Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 24th June at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed Mr Dominic Wray, Manager of Blackgang theme park, who answered questions on the summer firework displays, and Ms Andrea Jenkins, Senior Surveyor, Isle of Wight Council Asset Management, who spoke about Isle of Wight Council assets within the Parish. (The Parish Council has now put forward a proposal for the transfer of all assets: Allotment Road car park; Niton public toilets; the Bert Sprake Memorial Garden; and the old library / telephone exchange.)
Authority was given for the Parish Council website to be made secure to protect the personal e-mail addresses of people using the “contact us” tab. It was also decided to add a cookie notice and accessibility tools to the website.
The Chairman reported that he had had some input into the Undercliff Drive consultation questions. The Parish Council resolved to agree that Undercliff Drive should be reinstated for vehicular traffic and has submitted the following comments in response to the consultation:
- Undercliff Drive is an A road;
- Undercliff Drive is a section of the strategically important A3055 and a key part of the long-established round the Island vehicular route;
- It has been demonstrated that the closure of Undercliff Drive has had an economic impact on the whole Island;
- The closure has forced all traffic between Ventnor and Niton along a route through the village centres of Niton and Whitwell, which is single-track in places;
- Other existing roads into Ventnor are not reliable;
- Reinstatement of Undercliff Drive is a long-standing aim of the Parish Council, publicly stated on the website homepage since 2015, and the number 1 aim since June 2016. As stated in the Annual Report to the Electors 2018/19, “The Parish Council remains resolutely committed to the re-opening of the Undercliff Drive” and believes it has electors’ support for this position.
The Niton Harbour Club was awarded a grant of £150 in consideration of maintaining the grass during the 2019 season.
Parish excursions in July/August, September/October and December were given the green light 😊 A report on our visit to Arreton Barns on 15th August will follow in next month’s news. Our excursion on Wednesday 9th October looks like being to Honor and Jeffrey at Lake (6 votes) rather than Waitrose (2 votes). Our final trip of 2019 will be the annual visit to Busy Bee “Christmas World” on Thursday 5th December. Please contact me if you are interested in our excursions and are not yet one of our “regulars”.
The Parish Council also met on Monday 22nd July at Niton library. The Chairman welcomed members of the public, who raised issues including a 20 mph speed limit through Niton and a wildflower meadow within the “Rec”. The Chairman gave an update on the speed limit and stressed the importance of the Speedwatch Group starting up. He also stated that the Parish Council was interested to learn the benefits of “pinch points” to slow down traffic. A meeting of the Recreation Ground Working Party has now been arranged to discuss the various ideas for new projects and maintenance of existing play equipment.
A Whitwell resident had received local support and pledges of £390 towards a memorial bench to be sited in Bannock Road (north end). The Parish Council agreed to purchase the bench once the contribution from the community had been received.
The Parish Council resolved to support a winter Sunday service of the number 6 bus in partnership with Chale and Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Councils. This is the fifth year that the Parish Councils have joined together to pay for the service. Boxing Day and New Year’s Day services will also be funded.
Building on our successful partnership with Gift to Nature, which has resulted in great improvement to Castlehaven Village Green, the Parish Council accepted a proposal to incorporate the site into Gift to Nature’s portfolio. Future plans include the reinstatement of the seaward end of the Green, once the new gabion baskets are in place, and the development of a “pirate trail” (ooh arr). The Parish Council also resolved to contribute £2,000 towards the Isle of Wight Council works to repair the stretch of public footpath NT46 running along the sea wall adjacent to the Green.
Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk