Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by Admin on 28 January 2013, 10:23 pm







PO31 7HZ

Tel: 01983 295556






Following the recent reduction in cross-Solent ferry services, the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr David Pugh, has proposed the following motion to be debated at the Council’s January meeting. I will be supporting this and hope it will be passed unanimously or with a large majority. I will report further next month although I am sure the debate will be fully reported in the County Press and on IW Radio. The motion reads:-

“That Council:
1) Notes the continuing public concern regarding the reduction in frequency of ferry sailings to and from the Island, particularly the early morning and late night crossings which are recognised as supporting the Island’s economy and the flexibility of employment opportunities for residents.
2) Agrees that the Council should work towards achieving improvements in the affordability and frequency of cross-Solent services offered to Island residents and businesses, and that any such steps must be grounded in the reality of what is likely to be achievable in the context of current and any likely future legislative, budgetary and economic factors.
3) Notes that Government funded subsidies are unlikely to be secured for these routes (as recently indicated by the Department for Transport), and that any public funds would be more appropriately directed to securing lasting economic investment that would generate increased volumes of ferry users, thus improving the future viability of regular routes.
4) However further notes that the Government provides support for other elements of the country’s public transport infrastructure, such as a fuel duty rebate for bus operators and capital investment in the rail network.
5) Therefore resolves to:
a. Urge the Government to recognise that ferry services operating within England should be treated with a similar strategic status, in terms of being vital infrastructure routes, to England’s bus and train networks;
b. Ask the Isles of Scilly Council to join this campaign as the other English local authority representing an area facing similar challenges with the frequency and affordability of ferry services;
c. Explore with the Government how the operational costs associated with running these ferry services could be reduced and stabilised, such as through the introduction of a “fuel price stability” mechanism, possibly involving a bulk and forward buying element for fuel;
d. Seek a firm commitment from the ferry operators that any financial benefit that would arise from (c) above would result in tangible benefits being passed onto ferry users, particularly in the provision of sufficient early morning and late night crossings that are required for the economic and social wellbeing of Islanders;
e. Make the case for the Government to allocate capital funding to the future infrastructure needs of the ferry services to the Island, and urge the Government to recognise the economic importance of these routes as being on a par with the future of the highway and railway networks.”
As usual, I will be pleased to hear from residents with their views.
I will be attending a meeting of the full Governing Body in late January and will report as fully as I can in my next report. In the meantime, lessons continue as usual in the present building. However, I remain concerned about the many issues resulting from the building completion delays, concerns which I expect to be much addressed at the Governors’ meeting.
The application for a licence to operate a mobile crushing unit at the Medina Wharf site will be heard by the Council’s Regulatory Committee on Monday 25th February at 10am in the Council Chamber at County Hall, although this venue will be confirmed later this month. I will give further information including the Licensing Officer’s report to the Committee in my next report. In the meantime I thank those residents who have filed comments to the application and contacted me directly.
Following my meeting with residents and support from the Parish Council, this planning application was approved under the local delegated procedure subject to several conditions relating to screening of and access to the site. The installations will provide electricity for up to 800 homes without the visual intrusion and sound from several wind turbine equivalents. The installations are also easily removed after their projected 20 year lifespan and sheep can graze on the grass underneath the panels. So a win win situation!
Following the item in my last report, I am informed by Justin Wolfe of Kingswell Dairy, Newport Road that the fields behind the east side of Oxford Street are no longer being marketed by Marvins of Cowes as sites with development potential.
The complicated appraisal by the Planning Department of all the Northwood SHLAA sites is continuing but I would not expect any report on this for several months. I will however report whenever I have any further information.
Following my last report and my reference to Trading Standards and complaints from Northwood and Gurnard residents, Trading Standards have contacted the company with appropriate guidance. However if any residents have any similar callers, please let me know immediately.




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