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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - September 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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Roadworks on Christchurch Road
Faster Broadband in Hurn
Government Funding Technology
Tricuro Care and Support
Fly Tipping
Recycling in Dorset
BCP Financial Performance
BCP Investment Plans
Rationalising BCP Staff
Preparing for Winter
Parish Notices

Roadworks on Christchurch Road

Be warned, engineers will be upgrading the gas network along the very busy Christchurch Road in Boscombe starting in September and finishing just before Christmas. Traffic is so heavy in that area that temporary traffic lights will be in operation for 12 hours a day, rather than just during peak times.

The roadworks will take place at the junctions with Hannington Road and Rosebury Road between September 16 and October 4, Queensland Road and Warwick Road between October 4 and 25, Parkwood Road and Somerset Road between October 25 and November 16, and Gloucester Road between November 16 and December 13.

Faster Broadband in Hurn

The Superfast Dorset team has been continuing the rollout of faster broadband in Hurn and in other parts of Dorset.

In addition, they held a workshop at which residents and businesses were able to investigate the potential future of a digital Dorset. They heard how technology will hopefully reduce Dorset’s carbon consumption, provide career opportunities for school leavers and enable people to remain living independently as they get older.

Government Funding Technological Advance

Councils looking to improve public services through innovative uses of digital technology can from 19th August apply for funding Local Government Minister Luke Hall MP announced. Grants of up to £350,000 will be invested in projects from the government’s Local Digital Fund. 

Projects bidding for the Fund of up to £7.5 million must be shared by councils working together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in innovative ways. That would include BCP working with Rural Dorset.

For example, NHS and councils within Greater Manchester have come together to develop and test new advanced technologies that look to join up vital information across public services and help people to integrate care services and thus save lives.

All too often important information is held on different systems which cannot be accessed from one place, so people end up having to repeat their story, care is not joined up, important information is missed and problems are not identified early, which in extreme cases could lead to harm

Ideas could range from making people’s lives easier with more efficient, online ways to pay for services or get help or to support vulnerable people. The list is almost endless and very much represents the way forward. One of the prime reasons for forming BCP was that they and Rural Dorset would both be large enough to fund and resource such a programme of change.

We asked BCP if they intend to make a bid and sadly, they currently don’t

Tricuro Care and Support

Tricuro Care and Support is wholly owned by BCP and Rural Dorset councils. It has been awarded ‘The Most Outstanding Care Provider in the UK in 2018’ in the UK Over 50s Housing Awards.

Tricuro delivers both short- and long-term care and support to adults, their carers and families, including residential and nursing care, day and community services, reablement and home care services.  

Tricuro’s Managing Director, Alison Waller, says:

It was a privilege to receive the award and to take the opportunity, on a national platform, to recognise our achievements.   We thank all our staff who work so hard to support our clients and their families.”   

The award is in recognition of delivering significant success in maintaining and improving services to adults whilst introducing innovation and significant cultural change.  The award also acknowledged the company’s continued focus on meeting the support needs of people in wider communities through successful partnership developments with the local community and voluntary sector.  

DWP and Fly-Tipping

The Dorset Waste Partnership has had some success catching and prosecuting fly-tippers and private waste removers who fail to provide their customers with a Waste Transfer Note.

In a recent case, in addition to being fined, the defendant’s vehicle was also seized. It shows that DWP Enforcement Officers will pursue criminals involved in this kind of crime.

We understand how residents might be tempted to use rubbish disposal services from unverified businesses, especially those found online. However, if the price is too good to be true, the chances are that your waste is unlikely to be disposed of responsibly.

Always make sure you use trustworthy services if you need help disposing of waste, and always get a Waste Transfer Note from whoever you are handing it to that shows what the waste is, who is taking it and where it is going.

This will protect you from possible prosecution if your waste is found fly-tipped.

Find out more at the Tip-Off webpage

Recycling in Dorset

There has been a good deal of misinformation circulating regarding recycling in Dorset

The Dorset Waste Partnership and their contractors don't export the waste they collect to developing countries such as Malaysia

They don't recycle low quality plastics (such as carrier bags), so have no need to dump or stockpile them anywhere

60% of the waste DWP collect is recycled. This means it is sold to trusted re-processors - mainly in the UK and Europe - as high-quality recyclable material

24% goes to Energy from Waste where it is incinerated and turned into electricity, again in the UK and Europe

17% goes to landfill in the UK - compared to a massive 71% back in 2004. Land-filled waste has the biggest environmental impact and costs the most through Landfill Tax

Check out  Where Waste Goes page for more information.

BCP Financial Performance

Just over two months after the end of the first quarter BCP has published details of its financial performance to date. Some of it is a sadly familiar story.

