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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - May 2019

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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First Class Beaches
Our Hospitals
Latest Crime Statistics
Neighbourhood Watch
Fraud Prevention
Local Election Results
Here's a few ideas to keep the kids entertained during May half term:

Creepy Crawly Show, Upton Country Park (booking essential)

Paw Patrol’s Chase and Rubble, Adventure Wonderland

Spring Arts Fest at King's Park

Christchurch Quay Splashpark

Plus an exciting programme of library events!

And the beaches are first class
It’s that time of year when environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy presents its iconic Blue Flags and Seaside Awards to the UK’s very best beaches.

Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole has been confirmed as the area with the most accolades – clocking up 23 awards in total. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole now boast a combined total of 9 Blue Flags and 14 Seaside Awards.
The area’s Blue Flag beaches are Alum Chine, Branksome Chine, Canford Cliffs, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Sandbanks, Shore Road, Southbourne and – newly accredited for 2019 – Manor Steps.

On top of this, all nine Blue Flag locations have the added honour of receiving Seaside Awards, as well as the beaches at Bournemouth, Boscombe, Friar’s Cliff, Avon and Highcliffe.
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The success of the beaches in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.

When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country

News from Our Hospitals

To help cope with the huge challenges facing healthcare services, NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group decided some time ago that the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) will become a major emergency hospital and Poole Hospital (PH) will become a major planned care hospital.

This controversial decision was made following a comprehensive Clinical Services Review.

It recently announced that as far as funding is concerned, it has been allocated £65 million extra compared to last year but is struggling to come up with a balanced budget – it has a projected shortfall of nearly £30 million. Apparently, this is partly due to pay increases which have added almost £11 million to its salary bill.

There are many claimed benefits of creating a major emergency and planned care hospital and it is hoped that they will have a positive impact on thousands of patients. They include improved facilities, best practice clinical care, and greater specialisation as well as reduced waiting times for patients requiring planned care.

It is claimed that it should lead to better care for thousands of inpatients who are currently transferred between the two hospitals each year in order to access specialist treatment.

The plans for the RBH site and how it will look in the future are evolving.

The current design includes an expanded Emergency Department and critical care facility, new maternity and paediatric units and the development of an oncology haematology facility.

At PH the new design includes the establishment of the new 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre, significant expansion and redevelopment of the theatre complex and the expansion of the day surgery facilities.

Both sites will be retaining their outpatient departments and diagnostic facilities, and both trusts will be creating new community hubs, which will allow a significant expansion in rehabilitation beds.

It is planned to centralise all cardiology services in the Heart Centre for East Dorset, located at RBH. Having all these services in one place will mean there are no transfers of patients between sites and all inpatients will have access to out-of-hours consultant cover onsite.  Thousands of patients will be able to have interventional procedures and imaging treatments at weekends

It is hoped that there will be a shorter time to treatment for patients who would otherwise be transferred between PH and RBH. Up to 750 patients should experience a shorter wait for treatment and 400 of these will have a reduced wait for interventional treatment, ultimately saving lives.

We can only trust that the reality lives up to the hype!

Latest Crime Statistics

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have released their crime figures for the period January to December 2018 which show a rise in recorded crime in Dorset.

Overall crime in the county went from 48,700 offenses in 2017 to 53,000 in 2018 – a rise of 9% which is higher than the national average of 7%

Hidden within the overall figures is a rise in violent crime from 14,300 in 2017 to 17,900 in 2018

On the plus side, theft from vehicles is down nearly 14%  

We mustn’t get this out of perspective. Measured in terms of number of crimes per 1,000 of the population, Dorset ranks as the 13th safest county in the country. While there has been a rise in crime, the likelihood of being a victim is still very low and Dorset remains one of the safest places to live and work

It comes as no surprise to learn that across England and Wales knife crime rose to record levels last year. Police recorded 40,800 offences involving knives or sharp instruments in 2018, up 6% on 2017.

There were 732 killings, up from 655 in 2017 and the highest since 2007. Only 3 of those deaths occurred in Dorset.

Neighbourhood Watch Burglary Prevention Toolkit
The Neighbourhood Watch Network (NWN) has launched three new online toolkits for coordinators and members.

Burglary prevention, enhancing your scheme by using social media and how to set up and manage a new Neighbourhood Watch scheme are covered in the new toolkits. John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of the NWN, said:

The toolkits have proved enormously popular ever since their launch, so it was a natural progression for us to expand upon them.

Our toolkits are no longer exclusively about crime prevention, they now include help, guidance and insight for coordinators and members as they manage their schemes.

These useful tools have been put together by experts and we hope will help our volunteers make their schemes the best they can be.

The burglary toolkit has been produced in partnership with NWN sponsors ERA Security and includes police approved advice for residents.

The toolkits have proved to be a successful innovation for Neighbourhood Watch since their launch last September having garnered tens of thousands of views.

The new toolkits can be accessed on the national Neighbourhood Watch website 

Fraud Prevention

A new partnership between local banks and Dorset Police has prevented over £330,000 getting into the hands of fraudsters in the first four months of this year. 

