Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Friday, 25th March 2016, 18:25

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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 – MARCH 2016

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Survey of New Road Surfaces
Following feedback from several residents on matters concerning the newly laid road surfaces in our area, I have taken it upon myself to undertake a survey of the new road surfaces in Northwood, so that constructive feedback can be given to Island Roads to enable them to correct defects that have arisen in the laying of the new surface or that existed before but have not been addressed in the new surface.
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Southern Water Major Engineering Works
The works are progressing very well, with any initial minor teething problems resolved, and that resolution brought into the work routine. Also, effort paid to communications with residents and effected business has been constructive with positive feedback received. However, it is recognised that this has to be maintained, as the works approach the trickiest section, around the Nodes Road and Medham Lane junction, then, go on to the home run along the Southern stretch of Newport Road, where most disruption will be felt.
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When the works pass the Nodes Road junction, advisory diversion signs may be placed as far away as St Mary’s roundabout, sending light traffic via Whitehouse Road and Pallance Road. Pallance Road will have to be managed; where existing parking patterns will, undoubtedly cause problems due to the increased flow of traffic. Removing all roadside parking, making Pallance Road a clearway, will cause problems; some residents do not have off-road parking facilities, and that has to be thought of, but the main issue would be resultant from the increased flow of vehicles, on a road with no pavements (apart from above Wyatts Lane junction), where many people walk. So the consideration is to control parking on bends and stretches of poor visibility, but to allow strategic parking on stretches where visibility is good, but with ample space for pull-in, particularly on the narrow stretch between the Travellers and Comforts lane. Residents will be informed and feedback will be considered in regular reviews.
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As a final note, the cooperation of business and residents, so far, has been very much appreciated by Southern Water, together with their contractors and Island Roads. As a final aside, someone made a comment to me, that when a road is closed it might be a good opportunity for impromptu street parties. I am not sure what the process would be on this, but, from a pragmatic viewpoint, I can’t imagine the Authority would be obstructive (you can shoot me if they are!).
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Nodes Road Footpath Temporary Closure
The footpath from/to Nodes Road, will be closed for a short spell whilst a defective valve is repaired/ replaced in the high pressure main.
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Growing Focus on Prosperity through Business
I am very encouraged to be able to report that there is a distinctive rise in awareness and action in recognising and supporting local industry, in particular our highly innovative high-tech businesses, many of which are home grown. It is a little known fact that there are at least 40 high tech electronics-based businesses on the Island, employing in excess of 5,000 people. Many of these businesses operate in international and global markets, and really value the quality and loyalty that local recruitment can bring. One of the problems that we have had, incredibly, is that our local education system has become disjointed with the employment requirements and opportunities of local business. But this is now starting to be recognised and addressed, with the new STEM initiative at the College and the lead that Cowes Enterprise College is taking in science and engineering, with plans to host a Physics Fair, with an invite for support and participation to local businesses.
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There is no reason, with the right thinking and implementation, that we could not make the Island one of the best places in the Country to live and work. We already have the basic ingredients, and now there is the beginnings of a movement to align, support and grow what is on our doorstep, to achieve this. Alongside this movement there are great improvements in sectors of our Children’s services, with areas that were amongst the worst in the Country, now amongst the best, attracting an influx of job applications, and the prospect of selling our services to other Authorities. Remarkably, it has just been announced that in our childcare service, we have the highest percentage in the Country of children attaining higher education. Now, all we need to do is bring our regular education achievements up to the same level, and institutions like Ormiston and the Studio School (and many of our other schools) are breaking ground towards this.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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