Phil and Christine Cave, who live in Fieldfare Road, have asked for the support of their local councillor, Chris Whitehouse, to push the Isle of Wight Council properly to maintain Taylor Road, which runs alongside Carisbrooke College, and which, they say, has become a “shameful eyesore and a blight on the local community due to the failure of the council to look after it.”
On a site visit on Saturday, Mr and Mr Cave showed the councillor the piles of litter on the grass verges to Taylor Road and the rusty and peeling gate and signage. The councillor also confirmed reports from other local residents that despite previous interventions drains were still completely blocked with debris, posing a risk of repeats of flooding of local homes as has happened in the past.
Mr and Mrs Cave have said:
“We asked for Councillor Whitehouse’s help getting these issues looked at and he acted straight away contacting Council officers. But despite his approach and ours, our concerns were dismissed out of hand as ‘not a priority’ and that there was ‘no budget’ for the works.
“What was particularly galling was that Councillor Whitehouse had intended to fund the repainting of the gate and the signpost himself if the council would only obtain a quote. They couldn’t even be bothered to do that.”
Cllr Whitehouse adds:
“I receive more complaints about the mismanagement by the Isle of Wight Council of Taylor Road and its surroundings than any other issue. I’ve been complaining about it for years, but due to past mistakes by those who shall remain nameless, the road, its verges, its gate and even a whole adjoining playing field have been completely orphaned. One group of council officers told me they were part of the lease of Carisbrooke College. Another group of officers said it was part of the Island Road contract. It turned out after weeks of pressing for action that the whole site has been left out of both contracts and the council itself simply refuses to step up to its responsibilities to look after what could be a very valuable asset.
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“What was once a perfectly adequate football pitch is now derelict, unusable wasteland. The whole area is strewn with rubbish, bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood. It sets a very poor example to students at Carisbrooke College. How can we teach them to look after their local environment when the Isle of Wight Council treats the area with such contempt?”
Photographs taken on the site show the extent of the rubbish, the deterioration of the playing field, broken fences with crude graffiti, the peeling and rusty gate and signpost, and the blocked drains.
Mr and Mrs Cave added:
“Why, when we express our genuine concern about it does the Council dismiss those concerns as not a priority? How can looking after this road be a lower priority than any other side street just because the council messed up the Island Roads contract?”
The Island MP, Andrew Turner, has also expressed concern saying:
“I know Taylor Road well. It’s very surprising that it has been “orphaned” in this way. I can only wonder how many other council assets around the Island were left out of the Island Roads contract and so are left out of maintenance programmes.”