Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, 19th April 2016, 23:05

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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 – APRIL 2016

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Survey of New Road Surfaces
My survey of the new road surfaces has been constructively received by Island Roads, and I am awaiting confirmation of the items that will be rectified and how and when that will be done.
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Southern Water Major Engineering Works
There was a delay in getting past the Northwood Garage/Oxford Street junction area due to the asphalt plant breaking down, but time has not been wasted and it is anticipated that the works will reach their destination earlier than anticipated, possibly around the end of this month. Although these essential works have caused more frustration to some people than others, I believe that their impact, in consideration, has been relatively minimal, on the whole, and most people have shown tolerance and cooperation. I know that Southern Water say that the works have been relatively trouble-free, compared with some of their mainland jobs, and wish to thank residents and travellers for their understanding. I think it right that, in turn, that I should thank Southern Water and Island Roads for their work and efforts. It is difficult, even impossible to get all the peripherals right on such large works, and we can all tell someone how they could do their job better, especially in hindsight, but, in my small involvement, I have been impressed by the way the job was managed and executed.
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Hillis Gate Holiday Development
The small holiday development at Hillis Meadows, opposite the turning to Marks Corner, was approved at Planning Committee on 13th April. This follows a long fight by the residents to oppose it, first back in 2008, when it was proposed as a caravan park, but refused at Committee and then at Appeal, and now as a series of wooden chalets with an eco-theme. I spoke against it, with some of the residents, and the developers had David Thornton, head of Visit Isle of Wight, speak for it. There were lots of serious conditions attached to the Approval, many to be carried out before any development can start, and I hope that dialogue will open between the developer and residents, now that it has permission.
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Ferry Ports
You will, I expect, have seen that the Red Funnel proposal was turned down by Committee, and the reasons that I saw, were over dominance of the town, displacement of burgeoning businesses, including placing a new hotel alongside valuable deep water berthing, instead of retaining it for industry, and unjustified demolition of houses, a pub and shops. It is difficult to understand why Red Funnel did not see this coming, especially as, it seems, the Town Council and local voices were all telling them so, but then, the HCA are involved in this, and, personally, I have no confidence in the judgement of an organisation who spend our money bolting barriers down to a pavement that they insist needs renewing, for the sake of it, and this scheme rings of that same mentality! It is a great shame and missed opportunity that they did not listen to the loud voice of the people. On the other hand, a new high level ramp was approved for loading at the Fishbourne terminal, giving the message that we are not anti-ferry on the Island, as long as people talk to us and properly consider our needs and wants.
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Beer & Vintage Buses Weekend 2016
For anyone who hasn’t experienced this new phenomenon on the Isle of Wight, make sure that you don’t miss this year’s event on the weekend 15th & 16th October. Last year it became the biggest event of its type in the Country, and forecasts are that it will be even bigger and busier this year. Basically, what happens is that the Island comes alive with people traveling on vintage buses, for free, buses that come from all over the Country for the experience, and pubs are the bus stops (talk about utopia!). But, you don’t need to be a drinker to enjoy the weekend; a lover of old buses, a walker, or just someone that likes to get out amongst happy people. The bus stops in Northwood will be at the Horseshoe and the Travellers Joy. The website for the event is: http://iwbeerandbuses.co.uk/ and buying a programme entitles you to discounts many times greater than the cost of the programme. My job will be as coordinator for Cowes, Gurnard and Northwood, to liaise with the participating pubs to make sure the facilities and experience are maximised. This is a great community event, and, as I say, all travel on the vintage buses is free, with special offers at many pubs and opportunity to explore where you might not otherwise normally get to, or you might just like a good day out, soaking in the friendly atmosphere.
If anyone enjoys people and wants to be a marshal, let me know.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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