Restorative Justice; Hospitals; Alabama Rot; and much more

February 2014

Invitations to Meetings

We have a public meeting on Thursday 27th February. Come and hear a member of the hospital management talk about that Quality Control Commission negative report. Then the man responsible for our roads and mending potholes will give you the inside track on his job. Local ward councillors will also be there to answer questions. It’s in The Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive, at 7.30pm with tea and coffee to follow.

You are invited to attend the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Engagement Forum, on Wednesday 12th March, between 10.00-12.00am, at Stanpit Village Hall, 162 Stanpit, Christchurch, BH23 3NE. Refreshments will be served from 9.30.

Friends of St Catherine’s Hill have an open meeting on Wednesday 26th February at 7.45pm in the Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive

Trees Felled In Druitt Gardens

A number of residents have been in touch expressing anger at the unwarranted felling of the trees in Druitt Gardens. We have been in touch with CBC and they said:

We are currently being inundated with similar enquiries from a great many people all along similar lines and to be honest we do not have the capacity to answer them all individually at the moment.

Councillors have instigated a Scrutiny Committee investigation into the whole process of dealing with the applications on the site (which started in 2007) up to and including the felling of the trees.

We are currently compiling a very thorough report to examine all of the issues and associated questions. This will be a published report and will be discussed by the Audit and Scrutiny Committee. If you could bear with me on this, the questions you have raised will be covered in the report where you will get the full picture – it’s difficult to answer some of the questions without explaining the full and quite complicated context.

So watch this space – the report is due out early March

The Restorative Justice Process in Action

As many of you will be aware there has recently been a spate of graffiti appearing in West Christchurch. Due to the vigilance of walkers two culprits were spotted spraying graffiti on to the reservoirs on St Catherine’s Hill. A member of the public immediately contacted the police who managed to catch these youths in the act.

This was a first offence for both offenders who have since gone through the restorative justice process, which involves a conference attended by the offenders, their parent or guardian and anyone who feels they have been affected by the damage caused through the graffiti in the area. As local ward councillor for the area affected Sue Spittle was invited to attend and speak on the night, when the offenders had to explain to everyone present why they sprayed graffiti, and apologise for their actions. She reports on the affair as follows:

The three police officers there were certainly frank with the offenders, warning them that should it happen again their punishment would be more drastic and the consequences to their future of having a criminal record. This clearly shocked the offenders who left the room far more subdued than when they arrived.
Their punishment was to clean off all the graffiti for which they are responsible under the supervision of a police officer, and hopefully they will have learnt their lesson and become more responsible members of the community.

This result is all due to someone’s vigilance on the day to whom we are all extremely grateful. Should anyone see a crime being performed please contact the police on your mobile so they can arrive and deal with the culprits in situ. This is far better than tackling them and run a risk of either the culprits reacting in some way by running off or worse.

Should you feel affected by any serious damage to property such as graffiti and would like to attend a restorative justice conference in future please contact either me or our local PCSO David Thompson. Hopefully this may not be necessary as any potential graffiti artists will realise they may get caught by residents who do not like their area being defaced.

Quality Care for Patients in our Hospitals
Following the critical report issued by the Care Quality Commission, Richard Renaut of the Trust Management will address our meeting on Thursday 27th February at 7.30pm. In addition, Tony Spotswood, Chief Executive of the Trust, will address a special meeting we have organised at The Hall on the Hill on Wednesday 9th April at 8.00pm

Also, every week you will be able to find out what The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is doing to improve quality of care for patients.  A weekly quality bulletin will be published on the Trust’s website detailing the actions and key improvements being made to improve the patient experience. The bulletin is entitled ‘Our weekly quality update’ and can be found on the homepage of the website under the ‘Providing quality care’ section.

The improvements form part of the detailed action plan submitted to the Care Quality Commission earlier this month, showing how the Trust will meet four essential standards. These cover assessing and meeting patient needs, dignity and respect, improving quality and increasing staffing numbers.

We have also arranged to receive progress reports on the work being done in the rebuilding of Christchurch Hospital. The first one has been posted to the website and click on latest updates.

