Council meeting – The next Town Council meeting will take place on Thursday 5 November 2020 at 7pm.
Message from Cowes Medical Centre – Flu 2020/21 – We are now contacting patients most at risk of flu in accordance with NHS England guidance for an appointment in October/early November. These patients will receive a text message or a letter. Most flu vaccines will be by appointment at our flu drive-through centre, with some at the Practice. Patients aged 65 and over, who are not in the high risk category can be added to a waiting list. If you would like your name added to this list, please call us in the afternoon when our phone lines are less busy. If you are aged between 50 and 64 and not in a clinical at risk group, the earliest you will be offered a flu vaccination is November, providing the Government provides sufficient vaccine. Please check our Practice website for up to date information about our flu vaccine programme: https://www.cowesmedicalcentre.co.uk/
COWES TOWN COUNCIL OFFICE – The office is currently closed and the Clerks are working from home. This follows latest Government national measures issued on 22 September 2020 to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. Part of those measures relate to working from home. “To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter.” Council meetings are being held as scheduled via Zoom. The Clerks can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01983 209022. Out of hours emergency number: 07502 444883.
THE ISLE OF WIGHT FOODBANK NEEDS YOUR HELP. Items most urgently needed are:
Please take any donations to the Isle of Wight Foodbank, Love Lane, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7ET. Their opening times are 10am to 12Noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Thank you.
More details are available via the website: isleofwight.foodbank.org.uk
SCAM ALERT – A number of news scams have been reported. Please visit iwight.com for current scams: https://www.iow.gov.uk/Council/OtherServices/IWASP/Current-Scams
NEW TOWN MAPS COMPLETED – The Town Council has completed its redesign of the town map. The new maps are on display throughout the town in our display cases. We hope visitors and residents find the new map interesting, informative and an attractive addition to the town.
MERCHANT NAVY DAY 2020 – Cowes Town Council is delighted to commemorate Merchant Navy Day on 3 September and is flying the Red Ensign at Francki Place, Cowes.
Further details are available here.
COMMEMORATING VJ DAY 2020 – Mayor of Cowes, Lora Peacey Wilcox commemorated the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the day World War Two ended with Japan’s surrender – at the War Memorial in Northwood Park. A minute’s silence was held at 11am, followed by the singing of the Exhortation by Vanessa Slade, representing Holy Trinity Church, Cowes.
COVID-19 ACTION CARDS NOW AVAILABLE TO HELP THE ISLAND FIGHT THE VIRUS – A series of quick-reference ‘action cards’ is now available for hotels, campsites, tourist attractions, shops, restaurants and other Isle of Wight work places to use in the event of a coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The cards provide key steps to help people quickly identify, report and respond to one or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in their business, setting or organisation. Sixteen cards have been released in the initial tranche with more planned in the future. The action cards, which are designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on hand, provide details of how and who people should contact if they suspect a coronavirus outbreak in their work place or setting. In addition, they give clear guidance on how individual settings can help prevent the infection by applying existing guidance on:
The action cards are available here for download.
SUMMER NEWSLETTER – The Town Council’s Summer newsletter is available electronically. To view the newsletter, please click here. We hope to be able to return to delivering the newsletter to residents of Cowes in the Autumn.
IW COUNCIL PLAYGROUNDS – Families are being urged to stay alert while children are using playground equipment and observe social distancing rules. People are being urged to take notice of posters on display in all 25 council play parks reminding families of the current guidance to help keep everyone safe. These include:
• If you or anyone in your family are showing symptoms of Covid-19 do not enter the play area.
• Remember to socially distance from people who are outside your bubble.
• People are advised to wipe equipment before and after use — it is not possible for the council to clean the equipment on a regular basis.
• Wash or sanitise your hands before and after using the play area and try not to touch your face while playing.
• If the park is crowded do not enter if you cannot stay a safe distance from others.
• Refrain from eating and drinking in the play area.
