Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 16:43

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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 – NOVEMBER 2019

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The Report appearing in the December 2019 / January 2020 edition of Northwood News:

 

 

It’s Easy to Remember, but Let’s Act
It is right and proper that we should pay remembrance to those who lost their lives in the wars – fighting for our freedom. But, what about those that live on? What about those that live on in traumatic remembrance of what they experienced whilst fighting for their country? How do we pay respect and active remembrance for their sacrifice?
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The answer, rather shamefully and, dare I say it, as a society, rather hypocritically, is we do very little to help those that live on in trauma for what they experienced. Worse than that, we are, as a society, positively neglectful of many who suffer in this respect, leaving them to bear their pain alone, forgotten, misunderstood, sometimes even destitute, living homeless on our streets!
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There are treatments for this, but they cost money – a fraction of what it costs to go to war. And, that is the shame of it, we can and could do something to rehabilitate service personnel, yet we sweep them aside and choose only to remember those that have gone, once a year! That is easy and may relieve our societal conscience until someone (maybe, like me) lifts the rug.
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The effects of trauma (PTSD) are that an adverse experience becomes hard-wired into the memory bank and associated neural and physiological reactions are triggered whenever that channel is reactivated. It is anchored in the first place by a huge emotional charge that accompanies and defines the adverse experience, and it is the amplitude of that emotional charge that cements the neural pathway and gives it dominance; the stronger the charge, the greater the dominance.
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Because of its profundity, the traumatic memory links very fast in our active perceptive mechanism; how we instantly analyse, interpret and react to everyday situations. This is something that we all do, all the time. We have a part of our brain that assesses every and any situation, like lightning, first throwing back a signal to our memory bank to see if there is a reference point for what the situation could be, and if there is, then we react, our mind and body, our physiology, changes to prepare for that situation perceived, without referring to reason (which is a much slower and more conscious process, seated in the front part of our brain).
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That is why a soldier may react when someone pops a crisp bag, why a someone may become tense when in a crowed shopping street or other situation that is reminiscent to the situation in which they suffered that stressful emotional charge, no matter how illogical or unreasonable it might seem to others. That is how the mind and body work. The reaction shuts down essential functions in our body, so energy may be diverted to our fight or flight response. It focuses our thinking and, in some cases, may trigger automatic responses, so swift and decisive that they are done before reason steps in.
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This condition can be treated by the induced breaking of the neural connection and the establishment of alternative more benign connections. But easier said than done. You can do it either by inducing a huge positive emotional charge directed to counter the negative incumbent, or by prolonged repetition at a lower emotional amplitude – you cannot fake it, either, otherwise it won’t work. Processes like skilled hypnotherapy, CBT, NLP, EDMR and EFT can all help, if done correctly for the person needing therapy, but there is not one way that applies to all; it is a very individual requirement, as the establishment of the trauma was in the first place.
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So, next time we remember, or next time we see an ex-service person who is not behaving in a normal way, let us consider the plight of those that live on in sufferance and show some sympathetic consideration and demand that our Authorities actually do something to show respect and help these individuals.
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Pallance Road Safety Update
Members of the Parish Council and I had a very positive and promisingly constructive site meeting with a team from Highways to review the issues that have been raised concerning safety in Pallance Road. A counting device has been installed, a pedestrian warning sign will be placed, the drainage issue will be costed and the prospect of having some sort of shadow pavement on the South side (LHS going down) will be surveyed to see where it is possible under carriageway regulations (regarding minimum road width, etc.).
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There is still a way to go, but this is a significant positive step.

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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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