November News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 28th October at Niton Library. The Chairman welcomed 3 members of the public, one of whom outlined a proposal for the use of the former telephone exchange/library building in Niton Village as an independent business hub. Two members of the public asked for an update on the request for dropped kerbs, which had been brought to the previous meeting. The Chairman stated that, due to the impact of the closure of Undercliff Drive on Niton and Whitwell, the Isle of Wight Council was looking to implement a package of traffic management measures in the Parish, which was expected to include dropped kerbs.

Councillor Mike Hughson had attended his first Police Priorities meeting as Parish Council representative. He reported that the main concern raised was speeding. Police had said that they were looking to Community Speedwatch to assist with the problem and that a new camera was available for volunteers’ use. The Parish Council is aware that the local Community Action Road Safety (CARS) group is working very hard to begin Community Speedwatch sessions within the Parish.

Members looked at a draft form designed to gauge public support for proposed projects prior to setting next year’s budget. Looking ahead, the Parish Council will be agreeing the final version of the form before the end of November and then it’s over to you to tell us what you think. The Parish Council will be looking to make final decisions at its meeting on 27th January 2020 during its budget-setting process. Please look out for the forms and get involved in shaping the Council’s programme for 2020/21. Thank you 😊

Back to the October meeting. Members asked the Chairman to write to the Isle of Wight Council saying that the Parish Council was very encouraged by the result of the Undercliff Drive consultation; and hoped the Isle of Wight Council would now get on with restoring this important Island A-road back to full operational use as soon as practically possible.

Councillors Jon Boileau Goad and Lorraine Sheerin reported on progress with the Smugglers Trail project. Alan Rowe (Potting Shed Cartoons) had designed an amazing smugglers map and Mark Tuckey (Ghost Walks) had expressed enthusiasm for leading a smugglers walk in summer 2020. In the short term, a leaflet will be produced to guide visitors around the trail. In the long term, the Parish Council hopes to develop an app, which will link to an interactive map on the website.

Councillor Lorraine Sheerin presented a report from Niton Community Football Club and, in response to a request for help to buy training kit, a grant of £95 was awarded.

Parish Council members were given the opportunity to provide an e-mail address, a photograph and some personal background information to be published on the website. Members resolved that it would not be mandatory to provide any or all of this information.

Authority was given for the purchase of Christmas trees and new Christmas tree lights for both villages. Grants of £100 and £200 were awarded towards the cost of “Christmas Comes to Niton”  Santa’s Grotto and the Lantern Parade respectively.

It was agreed that a replacement floor for the multi action toddler unit in Niton Recreation Ground should be purchased.

Following on from the installation of the new gabion baskets at Castlehaven, the Parish Council turned its attention to backfilling at the seaward end of the Village Green. Natural England has advised that it should be possible to create good rocky cliff habitat for plants like Rock Samphire, Halbard-leaved Orache, Rock Spurrey, Buck’s-horn Plantain and Ribwort Plantain to establish. We are continuing to work with Natural England, Gift to Nature and our contractors, Imphouse Ltd, to achieve this.

I am looking for ideas for the programme of Parish excursions in the new year, please. Suggestions so far include the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Isle of Wight Pearl and Mermaid Brewery.

Finally, warmest wishes for Christmas and the New Year from the Parish Council and from me.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk