Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 14:54

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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

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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 – JUNE 2019

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The Report appearing in the July/August 2019 edition of Northwood News:

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Harnessing the Democratic Chain

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Are our services joined-up? Is the action of one service department complemented in coordinated action by another? How efficient and reactive are our Public Authorities and our democratic structure in reacting to and fulfilling local needs and desires? Recent Planning Applications would suggest that our governance does not always work for the people it is supposed to serve, but does this incoordination spread wider and deeper?
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We know, only too well, that people are denied the significant common-sense consideration of the impact of Developments on the likes of local medical service capacity, ‘because they are not material considerations’, and, we also know that time spent by Town and Parishes in determining local housing needs is largely disregarded by the Authority that instigates and approves such initiative. But, is this due to lack of coordination; a failure of an evolved local government structure to effectively harness and utilise local democratic input?
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In scrutiny, we could inspect the social housing wheel. If someone is under risk of becoming homeless for some reason (relationship, financial, mental health issues or other problems they find themselves unable to control), do the relevant service departments pick it up in a timely and constructive manner?
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Everyone would hope that our services do function in a coordinated way, acting for people as they need, being in touch with local needs and wishes to ensure that they are satisfied. These are questions that I ask leaders, and I am satisfied that there is a will to be more coordinated, responsive and representative, but the trouble with grand schemes is that they can spiral from ivory towers, missing what really matters on the ground.
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It would be helpful to hear residents’ experiences with Services regarding coordination. I already have feedback from cases that I have taken up on other issues, but it would be good to get some directed comment on this matter, good and bad, to present life examples to further guide those who are now seeking to listen.
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An idea – maybe the strategy of building a coordinates public service is to follow the principles of fractal structures, where a common core of relationships and rules is applied to then build an adaptive tools to serve needs, the core fractal base enabling simpler and more natural coordination. That is how nature does it and keeps doing it to adaptive success after all – and who are we if not subjects of nature, despite all our pretensions!
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Medicine is not Engineering, but should it be?
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Understanding the human body is complex, and our medical services are becoming increasingly specialised as focus and techniques drive ever more sophisticated pathways in the treatment of symptoms. But is this channelled approach now outdated, as cutting-edge revelations increasingly put our human biome and its balance as a key contributor to our functioning, our chemistry, moods, thoughts, physiology and conditions?
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Emerging evidence is pointing to a common source of imbalances being rooted in our gut flora (the micro-biome of bacteria, parasites, viruses, without which we could not function). Specific common imbalances in our flora are being found in studies on autism, Parkinson’s, MS, depression, OCD, Tourette’s, obesity; the list is extensive. Does this now lead medical analysis and treatment to a whole new and very personal level?
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The trouble with our traditional symptom-focused treatments, is that it is not an engineering approach; it fails to recognise or address the root cause. Symptoms arise for a reason and are indicators of dysfunctional imbalance. Masking symptoms by treating their effect can lead to unintended iatrogenic consequences by failing to address the root cause. If that root cause falls on an imbalance in our own internal eco-systems, then we could be heightening the problem, or causing development of others by not directly addressing that imbalance. Thus, superficial treatment of a presenting condition could lead to the later development of conditions like diabetes, kidney impairment, digestive tract disorders, neural conditions and mental health issues, and anecdotal evidence may indicate that it often does.
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One of the peculiar characteristics about microbes is how different microbes can combine to form an intelligent community, sharing resources like DNA information, and building a common resilience. Such communities are called biofilms and can transform to act as if a unique single organism, the sum of which is indeed greater than that of its individual parts. When, for example, someone’s gut biome is out of balance, the environment that new dominance creates can be highly resistant to the re-establishment of the normal balance. Such upsets can be brought about by adverse diet, general antibiotics or other drug medication, emotional stress and the conditional biochemical responses that induces.
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There are plenty of authoritative accounts on this research, many of which serve to reveal the understandings of more ancient traditions and philosophies, but that is another matter!

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John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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See the I.W. Councillor’s section

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