Local Dog dies from Alabama Rot caught on St Catherine’s Hill

A five-year-old flat coated retriever – who was only ever walked at St Catherine’s Hill – has been put to sleep after suffering acute kidney failure. Her death is feared to be the latest case of Alabama Rot, the condition which has been linked to the deaths of several dogs in the New Forest since December 2012. Dog owners should watch for sores on the dog’s legs, feet or face and if there are any they should consult a vet straight away. More detail at and click on latest updates.

Those Supermarkets
CBC Planning Committee turned down Morrisons yet again (they may yet appeal) but gave the green light to the Co-Op in Fairmile Road. Local ward councillors Colin Bungey and Fred Neale both spoke against the Co-Op as did we.
We discovered that the only real way that the Co-Op could have been stopped would have been for CBC to issue what’s called “an article 4 direction” so we asked them to explain this piece of jargon. Here’s a summary of what they said:
Central Government Guidance sets out that CBC should consider making article 4 directions only in exceptional circumstances and should consider whether the proposed change of use would, amongst other things: have a direct and significant adverse effect on a flood risk area; undermine the visual amenity of the area or damage the historic environment; undermine local objectives to create or maintain mixed communities. It is the Councils view that the change of use of 202 Fairmile, from a pub to a convenience store, does not meet any of those criteria.

Pokesdown Station

Here’s your chance to assist a sister Residents Association. Pokesdown Station is completely inaccessible to young mothers with prams and the disabled. This sort of discrimination has to be highlighted and fought against. Please take a couple of moments to sign their online petition to make Pokesdown Station accessible for all:
Many thanks
The Dorset Waste Partnership
Is DWP value for money? By making some simple calculations we estimate that the CBC revenue savings to date from being part of the DWP are: £116k in 2011/12; £52k in 2012/13; £69k in 2013/14 (strictly speaking still an anticipated saving).

On top of these revenue savings there were capital savings from reduced costs for vehicle replacement. These were £135k in 2011/12 and £66k in 2012/13.
In addition the recycling rate has doubled to over 60%. WCRA was instrumental in the creation of DWP and we can be rightly pleased with this result: our thanks to CBC and Councillor Margaret Phipps for helping us with the figures.

DWP are conducting a customer survey. Please take a few minutes to complete their online survey. If you include your contact details DWP will enter you into a draw for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD!

Navitus Bay Wind Farm

In case you missed it in the local media, NBDL have announced some changes to their proposal prior to submission of their planning application in the spring.
  • The capacity of the wind farm has been reduced by 12% - mainly by reducing the number of turbines.
  • The area taken up has reduced by the same amount - primarily by cutting off the northern tip of the development area.
  • The distance to the closest turbines has not changed for Swanage and Durlston, but it has been increased by up to 2.6 miles at Milford-on-Sea for example.
The potential effect upon the environment, tourism, birds and navigation remain almost unchanged. The onshore disruption will be the same as before. It doesn't appear that these changes will radically affect matters but the reduction in capacity must have some effect upon financial viability should that ever become an issue. We continue to believe that this decision will be taken Whitehall irrespective of local views.
Flooding at River Way
The flats in Conifer Close off River Way have been flooded by The Stour. Local residents are not happy with what they perceive as a lack of support from both CBC and Chris Chope MP.  Our MP has twice been asked to visit the site but has yet to put in an appearance. Residents have been obliged to pay CBC to provide sandbags. Following statements made by the Prime Minister about Central Government funds for Local Councillors, ward councillor Sue Spittle is actively trying to get something done about this.
Have your say on the CBC Budget
CBC is consulting on their proposed expenditure in 2014/15 which includes raising Council Tax by 1.95%. You can give your views by clicking on the following link before 21st February:,consultation,11827,663.00.htm

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

Martyn Underhill has published his Police and Crime Plan. If you want to read it you can click on and then on latest updates. It’s very readable.  Amongst many other things he is aiming for: a reduction in recorded crime; fewer victims of serious crime; fewer people killed or seriously injured on our roads; criminals to be deprived of their assets where appropriate.

He has undertaken to answer at least 95% of emergency calls within 10 seconds and at least 75% of non-emergency calls within 30 seconds.
In order to fund this, including the additional investment on police officer recruitment and manifesto promises, he will be increasing the policing element of Council Tax for 2013/14 by 1.95% (an increase for the year of £3.51 for a Band D property)
Come and say Hello
Don’t forget our meeting on Thursday 27th February. It’s in The Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive, at 7.30pm with tea and coffee to follow.
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