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Community Matters - July 2019

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Tackling Traffic Congestion
Youth Justice Plan
The Latest Scam
Gravel Extraction at Roeshot Hill
Speeding on the Spur Road
Parks Management Award
BCP Conversion Costs
What's On
Councillor's Corner

Tackling Traffic Congestion

BCP has made a bid for up to £117 million of Government funding designed to improve our transport network.

The bid concentrates upon joining residential areas to commercial sites by encouraging walking, cycling and the better, more integrated use of public transport. Clearly, the underlying objective is to take private cars off the road.

BCP is in competition with other councils and must demonstrate a focus on sustainable travel. That means exploring ways in which prioritising walking and cycling can improve people’s health, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion.

Ensuring public transport is better integrated and competes on speed and cost against dependence on car use is key to reducing our congested road space.

The final business case will be submitted to the Department of Transport in November 2019

In parallel, BCP have introduced a Bicycle Share Scheme in Bournemouth and Poole based upon “The Beryl App” which tracks the GPS location of the bike allowing users to easily access and unlock any Beryl bike simply using a smartphone.

An initial 50 brand new bikes have been distributed for use at key destinations including rail and bus stations, town centre shopping areas and tourist attractions. This will increase to 1,000 bicycles over the coming months and will hopefully be extended to Christchurch.

There is no initial or ongoing cost to BCP, and Beryl will be responsible for supplying the bikes plus associated equipment as well as management and maintenance of the service. Beryl will also be investing in local cycling infrastructure in the area to ensure maximum efficiency for those riding.

Youth Justice Plan

The Youth Justice Plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as well as the rest of Dorset has been published

It provides information on the resourcing, structure, governance, partnership arrangements and performance of the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service.

Preventing young people from reoffending and reducing the use of custodial sentences have been highlighted in this year’s Plan

The service is measured against three national performing indicators: the number of first-time offenders, the rate of reoffending and the use of custodial sentences

The report notes that for first-time offending there has been a decline in performance. The other two areas are judged to be satisfactory.

In addition, a review of the guidance for local authorities which sets out how they should secure activities and services for young people has been launched by Civil Society Minister Mims Davies. The review will aim to focus attention on the positive role local authorities can play in the provision of youth services, and ensure the guidance is useful and accessible for those who need it most.

The Latest Scam

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports that elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens.

The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card details and PIN.

These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

No Council would behave in such a manner. If you are approached in this way in a car park have nothing to do with it and call the police.

Gravel Extraction at Roeshot Hill

Hampshire County Council have approved plans to extract gravel from land at Roeshot Hill. The plans, which were submitted in 2016, will see the site at Roeshot used for the extraction operation over a period of 14-16 years, followed by a four-year ‘restoration programme’.

When the proposals were submitted by the Meyrick Estate, we and many others expressed concern over the estimated 120 lorry movements each day many of which will likely use the B3073 Fairmile and Hurn Road link to the Spur Road.

Those concerns have effectively been ignored. Hampshire Council decided that the scheme “would be acceptable in terms of highway capacity and safety and will not cause adverse public health and safety impacts”. As far as we know, they don’t live here.

Speeding on the Spur Road


The new average speed cameras installed on the Spur Road are catching literally thousands of motorists exceeding the speed limit.

Six cameras have been installed on the dual carriageway to support the new permanent 50mph speed limit, with three positioned on the southbound carriageway between the Blackwater Junction and Cooper Dean Roundabout and three mirroring these on the northbound carriageway.

Brian Austin, operations manager for road safety at Dorset Police, said:

Between June 4 and 18, 3,236 vehicles were recorded by the new average speed cameras exceeding the 50mph limit. This number includes exempt emergency services on blue lights.

The highest percentage of speeding drivers was recorded between 6pm and 12pm and the fasted speed recorded was 98mph.

Depending on a variety of factors such as speed and previous offences, fines generated will go to central government or towards local road safety improvement schemes.

At the same time, it was announced that charges for parking in the BCP area are on track to produce a surplus of £13.7 million after running costs had been considered.

The study was carried out by the RAC Foundation, who analysed budget figures provided by English councils to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The BCP figure is the 10th highest out of 343 councils across England and the second highest outside of London, behind only Brighton and Hove on £24 million.

Rules dictate that all the surplus cash will go into local transport projects.

Parks Management Award

BCP Council has won a place on a new multi-million-pound initiative to create a pioneering approach to the future management of its parks and open spaces.

