Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Thursday, 29th September 2016, 01:14

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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 – SEPTEMBER 2016

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Illegal Cars Using our Highways
We have a real problem in Northwood and Cowes South, in some locations, with people parking cars illegally on the Public Highway. You may find this statement as much of a surprise as I did, but it is even more than that, it is a tale of impotency, ineptitude and total lack of will and determination, and one that causes public nuisance and even puts road users at risk.
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In Cranleigh Gardens, the residents are plagued with a suspect motor trader depositing cars in the laybys that are not taxed or MOT’d. These cars revolve, being driven by the same elderly gentleman, and it has been going on for a long time; being driven on the road without tax, MOT or insurance; how else do they move; it shouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce this? But, can our authorities resolve this seemingly straight forward issue? The Police need to actually catch someone driving, or so they say. The Council won’t take the plunge and lift the cars because it is money that they cannot afford, and so the problem goes on; costing more than it is saving in not dealing with it, and putting the public at risk with potentially unsafe vehicles being driven on the Highway.
This is not the only place where this is happening. Place Side and Prospect Road have been plagued by this problem for years, and I have had it reported that some of these same cars have also been seen parked on other back roads around Northwood. We have managed to get one trader involved in this illegal public nuisance to cooperate for short stretches, but then it all comes back. There is legislation designed or intended to deal with this, but our can’t do Council won’t take the plunge, unlike other mainland authorities who lift and even crush such cars, whilst our Island residents are being fobbed off with lame excuses for not dealing with such simple issues.
Somebody once told me to do or don’t do, but don’t ever not do!
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Beer & Buses (& Northwood/Cowes Community)
This will be the last issue before the Island’s 3rd Classic Beer, Vintage Buses and Walks Weekend, a great opportunity to get out and socialise! Bus stops in Northwood are at the Tank Museum (on Newport Road), the Horseshoe, the Travellers and the Cemetery Gates (for the Kingston). Everybody is welcome to experience travelling on vintage buses, free of charge, and to enjoy the friendly atmosphere amongst the beer lovers, pub-goers and walkers. If you want to be involved, as a Marshal, please let me know directly, even if it is only for an hour or two; all you have to do is like talking with people and helping them.
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The Island Economy (and how we can help support it)
In any economy in can be argued that there are three classes of employment:
1. Wealth Creation (Farming, Fishing, Mining, Manufacturing – anything where you create added value)
2. Wealth Preservation (Health, Education, Armed Forces, Fire, Police)
3. Wealth Consumption (Service Industries – the financial services, the retired and dependants)

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It is estimated that we have just under 5% of our Island population engaged in the Wealth Creation sector, which is, simply, unsustainable; if we want to make ends meet, let alone prosper, we have to change this. A job in the Wealth Creation sector can be worth, in its wider value, to the economy up to 2x that of one in retail and 4.5x that of one in tourism. No one is saying that we should neglect tourism, but it is a question of balance, and in true perspective, it is the high tech high, high wage jobs that we need to encourage and grow. That is why the Red Funnel scheme, for the Island, was so off focus, in its disregard of the very type of industry that we need to nurture in favour of one that is, by definition, characteristically low wage and high benefit dependent.

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Historically, the Island has a significant background in the field of engineering and sciences, and this continues to be the case, albeit largely unrecognised and unsung. There is some movement towards waking up to the Island’s potential in this resource, with the start of a focus in education streamlining with the innovative businesses that already operate from the Island, and are marked on the world stage, but those businesses need to be supported, and others encouraged. With some determination and leadership, it is not beyond imagination that the Island could become a garden city for wealth creating industry, as we certainly have the natural environment ingredient. If we can encourage and nurture the base building block of attracting and supporting wealth creating industry, with local government and educational focus, then the rest will surely follow.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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