Notes from the Annual Council Meeting (held this Monday) will be published later.
Ventnor Town Council Meeting Monday 16th April followed by Planning Meeting.
Attendees were as the planning meeting as previously advised, but also including Susan Scoccia, who left at the end of the Town Council meeting.
Further electoral review of the Isle of Wight:
Ventnor TC views have been noted. Process still in consultative stage. The process should be completed by the end of April.
Ventnor Botanic Garden:
Simon Goodenough has put forward a plan to turn Signal Point, the unused house in Botanic Gardens on the side of the road into a residential centre for horticultural training. The LSC have been approached for fitting this into their 14-19 yr old education agenda. An apprentice scheme is being considered.
A scheme for the renewal of the greenhouse is being considered. The former smuggling museum will be sued for water pumping for the new greenhouse to ensure the end facility is carbon neutral.
The Town Council applauded the Botanic Gardens as being one of the fourth leading botanic gardens in Europe; this is seen as being excellent news for Ventnor and brings wonderful opportunities to the town.
(Ed. Well done Simon and all your staff – keep up the great work)
Payments made by IOW Council to retiring Officers
The TC wrote a letter to the ombudsman asking for clarification on the issue re the recent issues regarding IOW Council, only to be told by the ombudsman that he can only help citizens, and that did not include town councillors in making a complaint. (Ed- If you feel strongly about this issue, get your letters into the Ombudsman)
New Children’s Play Area – Salisbury Gardens – (Proposed by Ventnor Enhancement Fund)
TC voted to support it in principle subject to receipt of a satisfactory business plan with an emphasis on sustainability. The enhancement fund are asking the TC to take the lease to the land.
There was a vigorous debate on whether this was the right location for a play area.
Robbie Mew vigorously proposed an alternative to upgrade the North Street facility and put in half a car park to pay for that.
(Ed. I feel that a playground nearer to the beach and within sight of holidaymakers is a great idea and one that should be embraced – in my view the North Street facility is too hidden away and not signposted clearly enough)
Spring Hill Garden Railings
It was agreed to pass the paint request back to IOW Council
It was reported that Spring Hill Gardens are going from strength to strength. A new statue has been put in place, and a totem pole has been identified through Botanic Gardens.
Brenda Lawson reported that the Partnership on Thursday night will be bringing together all interested parties in developing youth based projects so a consolidated bid can be assembled for funding (if appropriate). (Ed. report to follow later on the blog)
CCTV still not concluded. The set up costs are OK, but the running costs are a real headache. It was felt that it was very unfair that the TC should bear this financial burden when Ryde and Newport got it free! Val Taylor described this as being an “obscene” situation.
It was felt that for the running costs, and indeed the set up costs, the TC would be better spending the money on provision of resources for youth (for example) to make a difference that way.
(Ed. Excellent choice Town Councillors!)
A letter has come in from Lee Matthews (IOW Council) asking all councils for financial support to enable IOW Athletes to attend World Youth Games (Corsica 2007). £400 per head is needed. Three athletes from Ventnor have been identified. Two Gym and one track (details to be confirmed).
The TC was very pleased that the town can field three athletes for this to represent the Island and the UK.
The TC authorised £1000 contribution from the special fund for this.
(Ed. This is brilliant news and every support should be given to these talented youngsters)
Robbie Mew proposed the TC write to Andy Sutton requesting he energise the business sector on the Island to set up a consortium to buy Red Funnel for the Island rather than let it slip into foreign hands etc.
It was agreed to do this.
The Jazz Office wrote an e-mail of thanks for TC support (TC provided Winter Gardens at no cost)
Brian Lucas raised the subject of preserving open spaces, new legislation going through, and asked everyone to think about this.
Details are as follows:
(1) Land can be registered as a town or village green if it has been used by local people for ‘lawful sports and pastimes’ (ie informal recreation) for 20 years, freely and openly. The registration authority is the county or unitary council.
(2) The law is contained in section 15 of the Commons Act 2006, which comes into effect on 6 April 2007. Full details can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/issues/common/town-villagegreens/index.htm
(3) Use as of right, means that the use was without being secret, without force and without permission from the landowner.
(4) Any person may apply to the registration authority to register land as a green. Once registered, it is protected from encroachment and development by section 12 of the Inclosure Act 1845 and section 29 of the Commons Act 1876. Local people have a right to enjoy the land for recreation
He raised this in the context that Ventnor was losing out on events through lack of public spaces. i.e. Crab Fayre going to Niton.
The next TC Meeting will now be 29th May which was planned for the 14th. The Annual TC meeting will be next Monday 23rd as planned, no change there.
It was agreed to finance £350 toward the Cristobel dance trip to a London Theatre (Her Majesty’s) on 24th June (see last weeks Chronicle for more details).
As already notes, Mill Bay was refused, but that does not mean that this is over, it still can be won at IOW Council level (DCC etc).
The TC felt that the new plans did not reflect the comments in the visitor’s book in Winter Gardens and the changes were minimal.
The discussion was short and to the point.
St Catherine’s school project was approved and welcomed which is an unusual extra for the TC.