Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on 26 October 2015, 11:15 pm











PO31 8LT
Tel: 01983 209642 (evenings best)



See the I.W.Councillor’s section




With lots happening on the roads programme and in the reforming of Public Health, tied in with Wellbeing, Education and Policing, we are at a very interesting time, and Northwood is certainly playing its part.
Following concern raised in my last report, I met to discuss local issues with Island Roads, and am assured that greater control of operations is being enacted and that professional investigation is being undertaken and remedy sought regarding the cracking and distortion of some newly laid road surfaces. I, and many others, await this report and these findings, as there are those that remain convinced that the root of the problem, in some cases, lies in the absence of proper foundations, and the remedy is no less than to provide proper foundations. The contract requires that these roads are delivered to good standard and the responsibility lies with the contractor, and I am assured they are being held to account and standards of delivery will be upheld.
In fact, in the round, the PFI is greatly improving the Island’s road network, even allowing for the highlighted faults and failures. Nodes Road is great, and the flooding that beleaguered the lower end of Pallance Road, where the drains were renewed, is totally resolved. There are other good examples too, and we shouldn’t forget the decades of patch repair, with comparatively low quality finish, that we endured before.
Something rather more concerning, however, remains after my talk with Island Roads, and that is the apparent lack of control over the Utility Services, who, from reported incidents, seem to be flouting rules of requirement for forward planning, giving notice, and standards of reinstatement, and this malpractice seems so widespread that no one is able to get to grips with what is happening and bring it under control. If this is true, then the Utility Services are wantonly ruining new surfaces in a cavalier manner, without care or respect for the investment, road users and other authorities; unbelievable and unacceptable – anarchy reigns!
Health & Wellbeing
In September, I travelled to meet Professor Steve Peters, of Chimp Mind Management, with our Director of Public Health, Professor Rida Elkheir, to discuss the potential of Professor Peters’ programme linking up with the Isle of Wight as an integrated whole. The reception we were given was good, and our visit, which included discussions with Professor Peters and his team, as well as attending seminars and meeting with a school and members of a CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group – Doctor’s Surgeries) who were already engaged in the programme, was enthralling. Steve Peters and his Company are very interested in what we have to offer on the Island, with the prospect of engaging as a whole community (Northwood Primary has already, independently, taken the initial steps in doing so), and we have an offer of engagement, so it is now down to negotiation and agreements.
Community Development
ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) is live and anyone and everyone can partake; it is not difficult. In fact, it can be fun, and could be seen as a step backwards to go forward. By that I mean to pick up on the best of old fashioned values of community (not the ones that didn’t work, but the one’s that worked well) and apply them to building strong community again in our modern environment, and this can be instigated by a few simple questions:

•    What do you care about enough to do something about?
•    What skills, knowledge, expertise, resources or time do you have to put towards this?
•    Are you prepared to offer this as a gift to your community?
•    Would you be prepared to meet others in your community who share the same aim and ambition?
•    What assets in your community would you recommend to others?
Go on, give it ago, just ask yourself, your family and friends, and people in your neighbourhood, don’t make assumptions and see where it takes you – let me know how you get on!
John Nicholson
Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South.

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