|Our Local Health Services
There is to be a public consultation regarding clinical services in Dorset. Tony Spotswood, the Chief Executive of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, sets the scene for us:
The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group will formally consult on far reaching changes to in-hospital and out-of-hospital care for people in Dorset and the New Forest. The intention is that consultation will commence on Monday 17th August and run for a period of three months so that decisions on which options to implement can be made by March 2016.
There are five reasons why this work has been initiated: the need to respond to the health needs of a growing elderly population; problems for some patients in accessing care; the need to strengthen the provision of acute hospital services so they are available all day, every day, with many services provided directly by consultant medical staff; the shortage of some healthcare staff which means it is not possible to replicate a full range of acute services on all three main hospital sites in Dorset; the growing financial challenge which will result in a Dorset-wide deficit of around £200m by 2021 if changes aren’t made to the current methods of working
The centrepiece of proposals for in-hospital provision is a radical reorganisation of services. A major emergency hospital for Dorset is to be created at either the Royal Bournemouth or Poole hospital sites. This will offer a range of 24/7 consultant delivered care including: accident and emergency services; acute cardiac and stroke services; emergency surgery; and acute medical admissions. The most complex elective procedures will also be undertaken at the emergency site.
For more information, please click on this link http://www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk/
In his latest Newsletter Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill announces a strategic alliance between the police forces of Dorset and Devon and Cornwall. Martyn Underhill describes this as “the biggest decision in my term of office”. You can read all about it, along with other initiatives at: http://www.dorset.pcc.police.uk/news-andblog/newsletters/
We are scheduled to meet Martyn in July – if you have any questions for him, let us know.
Action Fraud has seen an increase in the number of small and medium sized businesses being contacted by fake bailiffs requesting payments for a phantom debt.
The scam involves the business being cold called from someone purporting they are bailiffs working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The caller will then request payment by means of bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed.
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
- Confirm what the debt is regarding; bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders. Bailiffs are not used to recover private debts which are collected by debt collectors. Debt collectors do not have the same legal powers as bailiffs and will not have special court authorisation to act. For more details regarding this, please look at the Citizens Advice website.
- Double check with the Court or originating company to confirm whether the suspects are legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the suspects could still be on the line.
- Request details of the debt in writing.
- Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call.
Dorset Waste Partnership
We are informed by a resident that along with all its other problems – such as acting illegally – DWP managed to purchase a number of refuse carts that are so large that they can't operate on many of Dorset's rural roads and indeed on some of the side streets in our towns. Really, you couldn’t make it up!
Christchurch Home Watch Association
Their 2015 AGM will be held on Tuesday 23rd June, in the Council Chamber, Bridge Street, 10.00 - 12.00hrs. They are expecting representatives from Dorset Police and CBC to attend. You are invited to attend, to express your opinions and ask questions, not just about Home Watch but on anything related to Policing, Crime Prevention and Community Safety in general.
The Proposed School in Marsh Lane
If this proposed development is of direct concern to you, we have an important date for your diary. There will be a Public Information Drop-in Event in the Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive on Friday 3rd July from 3.30pm until 7pm
We asked Councillor Margaret Phipps to give some background:
You may be aware that a new primary school is proposed on Bournemouth Water’s Land to the rear of Marsh Lane, to provide additional local school places. Many questions about the school, traffic and alternative sites have already been raised by residents and both I and WCRA have been answering as many of them as we can.
You will now have the opportunity to come along to the above Information Event to view plans of the proposals and ask any questions you want of Dorset County Council Officers, who will be present. I will also be there to hear what you have to say, so If you are interested in these proposals for new school provision, please do come along.
DCC have finally produced the list of sites considered and rejected in favour of Marsh Lane. To see it go to www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest changes”
Last month we published an e-mail from a resident who lives close to the proposed site and is in favour of the school. That provoked some responses of which the following are representative:
Thank you for the excellent job that WCRA does in keeping us all informed. However, I must raise concerns that the last two newsletters have suggested that the new school for West Christchurch seems inevitable at the Marsh Lane site. The public consultation phase has not even begun and there are many factors to consider for and against the site.
There are hundreds of residents in the streets around Marsh Lane that are very concerned about the traffic calming measures and congestion that the school would inevitably cause. The suggested entrance to the site is very narrow and immediately after a blind bend, where there have been previous serious accidents.
Also, it seems to have been totally overlooked that Christchurch actually HAS a new school from September 2015 - Parkfield School at Hurn. This is a huge 8 acre site with room for expansion. I have just taken a look at their website and it states that they have places in all school years available from September. Surely DCC should be looking at maximising availability there before spending millions on another school with ongoing costs?
I make these points as I feel WCRA needs to take a more balanced view that represents all of its members and not just those backing a new school at Marsh Lane, as there are many that do not think the site suitable.
Thank you for the update on the above matter. I think that whilst numerous residents agree that a new school is needed in Christchurch, the proposed location of the school will divide many of its residents. I would like to express a few concerns with regards to the use of the land east of Marsh Lane.
Firstly, I am very surprised this land is even being considered in view of the fact that a housing development was successfully opposed a couple of years ago. At the time, the local councillors raised concerns about the level of extra traffic this would generate around the Fairmile area, which is already gridlocked at rush hour time. A 400+ school will certainly have a huge impact on the traffic problem. The proposed entrance to the school is only available through a network of narrow roads and is close to a dangerous bend. Moreover, there is very little parking available in the area.