The scheme, known as the ‘banking protocol’, trains bank staff to spot when someone is about to fall victim to a scam and try to prevent them from withdrawing cash or transferring money to a fraudster, with an immediate police response to the bank. 

Dorset Police responded to 34 calls between January and April this year where £331,682 of potential victims’ money could have been handed over to fraudsters. The average age of those people targeted was 75 years old, with 56 per cent being men.  

The oldest person to have been targeted was a 96-year-old man from Bournemouth who was visited by a fraudster in his home.

The victim was asked to give the fraudster £2,000 in order to receive £12,000 in return.  Upon visiting the bank on his own to withdraw the money, staff raised the alarm with Dorset Police and the transaction was prevented. 
In another incident, a woman in her late 80s from Dorset was targeted when fraudsters claiming to be from BT, called to say her internet had been hacked and they needed to access her computer remotely. Once accessed, the victim was told not to tell anyone about it as the fraudsters were from the ‘Against Crime Agency’ and were trying to catch the hackers targeting her computer. 

The fraudsters claimed they needed her help and said they had placed £10,000 into her current account to trace the hackers. It later transpired that the additional £10,000 in her current account had been transferred from her ISA account, without her knowing. Fraudsters then asked her to transfer £8,000 into an overseas account, which was blocked as a result of the banking protocol. 

The victim said: “You never realise how easily you can be drawn into a scam. Even when the police were there in the bank trying to prevent the transaction, I continued to lie about the situation and told the story the fraudsters had given me. 

“When I got home and thought about what I was doing, I took a chance on ignoring the hackers and called the police back to explain everything. 

“The support I received from Dorset Police was superb. The police officer was gentle, reassuring and comforting and didn’t blame me for my actions. Fortunately, I only lost a small amount of money through a Western Union transfer, rather than the thousands they were trying to get out of me. 

“Although you may be concerned about a message that has come through on your computer, don’t believe anybody about anything. Always report to the police if you think you could be being scammed.”
Local Election Result

The first local elections to BCP Council have resulted in a hung council for the next four years.

The Conservatives are the largest party but are 3 short of an overall majority.

The seats held on BCP Council, by each party, are:

Conservative: 36 (of which 1 represents Christchurch);

Liberal Democrats:15 (of which 1 represents Christchurch);

Independent: 11 (of which 8 represent Christchurch);

Poole People: 7; Labour: 3; Green: 2; UKIP: 1; Alliance for Local Living: 1

Overall turnout was 33%, with the highest percentage of voters in Broadstone Ward, with 50%. Turnout in our area (Commons) was 40%.

It took nearly 9 hours to count the vote using systems straight out of the 1930s – not a computer in sight and tellers counting on their fingers. If the turnout had been 66%, they would have still been counting at midnight.

The first Council Meeting was held on 21st May when Liberal Democrat Councillor Vikki Slade was elected Leader of BCP Council.

Councillors also elected Cllr David Flagg (Christchurch Independent) as Chairman of the Council and Cllr George Farquhar (Labour – Boscombe East) ) as Vice Chairman.

Upon election, Cllr Slade announced the following Cabinet portfolios and members:
  • Leader - Cllr Vikki Slade (Liberal Democrat – Broadstone)
  • Finance – Cllr David Brown (Liberal Democrat – Bearwood and Merley)
  • Children and Families – Cllr Sandra Moore (Liberal Democrat – Canford Heath)
  • Regeneration and Culture – Cllr Mark Howell (Poole People – Poole Town)
  • Housing – Cllr Kieron Wilson (Independent – Muscliffe and Strouden Park)
  • Strategic Planning – Cllr Margaret Phipps (Christchurch Independent – Commons)
  • Transport and Infrastructure – Cllr Andy Hadley (Poole People – Poole Town)
  • Climate Change and Environment – Cllr Felicity Rice (Independent – Oakdale)
  • Adult Social Care and Health – Cllr Lesley Dedman (Christchurch Independent – Mudeford)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Communities – Cllr Lewis Allison (Labour – Boscombe West)
Chief Executive Graham Farrant said, “Since the local elections earlier this month, Councillors have worked extremely hard to arrive at a position where BCP Council is able to elect a Leader and that Leader can appoint a Cabinet.

I look forward to working with all Councillors as we commence the exciting job of setting Council priorities, shaping services and improving lives for people in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.”

At the new Rural Dorset Unitary the Conservatives have overall control by 2 votes – a rather slim and thus vulnerable margin.  
Christchurch Town Council

Our candidate Sue Fotheringham was elected to the new Christchurch Town Council which held its first meeting on 15th May.

Councillor Fotheringham reports that Cllr Lesley Dedman has been elected Mayor with Cllr Susan Bungey as Deputy. The new Town Council will have three working committees: planning; resources; and community

It has been confirmed that CBC agreed to transfer The Coat of Arms to the new Town Council at no cost to the new Council
What this all means for us

We partially succeeded in our objective thanks to Sue Fotheringham but have no representative on the main BCP Council.

We will of course continue to support Sue and to report upon local developments through our newsletters (and our thanks to all the people who asked us to continue this service, no matter what).

We will now see how things develop and will assess what constructive part we can play
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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