Frank James petition calls for action

By a County Press reporter

Monday, June 9, 2014


Frank James petition calls for action

Isle of Wight councillor Roger Whitby-Smith, MP Andrew Turner, Steve Goodman, and Tanja Rebel.

A PETITION calling for the owners of the former Frank James Memorial Hospital to be forced to make repairs to the building has been handed in to the Isle of Wight Council.

Within hours of the launch at the East Cowes Heritage Centre, hundreds of people had signed it.

The Friends of Frank James want a statutory repairs notice to be served on the owners of the former hospital building, which has lain empty and abandoned since being sold by the NHS to developers in 2002.

They said the council had a statutory responsibility to protect Island heritage.

In total, more than 2,500 signatures have been collected so the issue can be debated at the next full meeting of the IW Council on June 18.

The petition was handed over to Cllr Roger Whitby-Smith, the member with special responsibility for heritage.

Thanking Island MP Andrew Turner for his support, Tanja Rebel, from the friends, said: "We now hope the issue will be taken further in order that Frank James finally can be saved for generations to come."

As previously reported, the council believes a repairs notice cannot be served because the Crown still has an interest in the land.

A repairs notice cannot be served in relation to Crown land.

Urgent work was first said to be required several years ago.

The Friends of Frank James is an East Cowes-based community organisation committed to saving the building.


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by Tanja Rebel

11th June 2014, at 07:02:27

When the petition for the Frank James Memorial Hospital was handed over to Councillor Whitby-Smith last Friday, it was clearly stated that 1208 of the 2802 signatures were online. These signatures are from a reputable online petition site - 38 Degrees - and have e-mail addresses + post code, which I had been told by various sources would suffice. Deem therefore my surprise when I was told that the signatures online do not count as they do not contain "real" signatures...

The online signatures had all been printed out by our champion Josh Aitken who – together with a number of dedicated Friends of Frank James – has spent a lot of time and energy as well as money (paper and printing costs) to make this hand-over come true. The people who have signed online come from all over the country, several of whom are from Heritage Preservation groups. Is their concern for this building now going to be discarded simply because the Isle of Wiight Council is hanging on to a Stone Age Con

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by Steven Goodman

10th June 2014, at 08:16:09

Tony & George; thank you.

Colin; no, they can't - the building, & the garden wall, are both Listed, Grade II. English Heritage are seriously concerned, and have now offered to stage their much acclaimed ‘Stopping the Rot‘ presentation in partnership with the Friends of Frank James on the Isle of Wight, possibly at Osborne House; you may wish to attend & learn more.

Some people from our council might also benefit; contrary to expectation we are now told that the matter will not be discussed at a full council meeting.

The FJ Friends will continue to do what we can. The cost of eventual remedial work continues to rise, as does the demand for housing.

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by Colin Barton

9th June 2014, at 21:22:38

Surely the council can bulldoze it after all these years after the sale to developers?

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by Den Young

9th June 2014, at 21:03:11

is there a bandwagon about I see our MP is on it

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by Tony Tiltman Jnr

9th June 2014, at 12:48:05

Does'nt sound very good for the Friends, but good luck to them all for their sterling efforts.

PS Who's that in the background?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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