Welcome to edition 95 of our Clerk’s Column circulated as usual to the 490 residents on our Residents’ Forum email list and through the Chronicle’s page 4.
The combined balance of our two Bank accounts at the end of January was £383,400 as they now include the £150,000 loan from the Public Works Loan Board to fund the new Public Toilet.
During January we spent a total of £40,071 that included £3,702 for Salisbury Gardens’ roof repairs that is the subject of an Insurance claim. We received £9,498 in addition to the loan. Receipts during January totalled £31,193 and included a £17,900 grant from the Household Support Fund and the VAT reclaim for quarter 3 of £2,791.
The monthly report to the Town Council this evening on the position compared to our Budget after the first ten months shows expenditure in the period £10,180 over Budget and receipts £1,536 under Budget.
VENTNOR’S JANUARY WEATHER
Chris Watts, who collects the daily readings from our Weather Station, delivered his usual report on conditions during the previous month.
HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND
We’re delighted to have been able during the week to distribute some of the £17,900 from our successful bid to the Isle of Wight Council’s Household Support Fund to local households in need of assistance with food and heating until 31 March.
This is government funding distributed through local authorities. There’s as yet no indication of support beyond 1 April when it will be even more needed by these many local households as they are faced with a 50% increase in energy bills, inflation at 7% and social rent increases of 3.1%.
NEW PUBLIC TOILET EMERGING
In the north-west corner of the Central Car Park the shape of the town’s new public toilet is emerging. Our contractor, DN Norville Associates, started work a month ago with most of it underground, including the unexpected need to underpin the car park’s back wall’s limited foundations. The construction is expected to be completed in June. It will consist of three units – male, female and disability friendly – with a 20p entrance charge, payable by cash or card, as a predicted £4,000pa contribution to lowering the cost to the town’s precept.
ASSETS & SERVICES WORKING GROUP
The Group’s meeting on Tuesday opened with an update on repairs to Salisbury Gardens’ storm damage including a report that our Insurers have now agreed to fund that from the July Storm in full with a payment of £3,875. Next was a discussion of the future use of the Portacabins in Boniface Fields before welcoming the news that the Isle of Wight Council has agreed to fund half the cost (£3,290) of the necessary treatment of five trees in Ventnor Park. The new public toilet, Wight Fibre and a bench for Spring Hill Gardens were the other items.
Leeson Road is closed for up to two weeks from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday from today. The hard closure of the High Street three weeks starts on 1 March and is entirely a matter for Wight Fibre.
THE FEBRUARY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
Is this evening at 7pm and live streamed after the public forum by following this link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsDOmpTo2yx9EQWnEqs_HOQ
VIA MY TWITTER FEED LAST WEEK
- A new report today from the Living Wage Foundation finds ‘32% of workers below the Living Wage have skipped meals regularly due to financial reasons.’
- Today’s report from the Education Policy Institute finds ‘students from a disadvantaged background on average 3.1 grades behind their non-disadvantaged peers over their best three qualifications, compared to 2.9 grades in 2019.
MORE INFORMATION: is available from the Town Council’s website and @ventnor clerk