Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by IWC Admin on Sunday, 23rd October 2011, 20:58

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 – NOVEMBER 2011

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Waste Disposal Arrangements
Following my report last month, I have been asked about the cost of the new wheelie bins. I did give details of this in an earlier report but will confirm that we are sharing the cost equally with the waste contractors. Whilst this still means roughly a £1.25m cost to the Council, this expenditure will in fact allow us to meet stringent new Euro environmental directives enforcing recycling rates throughout member countries. The financial savings from meeting these new recycling targets will be approx. £350,000 next year, approx. £650,000 the year after that and then £1,000,000 each following year. So we will cover four-fifths of the cost in the first two years and thereafter a massive annual seven figure saving.
I hope these details will go a long way to alleviating residents’ concerns that the Council is spending on these bins unnecessarily. I am as usual available to discuss any further queries residents may have on this subject through my usual contact details.

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County Hall Refurbishment
Whilst on the subject of Council expenditure, I take this further opportunity to make some points of information about this scheme about which there is still a degree of misinformed comment.
A major part of reducing the cost of Island local government lies in lowering the cost of the buildings housing Council staff and services. This innovative scheme enables the Council to virtually double the number of staff that can be accommodated at County Hall from approx. 350 to approx. 700.
This is being achieved by vacating premises which are leased to or owned by the Council with consequent substantial savings (in excess of half a million pounds) in rent, rates, heating etc. In addition, the freehold properties will be sold realising substantial capital receipts. The combination of all these savings and receipts more than exceeds the costs of the refurbishment but better still, the on-going revenue savings from accommodating so many staff in one main HQ building compared to several will mean continued substantial lower annual operating costs.
The cost of refurbishing the Council Chamber has also understandably been raised. However what I would ask residents to consider is the limited use to which the Chamber could be put under the old fixed desks and dias fitments and an outdated sound system. By removing these old fixtures and replacing with modern moveable units, the Chamber can now be put to many different uses including Committees, Scrutiny Panels, Conferences, Training Seminars etc. many of which would have been held in the old Committee Rooms One and Two. As a result those two Committee Rooms will be used to accommodate staff.
At the same time the Chamber has been cleaned, re-painted and re-carpeted and the curtains also cleaned and re-hung. It is difficult to find staff or members who can recall the last time such refurbishment occurred!
Similarly older single or small rooms are being converted into open plan areas housing many more staff than before. There are several areas in County Hall where this has already been achieved and which have been welcomed by the staff concerned.
As always, I will be pleased to deal with any questions from residents on this matter.

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Scams—do not be caught out
Readers of my reports will know I regularly warn of attempts to heartlessly de-fraud vulnerable people by what may on the face of it seem a financial advantage too good to miss. Upon reflection however even the most generous-spirited of us would agree that someone from say Nigeria who you have never heard of but who has chosen you to share in a multi-million pound inheritance if only you will send say £500 to help “liberate” the money, is a fraudster!
Another wave of these scams has been reported affecting or should I hopefully say, attempting to affect Islanders. So please remember, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is. Tear it up and chuck it in the bin. If it is received by email delete it. If the email has an attachment, DO NOT OPEN but delete. If any of them appear to be from banks or other financial institutions, remember they will NEVER ask for your PIN or other credit card details or offer you financial inducements in return for money.
Finally please remember that if you do reply to any scam mail, frequently your name and address will be passed on to criminals who will relentlessly target you with similar scams. These people have no scruples or sympathy for anyone. If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me via my usual contact details or Trading Standards via 821000. In this regard, to meet customer demand we have recently increased staff in our Island Call Centre and will keep this demand under frequent review.

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Island Plan Core Strategy Public Enquiry
As I have previously reported, this enquiry took place in the middle of October and there is every chance the Inspector’s report will be published in December. I will be attending the day set aside to deal with future housing demand and will report back to residents in my November Report. The Inspector will rule on what that demand will be and the importance of land within various parts of the Island to deliver such housing. This includes areas such as Northwood within the Medina Valley identified site.
Following this report and after adoption of the recommendations by the Council, the actual identification of suitable sites will be subject to public consultation. I will fully inform residents of how to be involved in this consultation early next year. I expect to call a further public meeting to ensure as many residents as possible can be involved in this consultation.

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In the meantime I send my best wishes to all,

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Roger

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