February 2017 News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 23rd January at the Edward Edwards Library, Niton. The Chairman welcomed representatives of CARS (Community Action Road Safety), who gave a short presentation on the group’s aims and some of the ideas under consideration.

Niton Primary School’s Spencer Bear Team was also welcomed to the meeting and told us all about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A full report is available here

Finally, the Chairman welcomed Dr David Anderson, who explained that he had acquired a defibrillator for Niton Village, which Mr Wayne Norris had kindly agreed could be located on the side of Norris Stores building. Dr Anderson has offered to give a training session in the use of the defibrillator; details to follow shortly, but please contact me if you are interested in training. Since the meeting, I have learnt that the previous Chairman of the Parish Council, Mr Graham Melville, has acquired a defibrillator for Whitwell, to be fitted to the outside of the White Horse Inn by kind permission of the management. Thanks to all concerned in both villages.

I am pleased to tell you that Mr Tim Addison was co-opted as a member of the Parish Council to represent the Whitwell Ward. Many of you will know Tim through “Whitfun” in Whitwell. Tim’s contact details are on the notice boards and website.

As always, the January meeting agenda included the next year’s budget and precept. The draft budget was adopted, with the addition of £180 representing the maintenance costs for the Niton defibrillator. The precept, together with the Localised Council Tax Support grant, was set at £42,000 for 2017/18, representing an increase of 61p per household per month. Full details of the budget are on the website.

I was asked to draw Island Roads’ attention to the 60 mph speed limit along Undercliff Drive in view of children, walkers, cyclists and horses using the carriageway. The District Steward is looking at the cases for 20 mph and 30 mph.

Councillor Jon Young had prepared a detailed response to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) consultation on the future provision of primary care on the Island. It was agreed that this should be submitted.

A grant of £2,000 was awarded to the South Wight Area Youth Partnership (SWAY) towards its excellent work with our young people; Whitwell WI received £60 towards the cost of maintaining the beautiful plants around the Whitwell War Memorial; grants of £600 and £400 were awarded to Niton and Whitwell Parish Churches respectively towards the grounds maintenance of the Churchyard/Ashknowle Lane cemetery.

After reporting last month that the postponed resurfacing of Chatfeild Road would be carried out in mid June, it has now been re-re-scheduled for much earlier in the year, from 6th to 14th March, night time works for 7 nights excluding weekends. The programme has been revised yet again due to Southern Water’s long-awaited work to upgrade the water mains in High Street/Ventnor Road, Whitwell, commencing in April/May. The Parish Council will be working closely with Island Roads and Southern Water to ensure everyone is kept fully informed.

You will no doubt have heard that we are to continue with a two-hourly number 6 bus service during the 2017 summer timetable period. At a meeting hosted by the Isle of Wight Council, Southern Vectis presented figures which they said showed that passenger numbers do not justify reverting to the hourly summer service we have enjoyed for many years. Instead, one extra one-way journey has been added, leaving Newport for Whitwell in the early afternoon, Monday to Saturday. This and the final journey, Monday to Saturday, will terminate at Godshill (Dubbers). It’s disappointing news overall but be assured we are working with Chale and Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Councils to look at other options for community transport.

Finally, the Chairman and I had the pleasure of attending the launch of “Isle of Wight Day 2017” at Barton Manor earlier this week, at which we received the award for “Best Dressed Village 2016” on behalf of Niton village. Sadly, there was no parade on an open top bus but the rather impressive cup is on display in Niton Post Office!

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk