Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on 16 June 2014, 6:47 pm











PO31 8LT
Tel: 01983 209642 (evenings best)



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May has been and gone and Pallance Road drains were not renewed. In April road signs were all set up for Pallance Lane to be renewed, then nothing happened, not a word. That is until the beginning of June, when work stopped short when two thirds of the remainder of the Lane were re-surfaced, again, no explanation, despite being asked. I have also asked what type of material has been used and if the safety of horse-riders has been taken into account, due to concerns voiced since last summer about lack of grip on the Fibrovia/SMA material, and am still pursuing a response.

I am sorry, and apologise as Ward Councillor, but I am afraid that I am not alone in not getting straightforward and timely information about delays or change of plans and some concerns that affect the people who live here. It is not through lack of trying, I can tell you! I believe that it is for operational reasons that roads get set up, then abandoned to a later date; there have been problems with getting asphalt, but it would be nice to be kept informed. I am now told, however, that the drains in Pallance Road will not be renewed until the drains that will link into them from Wyatts Lane have been done, and that Pallance Road will then be worked on after the summer season, in consideration for the holiday trade and Island Roads did, at my request, consult the Travellers to take on board measures to minimise the impact of the works on business that the landlord was concerned about, so good marks there!
I am still pressing for the Parks department to instigate the simple measures that were suggested to mitigate the flooding in Northwood Recreation Ground, during the winter. Of course, the urgency has gone, and cuts are in force, but this is a simple precautionary measure for a predictable occurrence, and I continue to push to get the work done before it is too late again.
There has been considerable success regarding concerns expressed by me, and Cowes Town Council, about the Parade during Cowes Week. Taylor Events have gone out of their way to maintain free public seating, access to the bandstand (which holds Village Green status), pledged better upkeep of the toilets and consideration to provide extra toilets in proportion to numbers on the Parade, and they have assured me that the Security personnel are, and will be, SIA registered, wearing their ID badges on their arms, as is the requirement of registration. So, thank you, and it shows that it never hurts to complain; you just have to have the right forum in which to do it.

More locally, hedges seem to be a problem again; it must be the time of year? I have people complaining about hedges overhanging the Highway and footpaths, obstructing or scratching and making passage awkward, or even dangerous. If you own a hedge, please take a look at it, and if it needs cutting back from the Highway, please sweep up the blackthorn as they go through cycles tyres soft shoes and the like as though they were steel pins – nasty!
At County level, whilst we got through Easter and forming the new annual Council, there was the car parking scandal at Medina, where I publicly raised concern about ticking people for parking on the grass and kerbsides (so as not to obstruct) when there were inadequate facilities to accommodate the predictable pre-booked numbers. In the uproar, the cabinet member ordered an enquiry, and it became apparent that none of the parties concerned had planned or coordinated for parking requirements, and I am now told that all those tickets have been rescinded. Now we have the new Parking Orders, where it is proposed to extend pay times until 8pm, but there is such an outcry, that I think it would be political suicide to implement, much as was the Poll Tax – do we ever learn anything from history?
I am still pushing away on the Health and Wellbeing front, and making ground. We are currently blessed with a most enlightened and open-minded Professor Director of Public Health, who has vision and experience in health service streamlining, localisation and reform. He sees the potential that the Island has for an efficient community based, patient orientated system that, in his experience, as I understand it, could greatly improve efficiency, satisfaction and costs. He also recognises that two of the largest sources of health problems in our society today are nutrition and mental wellbeing, and we have met some leading thinkers and practitioners in that field, all with ambition to move this forward. This is a big subject and involves very many parties, all trying to do their best in their own way, but evolvement is afoot and will draw on latest scientific knowledge in the process. I will keep you posted.

John Nicholson
Ward Member Cowes South & Northwood


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