|Thursday October 30th
This is early warning of a date for your diary. Are you interested in future plans for our local schools, our roads – especially the B3073 Hurn Road-Fairmile Road, our town centre?
CBC will be giving a presentation followed by a question and answer session highlighting plans for the next 10 years. Your local Councillors will also be present.
7.30pm in The Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive – see you there
The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014
This new legislation comes into effect on 20th October 2014. The overall intention of the Act is to put victims of crime first and to involve victims in deciding what action should be taken against offenders involved in anti-social behaviour.
New powers for District and Borough Councils, as well as the Police, are introduced by way of the Act. Many of these powers overlap with Nuisance and Licensing laws, whilst other parts replace existing Dog Control Orders and Alcohol Orders.
The Act clearly lays down new obligations on Councils to take action against anti-social behaviour and in some cases empowers Councils where the Police have no powers.
The defined legal test for “Anti-social behaviour” is that it must be “persistent, harmful or potentially harmful to an individual or a community”. This will affect CBC’s response to noise complaints, irresponsible dog owners, planning enforcement, and the management of open spaces. If a victim is not satisfied with an authorities’ responses to complaints, they may request a review of any action taken (or not taken).
Implementation of this legislation will require considerable cooperation and joint working between our Council and the Police. It will also have some impact upon Council resources. We will be talking to CBC about all this and will report back in due course.
A number of members contacted us to indicate that they were not happy with the way local litter bins were being allowed to overflow or the way dog mess was being disposed of. We contacted other local Resident Associations and discovered people right across Christchurch have been making similar comments.
So through our joint body ACRA we contacted Councillor Margaret Phipps and she spoke to Dorset Waste Partnership. Here’s their response:
Thank you for drawing to our attention your particular areas of concern in Christchurch. We have asked the cleansing crews to pay attention to the sites you mentioned to ensure we have the appropriate frequency of emptying - it is always helpful to us to know when bins are overflowing regularly if this is not already being picked up by the crews. In the meantime we can reassure you that we are continuing to collect from existing dog bins and litter bins, and we advise the public that they can use general litter bins to dispose of dog waste.
In 2010 the Keep Britain Tidy campaign ran a campaign called Any Bin Will Do highlighting the fact that dog waste bins can sometimes be counterproductive as people do not realise they can place this waste in a normal litter bin. Using larger litter bins with mixed waste can help avoid a concentration of dog waste. Specific dog bins are often small and tend to be misused with people depositing litter but also on occasions with children taking the contents out, which we concur is not desirable.
We agree with your concerns about dog owners leaving dog waste on the ground or in trees. The primary message with dog waste is that responsible owners should clean up after their dog and take the dog waste home and place in their residual waste for collection. Where this is not practical then they should collect and bag the waste and place in a litter bin, which the vast majority of our residents do.
We are about to launch a consultation on street cleansing/litter bins which will be used to decide future service delivery and specifically the issue around litter and dog bins. We would actively encourage residents to respond to this as the results will provide us with an opportunity to consider the appropriate type, number, size and location of bins. Subject to the results of our consultation we will be aiming to achieve a better balance of costs and service. Any change in service delivery that occurs from this will be widely communicated to raise awareness and understanding.
As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know.
CBC is planning to undertake a beach repair scheme of approximately 20,000 cubic meters of material sourced from the natural sedimentation found off the northern tip of Mudeford Sandbank during February 2015.
This material will be spread above the high water mark from Gundimore as far as Friars Cliff to restore levels to what they were before the series of severe storms last winter which drastically lowered our first line of coastal defence.
Let’s hope there’s not a storm blowing at the time.
On the website www.wcresidents.co.uk if you look under “latest updates – 2014” you’ll find a link to the latest Christchurch Harbour Flood Protection scheme.