People are also asked to dispose of their litter and dog waste in the the bins provided or take it home.
For latest guidance on social distancing, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/
COWES AND NORTHWOOD PLACE PLAN – The IW Council Regeneration Team, Northwood Parish Council, Cowes Town Council and Cowes Business Association are working together to create a Place Plan for the two parishes. We need your help to gather essential information and opinion via an online questionnaire. Arc Consulting have been commissioned to help collate your thoughts, ideas and opinions and to create the place plan. By having your say and leaving your comments, you will be adding to a better understanding of the plan area and the experiences and aspirations of the people who live and work here; the project partnership can then work to find more effective ways for public services, community groups and businesses to collaborate and shape a better future.
On the first page (Reason to Assess box) please could you state whether you are completing the questionnaire as an individual (resident, commuter or visitor) or on behalf of a group, stating which group. There is one questionnaire for Northwood and another for Cowes in order that we can collect locally specific data but do please complete both if you would like to. There are open questions as well as scored responses to give you room to explain or extend your answers in some sections.
The Place Plan project was due to begin in March but the onset of the pandemic and the impact of the control measures and restrictions that followed have of course changed its timetable. But these new challenges perhaps give even more reason to participate in the project, to have your say and to give your time. Your contributions will now support not only the local regeneration effort but will help business and community in the shared work of recovery, after Corona. Thank you for your help!
FLOATING BRIDGE GOES CONTACTLESS – With cash payments no longer accepted due to coronavirus, and the increasing use of the popular Saver Cards, the IW Council is introducing contactless handsets for floating bridge staff to take payments on board from 6 July. The new handsets will also let Saver Card holders top up their card straight away. Contactless card payments help minimise cash handling for staff and passengers thereby improving safety in the current coronavirus crisis. Floating bridge customers who don’t use the Saver Card can already use their contactless bank card or cash to buy a ticket at a shoreside ticket machine. Tickets can be bought online using online payment methods including credit or debit cards or a charge to your phone bill. All these options will still be available, plus the new choice to pay with a contactless card on board.
Social distancing in Cowes town centre – Temporary changes have been made in the town centre to make it safer for pedestrians as part of IW Council plans to encourage social distancing. The most noticeable changes is the appearance of white dots on the pavement to indicate two metre social distancing, as well as the message — ‘COVID-19 – Stay 2m apart’ — stencilled every 14 metres in the busiest shopping areas. There are also a number of signs attached to signposts and lampposts. Most of them have the same message — ‘Keep your distance’ followed by ‘Maintain social distance’ — which is hoped will remind people to keep a two metre distance from others where possible.
FACE COVERINGS ON FLOATING BRIDGE – Face coverings are compulsory for foot passengers using Cowes floating bridge from Monday 15 June to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The government announced last week that people must wear face coverings on public transport from 15 June, when non-essential shops are likely to reopen. The rules apply to all modes of public transport, including the floating bridge. The IW Council said very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties would be exempt in line with the latest government advice.
Foot passengers will be required to wear a face covering whether they are inside the passenger lounge or in the external upstairs area. Vehicle drivers and passengers do not need to wear them, providing they stay in their vehicles with the windows closed. Measures, similar to those installed in Newport town centre, will shortly be put in place in Medina Road, Cowes, and Castle Street, East Cowes, to help passengers adhere to social distancing guidelines.
