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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - December 2019

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Car Park Charges
Budget Time
A Message from the Police and Crime Commissioner
BCP Wins Award
News from the Airport
The Hengistbury Head Train
Christmas Waste Collections
Christchurch Food Banks

BCP area election results were as follows:

Bournemouth East: Tobias Ellwood – Conservative

Bournemouth West: Conor Burns – Conservative

Christchurch: Christopher Chope – Conservative

Mid Dorset and North Poole: Michael Tomlinson – Conservative

Poole: Robert Syms – Conservative

Car Park Charges

In 2018-19 the three councils of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole made a surplus income of over £13 million from car parking charges .

Data released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that in 2018-19 Bournemouth made nearly £8 million, Christchurch contributed £2 million and Poole over £3 million

By law the surplus received through parking charges must be used to improve car parking facilities and facilitate passenger transport, as well as making improvements to the local road network.

It would be nice to see some evidence that it is being used to fill potholes for example.

Looking behind those figures reveals an interesting situation. Those are record results for Bournemouth and Christchurch, but Poole revenue fell by 4% compared with 2017-18 despite a 10% increase in charging levels. That represents a considerable loss of trade within Poole town centre and BCP is addressing the issue.

In July 2019 the Council was advised that its formal expression of interest in the Government’s Future High Streets Fund had been successful. 

The Council’s application has been selected by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to progress to the next phase of assessment which will involve the development of a full business case.

That will include the development of a high street Masterplan to address three key challenges:
  • the very poor environmental and commercial quality of Poole High Street;
  • the major severance and access issues caused by the level crossing, roads and poor pedestrian provision in the Lower High Street and Quay;
  • and a lack of clear purpose and function in the central section, all of which act as barriers to sustainable growth and development.

Budget Time

From now until March is a difficult time for local authorities.

They must produce a balanced budget for 2020-21 and once again the demand led services associated with vulnerable children and adults will cause the largest headaches.

Councils are legally obliged to set a balanced budget before the start of the financial year. To do that they have to make reasonable assumptions about a huge range of issues.

The numbers of children in care is one of them but others include for example the numbers of people with dementia who will need care, how bad the winter will be and thus how much salt they need to buy, how bad the flu will be this winter leading to increase staff costs for stand-in agency staff, and so on.

As we’ve said before the whole funding system is simply not fit for purpose.
Indeed, no amount of taxpayer’s money used to fund the NHS will cure its problems so long as social care and local governments aren’t funded properly.
Some of the pressure on the health service comes from its inability to discharge patients who don’t need to be in hospital anymore but can’t get appropriate care elsewhere.

Currently, the funding shortfall within the BCP Children’s draft budget for 2020-21 amounts to £3.9m.

The most significant elements are a higher than anticipated number of Children in Care cases inherited from DCC on behalf of Christchurch, a general increase in the cost of Children in Care and an increase in the numbers of Special Educational Needs pupils which leads to an increase in the cost of such things as school transport.

For adult care, inflationary pressures will arise from staffing costs, including the impact of increases in the National Living Wage, residential care costs and the increased complexity of the service.

Costs for residential care for people over 65 years have risen between 6% to 10% per annum in recent years.  In addition, there is a remorseless demographic growth in demand for care packages for people with long-term conditions.

BCP know that they will have to spend more than budgeted on some things and less on others. As with most organisations they have mechanisms for reallocating funds to reflect actual demands.
But in recent years the frightening growth in child and adult services has surpassed their ability to rob Peter to pay Paul. They have had to dip into their savings (reserves) from previous years and BCP will almost certainly have to do that this year 2019-20.

That is not sustainable in the long term.

Details of the BCP draft budget should become available soon and we hope to give you an update in January. The current overall projection for 2020-21 is a funding shortfall of just over £3 million.

A Message from the Police and Crime Commissioner

I know after the gruelling General Election campaign many of you will have had enough of voting but I’m asking you to have your say on one more issue.

It’s an important issue to me, and I know from talking to hundreds of people across the county that it’s important to you.

Every year, I’m required by law to set the Force’s budget and consult on the amount of your council tax bill that pays for policing.

This year is unlike any we’ve ever seen. Because of the Election’s unusual timing we don’t yet know how much central funding, which provides more than half of the Force’s budget, we’ll be getting from the Government.

An extra £1.25 a month – based on an average band D property – will deliver a prudent budget and achieve our ambitions of recruiting 50 extra officers to help keep our county safe.

We’ve all heard the national announcements about extra officers. Of course, I welcome this, and it does provide a great opportunity for Dorset, but the investment is long overdue and there is still uncertainty as the announcement only covers the first of a three-year recruitment cycle.

Recruiting and training additional officers comes with a significant extra cost, which is not being met by the Government, and it’s essential we make sure the Force can pay for this.
Meanwhile Dorset Police continues to be affected by the impact of nine years of austerity. 

As well as real-terms cuts to funding, there have been cost increases to UK policing, including nationally agreed salary increases and pension liabilities, while levels of demand have soared.

Please click on the link and have your say.

