Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by Admin on 27 March 2013, 12:11 am







PO31 7HZ

Tel: 01983 295556






Council Budget 2013/14

Further to my report last month I am pleased to confirm that the present administration’s budget proposals were passed at the February full Council meeting and for a third successive year the budget will not require any increase in Council Tax. In addition car parking charges have been frozen for the fifth successive year with Councillors’ allowances also frozen for the fourth successive year. Substantial savings continue to be made in the cost of administration which enable us to continue delivering these reductions. Amongst these has been the very successful comprehensive alterations to staff accommodation at County Hall to accommodate almost twice the number of staff within the existing building. This saves not just on satellite accommodation elsewhere in Newport and other towns but releases this surplus accommodation from rent and other charges (including energy costs) plus providing surplus properties for disposal bringing in much needed capital funds for new projects without the need to borrow more for that purpose. I am also pleased to confirm that the budget as finally approved did provide for an additional £8m of expenditure for adult social care over the next three years, taking the total increase if the current year is included to over £10m and a total spend on Community Well-being and Adult Social Care to just under £50m for the financial year commencing 1st April. All of this is against the continuing reduction in local government funding from central government. In addition, we have continued to centrally fund the provision of books and advisory services to all libraries, whether Council or Community run, ensuring that not ONE LIBRARY has closed. Indeed, the community libraries are thriving under their local control with more opening hours and thriving membership. The importance of community involvement in delivering really local services outside of the usual local council control has reduced costs and given local residents far more of a say into how those services are delivered. In Northwood our Parish Council is delivering on a most important part of local determination, i.e. the Housing Survey which will be used by the planners to assist in determining local housing need; our Community Partnership meets regularly with residents for social and informative activities as of course do several other local voluntary organisations including the W.I. with interesting guest speakers; Northwood Village Produce Association with their monthly meetings and marvellous Annual Show; Northwood Parish Church with its many Christian and secular activities keeping an active and aware place for religious worship and pastoral care within our Parish which many find of considerable comfort especially during times of personal bereavement and family difficulties. It is easy to take these facilities for granted but volunteers (and customers!) are always welcomed as generations grow older and fresh younger faces are needed to keep our village as alive and vibrant as it has been for so many generations. What can you do? (Details are all around you in Northwood News!)
Parking congestion in Venner Avenue by Playpark Bend
Last month I reported on the density of parked vehicles in this area, including those parking on part of the pavements. I have now visited the area with a highways engineer who is now preparing a possible solution which I (or I am sure my successor) will publish for local residents’ views prior to any definite implementation. Residents’ views would of course be most welcome.
Parish Plan Survey
I repeat my thanks to the Parish Council led by Chairman John Pullen for the thoroughness of the process to gain residents’ opinions on future housing need and development in Northwood. I understand at least 50% have been returned completed which will enable the Parish Council to make a strongly supported case for any future housing developments in Northwood as the present Island Plan is further developed. I do indeed thank residents for their co-operation in this important survey the results of which are still being collated for publication as soon as possible.
Important Replacement Electricity Supply on A3020
These works continue well on schedule with the use of “Stop – Go” boards helping to move traffic more freely within the prescribed working hours of 9am to 4pm. Hopefully by the time you read this, the work will be completed. May I remind residents that statutory undertakers like the Electricity providers have a right to enter public highways for such works. The Council can only agree conditions that are aimed at limiting traffic disruption and for remedial works to the disturbed road surface. Instead the time has been scheduled to avoid Easter and to be completed before the commencement of the seven year road PFI program.
New Sewerage Works in Three Gates Road
These works follow on from those in Newport Road from the Somerton roundabout to just before the Medical Centre last year and now make the connection to the new Aldi and office development from Three Gates Road. Because of the comprehensive nature of the road excavations, a one way system is now in operation. Again, Southern Water have the legal right to carry out these works but are doing so as expeditiously as possible, although regrettably there will be some inconvenience to local residents. The earlier works were timed to avoid the Christmas shopping period and these to avoid the Easter holidays.
Proposed Development of Readers Factory Site in Place Road
The highly regarded home retailers “The Range” are negotiating to build a store on this site with appropriate parking and highway access. As I mentioned in my last report I did attend the informal exhibition about these proposals and was pleased to see the site layout embodying one main highway access with much of the proposed building being shielded from the road. That this high quality national chain is hoping to move into our near neighbourhood following in the footsteps of the new Aldi Store will not only bring new local jobs but give us easy access to such excellent new retailers! I would expect a detailed planning application to be made fairly soon. This will of course be published and residents given three weeks to comment on the published plans. It is also understood that several dozen new jobs will be created once the store is opened.
I have now delivered my separate farewell letter to residents and introduced my friend John Nicholson of Pallance Lane who I have asked to take my place on the ballot paper on 2nd May. As I have mentioned, I have worked with John over several years on various local issues and know he is keenly interested in such matters. Living locally with his family, John has been making himself more personally known to residents and will continue to do so over the next two months. In the meantime I continue to represent residents on Council and local matters.
Asphalt Plant
The Mobile Crusher licence application was duly heard on 25th February and adjourned for three months for detailed measurements of the local air quality. Six residents spoke against a granting of this permit, including some from Medham. I was pleased to support their concerns and am sure my successor as local Isle of Wight Councillor will continue to do so. The planning application for the actual asphalt plant itself is dealt with separately to the permit and wider grounds for refusal are available in that case. I am expecting that application to be heard by the new Council probably in June, when again my successor will be able to represent residents’ views as well as his or her own. I am sure as before residents will fully appraise their new Councillor with all their views!

Best wishes



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