RESTRICTIONS TO BE EASED AT HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES – Islanders are able to take more items to the tip for recycling — but trips must still be essential. As part of the gradual re-opening of the Lynnbottom and Afton Marsh household waste recycling centres (HWRCs), the IW Council is easing restrictions on the types of waste residents can take. Vans, trailers and pickup trucks will also be admitted on site with the appropriate permits. The temporary 30mph speed limit will remain in force. HWRCs will accept all the usual items except general ‘black bag’ waste — nappies, sanitary waste and cigarette butts etc — which people should continue to put out as part of their kerbside collection. In order to maintain effective social distancing measures, to protect staff and visitors, entry to recycling centres is by pre-booked appointment only. To book a slot, visit www.iwight.com/hwrcbooking
COWES’ VE DAY COMMEMORATIONS MAKE RUSSIAN TELEVISION – Mayor of Cowes, Cllr Lora Peacey Wilcox commemorated the VE Day 75th anniversary during the coronavirus lockdown from her front garden. Russian journalists have created a film of commemorations featuring our Mayor. To view the short footage: https://www.vesti.ru/videos?vid=838476
THE ISLAND MARKS VE DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY FROM HOME – Community Groups from across the Island have come together, remotely, to put together a film celebrating, and commemorating, the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday May 8th, including contributions from the Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Archdeacon and President of the Island’s Royal British Legion, as well as previously unseen footage of earlier celebrations and local memories. Film available at https://youtu.be/ymO2qzbAnC4
100% BUSINESS RATE RELIEF FOR MANY ISLAND BUSINESSES – Island business ratepayers in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, are being sent revised bills taking account of the government’s 100 per cent expanded retail discount scheme. It means that most occupied businesses in these sectors will not have to pay any rates for 12 months under the scheme, as part of the government’s package of measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The discount scheme is separate from the grant funding that many businesses will have received, which has been restricted to properties below certain rateable values. Under the discount scheme, the total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 is 100 per cent of their bill, after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs have been applied. Any businesses with queries about their revised bill are asked to email email@example.com
Details of the full package of government measures can be found on the government’s website at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/ and via the council’s website at www.iow.gov.uk/covid19_businessadvice Any businesses with questions about the government package of measures are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
CORONAVIRUS TEST CENTRE – The Isle of Wight’s permanent coronavirus testing facility is available 6 days a week Monday to Saturday, 9am to 2.30pm. It will be staffed by the nhs.uk. Call 03333 218865 to make an appointment for a test. Please do not turn up and expect to get a test. Staff may not be able to test you and you may have a wasted journey. Please note – testing should be performed within 5 days of symptoms developing as more likely to be effective.
Current eligibility criteria:
✅all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms
✅anyone over 65 with symptoms
✅anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
✅anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above.
As well as testing on the Island, a limited number of postal tests are available per day. This is part of a new central government testing initiative. If you would like to request one, please apply online. Isle of Wight NHS Trust
NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL SUPPORT HARD-HIT ISLAND FAMILIES – The IW Council has teamed up with the Getaway Foundation to support hard-hit families struggling in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The foundation was set up earlier this year to help families in poverty by providing holidays to help create happy memories. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19, it has provided grants and donations for vital school equipment to enable children to continue their learning from home during the crisis. Working with the council’s children’s services team, the foundation has assisted two special schools on the Island with Samsung tablets, cases and vouchers, and has pledged to support more schools in the days and weeks to come. For more information on the foundation, visit www.thegetawayfoundation.com
IW COUNCIL COMMUNITY ESSENTIAL SHOPPING AND DELIVERY FUND – Charities and voluntary groups leading the fightback against coronavirus (Covid-19) can now access two financial support funds launched by the IW Council. The Third Sector Lifeline (TSL) and the Community Essential Shopping and Delivery (CESD) funds have been set up to get money out to where it’s needed as quickly as possible. The TSL fund offers loans of up to £30,000 to help not-for-profit organisations and community interest companies ‘bridge the gap’ while they wait for government funding through schemes such as furlough.
The fund also offers grant aid to help towards operating costs incurred by charities working on the Covid-19 frontline. Through the new CESD fund, the IW Council aims to support the army of volunteers delivering essential shopping and medical supplies to vulnerable Islanders. This fund of up to £5,000 is being made available to community groups in the form of loans and grants to enable them to support residents by advancing monies to pay for and deliver essential shopping. Residents will be expected to repay the costs of the shopping to the community group. For more information about the funds, including eligibility and how to apply, visit www.iow.gov.uk/covid_19communityfunding
CORONAVIRUS WEBPAGE – The IW Council has a dedicated webpage which will be updated regularly relating to the Coronavirus: https://www.iowcoronavirus.co.uk/
HELPLINE NUMBER – A helpline number is now available to support the Island’s most vulnerable residents affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) self-isolation measures. People who do not have a local network of friends or family to support them while they are self-isolating or social distancing can call (01983) 823600 (seven days a week, 9am-5pm).
