March 2017 News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 27th February at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed Mr Andrew White, Planning Consultant, who outlined the proposed scheme to develop the Niton “Fields Nursery” site.

Among the planning decisions made by the Isle of Wight Council during February, it was noted that permission had been granted for the Niton Football Club proposed development.

The poor condition of the bridleway running alongside Whitwell old Vicarage between Kemming Road and Ashknowle Lane (NT17) was raised. The Parish Council is now considering viable options for improvement with the Isle of Wight Council Rights of Way department.

The excellent “Age Friendly Communities Report” written by Lisa Toyne of Community Action Isle of Wight was adopted. This should help to raise our awareness of Age Friendly issues when making decisions. It will be available on our website shortly.

I amm delighted to report that, following the visit of the Spencer Bear Team to January’s meeting, Councillor Ann Innes has enthusiastically agreed to be the Parish Council’s representative on Niton Primary School’s Rights Respecting Schools Steering Group.

After the recent disappointing news that there will be no return to an hourly number 6 bus service this summer, Chale, Chillerton and Gatcombe and Niton and Whitwell Parish Councils have established a working group to tackle the problem of community transport – or lack of it! The group held its first meeting in early March, bringing many ideas and much enthusiasm to the table. We are currently exploring a range of options on which there will be consultation so you will get a chance to tell us your views. In the meantime, if you would like to put forward any suggestions, please let me know.

Following the fantastic trip to Busy Bee “Christmas World” in December, a summer Parish excursion is being planned, probably to Quarr Abbey. More details soon.

Amey, the Parish Council and, hopefully, Island Roads are helping to equip a small group of residents with litter picking equipment ready for a “Parish Tidy Up”. If you’d be interested in helping out for an hour or two, please let me know. (Cake has been mentioned!) Furthermore, to tackle the escalating problem of dog waste in public areas, the Parish Council has agreed to offer a reward of £100 for information leading to prosecution of persons allowing their dog to foul.

We now have two community defibrillators, located outside Norris Family Grocers in Rectory Road, Niton, and outside the White Horse Inn in Whitwell High Street. There are training sessions in Niton on Tuesday evenings. For further details, click here

The Optio Voluntary Car Service has capacity to take more members in the Ventnor area. Membership is open to elderly and frail residents who are unable to access transport to get to appointments or the services and support they need. For further information, please click here

The Footprint Trust has managed to secure a small amount of funding to assist Whitwell residents in need of help in relation to fuel costs. Help includes grant-funded insulation of homes, purchase of energy efficient white goods, draught-proofing and repairs to windows. Most of the measures will be low cost, but effective with most grants in the region of around £200. The Trust will visit the householder and help them reduce their energy and water bills; most people save around £200 pa. The Parish Council has been asked, in the first instance, to refer people to the Trust to find out about the help and support it can offer. For more details, click here

Finally, a reminder that Parish Council elections take place on 4th May. If you are interested in serving your local community as a Parish Councillor, please either visit the Isle of Wight Council’s website or contact me to request an election pack.