Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Monday, 19th November 2018, 17:29

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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: 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 – NOVEMBER 2018

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The Report appearing in the December 2018 / January 2019 edition of Northwood News:

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Is Christmas a Time for Consideration
If Christmas is a time for goodwill, then that must mean thinking of others – but what does that mean? You can think of others by considering what they might like or need if they were you; thinking of the world and others in accordance with how you see it. But the world and other people are not like that. We all see things differently, according to our own interpretations, based on our own experiences, values and beliefs. People who have travelled, lived or worked in other countries and cultures understand that other people do see things differently, and what might be good or offensive to one, can be the complete opposite to someone else.
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But this applies within the same culture too. For example, I find that very few people understand how the world looks to someone who has a disability. I am still raining requests for patients to receive medical information, appointments, etc in large print, and there is a law about that! Not doing it is not deliberate, I am sure, but people do not naturally appreciate how different things are for other people, disabled or not. I don’t want to isolate or pick on the health service, because other organisations are just as guilty. But, how do we get over this, in a real and effective way?
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People and organisations tend to look at the outside world, primarily and instinctively from a defensive point of view, and once you realise this, whether you are a person or an organisation, you have the power, in that realisation, to control what you do; to continue or to do it differently. Change, understanding, growth, development, innovation follows on from seeing and doing from different perspectives.
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The Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Row
You may have noticed the protests concerning ceasing Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Some of the protesters are health/care professional and others are people that were against the scheme in the first place but are converted by their experience. What LACs do is not rocket-science, it’s good old-fashioned community work, and could be taken up and supported by many other sources, including Town and Parish Councils.
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Basically, LACs direct people who need help to other services and see it through. It was a model adopted and funded by the Vanguard pilot, but with no exit or continuity strategy. The scheme is operated under strict licence, so is not flexible, and is hugely expensive to operate, costing around £½ million.
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Despite the lack of planning and poor communications, we now have an undertaking to support the service through its replacement with a more flexible locally derived service, that can be better tuned to fit needs more specifically, without paying the huge costs under the more rigid (but good as a starting model), scheme.
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Northwood was one of the first to sign up to this, at the beginning, some four or five years ago; but, without explanation, we have been left out, although we will get represented under the new scheme and might still have a LAC under the old scheme, but with funding secured by Public Health from other sources.
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The Pub Co Question
This year the Island has seen unprecedented closing of landmark pubs, the Pier View in Cowes being one. Press stories attribute scandalous rent hikes and extortionate charges for supplies that have to be bought through the Pub Co. Some poor landlords, it seems, lose all their money, as the greater their sales, the higher their rent climbs. Government reviews and legislation have tried to deal with this situation, but to little avail.
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An analogy is of taking on a mortgage/rent and having to buy all your groceries from the lending company. Then you find that the provisions are delivered by a supermarket, and you are paying vastly more than your neighbour for exactly the same product from the same supplier. Then, to top that, your mortgage/rent goes up, and (in some Island cases) could be two or three times the open market rate.
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There are those landlords who despite all this seem to do well. These landlords seem to run several pubs and be quite adept and experienced business people. Some publicly state that they went into their contract with their eyes open, with good business and legal advice.
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It seems that the industry is open to exploitation. Our MP has arranged for a representation from Island pubs to go up to Parliament to discuss these issues with the minister. There is a significant and challenging campaign established to raise awareness of the situation and need for decent reform – The Forum of Private Business.

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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