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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - October 2018

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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Transport Infrastructure
Bournemouth Airport
School Places
Police Forces Abandon Merger
Latest Scam
Artificial Intelligence
Planning the new Council
Council Tax Support Scheme

The future for Your Residents Association
What's in a name
Cadet Forces in Christchurch
WW1 Commemoration Service

When our September Newsletter was issued the roadworks on the A338 had just started and were causing chaos, not least because there was little warning so that residents were unable to make alternative plans.

After a plethora of complaints from all quarters in a letter published in the Echo Cllr Daryl Turner, the DCC cabinet member responsible said there was “a genuine commitment from all the partners to get things right for residents and businesses, and to improve the communications from this point onwards”. Fine words but just a little late in the day. This was mismanagement on the grand scale.

He continued “If we do not carry out this improvement work, then growth and jobs would be constrained, and the current road network could become a blocker to investment and prosperity in the area”. We accept that.

He went on: “Many options were considered for the traffic management and some of these, such as night time work, will be employed where appropriate as the scheme progresses”. They appear to have been considered in isolation by engineers based in Dorchester and communicated to nobody. That isn’t good enough.

Intent upon shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted, Officers and Councillors from both DCC and Bournemouth Council (BC) met to review the management of the scheme and discuss the issues surrounding it. Realistically, no matter what, we are expecting months of varying degrees of chaos with alternative routes choked by traffic avoiding the spur road.

However, following lobbying from a resident of Lapland, a month-long Christmas break has been promised. DCC and BC have said work will stop between 10 December and 6 January.

By the way, according to the National Infrastructure Commission, outside of London, our area is the 10th most congested area in the country. We come after, in order of congestion levels: Manchester; Liverpool; Birmingham; Southampton-Portsmouth; Nottingham; Leeds; Bristol; Brighton; and Leicester

A committee of Bournemouth councillors has been discussing the possibility of the new unitary authority investing in a light railway system. Those of you who have visited Tyneside will know how effective their system is.

Funding the project would be the problem though there can be little doubt that the road congestion in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole will increasingly hold back the economic development of our area.

The committee decided to conduct further investigation, including contacting Spelthorne Borough Council to find out about its plans for a light railway system around Heathrow. They will also seek help from the Local Government Association.

The door-to-door Dial-A-Bus minibus service run by the Christchurch Community Partnership uses vehicles specially adapted to help residents who find it difficult to use public transport to do their own shopping and get out for leisure. It includes a regular shopping trip to Sainsbury on Thursday from East Christchurch and on Friday from West Christchurch. To book call 01202 989 632

They are looking for volunteer drivers and buddies and hope you or someone you know may be able to help by giving a few hours a fortnight. The minibuses can be driven on a car licence, without the special D1 category and training will be given.

If you might be able to help, contact Rod Darrington on 0756-8344-273 for a chat or e-mail:

Southampton Airport has announced plans to build a bigger terminal in a bid to more than double its passenger numbers from 2 million to 5 million by 2037 and to create over 500 new jobs

Crucially, their plans also include extending the runway to accommodate larger aircraft that could fly further than those currently in use. This would mean that they could better compete with Bournemouth and offer a wider choice of routes, whilst continuing to operate within current operating hours with no scheduled night flights.

Southampton has three major advantages over Bournemouth. First, the existence of Southampton Parkway station, second its proximity to the M3 and M27 and third a bigger catchment area.

Bournemouth on the other hand already has reasonable terminal facilities and a longer runway that can accommodate large jets. Southampton appear to be about to challenge that advantage. It is concerning that past efforts to persuade airlines to use Bournemouth have not produced long term success with airlines starting routes only to scrap them after a fairly short period.

This increase competition coincides with Government plans to link Bournemouth by rail directly to Heathrow and is a development that the airport management, the new council and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership need to address.

If your child is due to start or move school in September 2019, you can now apply for their school place. If they will be going to secondary or upper school, you will need to apply by 31 October 2018.  Make sure you apply before the deadline for your best chance of getting your child a place at your preferred school. 

If your child will be starting school for the first time, or starting junior or middle school in September 2019, you will need to apply for their place by 15 January 2019.

The planned merger between Dorset, Devon and Cornwall police forces has been called off after Alison Hernandez, who represents Devon and Cornwall, said she could not support the business case for her area joining up with Dorset.

She said Devon and Cornwall Police would not benefit from a merger because council tax would have to rise to bring it in line with the level charged in Dorset.

She said all four parties involved, the PCCs and the chief constables for both police authority areas, had to be unanimous in their decision and if one of them disagreed, no business case would be submitted to the Home Office and the plan would have to be shelved.

A strategic alliance was set up in 2015 to save £12 million and, if agreed, a merger could have gone through by 2020. The situation regarding the Council Tax is hardly news, it was well known from the outset, so we wonder if this is an excuse of some description. The news leaves Dorset Police in a bit of a bind. Dorset Fire and Ambulance merged with Wiltshire some time ago.

Several people have received telephone calls from someone claiming to be a representative of HMRC who states that a payment of tax is overdue. When the resident queries this, the caller becomes irritated and threatens police involvement. This is followed by a telephone call from someone claiming to be a police officer threatening to arrest the resident.