Find out more at https://www.iow.gov.uk/news/New-helpline-to-support-those-at-risk
COMMONWEALTH DAY – Held annually on the second Monday in March. We commemorated this year’s event on Monday 9th March at Francki Place, Cowes. The Affirmation was read out by Town Mayor, Councillor Lora Peacey Wilcox, before the raising of the Commonwealth Flag.
PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDERS CONSULTATION (PSPO) – COMMUNITY DROP-IN SESSION – Plans to update dog and alcohol controls across the Island are out to consultation from Wednesday 19 February. New legislation means the Isle of Wight Council and police officers will be gaining new powers to control antisocial behaviour – such as drinking alcohol in public – and dog fouling. Please take part in the survey to give your views: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/IWPSPO
Light Up A Life Christmas Carol Service – Our annual Carol Service in aid of Mountbatten Isle of Wight was held on Thursday 5th December 2019 in Cowes Methodist Church. Mayor of Cowes, Cllr Lora Peacey Wilcox, presented a cheque on behalf of the people of Cowes to Rebecca McGregor, Managing Director of Mountbatten Isle of Wight.
Remembrance Sunday – A large crowd attended at the War Memorial in Northwood Park on Sunday 10 November 2019. The service was led by Reverend Andrew Poppe in front of the War Memorial. A service of remembrance followed in St Mary’s Church before the Parade marched to Cowes Parade where they saluted the Mayor of Cowes.
FESTIVE LIGHTING SWITCH ON EVENT – Shirley Robertson OBE, double Olympic gold medallist, speaker and broadcaster switched on of the town’s Festive Lighting on Thursday 28th November 2019.
BREXIT UPDATE – The IW Council has set up a webpage for residents: https://www.iow.gov.uk/Council/OtherServices/Brexit/Brexit
FREE SUMMER SKATEBOARD SESSIONS AT NORTHWOOD RECREATION GROUND – The Town Council was again delighted to fund summer skateboard sessions at the Skate Park, Northwood Recreation Ground, Park Road, Cowes by John Cattle’s Skate Club on Tuesdays throughout the school summer holidays.
THE BIG LUNCH 2019 – The Town Council was pleased to support The Big Lunch 2019 held at Northwood House and Park on Sunday 3rd June. The lovely weather brought a large number of visitors to the event with their picnic lunches. It was great to see so many people enjoying the entertainment and activities on offer. Councillors and the Clerks were on hand throughout the event to answer any questions from members of the public.
WATCH HOUSE SHELTER RE-OPENS – The Watch House Shelter, Cowes, has been restored and reopened to the public. The restoration was jointly funded by the Isle of Wight Council and Cowes Town Council, working in partnership with local firm Trevor Jones Contracting who offered to repair and refurbish the site at cost price to save the much-loved landmark. The Town Council are delighted that this historic structure has been restored for the benefit of the residents and visitors to Cowes.
Photo shows Gowan Ruler (Trevor Jones Contracting); Mayor of Cowes, Cllr Lora Peacey Wilcox; and Mark Pitfield (Trevor Jones Contracting).
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL ON THURSDAY 9th MAY 2019, COUNCILLOR LORA PEACEY WILCOX WAS ELECTED TOWN MAYOR AND COUNCILLOR PAUL BERTIE AS DEPUTY MAYOR.
SCAM ALERT – For details on all current scams, click here.
