Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by IWC Admin on Sunday, 26th June 2011, 00:00

COUNCILLOR ROGER MAZILLIUS

I.W. COUNCILLOR FOR COWES SOUTH & NORTHWOOD
21 OXFORD STREET, NORTHWOOD
ISLE OF WIGHT PO31 8PT
Tel: 01983 295556
Email: roger.mazillius@iow.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORT – JULY/AUGUST 2011

 

HIGHWAYS PFI SCHEME
The IW Council has now entered into the procurement phase of this programme and is in negotiation with three international companies to identify a suitable service provider for this long-term contract. This process will lead to the selection of a preferred bidder in Spring 2012 with work commencing one year later.
The PFI programme represents not only a significant investment in the Island highways network amounting to nearly £250m at today’s prices but it will also act as a catalyst for substantial improvements to the public realm, local economy and community through regeneration and redevelopment leading to increased employment.
The IW Council recently held a series of public meetings to present the latest information about the programme and to answer residents’ questions. I can supply an electronic version of the presentation made at those meetings if any resident cares to email with such a request.

 

ISLAND PLAN – STRATEGIC HOUSING LAND ALLOCATION ASSESSMENT
The consultation period ended on 27th May and it was most noticeable that out of 313 representations received relating to the SHLAA and specific sites, 289 or over 95% related to Cowes/Gurnard/Northwood sites. This reflects in my opinion the interest shown by certain local Members in informing their residents by leaflets and public meetings of the changes that could be made locally if such identified sites ever became reality.
It is expected that a new SHLAA will be published in the Autumn in which changes to the proposed identified sites will have been made. Such changes will in fact be narrowly based on owners withdrawing, identification of issues affecting the sites such as flooding, ground instability, village green status etc.
The actual planning merits e.g. “outside the existing development envelope” or zoned as “agricultural land” will not be decided at that stage. Those considerations will firstly depend on the Planning Inspector approving the Core Strategy, the papers for which are expected to be sent to that Inspector on 24th June with an expected determination by end of January 2012.
Once that has been done, the Council will move to the Area Action Plan process which is expected to last through 2012 to early 2013. It is during that process that further consultation will take place on the SHLAA sites as amended. All of the responses on those sites and the AAP generally will then be further considered by the Planning Inspector whose decision would be expected towards the end of 2013.
Please rest assured I will keep residents fully informed of this second stage which will be of crucial importance in reflecting local views of all proposed planning designations, including of course housing development, within their localities.
In Cowes I have specifically responded to the Place Road site (in Cowes West and Gurnard Ward) expressing my opposition to this site due to its present “green belt” status and made the point that there is an existing brownfield site (Readers) nearby. Whilst I have specifically responded to all nine SHLAA sites identified within Northwood asking for them to be all withdrawn as they are (mainly) greenfield and agricultural land outside the development envelope forming part of the crucial buffers between Northwood and Newport and Northwood and Cowes. I have delivered a full copy of my response to most residents’ homes and expect to have completed delivery by the time you are reading this.
I wish to thank all residents and my Parish Council colleagues who have made the many submissions as referred to above. We are of course always stronger together.

 

COMMUNITY BUS SERVICE
We are still on track with our joint bid with Cowes despite a small issue over our proposed slight amendments to the original application. Cowes Town Councillor Alan Wells also had a very useful meeting with Marc Morgan Huws of Southern Vectis recently which I understand was most productive. So I fully expect us to be proceeding with our bid approved by the IW Council by the time you read this, after which we move into the rigorous driver selection process under Southern Vectis. (More volunteers are welcome).

 

COMMUNITY SAFETY
Cabinet responsibility for this area of Council activity has now been passed to me. This makes my attendance at the Cowes Area Local Action Group meetings (specifically including Northwood) all the more relevant. I am being specifically briefed, including a tour of the site and surrounding roads and ferry access locations, on this year’s Isle of Wight Festival, the impact of which is felt far beyond just Newport and the site. In this regard, I understand additional CCTV cameras have been sited along Fairlee Road where an identifiable need arose after last year’s festival.

 

I have also noted with interest the reduction by 10% in all crimes on the Island for last year compared to the previous year with a particularly pleasing 21% reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents. However there were increases in sexual offences – up 14% (19 offences), domestic abuse – 15% (60 offences and there is an alarming increase in the rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions per 100,000 population of 15% (736 admissions). It is believed however that improvements to the recording of admissions is contributing to this upward trend. Cowes, Gurnard and Northwood crime continues to reduce through the excellent efforts of our local neighbourhood policing team.
I know the IWC are working closely with our health, community and police partners to address these issues as part of the new Community Safety Plan which was endorsed by Full Council on 15th June.

 

In the meantime, our local police numbers remain as fully staffed and the future of a local police facility in Cowes confirmed by the Chief Constable.

 

FINALLY
I am always pleased to deal with any queries colleagues may wish to raise either by email as above or telephone – County Hall 01983 823128 or home 01983 295556.

Roger Mazillius

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