Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 25th March 2017, 23:52

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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)

Mobile: 07918 757843
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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 2017

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ROADWORKS AGAIN!
I really must apologise for the prospect of yet more roadworks concerning the new water main along Newport Road. Whilst I defended the initial roadworks as essential, I am afraid that I cannot take that position with this current lot. As we know, the standard of workmanship in the reinstatement of the trench was very poor, and quite rightly it was never accepted by Island Roads, a fact borne out by later collapses in the trench-line.
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The road was due to be resurfaced, but that has had to be delayed until Southern Water agreed to carry out remedial works to bring the reinstatement to an acceptable standard. But it also transpires that leak tests on the new main have failed. Apparently, there are four places where the leak could be; each location allocated to explore and resolve, hence the four-week closure advertised. However, this time would be reduced, as I understand it, if the leak is discovered early, and the remaining holes, then, become unnecessary to make.
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I don’t want to hammer Southern Water, who are blaming it on their subcontractor, but this sort of affair, and the way that it affects business and public is just not acceptable, and I am campaigning that we take tougher control of Highways; my point is recognised and is being looked into, but there is a way to go yet, and it will require will and determination to implement such controls, stretching into the next Council.
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ROAD SAFETY AND SCHOOLS
Many will have heard about the accident at Lanesend Primary School, when a young child was hit by a car in the after school traffic in Ash Grove, and wondered how it had never happened before, and how it hasn’t happened in other school locations, like Northwood Primary School.
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Fortunately, in this instance, the child was not seriously hurt. I have been campaigning jointly with Cllr Peacey-Wilcox, whose Ward Ash Grove is in, and borders on to mine at this point, for the one-way system to be extended into the top of Ash Grove and additional no parking implementation around the junction with Love Lane, so sight lines are kept clear. The only problem, as my colleague points out, is that you can put in as many signs and markings as you like, but if people ignore them and there is no one there to enforce them, they have little effect.
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This brings us to probably the biggest issue concerning all schools, especially for younger pupils, like Lanesend, Northwood, and Gurnard, and that is parents’ behaviour, in particular their insistence to drive their children to school, even if they only live a short walk away, and, at Lanesend, they seem to want to drive them as close to the gates as possible – up the short cul-de-dac, despite the obvious safety issues that this creates. Irresponsibility, madness, lack of consideration; you can probably think of other words to describe such action, but the problem is that it can easily apply to us all if we don’t think or rather, just focus on ourselves, without considering others, and there can be little better social example of this behaviour than the driving frenzy that accompanies school start and finish times. I am not an anthropologist, but what can you do to improve this behaviour?
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POST OFFICE
I, and other Cowes Ward, Town and Parish Councillors (and the MP), working together, have been battling with the Post Office to try to get them to establish a permanent location in Cowes town, and it is difficult to get a straight answer at all. Then, without notice, we were told that they would be moving into the Co-op in Mill Hill Road, and having made the decision, would launch a consultation.
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Well, I am sorry, that is just not good enough! What is the point in launching a consultation after the decision has been made? It is insulting! What I want to know, and have asked for, is just what efforts have they made to find a town centre location, and why they have not succeeded? Why they have not considered public transport and spoken to Southern Vectis about bus routes? Why are they leaving Cowes with no facility, when the over-stayed temporary office at the Marina closes, and telling us we can equally use East Cowes, when, actually, the Floating Bridge is out of service, and Northwood, when, in fact, Sue’s contract runs out at the end of March, and she only opens three mornings a week anyway (working past retirement, out of commitment to the local community)? Why are they wasting so much time and energy in platitudes and obfuscation, when they should be concentrating on what they were set up to do and that is to provide a decent service to the public and business? Please join me in demanding proper and full consideration and facilities.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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