Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 27th May 2017, 17:43

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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 – MAY 2017

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RE-ELECTION THANKS
Thank you to all those who supported me for re-election. From my approximation, the number of voters was up by 5% to around 40%, and some 66% of those votes were in my support. When talking with people on my door-knocking rounds, it was gratifying to find that my reports were so widely read, and to see the number of people that were of a different political persuasion but who still supported me because of what I did and said. This is an important point, particularly at local level. I have friends who are of other political alliances, but, it is notable, that we all, roughly, want the same thing, and our differences mainly lie in the detail of how best to achieve those ends; differences that do not come into play so significantly at local level, where it is mainly down to personalities. I am a believer that over-politicisation at local level can be divisive and destructive, and that the voting public would rather see a more pragmatic approach with focus and attention on local achievement, rather than grandiose arguing about remote political ideology. So, for people who did not vote in my favour, or did not vote at all, I would request that you please accept my service nevertheless, as I have accepted this appointment to serve the community, to the best of my ability and resource.
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SOUTHERN WATER
At a meeting with Southern Water, with neighbouring Ward Councillors, Island Roads and IW Council Highways, it was explained to us that the new water main has not passed the pressure test, and, investigation into the joints being the suspected source of failure had found no fault. The leak is so slight that it cannot be detected under normal circumstances, yet, it must be resolved because it poses potential problems and continues to delay the resurfacing programme on the section of road affected. The only possibility left is that it is a slight defect in the pipe, possibly during manufacture, so the defective section of pipe must be found and replaced. Southern Water have managed to narrow down where the defect lies, and it is somewhere in the stretch between Bookers and the first inspection chamber up Newport road (around 70m).
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Through negotiation, we have managed to ensure that Newport Road is kept open for the duration, this time, using Enterprise Way (which is part of the Public Highway situated and running alongside Newport Road, but the other side of the hedge to Somerton estate) as a diversion route o compensate for lane closure. The only time that a section of road will have to be closed is when crossing the Somerton roundabout in Three Gates Road, and when lifting and laying pipes, which can be done at night. This is unfortunate, but not the fault of the operators, if it is a rare manufacturing defect, and I feel that to know and understand this and see that best efforts are being made to minimise inconvenience, helps in gaining public tolerance.
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I did take the opportunity to comment on the poor standard of reinstatement, saying that the quality of the previous was wholly unacceptable and that we all would expect that any further work would be done properly.
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CURBING THE WANTON ACTIONS OF UTILITIES
I am pursuing action on my accepted Motion, from earlier this year, to control the actions of the Utility Companies in disrupting and destroying our newly laid roads, recently exampled by the scandalous scarring of a freshly laid surface in Avenue Road Totland, for works that could have been scheduled. Similar happened, if you remember, in Park Road, Cowes, and elsewhere around Cowes and Northwood.
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COWES POST OFFICE
It now transpires that the Post Office’s secrecy and lack of honest and meaningful consultation and engagement with local authorities, business and public, not only is against their own Code of Practice, but appears to have been hiding a self-serving agenda that disregards the people that the Post Office publicly purport to serve. Their disingenuous strategy has been to play one party off against the other, and it has now been revealed that these scurrilous tactics were employed to block the application from the new convenience store to be situated in the premises currently occupied by Aqua Marine, right in the town centre in the High Street at the bottom of Market Hill, whose application, I am told, was rejected on the grounds of the existence of the Mill Hill Post Office site, before its establishment, or their meaningless pretence in consultation. I will be reporting this whole affair to the new MP, new Town Mayor and Chairman of the IW Council, and urging them to take up this case of deceit, disregard and disservice, at the highest level. This is not, on the other hand, to slight the Co-Op, whose support of the public and the Post Office service is commendable.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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