shops and convenience stores across the Island – and we are really grateful for their support.

“To mark the new agreement with the Southern Co-op we will be taking Cows to Cowes – so you can meet a couple of our beautiful dairy cows outside the supermarket and we will also be providing free milk tastings.

“Local catering suppliers Medina Valley Foods will also be offering our milk to their extensive customer base on the Island which will make it easier for some of the larger milk users to use the new brand.”

Mr Turner added :
“This is an easy way for anyone to support our Island economy. Buying this milk will support Island cows, Island farmers and help to protect our beautiful countryside – so I hope people will look out for it.

“I have been heartened by the support of so many people with this campaign – many simply didn’t realise that the milk they have been buying for years wasn’t locally produced. There has been a lot of hard work to get this far – but this is an exciting development and seeing the new milk brand out on shop shelves across the Island will make it all worthwhile.”

Any retailer who would like to stock the new milk or large user who would like to purchase it should call 01983 865555 or 07872 835353. The on-line version of the petition supporting local milk can be signed at www.thewightstuff.org

ENDS:
Attached : List of Isle of Wight milk stockists.

Contacts :

Andrew Turner’s Office on 01983 530808
Louise Hart, Secretary of Isle of Wight Dairy Farmers on 07872 835353
Justin Birch, Chairman of Isle of Wight Dairy Farmers on 07977 012796.

‘I love Isle of Wight Milk’ stockists – from 6th November

Arreton
Arreton Post Office
Farmer Jacks

Bembridge
Warburtons

Binstead
Binstead Post Office

Brading
Brading Food Market

Brighstone
Brighstone Post Office
Brighstone Stores

Chale
Chale Green Stores

Colwell
The Shop at Brambles

Cowes
Co-op
Rashleys
Rowleys

East Cowes
Blakes News
C Jays
Halls Newsagents
Pickle ‘n’ Pepper Deli
Websters

Freshwater
Co-op
Elliotts

Godshill
Sandford Garage

Lake
Lake Post Office

Newport
Farnsworth Newsagent
H & M Off Licence & Grocer
Ultra Stores

Niton
Norris Family Grocer

Northwood
Northwood Stores

Ryde
AB News
Allens
Duffetts
Greenhams
Monkton Street Stores
Oakfield Stores
Tesco Extra
West Stores

St Lawrence
St Lawrence Post Office

Sandown
Broadway Stores
P & J News

Shalfleet
Shalfleet Stores
The Dairy Deli Farm Shop

Shanklin
Gly Morgan Newsagent

Totland
Londis

Ventnor
SLV News

Whippingham
Whippingham Post Office

Wootton
Harwoods
Tesco Express

Yarmouth
Harveys

Catering Wholesalers

Medina Valley Foods

Local milk (under different brands) can also be purchased at :

Briddlesford Lodge Farm, Briddlesford Road, Wootton Bridge
Queen Bower Dairies, Alverstone Road, Sandown

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Broadlands jobs safe

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Island MP Andrew Turner has received confirmation that the future of jobs and services at Broadlands House are secure following press reports that previously announced new jobs would not now be coming to the Island. Mr Turner said that yesterday’s press reports were completely at odds with assurances he had received both from the Minister last summer and the regional manager as recently as November last year. On hearing the reports that plans had changed he contacted the senior management of JobCentre Plus to seek clarification of the position.

Mr Turner said

“I have now received definite confirmation that the plans of Jobcentre Plus have not changed and that they will be keeping a benefit processing centre on the Island as well as establishing one of only two national insurance number processing centres here. I have been told that the additional jobs will arise as their plans are implemented over the coming months.”

Mr Turner went on to say

“During our meeting last November Guy Tompkins Jobcentre Plus’s regional manager was very complimentary about their workforce on the Island and told me that the positive approach of the staff was one of the reasons why they planned to expand on the Island. I am very glad that they see the sense of bringing work to the Island rather than taking it to the mainland and I will continue to press Government to follow their example.

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School Reorganization – Where will £70m come from?

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Government have denied promising the IW Council £70 million to pay for reorganizing Island schools from a three- to a two-tier system. And the Island’s MP has criticized the ‘optimistic noises’ on funding given at consultation meetings.

