Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 23rd August 2015, 16:54

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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 – AUGUST 2015

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I am assured that every care is taken when raising inspection chamber covers to avoid spillage and blocking, but sometimes spillage is inevitable, and when this is identified the chamber or drain will be cleared. I am very glad of this awareness and if it is a lesson learned, I hope it can be a lesson sustained!
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As far as Utilities go, there is no such clear response, and from what I can gather, very little control, as we see new roads being dug up all around the Island for repair of services or new services that could be planned. Examples like the recent one in Park Road, where the road was excavated on an emergency basis, after being re-surfaced; following a volume of complaints it then emerged that it was for a new connection and should have been planned work. Another, with the inspection chamber cover at the bottom of Horsebridge Hill, where the emergency card was played again. My comments echo the sentiment of many when I say; to pretend to hide behind an urgency for these works and their timing against written undertaking that there would, this year, be no such road obstructions during Cowes Week, is disingenuous and displays nothing but a lack of organisation and control.
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I am very concerned to see what is happening in relation to the above, and to see that many of the newly laid roads are breaking up, not even a year after they have been renewed; Pallance Lane, Whitehouse Road, even the bottom of Pallance Road and the stretch up to Hillis Corner. I am just one Councillor, and on my own, hold little power. I wonder, have we learned any lessons from previous monumental disasters? Have we got another Cowes High School in the making? There is still lack of qualified personnel overseeing the PFI contract, as with Cowes School. There seems to be a lack in organisation, quality and control, as there was at Cowes. I hope we are not making payments for work that has not been properly and thoroughly evaluated, like at Cowes School? Assurances were given for Cowes, but they were lies. Again, we have a big international contractor, who seems to be able to outweigh and out-dance our small Council. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. We seem to be very good at negotiating fantastic deals, but from what I can see, as a contractor myself, we are not good at making sure they are just as fantastic in their delivery. And, what happened along Betty Haunt Lane? It looks as though they had all had their fill at the local pub before they started work!
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I have been against charging passengers on the Floating Bridge; it is a net contributor, and last time it was tried it cost more to collect than was gained. We were told that, with modern technology, this would be different, yet here we are, employing over 10 people to collect the money!
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Another area where we need more decisive action is with nuisance vehicle parking, and I found out that Part 2 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 introduces two new offences to prevent the parking of vehicles on the Highway in order to sell them or in order to carry out repairs in the course of a business, with a maximum enforceable penalty of £10,000. I am urging for this to be enforced where nuisance persists. Apart from nuisance vehicle parking around Place Side and Prospect Road, I have had complaints about noise from repeated out-of-hours working in Prospect Road, which I have taken up as well.
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There are significant developments in Community and Wellbeing, with Northwood embarking in the ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) programme, and also at County level where a meeting with Prof Steve Peter’s Chimp Management team ( http://chimpmanagement.com ) was well received and supported by representatives of Health, Police, Education, Government and Community services, to the extent that we are looking to further expand our combined relationship in an all-Island approach. The uniqueness of the Island may give us an instrumental advantage in the development of this initiative which is all-inclusive and transcends politics, with the potential to serve the Island and its people, and its services profoundly.
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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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