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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - October 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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Child Sexual Grooming Offences in Dorset
Dorset Police
Christchurch Transfer Fee
Tackling Plastic Waste
BCP Waste Collection in Christchurch
Development of Wessex Fields
Dorset a National Park
Problems on St Catherine's Hill
Community Matters
Not in the Public Interest


Child Sexual Grooming Offences in Dorset

The offence of grooming came into force on April 3, 2017. In the year to April 2019 there was a national increase in these offences, with 4,373 offences being reported in England and Wales compared with 3,217 the previous year. One in five of the victims were aged 11 or younger.

The figures were obtained through a series of Freedom of Information requests to 43 police forces in England and Wales by the NSPCC.

In Dorset offences more than doubled in the past year with 84 recorded offences of sexual communication with a child in the year to April 2019. In the previous year there were 37 such offences.

Overall in the last two years in Dorset, apps such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat were used in 70 per cent of the child grooming cases where the police recorded the method of communication.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said:

It’s now clearer than ever that government has no time to lose in getting tough on these tech firms.

Despite the huge amount of pressure that social networks have come under to put basic protections in place, children are being groomed and abused on their platforms every single day.

These figures are yet more evidence that social networks simply won’t act unless they are forced to by law. The government needs to stand firm and bring in regulation without delay.

Dorset Police

Following an annual review of Dorset Police, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has graded Dorset Police as “good” overall.


Chief Constable James Vaughan said:

I’m delighted that we have been assessed as good across all areas inspected. I am particularly pleased that our commitment to protecting vulnerable people was recognised.

Protecting vulnerable people is a priority for Dorset Police and the report found that the Force has a good understanding of the nature and scale of vulnerability throughout the county and works well with partner organisations, such as local authorities, health or education services, and victim support groups.

The report acknowledged that Dorset has a good charge rate, in line with, or above, other forces in England and Wales.

For the 12 months to 30 September 2018 the proportion of recorded offences given a charge or summons outcome was nearly 10% compared to an England and Wales rate of just over 8% percent.

We would suggest the overall result does not leave any room for complacency.

Christchurch Transfer Fee


Following Deloitte’s signing of the old Dorset County Councils Accounts at the end of July 2019, work commenced to apportion their assets and liabilities between BCP and the new Dorset Rural Council.

The priority was the disaggregation of debt.

All the actual debt held by Dorset County Council will transfer to the new Dorset Rural Area Council. However, BCP Council will be required to compensate Rural Dorset for Christchurch’s share of that debt

Using a model recommended by the Local Government Association known as the Cheshire model (because it was used on the disaggregation of Cheshire County Council), work to date indicates that BCP Council will inherit approximately 7.75% of the debt of DCC which will amount to £24 million. 

BCP will probably have to borrow to fund that sort of amount

Tackling Plastic Waste

More than 1,300 tonnes of waste are removed annually from the beaches of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. BCP has won a £2.4 million grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund to set up a seafront visitor centre dedicated to reducing plastic waste.

Following BCP’s declaration of a climate emergency, this project will help to achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2030. The centre will be on the site of a council waste transfer station at Durley Chine. Plans include a building created in part from plastic harvested from the sea, along with recycled wood.

The hub will include a beach management facility, a waste transfer site, public toilets, a catering kiosk and lifeguard control point. BCP expects the project to generate £6 million in extra spending by visitors.

BCP Waste Collection in Christchurch

Future cleansing and waste services in Christchurch were discussed by BCP at the end of September.
Under the current agreement Dorset Council provides all cleansing and waste services to Christchurch residents, and will continue to do so up until 31 March 2020 when those arrangements come to an end.  

BCP Council will undertake all household rubbish and recycling collections, street cleaning, commercial waste services, garden waste and fly-tipping enforcement in Christchurch from 1 April 2020.

This will involve the continuation of a fortnightly collection of residual waste, a weekly collection of food waste and a fortnightly collection of garden waste in Christchurch. 

The main change will be that residents in Christchurch will need to put all their mixed recycling (including glass) in their recycling bin for fortnightly collection rather than sorting glass into a separate kerbside box.   

Whilst refuse and recycling waste collections are a statutory function which local authorities are required to provide by law, separate garden waste collections are a discretionary service that councils can charge households for.

The current services are popular with nearly 50,000 households across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole registering in 2019, with 14,250 tonnes of garden waste collected in 2018-19.

Garden waste collected through the service is used to produce high quality compost for local farmland and to be sold in garden centres.

The 2020 garden waste service will incur an annual charge to residents of Bournemouth and Poole of £46 per household for one bin with a pro-rata charge of £37.65 for Christchurch residents joining from April 2020.

Development of Wessex Fields

Currently earmarked for employment use, Wessex Fields is located near the A338 and Royal Bournemouth Hospital.   Under the old Bournemouth Council, plans had been approved to build a new link road and junction connecting the A338 to Castle Lane East via Deans Leigh Road.

Additional government funding through the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP) as part of the wider Bournemouth International Growth Programme had been secured to deliver part of the scheme, with further funding needing to be sought to deliver the entire link road and junction.

Failure by BCP to implement the initial phases of the project could result in financial penalties and reputational damage for BCP.

With only part project completion there is the risk that DLEP will request that money spent to date on design fees, planning fees and construction activities should be repaid to them. For future DLEP funding and other central government funding the ability of BCP to deliver schemes may be questioned

Following a decision by BCP Council’s Cabinet to build only part of the road from the A338 up to the Wessex Fields development site boundary line, councillors have pledged to work with the local community on any future plans for the site, including working with representatives from the NHS to develop new infrastructure and policies that prioritise sustainable travel to and from the hospital.   