Overall, they are projecting an overspend of £5 million in 2019-20 including nearly £3 million in Children’s Services. The projected deficit reflects forecast growth in demand and delay in the implementation of new staffing structures. Indeed, there has been an overall delay in staff restructuring so that associated savings are not now expected to be realised in the current year (see below for more on this).

Also, the level of Children’s cases inherited from Christchurch is higher than expected and this has produced an annual additional cost of £353,000.

The level of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities pupils who BCP are required to provide with free school transport is projected to be £400,000 higher than assumed in the BCP 2019-20 budget. This reflects a rise in the number of entitled pupils.

The cost of concessionary bus fares indicates that the budget will be exceeded by £373,000 if the current trend continues during the remaining nine months of the financial year. This includes a price increase in the rate paid for the Christchurch area

There has been a reduction of income from both the Bournemouth and Poole crematorium. This is largely due to the opening of a new private crematorium just outside the BCP conurbation and a new private Chapel for ceremonies within Christchurch.

The overall financial shortfall may well be met by transferring money out of reserves (past savings). Where have we heard that before?

BCP Investment

Planned investment across the whole BCP area is diverse.

It includes new school buildings, new care homes, seafront development, major road network improvements, and technology infrastructure.

In partnership with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, BCP expects to invest a further £15 million in major highways improvement schemes. This includes £8 million to complete works on the Blackwater Junction and the Cooper Dean stretch of the A338. These projects were inherited from Dorset County Council on 1 April 2019,

£1 million of investment is also planned in the Christchurch area, to complete Highcliffe Castle improvement works and undertake repairs to the Regent Centre

Of major interest is the proposed loan of £15 million to the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation to create a new pathology facility to serve both the BCP conurbation and the rest of Dorset.

The loan will be repaid evenly over 15 years in equal instalments of £1 million per annum plus interest of 3½%. This repayment will be made by the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust regardless of the operational performance of the new One Dorset Pathology Unit. There will be a one-off upfront arrangement fee of £45,000

The facility will either be built on land owned by the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital at Castle Lane East or by land purchased from the Council which is currently part of the adjoining Wessex Fields site.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides healthcare to the residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset and part of the New Forest.

Work is currently underway to enable the merger of the Trust with Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Over 17 million tests per year are undertaken by the Dorset Pathology network. Many these are for residents of BCP Council. Pathology is relied upon for over 70% of all clinical decisions

This strikes us as exactly the type of initiative that BCP was created to deliver.

Rationalising BCP Staff

On 1st April 2019, employees from four employers, Bournemouth Council, Christchurch Council, Poole Council and Dorset County Council, transferred to the new BCP Council. They transferred on their existing terms and conditions, meaning that BCP has inherited a workforce operating under different contractual terms and pay structures.

There are inconsistencies between the sizes of roles, their level of pay and how the same role is described. For many jobs, documentation focusses on describing tasks and activities, rather than competencies. There is significant variation between contractual terms.

Equal Pay legislation means that BCP must ensure equal pay for equal work. The longer that disparate sizing and evaluation of roles continues, the higher the risk of “equal pay” claims. The current lack of consistent and robust job sizing would limit BCP’s ability to defend such claims, which are highly resource intensive to manage, can incur large costs, and result in reputational damage

It is estimated that approximately 62% of employees are currently paid below the market rate and 38% above. The net cost of introducing a proposed new pay structure is estimated to be in the region of £2.7 million a year.

Preparing for Winter

All Highway authorities under Section 41 of the Highway Act have a duty to maintain the highway.
The Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 amended the Highways Act 1980 by adding a Clause concerning dealing with winter conditions. It states: A Highway Authority are under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice. 

Before April 2019 each of Bournemouth, Dorset, and Poole delivered these services differently depending on their local experiences, capabilities and attitude to risk.

Each council had its own approach to delivering services including their approach to decision making, the rostering of drivers and the redeployment staff to critical winter service activities such as manual pavement gritting.

Coordinated interim arrangements have been put in place to ensure a proper service provision for winter in 2019-20, whilst a wider review of all Highway Maintenance, including Winter Service, is undertaken and recommendations as to future activity are developed

Local Food Banks

Over the school summer holiday our local Christchurch food bank fed over 400 children. Stocks are now low. Urgently needed provisions include, tins of tuna, potatoes, carrots, meat meals and UHT milk.

Thanks, from our collector

Back in June we told you 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 now faces months living in rented accommodation whilst the house is repaired. A close neighbour and ex-chairman of our association Roger Hamilton organised a collection on her behalf.

She would like to send her thanks to everybody who kindly contributed and to all those who have sent her, and her husband messages of support and goodwill and we would like to endorse those sentiments – thankyou.

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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