Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 28th January at Niton Library. The main business of the evening was to agree the budget for 2019/20 and the resulting Precept. After consideration of the draft budget, the Parish Council resolved to set the Precept (together with the Localised Council Tax Support grant) at £49,000, an increase of £4,000 over 2018/19. The increase represents 36p per month per Band D household. In setting the Precept, the Parish Council made provision to raise the height of the rock gabions adjacent to Castlehaven Village Green to protect the Green from scouring by the sea and to construct a modest Trim Trail in Niton Recreation Ground.
Several requests for funding had been received and grants were awarded as follows:
- £5,000 for South Wight Area Youth Partnership SWAY, the local Youth Offer
- £500 for Niton Parish Church Market Cross repairs
- £1,092 for Niton Churchyard grass cutting
- £408.17 for Whitwell Parish Church for grass cutting in Ashknowle Cemetery.
Councillor Jon Boileau Goad had been asked by members of the public if it would be possible to hold a “Soapbox Derby” in Niton Recreation Ground in summer. The Parish Council endorsed the idea and Councillor Boileau Goad and I are now planning the event. The action will take place on Sunday 1st September. Drivers must be aged 14 years and under. Please contact Councillor Boileau Goad (on 731811) or me if you, or someone you know, would like to enter.
The Parish Council Planning Committee met on Monday 11th February at Niton Library to consider the Draft Island Planning Strategy. A detailed response to the consultation was submitted to the Isle of Wight Council, together with a covering letter drawing attention to the Parish Council’s primary concerns:
- Lack of sensitivity to local issues
- Request for a development buffer (settlement gap) between the villages of Niton and Whitwell
- HA102, HA103 and HA105 [allocated sites within the Parish] should be deleted from the list of Allocated Sites: there is no sound planning basis evidenced for their designation. An agreed protocol for proper local consultation with town and parish councils should be created and the practice of holding talks with developers behind closed doors ended. This is clearly against the spirit of the Localism Act 2011
- South Wight Medical Practice provides a very well-used and highly-valued service, which should be acknowledged
- Sustainable development happens where there is a core infrastructure, including sustainable public transport, to support additional homes.
The detailed response and covering letter are available here
The Parish Council met on 25th February at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Councillor Helena Hewston, Chair of the Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils, and representatives of the CARS group. Discussion of the CARS proposals based on the results of the group’s recent survey was deferred until March to allow Councillors to study the report.
A grant of £55 was awarded to Niton WI towards the maintenance of the floral display in the brick planters in Niton Village. The Parish Council also gave the go-ahead for a Parish Excursion to the End of the Line café in Freshwater in April. As I write, the date has not yet been fixed but please watch out for the posters if you would like to come along.
Finally, steam cleaning of Whitwell War Memorial by Island-based company WightStream Hydrocleaning Group is due to start on Wednesday 3rd April. The work, which is being financed jointly by the War Memorials Trust and the Parish Council, should not only improve the general appearance of the monument but also the definition of the inscription and names.
Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk