May News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 23rd April at Whitwell Village Hall. The Parish Council reviewed its spending over the previous financial year, 2017/18, and looked at the new regulations for External Audit. I was delighted to report that the Internal Audit process had been completed prior to the meeting, with no concerns being raised by the Auditor; formal acceptance of the Receipts and Payments Accounts and Internal Audit Report will be on the agenda for the May meeting.

Provision had been made in the 2018/19 budget for the clearance of the vegetation encroaching on the all-weather footpath surface beyond the end of Ashknowle Lane. Accordingly, I had made arrangements for Saint Lawrence Landscapes to clear the path in order to preserve the surface.

The increasing problem of dog fouling was discussed at some length. Children at Niton Primary School had produced some amazing works of art for us with the aim of educating and encouraging dog owners to pick up after their pets. The Members of the Parish Council expressed their appreciation for the children’s help in conveying the message. Councillor Janice Young also presented some ideas for posters pointing out the anti-social effects plus the dangers of toxocara canis. A selection of the posters will be endorsed with an official message from the Parish Council and laminated for display around the villages. The possible engagement within the Parish of an Isle of Wight Council Environment Officer, who would have the legal authority to issue fixed penalty notices to offending dog owners, was considered. Delegated authority was given to Councillors Tim Addison, Janice Young and me to produce the posters and also to enter into a contract for one hour per week of Environment Officer’s time at an annual cost of £500 should they consider this to be an effective use of Parish Council resources. If engaged, the Environment Officer’s time would be spent at local “hot spots”, as directed by the Parish Council and based on complaints from Parishioners. More next month.

In addition to Audit, the Annual Parish Meeting (a statutory requirement) and the Annual Parish Council Meeting, much of my time over the past weeks has been spent in preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect from 25th May. The Parish Council is, of course, required to be fully compliant with GDPR. Our Privacy Policy is now available here

I have also updated the list of information available from Niton and Whitwell Parish Council under the Freedom of Information Act Model Publication Scheme; the revised list is available here, at Niton Library or from me.

Island Roads has now finalised plans for the long awaited and much needed resurfacing of Whitwell High Street/Ventnor Road. Work will begin on 8th June and will be organised into four phases:

Phase 1: Night works for 4 shifts, Ventnor Road from 600m south of Kemming Road to Kemming Road

Phase 2: Day works for 3 shifts, High Street: Kemming Road to Nettlecombe Lane

Phase 3: Day works for 3 shifts, High Street: Nettlecombe Lane to West Winds

Phase 4: Day works for 3 shifts, High Street: West Winds to Southford Lane.

Access to Nettlecombe Lane and Kemming Road will be maintained throughout the works. Access for through traffic, including public and school buses, between Ventnor and Niton and Whitwell will also be maintained during the daytime. Island Roads has been working closely with the Parish Council to devise a traffic management plan that has the least impact on all affected by the works, while maintaining a safe working environment for both the public and its workforce. Further details may be obtained from Island Roads’ website or by contacting the Island Roads help desk on 01983 822440.

As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect to the accounting records of the Parish Council. As an interested person, you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the Parish, you can also ask questions about the accounts and/or make an objection. For the year ended 31st March 2018, the accounting records will be available for inspection during the period 4th June to 13th July, inclusive. Full details together with a summary of your rights are available here.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk