Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by IWC Admin on Saturday, 25th September 2010, 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 – OCTOBER 2010

PROPOSED CONCRETE BATCHING PLANT – KINGSTON – P/00972/10 HEARING OF APPLICATION ON 28TH SEPTEMBER
The adverse effects of this proposal for what will be in effect a cement factory on the banks of the River Medina is causing much concern to residents of Whippingham, East Cowes and Northwood, particularly those living on the Medham Estate. Those residents not already familiar with the proposals, may wish to look at the details under the above application number on iwight.com. The application has gathered much focused and informed opposition.

I intended speaking against the application as one of the local I.W. Council Members whose electoral division would be affected by the operation of such a facility but due to a mainland engagement I will be represented by Cllr Edward Giles, the member for Whippingham who is also objecting on behalf of residents on his side of the Medina river. The Planning application will be heard at County Hall on Tuesday 28th September.

I have also raised the matter at the recent meetings of Northwood Parish and Cowes Town Councils. Residents are welcome to attend at County Hall to support the several objectors to the proposals.

PALLANCE ROAD TRAFFIC ISSUES
At the last meeting of Northwood Parish Council, Cllr Keith Clatworthy presented a detailed report on his consultation exercise to address residents’ concerns about traffic issues on this road. Although only 12 residents felt the issues worthy of comment I entirely agree with Keith that several valid issues and concerns were nevertheless raised. It is interesting to note that opinion about the viability of the pinch point was evenly split.

I have myself passed on similar or identical comments to Highways over the past years. This has resulted in the several measures e.g. pinch point and speed indicator signs and police knowledge that speeding is an issue in this road. I would just mention that the speed indicators operate at 31mph and whilst acknowledging that there are drivers going too fast in this road, there are those who only just transgress the limit whilst not knowingly speeding as such. This applies also to the new 20mph limit in parts of Wyatts Lane where travelling at just 21mph triggers the sign.

However, Keith’s full report has been sent to Highways for consideration. (I recall it was originally intended to paint double yellow lines down to Wyatts Lane but after strong comments from local residents in that part of the road, gaps were left as requested.)

Highways have very recently surveyed the Four Cross junction with a view to certain changes including a pedestrian footpath on the west side of Place Road. More information will be available in due course but in the meantime I understand Parish Councillors whilst sending the Pallance Road report to Highways, have also now made specific comments about the need for improvements to the junction involving better access from Cockleton Lane and on to Place Road/Nodes Road. I have raised this on more than one occasion in the past and whilst it would appear that my requests are being actively considered, representations from the Parish Council will be very helpful.

SHORELINE MANAGEMENT PLAN
Although Northwood has no direct coastline, parts of the area do run down to the Medina River so this should give us an added interest in this important environmental issue.
This important plan can be viewed online at
www.coastalwight.gov.uk/smp and comments can be received up to 23rd October. This review of the SMP is being led by the I.W. Council in partnership with the Environmental Agency. I attended the recent exhibition/consultation at Northwood House and noted the important protection proposed to the most developed areas of our local coastline for the next 20-50 years.

REGISTER OF ELECTORS
The importance of being registered to vote for the next year is to be able to take part in the national referendum for the proposed change from the present “first past the post” system to the Alternative Voting System. The I.W. Council as the Electoral Registration Authority for the Island has sent out registration forms to over 69,000 residential properties. It would be very helpful if these are completed and returned by 30th September to avoid the cost of the Council having to send out reminders (which it is required to do by law).

The new Register will be published on 1st December. If you know of any households which have not received their forms, please contact Electoral Services on 01983 82100. And of course don’t forget your own forms!

REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS
It has been suggested on several Northwood Village Forum website threads over the past year, that  there should be an amalgamation of local Parish or Town Councils to deliver more cost-effective local services. This would in effect mean for example the abolition of Northwood and Gurnard Parish Councils and that of Cowes Town Council.

There are certain legal conditions which would need to be satisfied before any abolition and creation of a new “Cowes and District” Parish Council could be achieved on, of course, the understanding that such a fundamental change would be desirable.

I mention this subject in the light of the current Polling District Review. In addition to the need for public support, there is also the issue over the recent creation of Northwood Parish Council and that of new boundaries in Cowes Wards which might preclude consideration of any further changes until next year at the earliest. However, I also understand that where there is a public wish for fundamental changes based on a much more responsive and streamlined system of local representation, then changes could be considered within any otherwise restrictive time limits.

Do residents feel there is any merit in such an amalgamation? Would it result in a more streamlined and cost effective approach to local empowerment or would it lead to a less focused approach to Northwood issues?

I will be pleased to hear from residents through my usual email address roger.mazillius@iow.gov.com, by letter or telephone. These are also of course matters which can be discussed with the present seven Parish Councillors whose contact details are as usual contained in Northwood News.

SOLENT LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP (LEP)
This is a proposed replacement body for the soon to be abolished South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). The I.W. Council is proposing to join this LEP with Portsmouth, Southampton and the District Councils of South Hampshire.

The concept of this replacement body is that instead of being led by civil service bureaucrats, the lead will be taken by private enterprise with support from the local authorities concerned. On the Island we have several international companies e.g. BAE Systems and GKN who can join with e.g. IBM and Vosper Thornycroft in realising the full development potential of land holdings expected to be transferred to the new LEP from SEEDA.

Government agreement is required for this change to our local LEP which we are confident (although not certain) will be approved later this year. In the meantime Council Officers and lead Members are continuing a dialogue with our mainland local authority counterparts and potential business partners to bring this important and radical change to how our local assets are utilised to fruition.

LOCAL CRIME
As you are well aware, Northwood is very much a low crime area. However, as you also know, more serious crimes do occur. One such was the break-in to one of the sheds behind the W.I. Hall last week by five local youths. This followed an earlier break-in to the playgroup’s shed the week before.

Fortunately this latest break-in was witnessed by a local resident whose prompt reporting to the police resulted in the arrest of the five youths. I am sure Cllr Pullen will be able to fill in further details but as far as I am aware, the investigation and potential prosecution is still on-going.

This matter does however highlight the importance of reporting any suspicious behaviour directly to the Police.

GOVERNMENT COMPREHENSIVE SPENDING REVIEW – 20th OCTOBER
You will all be aware of this much-heralded review of Government and therefore Local Authority spending to bring about a large reduction in the cost of both national and local government spending. The I.W. Council is already addressing these expected spending cuts across many of the services it delivers and some of these will be before the full Council on 22nd September. Full details of the proposals are available online at
www.iwight.com and will I expect be in the County Press report on 24th September.

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