January News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 26th November 2018 at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed to the meeting a Niton resident, who asked the Parish Council to consider the provision of a trim trail in Niton Recreation Ground. Councillor Jon Boileau Goad had obtained an estimate of just over £2,000 (ex VAT) for five pieces of equipment made by a local craftsman. The Chairman stated that it was an ideal time to bring the request to the Parish Council as it would be finalising its 2019/20 budget over the next eight weeks.

The Chairman also welcomed Mr Jonathan Bacon, Chair of the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the meeting. Mr Bacon gave an informative presentation on the proposed Isle of Wight Dark Skies Park, stating that the project was all about preserving the quality of the dark skies already there. The AONB would be aiming to actively encourage sensible lighting through advice and education. Some forms of lighting subject to planning control would be restricted. The Parish Council agreed to send a letter of support to the AONB for submission with the application for Dark Skies status.

The Parish Council adopted the Chairman’s report following his review of the works undertaken in October 2018 to upgrade the stretch of Ashknowle Lane from Ventnor Road to Whitwell Cemetery. The report’s conclusions were that, given the daunting size of this project for a small Parish Council to undertake, it was fortunate to have had an opportunity to implement a solution based upon local knowledge and goodwill; and that the plans put forward by Dr Bruce Denness and Mr Chris Judd had been completed to a standard that fulfils the objectives set by the Parish Council. The report recommended that the Parish Council extend its formal thanks to Dr Denness and Mr Judd, together with their contractors and suppliers, and to the Isle of Wight Council Rights of Way Department for its support and assistance, particularly with the temporary closure arrangements and associated costs. The condition of this stretch of the Lane is to be reviewed in March 2019 to consider any other works required as the result of drainage issues. Furthermore, a review of the condition of the Lane is to be undertaken annually thereafter. The Chairman’s full report can be found here.

The Chairman proposed submission of a formal application under the Island Roads’ Corporate Social Responsibilty voluntary scheme to upgrade a strip of Church Lane, Whitwell (NT17) as an accessible path to Whitwell Parish Church. The Parish Council resolved to make formal applications requesting Island Roads’ assistance to upgrade the strip of NT17 and also the bridleway from the end of the tarmac in Allotment Road to the gate at the end of the all-weather footpath (NT18).

The War Memorials Trust has awarded a grant of £500 to the Parish Council for the steam cleaning of Whitwell War Memorial; the remainder of the funding will be provided by the Parish Council. Island-based company, WightStream Hydrocleaning Group, will be carrying out the work for us. Cleaning will start as soon as the weather and our contractor’s other commitments allow. The Parish Council formally accepted the grant and undertook to carry out the work. It also gave a grant of £100 to the Whitwell WI towards its members’ wonderful work in maintaining the plant troughs at the foot of the War Memorial.

The Isle of Wight Council had asked all town and parish councils for their views on the proposed Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs can require or prohibit certain activities from taking place in certain places (restricted areas) in order to prevent or reduce any detrimental effect caused by those activities to local people. For example, the PSPOs will enable the police to confiscate alcohol from people who may be causing anti-social behaviour in a public place, making it an offence not to surrender the alcohol when requested to do so by a police officer. The PSPOs will also require that dogs be kept under effective control at all times. The Parish Council resolved not only to support the introduction of the PSPOs but also to request an extension to include Niton Recreation Ground.

The Parish Council agreed its top 5 priorities for improvements to the highways network. It also reviewed its own priorities, which are listed on our home page.

John O’Conner (Grounds Maintenance) Limited was awarded the contract for the grounds’ maintenance of Niton “Rec” during 2019.

The Parish shopping expedition to Busy Bee “Christmas World” took place on Wednesday 5th December. A big thank you to our very helpful Southern Vectis driver, Robert, and to everyone who came along and made it such a lovely day.

You may have noticed the new signposts at either end of the Tunnels Footpath in Niton? The Parish Council commissioned the signposts in memory of Councillor Charlie Peach, who served the Parish for over 30 years. Charlie restored the much-loved footpath in 2012 so that it could be re-opened for public use.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk