January News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 27th November at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed Mr Andy Dorning of South Wight Area Youth Partnership (SWAY), who gave an update on the organisation’s work with young people and families within the Parish. Funding for half of its £50,000 budget for 2018/19 had already been secured and a social enterprise had been established to provide work experience for young people, with profits being fed into SWAY in future years. Councillor Ann Innes acknowledged the value of the work and thanked SWAY. Councillor Dave Stewart stated that SWAY was recognised as a “top notch” youth service but would be unlikely to receive a grant from the Isle of Wight Council in 2018/19 due to budget constraints. The Parish Council awarded a grant of £5,000 to SWAY.

It was agreed that financial support for the Optio voluntary car scheme would be considered at the January Parish Council meeting. Optio is a membership scheme for the elderly and frail which operates with volunteer drivers using their own vehicles to take passengers to pre-booked destinations. These are often for medical appointments, but can also be for other reasons. Further details are available on the Community Action website or by calling 524058.

At the request of Sergeant Ged Armitage, policing priorities were discussed. The Parish Council agreed that a prompt and appropriate response to calls should take priority.

A grant of £100 was awarded to the “Christmas Comes to Niton” event and authority was given for Parish Christmas trees and lights to be purchased. I am delighted to report that the new lights and stand for the Whitwell tree attracted many compliments and stood up to storm Eleanor!

The contract for grounds maintenance of Niton “Rec” was again awarded to Stan and his team from John O’Conner. The contract for repair of the skateboard half pipe was awarded to Tom Symes. All work on the half pipe has now been completed and the equipment is back in use. A working party is looking at the long-term options for the skate park and would welcome innovative ideas to include additional features and a more robust design. Please contact Councillor Ali Logan, Councillor John Stotesbury or me with any suggestions.

The Parish Council Planning Committee met on 11th December at the Edward Edwards Library, Niton. Two new planning applications were considered; it was also agreed that an additional comprehensive comment recommending refusal of the proposed Chatfeild Road development be submitted to the Isle of Wight Council.

The Christmas shopping excursion to Busy Bee “Christmas World” took place on 6th December. The trip was so popular we could not all fit onto the usual minibus! Not wishing to disappoint anyone, the Parish Council authorised hire of a Southern Vectis “solo” bus for the day. Alison, our driver, skillfully negotiated the Whitwell roadworks to collect everyone; three ladies treated themselves to a full Christmas lunch at the Olive Tree restaurant; we even had room on the bus home for a rather splendid poinsettia. The most recent excursion, an afternoon to see the Pantomime “Dick Whittington” matinee performance at Shanklin Theatre on 3rd January, was also a great success. Spotlight IoW staged a sparkling production with plenty of audience participation – not all of it from us 😊

Vickie Ford, Parish clerk