Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 23:36

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COUNCILLOR JOHN NICHOLSON

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Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South
Chairman of Policy & Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care & Health Committee

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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 – JUNE 2018

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The Report appearing in the July/August 2018 edition of Northwood News:

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Northwood to Get a Public Health Local Area Coordinator

Although we were one of the first to sign up to Community Wellbeing, we have ended up at the back of the queue in being allocated a Local Area Coordinator, but let’s just be grateful that we are getting one, at last.

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A Local Area Coordinator (LAC) is a professional post requiring a variety of skills, and an ability to communicate and inspire people to build constructive relationships that help build and knit together communities. They are trained to have their ear to the ground and to seek to help find resolutions for people who require help with health-related matters of one sort or another and might be referred to them by other services and organisations.

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They are trained to identify where natural assets and resources lie within the people of a community and match them with needs. This fits very well, in principal and timing, with the launch of the Business Regeneration Pilot in Northwood, which, at its core holds similar aims and objectives, but within the business community.

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I have had no specific date yet, but I am assured that we are now being considered and lined up for our own LAC, and I will be one of the first in line to welcome them.

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Next Time you Fancy Some Refreshment at Northwood Recreation Ground …

I have only just recently found out (through my dealings with this year’s Beer & Buses Festival), that Northwood Cricket Club is actually open to the public; you do not have to be a member to enter and use their facilities, have a cuppa or drink from the bar, ice cream or a snack, they will make you welcome.

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This resolves a big issue that was discovered when we (at Cowes Town Council) undertook a user survey at the Recreation Ground, and that was the high demand that we found from people, of all ages, for somewhere to get refreshments and sit down in comfort.

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The Cricket Club is a new entrant in this year’s Classic Beer & Buses Festival (13th & 14th October), and they are very enthusiastic to use that event to make people welcome and show their community spirit and will be putting on a series of special attractions, including, of course, an interesting array of Real Ales for visitors’ enjoyment, in the hope that will raise awareness and boost year-round visitors.

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Health Reporting

I am dismayed at times by the incessant negative focus and spin that our media puts on St Mary’s Hospital. I go to the same Trust Board meetings as they do and hear how open and frank they have become in what they bring to the Board and discuss, and much of it is good news, showing real progress, hard work and innovation. It is particularly bad, I think, when the Press misconstrue an item that, in context, is not bad news but marks openness and honesty in an attempt to share realities. The real damage that such unscrupulous sensation seeking journalism does is quite detrimental and serves as a kick in the teeth to all those hospital staff that are working hard to make a difference. The Press did this too, recently, about Adult Social Care, quite wrongly blaming the IW Council’s Director for things that were not under her control and that she had no responsibility for, because they were private, independent services.

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I do wonder what the objective is with this style of reporting, because, I know that in scrutiny, our objective has to be constructive, so criticism and support are used where due; our objective being to try to help make improvements. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to say things that are very tough, and hard to swallow, in a way that causes an impact that upsets and resonates, but if it stimulates improvement, that can be justified, but criticism for criticism’s sake is destructive, unhelpful and tantamount to vandalism of our most essential service.

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The other note I make is that these attacks are very often aimed at the wrong organisation, as with the attack on the Director of Adult Social Care, and the real perpetrators, often behind the scenes, who really do need a spotlight shone on them, just carry on.

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It is a brave or foolish person, though, who dares to criticise the Press – which am I?

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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