Report from I.W. Councillor Roger Mazillius

Posted by Admin on 26 June 2012, 4:40 pm


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Diamond Jubilee Concert
My grateful thanks to everyone for their support for this amazing night of quality music and song provided by so many young and talented Island musicians. I have received handwritten notes of thanks and appreciation from the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff who both gave the event their full support.

The professionalism and panache of the two Conductors/Directors of Music, namely Phil Chapman and Martyn Stroud and the young musicians both on the night and during long rehearsals was magnificent as those fortunate to attend would I am sure agree. The singing from Northwood Parish Church’s Choir Leader Tressa Lambert and her vocal trio Trinity was of the highest quality. They can be seen again along with other local entertainers at Gurnard Parish Hall on Saturday 28th July at 7pm in a Trefoil Guild Concert.

Ticket enquiries to or come on the night!

I must of course also mention the generosity of our main sponsors, The Waterfront Trust and Manager Ian Gregory and his team who so brilliantly organised all the backroom facilities plus Cowes Enterprise College for lending us the large number of stage extensions to accommodate the combined large orchestra and to Steve Porter Transport for helping return the bulky and heavy load after the concert. Thanks also to the County Press and Minghella’s Ice Creams who respectively paid for advertising, tickets and programmes and a large supply of tubs which enabled us to raise in excess of £200 in ice cream sales plus to give one each to the sixty or so musicians at the end of the concert.

The concert raised nearly £2,000 for Cowes Library, Cowes Carnival and the Music Service but I am hoping that some late financial contributions will bring the total up to £2,000. A great start to our local Diamond Jubilee celebrations!


Highways PFI & Planning Application for Ashphalt Plant, Medina Wharf
Following a long and complex procurement process the preferred contractor has now been selected. The Eurovia Roadstone consortium has been chosen to deliver the seven years road building and 18 years maintenance programme from 1st April 2013. One of the undoubted strengths of their bid was their existing experience in Island road maintenance, their plans to carry out complex engineering works to maintain the operation of the Military Road and other “in danger” roads and their programme of road drainage where either none presently exist or where the existing systems are not operating effectively. These drainage works will be of special interest to Northwood residents as they include Wyatts Lane and Pallance Road, the drainage (or lack of) problems of which I have on several occasions brought to the attention of Southern Water and Highways. Good news I am sure!

So I think it was that attention to difficult Island Highway issues which helped secure the winning bid as well as of course all the usual “bread and butter” highway repair and maintenance provisions specified under the tender requirements, including coming in on budget!

As those of us who attended the meeting with Eurovia’s Agents to question them about their planning application for the ashphalt plant on reclaimed land next to Medina Wharf, much thought and planning had taken place before that site was chosen. I am sure everyone concerned either as applicant, resident or planning authority member or officer, understands the issues and concerns raised by the application. Indeed as colleagues know, the Case Officer has highlighted many of those issues and concerns in a long letter requiring detailed answers before the application can progress.

These concerns, in part at least, reflect the many residents’ contributions posted online on the planning website. I am sure this will assist in reassuring cynical residents (and dare I say it some colleagues) that because the applicants are now the chosen PFI contractor, the planning decision is not a foregone conclusion!

I know that this application will be decided strictly on planning grounds. To think otherwise is to completely misjudge the professionalism not only of the officers concerned and the input from their independent professional advisers e.g. Natural England and the Environment Agency but also of the Planning Committee members who will not be swayed into a decision by anything other than a thorough and completely detailed report from officers with clear cut commentary and recommendations on the many issues raised in this complex case.
Whilst Northwood Parish Council voted to oppose the application, Cowes Town Council’s Planning Committee decided to defer a decision on the application until more up to date information was supplied to fully address the matters raised by the Case Officer’s letter. This is not a matter of rushing to judgment because so many residents have voiced their concerns, rather to deliver a decision based on all the proven evidence. That is not to criticise Northwood Parish Council’s decision as I think they felt the application was completely on the wrong site.

I will keep residents updated in my August report. In the meantime, I remain concerned that there are issues which must be fully addressed by the applicants before any report with recommendations can be ready for consideration by the I.W. Council’s Planning Committee.


Fundraising for Northwood Parish Church
With a surplus of my favourite flowers Dahlias, I recently held a sale of well-sprouted tubers, publicised in Richard Wright’s gardening page in the County Press. Well Richard’s writings obviously have a wide readership because from 8.45am to noon on the Saturday in question I was busy selling stock from 14 large boxes plus additional tubs and pots. In the end virtually everything was sold raising over £200 for church funds. My sincere thanks to all those who came to support, including our “temporary” Vicar, Roger Whatley and to the many who donated that little extra by saying “keep the change”! I will have to do the same next year!


Northwood Primary School
Our marvellous local village school is considering whether to move to become an Academy, independent of its present relationship with the I.W. Council. A special meeting of Governors (of which I am one) is being held in June to gather further advice and information on the possible advantages of taking this important step. I know Headteacher Sarah Hussey will be fully consulting all parents before any decision is taken and I will keep residents informed about this on a monthly basis.


Cowes Enterprise College
In the meantime building works are nearing completion to enable the College to admit pupils into the new college site for the new school year in early September. This will be a landmark educational facility for our local students who I have no doubt will benefit from the most modern of educational facilities and learning systems available on the old Cowes High School site.




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