Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 24th August 2019, 17:26

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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 – AUGUST 2019

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The Report appearing in the September 2019 edition of Northwood News:

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Why Do We Put Up With It?
This was the question posed to me by a landlord of a Lancashire pub recently, when on a business trip up North, after I asked how they managed to host such a range of local artisan beers and sell them at such reasonable prices.
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The pub in question was owned by a large pub chain company, where, in the southern part of this Country, you tend to find only their own blandest beers on sale and for more-or-less double the price. The beer, however, costs the same, North or South and this Northern landlord told me that he did very well, supported mainly by locals; he only had to sell 33% of a cask to break even, and none of the beers on his 8 pumps lasted for more than 2 days (before they were drained), so that guaranteed freshness fed back into maintain a constant trade.
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Simple quality it seems is an unspoken expectation in many places up North; even a matter of integrity. In the South, it appears, we are all too often seen as soft targets, reluctant to complain on price or quality, so we are taken advantage of. That, as was explained to me, is what Northerners are referring to when they call us soft Southerners – we are soft because we put up with things!
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It’s not always the Southern landlord’s fault, though, as some pub chains tend to charge their southern establishments excessively on products they are tied to and rents they are bound by. Some pub chains charge around £100 more to their landlords for a 72-pint cask than they would sell the same product to the Free trade for. This places the landlord with no choice on the price they recharge, as they have to make their margin to cover costs and make some profit – and many struggle to survive! The industry is notorious for bankrupting innocent people that venture into the trade, often increasing their rent at any sign of takings going up.
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In the system that prevails, this leaves many landlords burdened with business rates that unfairly assess the landlord on turnover (not profit), a figure pushed up by the extortionate practices of some pub chain companies who cream the profit getting away from the rates scot-free!
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There are those, including our MP, who are wise to this scandal, and are actively campaigning for a change to regulate fairness, but the industry lobby is strong no matter what government prevails. I would also like to see some recognition and encouragement of the roles that pubs (and other establishments) can play in communities, in people’s health and wellbeing, and we have some good local examples of this. Wouldn’t it be great if such facilitation of beneficial community services was rewarded, say, in a rate rebate?
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Northwood Traffic Lights Road Rebuild
The section of road through Northwood Traffic lights is programmed to be rebuilt and resurfaced in September, scheduled from 2nd to 20th (but any unforeseen factors may change this) under 3-way traffic lights. There is no good time to do these works, but obstruction and inconvenience will be minimised as far as is practical. Please try to work around these improvements, as that will greatly help. Local letter drops will be organised as usual, nearer the time.
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Utility Disruption Continues
Are my complaints falling on deaf ears when I continually raise the issue of utility companies digging up new laid roads and old ones for totally predictable faults in their past-frail infrastructure, causing obstruction and traffic chaos, and unnecessarily exasperating this situation by having no one working there! I am told that under the law, Utilities have the right to do this – well let’s change the law!
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By the Way – Breaking News
It has just been announced that Israeli scientists have found a significant link between the absence of certain gut microbes and susceptibility to motor neuron disease – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49070182 . It is already established that imbalance of gut biome has strong links with autism, Parkinson’s and many other conditions, although this will take several years to filter through to common medical practice. However, such are the changes in our local medical services that I am told that they are now looking into how to engage with this exciting new field of science for the benefit of Island patients!
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Parking Issues
If you are experiencing parking problems, please let me, the Parish or Town Council know about it. Don’t think it is useless or you are wasting your time, as we need your ammunition to fight for a resolution.

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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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