BCP Council has been chosen by the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund as one of eight places across the UK – out of over 80 that applied – to take part in its ground-breaking Future Parks programme to receive a share of more than £6m of funding and £5m worth of advice and support from some of the country’s leading experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and green space management.

In the first project of its kind in the UK, Future Parks is designed to help councils find sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces across entire towns and cities.

BCP Council submitted its plan to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Trust to help develop a new strategy for our area. Alongside this, a business plan will be created that will set out how we can enhance parks, nature reserves, beaches and open spaces for future generations.

It will include a new approach to managing the spaces along the Stour Valley corridor – bringing landowners, user groups and professionals together to enhance the area for nature, visitors and the local economy.

BCP have produced figures showing how much money was spent in 2018-19 converting Bournemouth Council, Christchurch Council, and Poole Council into the new BCP structure.

The original budget was £6.5 million but of that only £3.3 million was spent, leaving a “saving” of £3.2 million.

Some of the detail causes us to question quite what has gone on here. For example, it was planned to spend £1.2 million on computer infrastructure but in the event only £600, 000 was spent – that’s half of what was planned.

We suspect that this represents expenditure deferred rather than saved. We infer that in the time available they could only manage absolute essentials.

For example, they had planned to spend £184,000 on a Financial Management System but in the event spent only £45,000.

We think a great deal of that “saving” will have to be spent in the months to come.

What’s On

Wednesday 17th July at 7.30pm: The Hall on the Hill - AGM followed by refreshments and a talk by Steve Roberts "The History of the British Sandwich". Admission Free

Saturday 20th July - St Peter’s School, Southbourne (The Broadway entrance). A charity concert in support of the Jermain Defoe Foundation and Brendon Care Nursing Homes. 7pm until 10pm with live music, a barbeque and a firework display. Adults £10 each payable on entry (children free).

Sunday 28th July - Classic Cars at Highcliffe Castle

An ever-changing line-up of vehicles dating from 1915 up to the early 1980s. Free admission for eligible vehicles and free public viewing. No pre-booking required. Displays are open to all cars and motor bikes (in the classic spirit) registered before August 1983.

Saturday 3rd August - Stompin' on the Quomps.

Stompin’ is a music festival situated in the picturesque surroundings of Christchurch Quay. An eclectic mix of Jazz Fusion and Latin Jazz through to Blues and Big Band, there’s something for young children and families through to grandparents to enjoy.

Councillor’s Corner

Sue Fotheringham reports that she has had mostly positive interactions with her constituents but that sadly she had cause to call the police when she was threatened and verbally abused by a male cyclist in front of his young son on St Catherine’s Hill.

This incident follows increased damage to the Blackwater end of the hill by cyclists.

The Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest not a cycle track for mountain bikes

Sue contacted BCP Officer Robin Harley who said:

St Catherine’s Hill is an open recreational space that everybody can enjoy. Unfortunately, sometimes the behaviour of others causes concern. We want to make sure everybody is aware of who to contact to report anti-social behaviour.

Clearly, if you, your family, your community or your property are at immediate risk you should dial 999.

In addition to the type of harassment that Sue experienced, which should be reported to the Police, it also includes any fires that people have started on the Hill.

Even a small campfire or BBQ can unintentionally start a wildfire – please report it to the Fire Service before it escalates into a major incident.  

The “dens” being constructed by Beavers and Scouts on the hill are a potential fire hazard.

A recent discussion with one of the Scouts Leaders on the hill has resulted in a greater understanding of the risk. In future, the “dens “will be dismantled as part of the education programme that identifies the risks of setting the tree canopy alight should they catch fire.

Sue is considering approaching the Urban Heath Partnership to provide education to the beavers and scouts.

Graffiti is on the increase around the water towers

On a more positive note, Sue reports that she has attended a very informative educational workshop on The Code of Conduct for a Councillor, and she hopes that further workshops will be implemented as the new town council evolves.

Many of you will be aware of the dreadful house fire that damaged properties in Chestnut Avenue. One of our long serving collectors (who for years has collected The Grove for us) was rendered homeless and faces months living in hotels or rented accommodation.

This is not Residents Association business and we can’t become directly involved.

However, a close neighbour and ex-chairman of our association Roger Hamilton is organising a collection on her behalf. The major costs should hopefully in time be covered by insurance, but Roger thought it would be nice to perhaps organise a weekend away for her and her husband.

If you would like to contribute please send a cheque to Roger Hamilton at 20 Oak Avenue, Christchurch, BH23 2QE

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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