SPRING CLEAN AT NORTHWOOD RECREATION GROUND – The Town Council’s Great British Spring Clean event took place on Wednesday 3 April at Northwood Recreation Ground. It was a bright sunny day and the Recreation Ground looked very tidy with freshly cut grass and hedges. We would like to say a big thank you and well done to those who volunteered their time to litter pick the Recreation Ground.
ASIAN HORNETS – There is currently considerable concern about the predatory Asian Hornets arriving from the continent. Please use the Asian Hornet Watch app on your phone to send a picture and a location via GPS in the app straight to the non-native species secretariat and National Bee Unit. If you cannot download the Asian Hornet Watch app, please use this online recording form. As a last resort, please send a picture and email with details of where you saw the Asian hornet with your contact details to: email@example.com. Further details are available here.
New Co-option to Cowes West Ward – Stephen Reynolds has been co-opted to the vacancy for the Cowes West Ward. We welcome Councillor Reynolds to Cowes Town Council.
Light Up A Life Christmas Carol Service – Our annual Carol Service in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice took place on Thursday 6th December in Cowes Methodist Church, Birmingham Road, Cowes. The evening saw a packed audience who were in fine voice. Mayor of Cowes, Councillor Paul Fuller, presented a donation to Mr Michael Edmunds, Finance Director of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, on behalf of the Town Council and residents of Cowes.
Festive Lighting Switching On Ceremony – The town’s Festive Lighting Switching On Ceremony took place on Saturday 17th November. The lights run from Birmingham Road, through the High Street and Bath Road to the Parade. This year we were delighted to welcome ‘Queen Victoria’ as our VIP to turn the lights on. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this event happen, especially our ‘Queen Victoria’ – Susan O’Halloran, Mr Board for providing the beautiful Rolls Royce which transported our VIP through the town, and also to Cowes Carnival for bringing their very festive float into the town, along with Christmas music and Santa’s elves! Thank you everyone!
Remembrance Sunday 2018 – Remembrance Sunday marked the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War. A large crowd attended at the War Memorial in Northwood Park. 147 members of the public were invited by Reverend Andrew Poppe to be part of the service and place 147 wooden crosses in front of the War Memorial to represent the lives lost from Cowes in the First World War. Thank you to all those who took part. A service of remembrance followed in St Mary’s Church before the Parade marched to Cowes Parade where they saluted the Mayor of Cowes.
Could you save money on your energy bills? – The Footprint Trust provides residents with free home visits, where tailored guidance will be given on how to reduce energy bills, switch supplier and get discounts on water charges, plus help available from other charities and government bodies. Telephone 01983 822282 to book a home visit.
Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP)
The IOW Trading Standards Service has joined forces with the Police, Fire and Rescue, Age Friendly Island and Citizens Advice Bureau to form a partnership called IWASP. IWASP is an acronym for Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership. Under the Charter all of these organisations will work together to better protect people on the Isle of Wight from scams, doorstep crime and fraud and to support victims. IWASP doesn’t intend to stop there though, we hope to increase our partnership providing on-going support and information from a wide range of organisations and agencies. Cowes Town Council has pledged to support the Charter. Further details are available here.
Royal Mail target Scam mail – Royal Mail is committed to protecting its customers from scam mail. Scam mail includes letters that are designed to trick people out of money or other valuables, and can include bogus competitions and fake prize draws. If you are targeted by, or know someone is in receipt of scam mail please contact Royal Mail by:
Further details are available on the Royal Mail website.
Merchant Navy Day – 3 September 2018
Cowes Town Council was delighted to support Merchant Navy Day on 3 September and flew the Red Ensign at Francki Place, Cowes.
Further details are available here.
The Mayor and representatives from Cowes Town Council attended a service to commemorate the start of WW1 at the War Memorial, Northwood Park on Saturday 4 August 2018.
Reverend Poppe delivered the service followed by a Town Council wreath being laid at the War Memorial.