A public engagement event on the future use of Wessex Fields is planned for November 2019.   

A partnership between BCP Council and the NHS will see both parties work together to explore future funding options which could include a controlled access road that connects the A338 to the hospital site, as well as better cycling and public transport access. 

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:

We are clear that Wessex Fields represents a good opportunity to create some valuable, high-quality and skilled jobs, whilst also supporting our Partners in the NHS in addressing congestion in the area.   

We have made it clear that as a Cabinet we want to see any future development plans place more emphasis on sustainable transport options and not just focus on increasing road-space for cars.

We are conscious of the impact of transportation on the environment, air quality and reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible.   

Debbie Fleming, Chief Executive, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals, said:

We recognise patients, visitors and staff are keen for improved access to the hospital, and we believe that working with our Council partners we can reduce congestion in the area, in a way that supports health and the environment.

There’s lots of work to do and we’re committed to doing this as a partnership with BCP Council

Dorset A National Park

In the 70th anniversary year of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act a Central Government independent review (The Glover Review) has recommended that Dorset should be considered for designation as a National Park.

The review concluded that Dorset, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns are all strong candidates for such status. Natural England will now carry out a further assessment.

The Glover Review recognised that Dorset contains some of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity in Britain as well as such locations as the Jurassic World Heritage site.

National Park status can make a considerable contribution to thriving and sustainable communities and to the rural economy

Problems on St Catherine’s Hill

Councillor Sue Fotheringham has contacted BCP Officer Robin Harley: 

I have again been approached by several concerned members of the public regarding the cyclists on the Hill.

There is a disregard of the request to use the single accepted path when using The Hill as a thoroughfare resulting in the risk of injury to walkers, dogs and wildlife

The area towards Blackwater Junction is no longer safe to access by walkers due to the terrain being full of holes, ruts and steep inclines that have been purposely man made by cyclists (there is currently a hole approximately 3ft wide by 2ft deep along an established footpath).

The stability of some trees is being compromised with several trees having had the earth at their base removed to create part of a mountain bike track.  

I am no longer comfortable walking the Blackwater Junction end of the Hill because the congregation of male youths and adults occurs daily. Their attitude is unpleasant, and I understand from other walkers that they have also experienced this behaviour.

In reply Robin Harley said:  

I don’t think we can disagree that the continued use of Hill in this way is concerning, certainly not acceptable and it is likely that criminal offences are being committed.

As you know we do periodically dismantle bike jumps at the Blackwater end and fill in as many holes as possible, particularly those on paths. It is again on our current job list. 

Any signage that we put up just gets ripped down and as you have discovered the attitudes of those doing it are not normally friendly when they are asked to leave. Often if we are seen or called out, the cyclists just ride off. Now that evenings are drawing in, the activity should reduce a bit.

We of course want to tackle these issues but also must be realistic about the available resource in my team (4 people), which must cover a large area, as well as many administrative tasks. With the best will in the world, we are largely limited to being reactive to incidents like these.

As this is anti-social behaviour and a crime is being committed (in my opinion) I will attempt to get some internal and police support. It does help if incidents are logged (as you have done before) because that is likely to unlock greater support. The best place to do this is online and I would be grateful if you could ask residents to log things that they see. This link gives an option to report a crime or other incidents of concern

Community Matters

School Application Closing Date

Don’t miss the Secondary/Upper school application closing date of 31 October, for young people starting school September 2020.
Parents can apply online now! For details of secondary schools visit the BCP Council Family Information Directory.

Children and the nasal spray flu vaccine

The vaccine will be available free on the NHS for eligible children, including children aged up to 17 with long-term health conditions

Children aged 2 to 4 will be given the vaccination at their general practice, usually by the practice nurse. Primary school children will be offered their vaccination in school. Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they're in an eligible age group.

Parents can get information about how to arrange this from their local NHS England Public Health Commissioning team.

Multiple Sclerosis Society 

Drivers and Escorts are needed by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you could spare 4 hours a week on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday please call Kay on 01202 570 300. This is an opportunity to make a real difference for residents suffering from MS. No special licence is needed, and training will be provided. 

Proposals for a new care home at 66 to 76 Hurn Way 

Penny-farthing Homes have recently acquired an interest in the scrubland behind 66 – 76 Hurn Way. They intend to create an access road through the empty site of what would be number 74.  

They aim to create a purpose-built care home with features including residents’ lounges and landscaped gardens. On-site parking would also be provided. 

As part of their commitment to community engagement, they are holding an informal drop-in session to discuss the preliminary proposals and to hear initial feedback on the plans, which is taking place at St Catherine’s Hill Community Hall, 17 Marlow Drive, Christchurch, BH23 2RR, on Wednesday 9th October 2019, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm

Not in the Public Interest

We’ve gone into the publishing business!

Our Chairman Jim Biggin has written a book called Not in the Public Interest 

It's been published on Amazon.

The book tells the story of the civic war that raged in and around Christchurch from the ambush on the beach in 2015 through to the council elections of 2019.

Why did the powers that be ignore the result of the Christchurch referendum? Why did Hampshire refuse to help? What part did Sir Christopher Chope MP play? All those questions and many more are answered.

If the book covers its costs some of the profit will be paid to your Association.

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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