At the time of writing this report we all find ourselves in very challenging, distressing times. Our Island is going to be a very different place from usual this summer. Those Councillors who are able to are supporting the community through various agencies. However, even in these extraordinary times the public toilets, which unlike other councils Lake decided to keep open, are still being vandalised. Council meetings have been cancelled for the time being and Councillors are keeping in touch and making decisions where necessary by email. Virtual on line meetings were not possible as too few Councillors, including myself and our Clerk, have the technological equipment necessary to do so. Our thanks go to the NHS workers, and everyone who has been required to carry on working at jobs which would not usually be hazardous to them. We should all try and do what we can to support local businesses when they are able to reopen. We offer our condolences to anyone who has lost loved ones during this difficult time.
Mr. John Marshall was elected as a Councillor for Lake South in May and attended the Arreton Battle of Britain Memorial Service on Lake’s behalf. He resigned in February; the required ten residents requested an election which of course has now been cancelled. I was re elected as Chairman at our meeting in September following the resignation of Cllr. Susan Hardy as Chairman.
Thanks go to our Clerk, Mike Taplin, for his ongoing efficiency and support to Lake’s Councillors. David Hardy has taken over the maintenance of the Parish website: www.lakeparishcouncil.org.uk Our thanks also go to Janet Taplin who has produced Lake Ripples bi-monthly for the last seven years. She resigned as Editor in October and I have taken over from her. Any contributions from local residents will be very welcome. We are again very grateful to the excellent team of residents who deliver the magazine. Due to the lockdown the May issue will not be produced..
Cllr. Bob Blezzard continues to be our representative on the Isle of Wight Association of Local Council’s (IWALC) Executive Committee and reports back as appropriate on their meetings, as well as those of the Isle of Wight Health and Wellbeing Board where he is the IWALC representative.
Cllr. Hardy and her husband enjoyed their day at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party last May.
We were appalled to hear the news of the tragic death of Gerry White, a former Chairman. I attended his funeral. The perpetrator has now been jailed and we again send our condolences to Gerry’s widow, Lee, and family.
Lake Rangers were unfortunately unable to carry out the painting of a new mural at the railway tunnel but this project has been taken on by Men in Sheds. They have been hampered by bad weather but will complete as soon as they are able. We are grateful to them for refurbishing the benches at Lake Cliff Gardens. Grants were made by Lake Parish Council to five local organisations. These were able to be increased this year due to a donation from KFC. The precept for 2020-21 has remained unchanged.
Research into refurbishing the toilets at New Road and including facilities for community and youth usage is ongoing and will be our priority once our meetings can resume, with a public consultation to be held. The revetment working party set up together with Sandown and Shanklin Town Councils has been deferred to 2021. The Parish Council Code of Conduct was revised and updated, thanks to Cllr. Blezzard for his expertise with this.
We had the planting at the War Memorial carried out by Brighstone Landscaping as usual and provided planted baskets from Busy Bee along Sandown Road for the summer. My husband and I regularly water the Christmas tree at Thearle’s Green, which is growing well.
Lake’s Remembrance Service was very well attended and wreaths were laid on behalf of the Parish Council and various local organisations. The service was led by Fr. David Lawrence-March and the Co Op Funeral Care staff kindly supplied refreshments afterwards. The “Light up a Life” carol service unfortunately had to be cancelled due to very bad weather. I was pleased to read a lesson at the joint Carol Service at St. Saviour’s Church in Shanklin with the Church of the Good Shepherd.
We retain the services of PCSO Jacqueline May. Monthly crime reports show the incidences of crime in Lake remain about the same. If anyone has any information about any crimes please report it.
Lake Parish Council meets at 7:15pm at Broadlea School on the second Wednesday of every month, except August. The public are welcome to attend these meetings, which are now recorded. Minutes are posted on the website and Parish notice board, together with the Lake Events Diary. Lake’s residents can be assured that their Councillors continue to work hard to achieve as many benefits for the people of Lake as possible.