A crowd of well-wishers, including our own Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, welcomed Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to Cowes this lunchtime (24 July) to name the latest addition to the Red Jet fleet, “Red Jet 7”. The official naming ceremony took place on Trinity Landing. Pupils from local primary schools welcomed the Duchess of Cornwall to a very warm and sunny Cowes.
Age Friendly Island Charter
Cowes Town Council is working in partnership with Age Friendly Island and commits themselves to ensuring the Town has an Age Friendly Champion. Further details on the Age Friendly Island Charter are available here.
The Town Council was pleased to support Commonwealth Day by flying the Commonwealth Flag at our flagpole in Francki Place, Cowes from 12 – 13 March.
THE CUT MURAL
A very big thank you to students from Cowes Primary and Gurnard Primary Schools who have shared their ideas for brightening up (and updating!) the mural in The Cut.
Because there were so many fantastic suggestions being made, it was very difficult to shortlist the 22 pictures received. We managed to shortlist 3 entries and the Town Council would like to incorporate the very best aspects of all of the pictures into the final design to be worked up with our local artists.
The 2017 carol service, in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, took place on Thursday 7th December at Cowes Methodist Church, Birmingham Road. Pictured is Councillor Paul Fuller, Mayor of Cowes Town Council, presenting a donation to Mike Edmonds, Director of Finance for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight.
FESTIVE LIGHTING 2017
The town’s festive lights were switched on by Mr Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL on Saturday, 18th November, in Cowes High Street. There was a great turnout to see the lights turned on. We would like to say a special thank you to Alan and his wife Alison, and to everyone who attended.
SEVEN DAY ACCESS TO GP SURGERY APPOINTMENTS – For more details, please click here.
The Town Council have extended the static gym equipment sited at Northwood Recreation Ground. Six pieces of mobile gym equipment, which have been selected to give users the opportunity to exercise different parts of the body, have been added to the existing outdoor gym. The gym is already proving to be a very popular addition to this well-used recreational area. We hope members of the public will enjoy using the new equipment.
Former Mayor of Cowes, Mr Geoff Banks, performed the official opening of the Shelter on Saturday 1 July 2017 in front of a small crowd of Councillors, guests and members of the public.
The Isle of Wight Council have set up an email address specifically for residents’ queries/comments on the floating bridge, along with a web page which contains FAQs. Further information will be added to this page when available.
The web page address is: https://www.iwight.com/Council/OtherServices/Cowes-Floating-Bridge/Floating-Bridge-Number-6
The email address is: Floating.Bridge@IOW.gov.uk
Islanders recycled 40 per cent more natural Christmas trees in 2017 compared to 2016. In 2017, 2174 bookings were made to collect trees; which are then sent for composting, compared with 1530 bookings last year. This year’s Christmas stars on the Christmas tree recycling league were Cowes, with residents in the town making 428 bookings. Ryde were second with 309 and Newport third with 284. Each of the towns significantly increased the amount of trees recycled compared to 2016, with Cowes residents almost doubling the amount of bookings made. Well done Cowes!
Newsletter – a quarterly newsletter written by the Mayor is delivered to each household in Cowes, please contact the Town Council office if you do not receive a copy.
To view the Summer 2020 newsletter please Click here
To view the Autumn 2019 newsletter please Click here
To view the Spring 2019 newsletter please Click here
To view the Autumn 2018 newsletter please Click here
To view the Spring 2018 newsletter please Click here
To view the Autumn 2017 newsletter please Click here
To view the Winter 2017 newsletter please Click here
To view the Autumn 2016 newsletter please Click here
To view the Spring 2016 newsletter please Click here
To view the Winter 2016 newsletter please Click here
To view the Autumn 2015 newsletter please Click here
To view the Summer 2015 newsletter please Click here
To view the Spring 2015 newsletter please Click here
To view the Winter 2014 newsletter please click here
To view the Autumn newsletter 2014 please Click here
To view the Summer newsletter 2014 please click here
To view the Spring newsletter 2014 please click here
To view the Winter newsletter 2013 please click here
To view the September 2013 newsletter please click here