Snow puts our Isle of Wight in the red

January 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

The cost of keeping the Island moving through the heaviest snowfall in 30 years is likely to reach £200,000. Around £175,000 has already been spent on gritting alone by the Isle of Wight Council, which has come under fire for the state of pavements.

The council said it was too early to put a figure on the overall economic impact of the snow and ice. As the big freeze became the big thaw this week, shops too were assessing the impact of lost trade. The IW Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry said many showed resilience by staying open and working round the clock to fulfil orders.A snap survey of its members showed that there was some dismay at the delay in clearing roads and pavements in town centres and industrial estates. A number of businesses reported that towns and cities on the mainland seemed to have coped much better.
The chamber’s general manager, Dean Pascall, said: “Our members tell us that, generally, things are starting to pick up again now, so we expect the damage to be short term.”

Jill Wareham, the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for the Island, has called for an inquiry on the effectiveness of the council during the cold weather.

She said: “I eventually ventured out to Newport in my car on Friday, three days after the first snow fell, and was amazed to see that the pavements in the main town on the Island had not been cleared and people were walking along very gingerly.

“I understand the emergency services at St Mary’s have been put under enormous pressure due to people falling over and breaking bones.”

Brian Fisher-Lathwell, landlord of the Crown Hotel, said it was an absolute disgrace that parts of Ryde were like ice rinks, days after the snow had fallen.

But council leader, Cllr David Pugh, hit back saying the council had done all it reasonably could to mitigate against the unprecedented weather conditions, making best use of limited resources.

He said: “This has also included having a relentless focus on clearing main roads, which was in line with a national agreement that local government had with Whitehall to preserve salt supplies.”

He said a council-wide review would take place to identify areas for improvement and a report would be submitted to the fire and community safety scrutiny panel for its consideration.

He added: “I appreciate Mrs Wareham is desperately seeking votes ahead of the forthcoming general election but her attempt to gain some easy publicity on this issue is most unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, the snow did bring some positives. With people unable to travel, Nigel Smith, chairman of Ryde Business Association, said many had rediscovered local shops.

Island Waste Services are hoping to resume collecting refuse normally on Monday for household waste and for ‘B’ week recycling, weather permitting.

Island Waste aims to collect as much as possible of its normal Friday collection today. If your waste has not been collected by the end of the day, residents are advised to store waste until the next normal collection day.
There will be no collections on Saturday.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk
From: Isle of Wight County Press

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Entry filed under: > EMPLOYMENT, > ISLAND LIVING, > IW BUSINESS, > IW COUNCIL, > LOCAL COUNCILS, > SCHOOLS & EDUCATION. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Military Road – act now or lose it £400,000 funding gap if Hospital parking charges go

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NAME & SHAME

Any of you living in a ward represented by these people?

Please do everything you can to remind the electorate of the dangers of block voting

Ivan Bulwer Binstead / Fishbourne

Richard Hollis Parkhurst


Susan Jane Scoccia Ventnor West

Allowance To Triple


David G. Williams Shanklin Central

John Vere Hobart Carisbrooke

Jerry White Lake

David Pugh Needs to go aswell!

We need informed independents, not idiots reading from a pre-determined script so they can sing in unison. Expose them and the damage they’ve done to our school system and our eco island image (the one thing that could resurrect the Island economy long term).

Get them out and watch how this island progresses/regenerates

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