Secondly, I fear this could cause untold damage to the local flora and fauna. St Catherine's Hill and its surrounding area are an amazing asset to Christchurch and I am concerned that allowing a school to be built on this land would damage this precious and fragile environment.
Lastly, I am extremely surprised that there does not appear to be any contingency plan in place should the application for the school be turned down. There have to be other suitable locations in the area, preferably brownfield sites. I would be very interested to hear what the DCC would do if the application was turned down.
I completely understand that a new school has to be built but I remain convinced that a suitable location can be found without sacrificing the environment.
If you go to www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “council affairs/schools” you can read the paper we submitted to DCC about the local roads some time ago. We asked Councillor Margaret Phipps to investigate the Parkfield School situation. She tells us:
I had a word with the officers at DCC today, and their opinion is that Parkfield School is the wrong location for a primary school for West Christchurch. There would be no option but to travel there by car. They say it does not meet the needs of West Christchurch children in the way that the location of the Marsh Lane site would.
The idea is that many children will walk or cycle to school. To get to Parkfield at Bournemouth Airport, children would have to travel through Blackwater Junction/Hurn Roundabout/and along Parley Lane. There is no doubt they would all get taken to this location by car. In addition the Parkfield website suggests that for this year their Reception Classes are full as there is the option to go on a waiting list.
Meeting with DCC
We met with the Leader of Dorset Council, Councillor Robert Gould, to catch up with DCC efforts to cut its expenditure to an affordable level. This meeting was deliberately deferred until after the May General Election in case that election introduced a completely new political landscape that could have caused a re-evaluation of previous assumptions and plans. In the event no such reappraisal was necessary and the underlying assumption remains that Central Government will continue to squeeze Local Government much as it has over the last few years.
At the start of 2014-15 DCC needed to find savings of £9.8 million. Such savings were identified but not fully realised and there was thus excess spending during the year of nearly £3 million, which has been carried over as an additional saving to be found.
Total savings made so far by the various DCC programmes amount to £60 million per annum – a truly eye watering sum. However, the whole situation remains tight and continues to create heightened stress levels in staff at all levels. DCC sickness and absence rates continue at a level that gives rise to managerial concern and action is being taken to address the problem.
It is now inevitable that core DCC services such as Legal will now come under the managerial spotlight. For all such services management must review: what services are provided; how they are provided; whether or not they should be outsourced; and so on.
The growing level of cooperation between DCC, Bournemouth and Poole is clearly evident and the pressure from Central Government to work with the NHS appears to be increasing. Changing the culture of DCC itself is clearly a long grind and is giving rise to some headaches. Changing the culture within the NHS will be no less difficult but both changes must be brought to fruition if the overall UK deficit is to be reduced.
A full report of our meeting with DCC is at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”. We will keep you in touch with future developments.
On 21st May it was announced that Vestas on the Isle of Wight will be the preferred supplier of the turbines if this project gets the thumbs-up from Central Government. The 120+ turbines will have a diameter of over 170 meters (538 feet). Throughout the recent formal hearings the developer stated that fewer such large turbines (compared to say 190+ relatively smaller turbines) was the worst solution as far as visual impact is concerned but would be cheaper to both install and maintain.
The Examiners have now made their secret report to the Secretary of State at DECC. The Government’s decision on whether to accept or decline the Examiners’ recommendation should occur by 11th September latest. Navitus Bay has three claims to fame: it is much bigger than any existing wind farm; it is planned to use the world’s biggest wind turbine which is not yet mass-produced; of all the wind farms, it has generated by far the greatest volume of public statements of opposition.
David Cameron said on a recent visit to our region: “It’s a particularly beautiful part of the country. It’s special and it's part of our heritage.” The Conservatives also pledged to "conserve and enhance our natural environment" in their manifesto. The Government has decided that onshore wind farms must have the support of local communities. Navitus Bay surely should be treated in the same way.
Now is the time to write (not e-mail) to the PM giving your views, no matter what they may be, to: The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA
We have another twist in the ongoing saga of the supermarkets (that resembles an old Keystone Cops film – full story at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “planning” – make sure you go right back to 2012). Quantum has put the Bailey Bridge site up for sale! So with Morrison no longer interested in Stoney Lane and us lumbered with paying a large contribution towards their costs Asda have now also walked away. What next, we wonder!
Planned Improvements to Local Roads
A338 Spur Road Restructuring and Resurfacing – Blackwater Junction to Ashley Heath
Councillors Margaret Phipps and Sue Spittle have been attending DCC update meetings, and have been told that the works will commence on 6th September. Preparation works for this major job are still continuing, with some lane closures still occurring from time to time, to enable vegetation clearance and also test excavation and laying of trial areas to test road performance. Highways England is in consultation with DCC regarding traffic management layouts while the main works are taking place. Full details of the scheme will be widely advertised well before it starts
Repainting of White Line Hatching between Blackwater and Marlow Drive Roundabout
The hatching in the above area is worn away and it will be repainted in the near future.
Safety Improvements - St Catherine's Way/Marlow Drive/Hurn Road Roundabout
Over the past five years there have been a number of collisions on the roundabout, many of them involving cyclists, where drivers failing to slow down whilst manoeuvring through the junction are a major concern. The proposal is to widen the splitter islands on the approach to the roundabout to encourage drivers to slow down and give way when necessary. At the same time the pedestrian crossing will be improved. It is hoped to carry out the works over the summer and details will appear on https://www.dorsetforyou.com/travel-dorset/highway-improvements (a letter will be sent to residents in the immediate vicinity).
For more detailed information contact Cllr Phipps direct: firstname.lastname@example.org