October News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 23rd September at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed 5 members of the public, who wished to raise the issues of the lack of affordable housing in Niton, the lack of dropped kerbs in Niton and safety concerns around 5G. The Chairman and other members of the Parish Council expressed their support for the installation of dropped kerbs for the safety of wheelchair and mobility scooter users. The Chairman referred to an e-mail received from the Isle of Wight Council, setting out its statutory duty to provide a reasonable approach to accessibility issues and mitigating budgetary constraints. Councillor Stewart, who attended the meeting, reported that he had been approached by Isle of Wight Council officers regarding a package of traffic management measures for Niton and Whitwell, regardless of the outcome for Undercliff Drive. The officers had recognised the impact of the closure on Niton and Whitwell. This initiative was warmly welcomed by all in attendance. With regard to the introduction of 5G, the Chairman stated that the Parish Council had already raised the issue with the Isle of Wight Council and had asked to be kept informed going forward.

The Chairman reported that an unqualified audit report had been received from the External Auditors PKF Littlejohn LLP. This was welcomed as really good news for the Parish Council and Parishioners alike 😊The Chairman reminded members that the Parish Council had been selected at random as part of a 5% sample to undergo an intermediate (higher level) audit for 2018/19. The notice of Conclusion of Audit may be found here

The Isle of Wight Council’s decision to establish the lawful use of the existing visibility splay at Ivy Close, Niton, was discussed. Councillor Stewart stated that he was committed to a full investigation. The Chairman reiterated his published comments to the Isle of Wight Council, stating that the matter had been badly handled. (The comments submitted by the Parish Council and the Chairman may be viewed on the Isle of Wight Council website here

In order to promote the Parish, encourage tourism and support our businesses, the Parish Council is working with Gift to Nature to develop a Smugglers Trail. Looking ahead, we will be seeking external funding for the project. For now, we would welcome historical information on smuggling locally – please contact me if you can help.

The Chairman highlighted that there was a number of diverse potential projects that the Parish Council could support. It was proposed that now would be a good time to gauge local opinion to help shape the Council’s programme for 2020. It was agreed that the Chairman and Clerk would draft a plan aimed at encouraging local comment and feedback. The Parish Council will be looking to make final decisions in January 2020 during its budget-setting process. So, prepare to get involved and share your views!

The Chairman reported that, subject to final confirmation, an Isle of Wight Council Cabinet “On the Road” meeting would be taking place in Whitwell Village Hall on Thursday 9th January 2020. The Chairman expressed thanks to the Pepperpot Players and Whitwell WI for moving their long-standing bookings to allow Whitwell Village Hall to be available for the Cabinet meeting.

You may already be aware that Whitwell was acclaimed Best Kept Large Village 2019 😊 Councillor Sherlie Burridge and I were delighted to accept the shield, framed certificate and a cheque for £150 on behalf of the Village at the Award presentation evening on 26th September. Well done, Whitwell!

The latest Parish excursion happened on 9th October when 16 of us visited Dalverton Garden Centre, Lake. Once again, the weather was kind to us and we were blessed with a few rain-free hours for our trip 😊 As always, a big thank you to Ken of Island Minibus Services who “does us proud”. We will be heading to Busy Bee Christmas World on 5th December; click here for more details if you would be interested in coming along.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk