Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Friday, 20th November 2015, 23:32

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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 – NOVEMBER 2015

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Is Regenerative Building Destroying our Economic Prospects?
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Thank you to those residents who have contacted me with their ideas on how to boost the Island economy, especially concerning the proposed significant developments in Cowes and East Cowes waterfronts. It is true that supporting and nurturing high-tech local business will create demand and support for Island education to serve those businesses, and in turn will feed back into our economy, transforming it from a predominantly low wage high dependency economy to a high skill, high wage economy. I, and other Councillors, support the view that we must safeguard and enhance facilities for such business to operate and grow in the mouth of the Medina, particularly those that depend on access to deep water, and that in doing so, attract other high tech innovative business to the Island.
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We have some remarkable award winning innovation and business on the Island, and failure to recognise and support them in favour of short-sighted development will make the Island and its people suffer in the immediate and long terms. Worse than that, if we cause those business to relocate off the Island because of neglect towards their needs and nurture, we are more than biting the hand that feeds us, we are condemning the innovation that has the potential to lift the Island’s employment and economic prospects, depriving Island people of the prosperity that goes hand in hand with successful high-end business, and depriving our educated and skilled children of a future living and working on their Island home.
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Sausage and Bacon Scare
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There has been a backlash over the announcement that too much bacon and sausages can be dangerous for your health. Of course, too much of anything can be bad for you – even consuming too much water can be toxic, a condition called hyponatremia. At least one UK butcher is threatening to sue over this apparently indiscriminate statement, others claim that it mainly refers to chemicals used in continental processed foods, but not in the UK. Experience and common sense might tell you that processed food, especially with chemical additives, cannot be good for you, and one of the best books that I have read on the subject is In Defence of Food, by Prof. Michael Pollan. Personally, I cannot see how sausages made from whole natural product or natural bacon, like you might expect to find in a traditional butcher’s, can be any worse for you than the meat from which they are derived. It’s all a question of detail, context and proportion.
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Governance, Education, Behaviour, Health & Wellbeing, and Performance
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I have just joined the IW Council Children’s Committee, and was deeply disturbed to hear the starkly frank report fielded to the Committee illustrating how we are still failing our neediest children, and that progress made has slipped back, with a tangible link between school education achievement levels, absenteeism and exclusions. It doesn’t take much intelligence to link this to rates of youth offending, alcohol and substance abuse, and severe emotional and behavioural issues.
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It is for this reason that I hail the step taken by Northwood Primary School, encouraged and supported by Hampshire County Council, in embarking on Prof. Steve Peter’s Chimp Management programme for Education, a programme that enables children and teachers to identify and learn to control emotional issues that some children are suffering, and that are so significant that it disables them from learning, participation and building normal relationships. I am horrified, too, at the thought that the remedy to the trauma that these children are suffering is exercised as punishment against their behaviour, which is merely the symptom of their distressed state. I would like to believe that we live in a more enlightened and civilised society, and that is why (if it’s the only thing I do), I give my support to Professor Rida Elkeir, our Director of Public Health, as he tries to win round the established and failing mode of service into recognising the significant and important, indeed, critical role that people’s emotional states and mental wellbeing plays in their education, behaviour, contribution to society, community, work and family, their self-esteem and physical health. There are pockets of enlightenment and understanding, such as Northwood Primary, Isle of Wight Police mental health initiative and Isle of Wight Public Health Directorate, but we still have an uphill struggle.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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