February News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 22nd February at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman opened by welcoming members of the Isle of Wight Ramblers Association and the Niton Harbour Club.

            The Isle of Wight Council’s proposals for the Castlehaven Beach Access Improvement Scheme were discussed and supported. The measures include diverting Public Footpath NT46, retaining a public right of way around and to the village green and to the shore at the harbour, and creating safe and convenient beach access from the caravan park to the shore by installing beach access steps. All costs of the proposed scheme and the maintenance of the steps are to be met by the Isle of Wight Council.

            David Howarth and David Yates of the Isle of Wight Ramblers outlined the “Path Partners Project” pilot scheme, which is to be set up in Niton and Whitwell. The scheme will involve carrying out an in-depth survey of local footpaths, including their features and structures, identifying maintenance issues and trying to resolve problems. Councillor Ali Logan is the Parish Council contact for the project; please contact Ali or me if you wish to express an early interest in helping with the scheme.

            A grant of £60 was awarded to the Whitwell WI towards the upkeep of the Whitwell War Memorial plant troughs. The Parish Council very much appreciates the work of the WI in creating and maintaining the lovely floral displays at the foot of the Memorial.

            A huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for the Ashknowle Lane Footpath project at Tesco Island stores during the first week in March. The Parish Council has been awarded a “Tesco Bags of Help” grant of at least £8,000 to provide a 1.5 m wide all-weather surface of stabilised gravel across the field at the Niton end of the bridleway/footpath between the villages. Depending on the results of the voting, the grant may rise to £10,000 or even £12,000. As I write, we have absolutely everything crossed!

            Finally, I went and talked a load of rubbish in the Council Chamber at County Hall one afternoon at the beginning of March when the new domestic refuse collection arrangements were presented to town and parish councils. There are significant changes being introduced with effect from 3rd May but these will be preceded by an extensive advertising campaign and the delivery of a personalised service information booklet to every home. In the meantime, you can find full details on the Isle of Wight Council website at www.iwight.com/waste  I do see the new collection arrangements as a vast improvement over those currently in place, especially as they should bring to an end the inevitable trail of rubbish along our roads on “bin day” caused by animals foraging in plastic sacks.

Vickie Ford, Clerk to the Parish Council