This is a scam. If you receive such a call hang up and report it to Action Fraud. If you feel you are vulnerable, have given out personal details or have lost money please contact Dorset Police

In previous newsletters we have told you about Artificial Intelligence and the inroads it is making into our care systems. If you want to read a plain English explanation of Artificial Intelligence click here

Adult social care funding of £1.4 million has been awarded to several local authorities by NHS Digital. They have revealed three categories of funding, with the most money awarded to the councils looking to improve the flow of health information into social care.

Wolverhampton City Council is one of the six councils receiving a total of £350,000 to use a branch of Artificial Intelligence called predictive analytics for early intervention and prevention related to vulnerable adults with complex health problems.

Perhaps Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole will soon be able to participate in such ventures.

The new council’s Shadow Executive has setup five project groups (Task and Finish Groups in the jargon) to tackle various aspects of operation:

Governance to focus on the development of the new council’s Constitution.
Finance which needs to produce a balanced budget for 2019
Operations to look at systems
Senior Staff Appointments and other personnel related matters
Civic Functions. We understand that the role of the local Mayor in Bournemouth, in Christchurch and in Poole will be greatly diminished with effect from April 2019. In future, the Leader of the new Council will act as the figurehead.

Christchurch is represented on these groups either by Councillor David Flagg or by Councillor Trish Jamieson, neither of whom support Future Dorset.

A Finance Order will be laid before Parliament later in the year – current timescales anticipate that it will be laid in November and come into force at the turn of the year. This Order will cover Council Tax Harmonisation and additionally will make some amendments necessary to existing legislation to facilitate the transfer of functions to the new councils.

Subject to ratification, Graham Farrant has been appointed as the new chief executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council, joining Matt Prosser who was recently made boss of the rural Dorset unitary.

The Senior Appointments Committee recommended Graham Farrant. That will go before the full BCP Shadow Authority at its meeting on 17 October for final endorsement.

Graham Farrant is currently the chief executive of the HM Land Registry and has previously held senior roles in Thurrock Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Currently, each of the three councils Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, has its own Council Tax Support Scheme, offering a reduction in Council Tax bills for residents who qualify.

The new council needs a single Council Tax Support Scheme for the 2019/20 financial year that is affordable, consistent and fair, not only for those who receive support, but also for residents who depend on wider services.

The Shadow Authority are contacting Council Tax payers who currently receive a reduction to ask for their views. They would also like to hear from other Council Tax payers.

Have your say on the proposed changes to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme from April 2019 by clicking here

The creation of the new unitary authority plus Parish Councils in Christchurch will mean that all Residents Associations need to consider their future role in our community.

In many ways we have in the past been a substitute for a Parish Council although we have always maintained a rather wider brief than is usually found in such councils. We are well known in the corridors of power!

We are debating internally exactly how we should react to the new environment and would like to hear from you if you have any views or suggestions. Just reply to this e-mail and tell us what you think.

Our request for suggestions for new names for the new council that are a bit more marketing friendly than “Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole” produced results.

There was a heavy skew towards Thomas Hardy novels with Wessex and variations such as Wessex Sands and Wessex Bay. It didn’t stop there. We also received Havenpool and Sandbourne Priory.

Based upon Wessex some suggested the Wessex dragon known as a wyvern in various forms such as Wyvern Sands

Finally, we received Charnemouth Bay (an old name for Charmouth we think), Harbour City and Castleman Sands after the local railway planner Charles Castleman.

The leader of the Shadow Executive indicated that a new name would be a task for the new council. Currently, all the legal papers are based upon “Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole” and that will be the proper name when the council is formed.

We are fortunate in Christchurch to have Airforce, Army, and Sea Cadets

A University of Northampton’s independent report has found that joining the cadets offers a range of benefits to individuals and the wider community. Following research across the entire cadet organisation, the report outlines the huge positive impact that Cadet Forces have on social inclusion, mobility and the mental wellbeing of young people.

The report concludes that being a member of the Cadet Forces:

  • increased an individual’s belief in their ability to complete specific tasks;
  • improved their motivation;
  • improved school attendance and led to better behaviour and attitudes; and
  • may lead to greater academic success which can contribute to increasing social mobility.

Many respondents commented on how being a member of a Cadet Force had improved their confidence, teamwork skills and homework completion. The report also identified links with resilience, leadership, attendance, behaviour and communication skills.

CBC, together with the Royal British Legion and other community groups, has organised a service to commemorate the life and death of those who served in the First World War. The event is called “Battle’s Over – A Tribute to the Nation” to be held on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November 2018 starting at 6.45pm at the Bandstand on Christchurch Quay. The service will be convened by the Rev Charles Stewart from Christchurch Priory.

Highcliffe Charity Players and Christchurch Candle Light Singers will join the Royal British Legion and Lighthouse Bands to engage all present with a wide repertoire of music from the period reflecting the newness of life and hope at the end of the War.

As background CBC have coordinated the recording of two stories of Christchurch men who lost their lives in the Great War. The first was Corporal Hiscock, 56th Company, Machine Gun Corps. The second was Private Plowman, 1st Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales (Royal Berkshire Regiment). You can read their full stories as related by their relatives by clicking here

You are invited to come along and join in this commemorative event.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Robert Binyon
Community Matters is produced and edited by a team of local residents who try to present you with the facts that will both keep you informed and enable you to make up your own mind on local issues
Jumpers and St Catherine's Hill RA

We are run by a committee of volunteers and a team of helpers who give their time free of charge in an effort to protect the environment that we all enjoy whilst living in this beautiful area
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