BCP Wins Award

Our area has been announced as the winner of the Best UK Seaside Town in the prestigious 2019 British Travel Awards. The announcement was made on 27 November at a Gala Awards ceremony, held in London and attended by nearly a thousand travel industry representatives.

Our seven-mile stretch of perfect coastline and Blue Flag beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a vacation at any time of the year. Along with Poole and Christchurch, Bournemouth is known as the Coast with the Most.

Chris Saunders, Acting Service Director, Culture & Destination at BCP Council, commented:

We are delighted that we have been voted the best UK Seaside Town at the British Travel Awards for the second time, particularly as this is a vote of confidence from the tens of thousands of visitors who come to our town throughout the year.

British Travel Awards’ chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said:

Competition was particularly strong this year but ultimately it is the travelling public who decide the winners by voting for the travel companies they consider the best in the business.  The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK and to win is truly an accolade.

News from the Airport

Tim Etches is the new Operations Director who joined 11th Sept 2019.  He spent 30 years in the RAF and has had various jobs at Heathrow.  His target for next year is 105 million passengers (actual numbers for 2019 were standing at 605,000 in October).

They have lost the Gran Canaria route but are pleased that Sharm el-Sheikh will be a new destination. XLR executive jets, owned by Rigby group, have been successful, and are used by various football clubs.

The airport is still planning a Premier Lounge, on the ground floor and it will be a glassed area to give a good viewing area. In the terminal chairs have been re-upholstered and there are plans in place for a children’s play area. They will be recruiting volunteer “Airport Ambassadors” to help people find their way round.

The Farmhouse at the end of Pussex lane has been demolished. All the materials are being recycled and it has made extra car park space. The car park will expand to meet demand, out not up as the cost would be prohibitive for a multi storey. 

The Airport Community Fund has helped several local projects

The Hengistbury Head Train

BCP is reviewing its options for the future of the Hengistbury Head Land Train following the conclusion of a year-long investigation by the Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

In October 2018, the traditional Hengistbury Head Land Train was suspended from service while under investigation following an incident with one of the carriages. This investigation has now concluded with the HSE informing the council that the traditional trains would require extensive works to run them again.

To bring these 30-year-old trains up to the required standards would be both complex in engineering terms – and costly and therefore not financially viable. It would have to including fitting engine-controlled brakes to each carriage alongside several other safety improvements.

As a result, the council is investigating several other long-term sustainable options including the possible introduction of an environmentally friendly battery-run or hybrid land train to support its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

The council also feels it is important to reinstate a land train service befitting of the location and traditions of this world-renowned Site of Special Scientific Interest.

A BCP Council Spokesperson commented:

The Hengistbury Head Land Train is a very popular service amongst both residents and visitors to the area.

Over the last 50 years, generations of people have created fond memories of using this service, and although we are disappointed that we can no longer continue using the traditional train, we understand that modern operating standards require the highest levels of safety

We are looking forward to investigating alternative options to keep this popular attraction running.

Christmas Waste Collections

You will have received a BCP News Magazine that contains on page 11 changes to waste collection dates over Christmas. If you live in Christchurch, these dates do not apply to you.

Christchurch waste is still collected by Dorset Waste Partnership. Over Christmas and New Year, your usual rubbish, recycling and food waste collection days will be different. Check the table below for your revised Christchurch collection days:
Christmas rubbish and recycling collection dates 2019
 Usual collection day Revised collection day 
 Tuesday 24 December  No change
 Wednesday 25 December  Friday 27 December
 Thursday 26 December  Saturday 28 December
 Friday 27 December  Monday 30 December
 Monday 30 December  Tuesday 31 December
 Tuesday 31 December  Thursday 2 January
 Wednesday 1 January  Friday 3 January
 Thursday 2 January  Saturday 4 January
 Friday 3 January  Monday 6 January
 Monday 6 January  Tuesday 7 January
 Tuesday 7 January  Wednesday 8 January
 Wednesday 8 January  Thursday 9 January
 Thursday 9 January  Friday 10 January
 Friday 10 January  Saturday 11 January
 Monday 13 January  No change

Extra rubbish and recycling

Dorset will collect up to two extra sacks of rubbish that you put out beside your bin on your first rubbish collection after Boxing Day

They will collect extra recycling that won't fit in your bin if placed in your own boxes, with glass kept in a separate box

Household Recycling Centres are open from 10am to 4pm daily, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

The Garden Waste service is suspended over the Christmas and New Year period, from Wednesday 25 December until Wednesday 8 January. 

Christchurch Food Banks

Please spare a thought to families and individuals in crisis and donate a few items for your local food bank. 


Donation boxes can be found in a variety of locations including most local supermarkets.
Many local people are experiencing a crisis such as changes in benefits, debt problems, divorce, sickness, bereavement, redundancy, rising food and fuel prices, all leading to a rise in people turning to a food bank.

They must be referred by a professional to obtain vouchers for foods. Local food banks are coordinated by St Joseph's Church, 67 Purewell, Christchurch BH23 1EH

Have a good Christmas

Enjoy yourselves and we’ll be back in the New Year

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

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