Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Monday, 25th May 2015, 16:29

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COUNCILLOR JOHN NICHOLSON

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WARD MEMBER FOR COWES SOUTH & NORTHWOOD

MEMBER OF IW PLANNING COMMITTEE

MEMBER OF HEALTH AND COMMUNITY WELLBEING SCRUTINY PANEL

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SUNNYSIDE

PALLANCE LANE

NORTHWOOD

PO31 8LT
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Tel: 01983 209642 (evenings best)
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Email: cllr.john.nicholson@btconnect.com

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See the I.W.Councillor’s section

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WARD REPORT – MAY 2015

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I heard on a recent radio programme that there is an area in the South of England that is now producing better quality champagne grapes than in France, such is our climate these days. That may be good news for us, but it does reflect quite a shift in the environment. I wonder if that is good or bad for us, certainly a bit of warmer weather for a bit longer stretch in the year does not go amiss, but I think there is an underlying warning (a black lining in the silver cloud, if you like) that we need to be conscious and take better care of our environment.

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There are things that national government can do; rules and regulation, and there are steps that local Councils can take as well, but there are things that we can all do and think about that can make a difference. And, the question is: what do you care about enough to do something to make a difference? It is a topical question, in a growing topical movement and debate that not only covers our natural environment, but our created environment too. It covers or built environment, our health, our mental wellbeing and happiness, our learning and employment, and levels of crime.

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After years of taking power and responsibility away from people and replacing it with mindless and costly processes, we find that, in some ways, we are an unhealthier society, with illnesses that are inflicted through poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of care and forethought in occupational health, mental disorders through the stress, worries and neurosis incurred in a less personal society and crimes that may be committed by being driven through mental health or psychological issues created by our modern living, desperate circumstances or, even, pedantic focus on the regulatory process rather than on people (how many people do you know that have been prosecuted just for not displaying a parking permit, not following a process properly, or some other pedantry, when there is no obstruction or real offence or problem other than that created by the process itself?).
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It is a peculiarity that once you remove something from someone, and they become conditioned to a dependency or reliance on something else, that they can easily forget how they operated in the past. And this is now being recognised, for example in health, where as a society, whenever we get something wrong with ourselves we just go to the doctor and get some medicine to deal with the symptoms, so that we can carry on doing whatever it is in our lifestyle that is causing the problem in the first place.

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This doesn’t only apply to health, but to all of what I was talking about above, to greater and lesser degrees. Now the surgeries and the hospitals are struggling to cope, governmental centralisation is defunct, I don’t know what to say about the mental health and education situation, and we have become a less caring society.

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But all is not lost; as I say, there is a drive and recognition for localisation, for community wellbeing and involvement, for joined up resources and thinking, and a recognition for the need of refocus and rationalisation from the Police and Health Service (note the recent highlighting of over-prescription of antibiotics, and, now, over prescribing in general). This is where Town and Parish Councils really come into play, as focal points and conduits in a new fractal restructuring of our society, where the constant question arises: do you care enough about something to do something about it yourself, to help yourself and for all of us to help each other?

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Whether that is talking, doing, giving or receiving or facilitating; we all have something to give and we all have a need of some sort. It is putting humanity back in humans, and making human structures with a heart, rather than mechanical. And, I am proud to say that Northwood is at the lead in this new thinking, where the Parish is a pilot in this new direction.
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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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