Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by IWC Admin on Friday, 17th February 2012, 23:47

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

 

 

 

 

 

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REPORT – MARCH 2012

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Council Tax for 2012/13
I am pleased to report that at the Council Budget setting meeting being held on 29th February, the administration of which I am a member will be proposing a Council Tax freeze for the second year running. Whilst this has been another difficult financial year with central government requiring us to find another £5+million in savings, we have drawn up a carefully prepared balanced budget which I am confident will receive the acceptance of the majority of Council Members.
So it has been possible for us to limit any cost increases for the next financial year to two and one half percent bringing us within the Government’s scheme to subsidise the cost up to that percentage. Not all Councils have been able to achieve this e.g. Surrey County Council, and I must pay tribute to our finance team led by Director of Resources Dave Burbage for their skill and hard work in delivering our policy objective of a nil Council Tax increase for a second year.

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Care of the Elderly
There has been national and local concern about the amount of funding the Council provides to support vulnerable adults. Residents should be assured that the largest of all Council inter-Directorate budgets is allocated to Adult Social Care and related matters. Indeed we have proposals for this year to increase our gross budget for care provision over the next three financial years i.e. to 2014/15 from £48.3m to £55.9m. This extra £7+m represents an increase of 19.8% at a time when our overall budget is reducing by 16%.
I would also wish to confirm that whilst £3m of the £7m deals with inflation, the remaining £4+m deals with pressures of increasing demand and associated costs, meaning that we are budgeting to meet not just present but future demand.
Residents will also have read the continuing discussions about the future of the N.H.S. I am pleased to confirm that on the Island both ourselves and our local G.P. Commission Group have taken advantage of the national proposals and that as we have just the one Council and NHS Trust, we have taken the opportunity to discuss in detail how the proposals would work on the Island. The Doctors have keenly embraced the opportunity to take the local lead on what health services their patients need, when and how they will access those services, because I am sure we will agree that no-one knows a patient better than their own GP! I expect much more on this important matter will be the subject of both national and local press statements. In the meantime, if you are visiting your GP or local Councillor, why not enquire about these important changes yourself?

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Island Plan Core Strategy
Just a reminder to residents that I expect this to be formally approved at Full Council on the 21st March after which land offered for housing development will be assessed in detail. In view of the several local sites already offered, one of the matters which will be considered will be the need for local housing in Northwood ranging from starter and family homes to those for social renting.
I understand that Northwood Parish Council has sought funding under the IW Council’s Economic Improvement Fund initiative for a Village Plan which would cover local housing need. I support this bid and indeed the other two bids which I think will be mentioned in this month’s Parish Council Report.
So will residents please help with the gathering of this information by contacting the Parish Council via the Parish details in this edition and/or contacting me via the contact details above. It is important that local opinions underpin any future decisions regarding housing development in Northwood.
I remind residents of the well-attended and useful meeting last year at the W.I. Hall when the whole issue of local housing sites was explained in detail by a Planning Officer. At that time the Council’s view was that there was a demand for another 1350 homes within the Medina Valley area in addition to any existing permissions. This demand has been agreed by the Planning Inspector so will form part of the agreed Core Strategy. Residents will also recall sites had been offered in Northwood for nearly 3000 homes so clearly this imbalance will need to be addressed.
I will be arranging another meeting at the same venue in April or early May to update residents on the latest position, hopefully with an analysis of your responses on local housing need. So please give us your views!

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Northwood Primary School
The school (where I am a Governor) is re-visiting its school travel plan to see what more can be done to make travelling to the school to deliver pupils, less problematic for both nearby local residents and parents. In this regard may I again appeal to parent drivers not to block residents’ driveways or of course the zebra crossing. The first is anti-social and the second a quite serious road traffic offence.
In the meantime I asked a highways officer to look again at the long length of double yellow lines on the north side of the lower end of Oxford Street. He has advised that subject to a new dropped kerb being installed at an appropriate part of the south side, up to four parking spaces can be provided well away from the Wyatts Lane junction.
Other suggestions from parents and residents will be most welcome.

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Best Wishes to all

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Roger

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