In a Parliamentary Answer to Island MP Andrew Turner it was revealed that there have been absolutely no promises from the Government to provide the estimated £70 million needed for the changes being proposed by council officials. In answering Mr Turner, Stephen Twigg MP, the Minister responsible for school funding, made it clear that the Isle of Wight council has received no assurances that extra money will be made available for the proposed changeover. Mr Turner has criticized the impression given to parents and teachers that obtaining the money needed from central government would not present a problem.

Andrew Turner said,

“During the meeting I attended at Sandown High School it was clearly stated that ‘we can get’ the £70 million needed to change the system. I was surprised to hear that because that simply isn’t the way that Government works. I have asked the Government what promises they have given and they have clearly told me that they have given none. I have now asked the Council what led them to give such a misleading impression to those who went to the trouble of attending the meeting. I have been told that there have been informal meetings with government officials who support these proposals – I am afraid that does not represent government spending commitments. Frankly I am shocked that optimistic noises were made which misled people.”

Exam results and education standards on the Island are far below the national average and the recent report costing £100,000 by 4S recommended changing the system but did not provide any evidence that this alone would improve standards. Mr Turner went on to say:

“There may well be arguments for changing the system – but changing the system does not guarantee improving standards; the issues should not be mixed up. Even the advocates of change admit it would cost a fortune. If that money does not come from central government it will have to come from existing council budgets and be topped up by Island council taxpayers.

“It is at very least disingenuous to suggest that finding the money to achieve change is not an important issue that needs to be discussed as part of these proposals. I am worried that the Council seems to believe that informal discussions with civil servants translates into promises of many millions of pounds – sadly that is not the case.

“We need to raise standards but that is best done by the Council accepting that some schools are better than others, publishing that information to parents, governors, teachers and the wider public, and tackling the problems on a school-by-school basis. It is not as glamorous as being the architect of a whole new system, but it is much more likely to give our children the quality schooling they deserve.”

END

Contact : Andrew Turner 01983 530808

School Building (Isle of Wight)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) commitments and (b) undertakings she has made to the Isle of Wight Council regarding future capital allocations provided (i) through the Building Schools for the Future programme or (ii) otherwise, whether (A) contingent on or (B) not contingent on school reorganisation. [216280]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: A letter has been sent to all council leaders stating that, for authorities not prioritised in the first three waves of Building Schools for the Future (BSF), including the Isle of Wight, we are determined to make a start on BSF plans between 2005–06 and 2010–11. Our ambition is that in the next full Parliament, subject to future spending decisions, 60 per cent. of all authorities will have started in the BSF programme, or else be given resources to renew at least one secondary school with the greatest need as a school for the future, or as an academy. Each BSF scheme will be judged on its merits, and is not necessarily contingent on school reorganisation. Other capital allocations to the council and its schools were announced on 30 November, and are set out in the following table:

£000
2006–07 14,853
2007–08 15,446

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Can we become a Fairtrade Island?

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As World Fair Trade Fortnight draws to a close this Sunday the Island’s MP Andrew Turner has praised the work of the IW Fairtrade Forum. The Forum is working towards the accolade of Fairtrade Island by building on existing users and suppliers of Fairtrade products to spread the word about the products and the good they do for their producers in the developing world. There are now more than 250 products bearing the distinctive green and blue logo which guarantees a fair deal to producers of such items as coffee, tea, sugar and bananas.

Andrew Turner said,

“The Fairtrade product range has expanded over recent years and whilst once they were seen as an expensive alternative they now offer good value and quality. In order to become a Fairtrade Island we need more suppliers of the products so everybody really can make a difference by asking their local coffee shop or convenience store to stock a few items from the range. As the largest constituency in the country the Island gaining this accolade really would make a difference and give a boost to the national campaign. Fairtrade really makes a difference to those communities that need a helping hand – and I know that on the Island we have a really caring and compassionate community”.

Jim Curtis the co-ordinator of the IW Fairtrade Forum said

“I very much value Andrew’s support for this campaign. In order for the Island to be recognised in this way we need the active support of the Isle of Wight council as well as that of suppliers across the Island. I urge everyone to let their local councillors know that they would be proud to see us become a Fairtrade Island helping less fortunate people to take control of their own lives and build themselves a better future.

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