Britain in Bloom
We discovered that CBC had not entered the Britain in Bloom Competition this year and wondered why. So we and Councillor Colin Bungey asked them, and here’s their reply:
The competition criteria have changed significantly since CBC first entered, and the emphasis is now as much on environmental issues and community involvement as it is about floral displays. The most successful towns these days are those where an independent community group lead the entry, raise funds and carry out the planting and environmental initiatives themselves. We have a good example of this in our partnership town of Wimborne where the District Council has never had involvement in the competition entry which is planned and delivered entirely by volunteers.
In Christchurch, the entry has always been led by CBC with volunteer groups being invited to participate and this was a successful, but resource- consuming, formula for many years. Whilst we have had many willing volunteers happy to contribute in the past, none of them have ever been willing to take on the organisation of the entry. Next year, with our new Community and Open Spaces team in place, if there is sufficient commitment from within the community, it is our intention to recruit and support a community committee to lead an entry.
During 2014 the Borough will continued to provide high quality floral bedding, hanging baskets, flower towers, wildflower meadows and nature conservation areas. If you look around the Borough now, we can see classic examples at Fountain Roundabout, Stoney Lane, the Runway and places like that.
The Friends of Christchurch Railway Station (FCS)
However, under the chairmanship of local Councillor Fred Neale, FCS did enter Britain in Bloom this year, the only group in Christchurch to do so. Contrary to popular belief, FCS is not funded by either us the Council Tax Payers, or by passengers on South West Trains. They raise all their own funds through the work of a dedicated team of volunteers.
FCS volunteers have been working hard for over eight years now to improve and enhance the "Gateway" to our historic Borough. Each year they have won numerous awards for the floral displays and for the fund raising events that have been held at the Station.
The Judges visited our station last month and gave a very favourable response. The results of the competition will not be known until the end of October.
Unfortunately they have lost some good volunteers due to personal circumstances, so currently are only working with a friendly but rather small group. If you know of anyone who would like to get involved, for just an hour or two a week at a time to suit themselves, either maintaining floral displays or on fund raising events, FCS would be most grateful to hear from them.
Initial contact should be to Councillor Fred Neale on 07901 773276 (voice or text), or email at email@example.com with FCS VOLUNTEERING in the subject line.
New Car Park Capacity Signs
There is yet hope that these will soon display useful information!
The new car park capacity signs in the borough were installed by DCC and funded by central government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The stated purpose of the signs is to direct drivers to car parks that have spare capacity and thereby reduce the number of vehicle movements created by drivers searching for available parking spaces.
DCC officers have acknowledged that there have been some equipment failures which have taken longer than they hoped to identify and repair. This work is currently in progress. DCC have also agreed that some car parks may require additional vehicle detector loops to improve car counting accuracy and this work is currently being planned.
CBC have recently completed the connection of the their CCTV system to DCC's traffic management control centre, so our CCTV images are now being used by DCC to monitor the number of empty parking spaces to improve the accuracy of information on their signs. To assist DCC, the local Car Parking team are also monitoring the signs and informing DCC if the information on the signs is incorrect.
So, fingers crossed for an improved service
Review of joint CBC-EDDC Progress
A recent report to Councillors highlighted progress made by the CBC-EDDC joint administration in a number of areas. This was mainly good news and we were particularly pleased to see:
Significantly improved levels of recycling
Real cost savings from the CBC-EDDC shared service review (they are forecast to exceed the original targets)
The CBC-EDDC shared service timetable is due to be completed 12 months ahead of the original schedule
That the implementation of the first 2 phases of the Superfast Broadband project has commenced
Hello to New Readers
Welcome to new readers who are joining us all the time, particularly as our collectors go around collecting subscriptions.
The Newsletter is backed up by the website www.wcresidents.co.uk where you will find greater background detail on many of these topics – each month you should look under “latest updates – 2014”to see what has changed.
We’re a little earlier than usual this month as no Newsletter was produced in August when the holiday season was in full swing. October will see us back to the middle of the month.