Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by IWC Admin on Monday, 27th May 2013, 23:42

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COUNCILLOR JOHN NICHOLSON

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I.W. COUNCILLOR FOR COWES SOUTH & NORTHWOOD

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SUNNYSIDE

PALLANCE LANE

NORTHWOOD

PO31 8LT
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Tel: 01983 209642 (evenings best)
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Email: juann@btconnect.com (until I get my Council address)

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Click here for the I.W.Councillor’s section

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REPORT – JUNE 2013

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Firstly, a thank you to the residents of Northwood (and Cowes South) for electing me. In the forerunning period, I have met a lot of interesting people, and learnt a lot about the problems, history, and views of residents. I enjoy meeting people and listening to their points of view, even if I don’t agree with them, it can be constructing and helpful just to listen and understand where there viewpoint stance is, and some of my most interesting encounters were, indeed, with people that, initially, felt that they could not support me because of politics, or because they felt disenfranchised or delusioned with local government.
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The way I see local government, and I am new to this role, is at two levels. There are the local issues, that everyone is aware of, things like tidiness, sanitary and safety issues, and day to day concerns, such as planning matters and minor or local disputes. Then there are the larger and strategically important issues, concerning the governance and future of the Island, and this is where the politics starts to come in, and, for me (and I am new to this) politics is, essentially, about balancing resources against strategic aims. What you spend the money that you have available on. Providing facilities against budget, and if you decide that you want more facilities than you have money, then you have to raise more. In the previous administration, serious cuts were made, but the coat was cut according to the cloth, as they say, and that coat did not suit everybody. No one yet knows how the new administration will perform, or exactly what their particular aims are, but, as a businessman and home owner, I think I speak for many people in hoping that the burden on the tax-payer does not increase in these, still, difficult times.
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To start my Councillorship in a small way, there are a couple of things that I would like people to consider. Both are to do with road safety. One is when walking up and down Pallance Road, the section below Wyatts Lane, with no pavement. And, this is something that I have done often, and for many years, at all times of the day and night, so speak with heartfelt experience. For me, and I love my life, I would only walk on the South side (The Newport side, for those without a compass) for the simple reason that I think it is safer, and that is going up the road, or down. I know the code says always face the oncoming traffic, and this is a good start, but like so many guidelines, they have to be intelligently applied to real life situations. The reasons I hoist this flag are because, I notice that cars travelling down Pallance Road tend to leave a greater margin to the verge on that side, whereas cars travelling up Pallance Road, for some reason, tend to clip the verge. There is no explanation, as far as I can see, but that is how it is, at least in my experience. So, walking on the South side, for me, means less likelihood of being hit. Or, put it the other way around, walking on the north side, for me, I feel at greater risk of being hit. Also, for the narrow section below the Travellers, there are always parked cars, between which you can shelter. And this neatly brings me on to my next point.
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Speeding is a big concern amongst residents of Pallance Road, and, funnily enough, mainly on the clear stretches. In other words, where cars are parked on the road, speeding is reduced. It’s only a suggestion, but how would residents feel if we were able to coordinate a road parking scheme along the otherwise clear sections of the road, to see how this affected traffic and speeding. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one in favour of obstructing and delaying the motorist, but we have to deal with situations as they are. I do not believe it is likely, in our time, that there will be a pavement down Pallance Road (although, I also believe, never say never), and we have a concern about road safety due to speeding, and cars parked on the roadside seem to slow traffic down, so is it a good idea? Perhaps we can consult with Police and Highways, just to make sure there is infringement or concern on their part if this went ahead, indeed initial and non-specific comment from the police was that parked cars act as an effective traffic calmer. More so than other devices. Let me know what you think.
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I am sorry to give so much attention to Pallance Road, but you have to start somewhere. Maybe, we could give turn to other areas and specific concerns in future months, but I will need your support and ideas.
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It would not be right to not mention the other big concern in Northwood, and that is the proposed Asphalt Plant, and I am still on a learning curve in this regard. However, there are some very intelligent, significant and considered objections that have been made by local residents. But, as Councillor for the area, I should, of course, await the publication of the Case Officer’s report to the Planning Committee before reaching a final decision as to whether to decide to support or oppose this controversial development application. It’s called, being objective! However, the information and arguments of which I have become aware, so far, suggest that there are potentially very serious objections to the application. Therefore, my provisional position is that I will need to be convinced that these objections have been fully addressed and resolved and that alternative sites/solutions had been explored/evaluated properly before being able to support the application.
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And, on that bombshell, as the famous quotation goes, I finish my first report, apart from a quick note about surgeries. As I understand it, Roger Mazillius did not hold surgery sessions, as he felt he was always out and meeting people anyway. I intend to have surgeries, once I find my feet; and the I.W. Community Club (Park Road, Cowes), Travellers Joy and Horseshoe, might seem suitable venues, with easy access. I am not sure about times and dates yet, but would like to know what residents think and want, please.
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Very best wishes to all residents

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John

 

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