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Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - May 2020

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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2020 Subscriptions
Low Rate of Infection in Dorset
Special Financial Arrangements
County Line Drug Dealers
Dorset LEP
BCP Council
Dorset Police
Restrictions on Dogs
Protecting St Catherine's Hill

2020 Subscriptions

Our thanks to those who have renewed their membership and for the additional donations that many of you have made.

If you have yet to renew please can you do so by posting or hand delivering £1 (plus any small additional contribution you might like to make) to 7 Hurn Road, Christchurch, BH23 2RJ. The house is a blue bungalow at the junction of Hurn Road, Fairmile Road and The Grove.

Alternatively, you can make an electronic inter-bank funds transfer to

Jumpers & St Catherine's Hill Residents Association

Sort code:       40-13-07

Account:          927 321 06

N.B. Some members have experienced problems with this facility with the bank system telling them that the name of the account is “wrong”. Only HSBC can sort the problem out and that is not going to happen in the short term. Provided you have the sort code and the account number correct, the payment will arrive and if you e-mail us separately, we will confirm receipt for you.

Low Rate of infection in Dorset

Dorset has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus infections in the country, according to the latest figures at about I in a 1,000 of our population. BCP is slightly higher than rural Dorset. At time of writing this, a total of 784 people has tested positive. 137 people have died in hospitals across Dorset since the outbreak began.

Special Credit Arrangements

Many households have been feeling the pinch during the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of people currently on furlough, unemployed and business owners facing uncertainty on when they can resume their business.

However, to minimise the financial shortfalls, the government has stepped in to offer payment holidays across a range of financial products, helping households to save and defer payments until later dates.

Being aware of these options can help residents affected to hold onto thousands of pounds in the short-term and hopefully ease financial pressures they may be experiencing.

Mortgage Repayments
One of the first actions was a payment holiday of up to 3 months on mortgage repayments.

To be eligible, you will need to demonstrate a loss of income and difficulty in repaying your mortgage because of the coronavirus; and that you are not applying as part of a long-term financial issue.

The government has offered VAT and self-assessment tax delays for individuals and businesses who are looking to manage their cash flow.

Bank Accounts
For those using current accounts and business bank accounts, customers can use their overdraft facilities during COVID-19 without incurring any fees subject to any terms imposed by your bank – so talk to them first.

Credit Card Debts
The Financial Conduct Authority announced that all banks and credit card providers can offer customers the chance to freeze credit card payments for up to 3 months.

Customer that opt for this scheme will not see any impact to their credit score or incur any extra fees, but for many will benefit from the important breathing space. This facility includes any credit cards and store cards; and banks have been told that they cannot suspend cards during this period either.

No Fear of Repossession
Finance providers and card issuers have confirmed that customers will not be at risk of repossession of any properties, vehicles, or assets during the coronavirus pandemic. This will give further peace of mind to those with debt on their shoulders and payment holidays should be explored to help reduce any potential debt problems.

County Lines Drug Dealers

Dorset Police is asking members of the public to be vigilant and to report any drug dealing or other suspicious activity taking place in their communities.

Since the Government restrictions were imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19 county lines drug dealers have changed the way they operate. (County lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK via dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and will often use coercion).

Previously, deal lines were created to take orders for drugs and runners (who are often young and/or vulnerable people) were used to transport and collect payment. The current restrictions on movements have prohibited these methods, however, criminal gangs are now adapting their operations to be able to continue their illegal activity.  

Chief Superintendent Caroline Naughton, of Dorset Police, said:
When the restrictions were implemented, initially we saw a decrease in drug dealing. However, we know the gangs and county lines suppliers are still operating – they are just changing their methods to get around the restrictions.
We already know about a lot of their activities and how they have changed their operations, but we always want to know more and help from the public is invaluable. Therefore, we are asking members of the public to tell us if they have seen anything suspicious or have concerns about people within their community.

So if you see or suspect any use of drugs in your neighbourhood, unknown or suspicious characters and lots of comings and goings from houses, then please report this using our online contact channels 
Alternatively, you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online 
For more information about county lines supply and what to look out for, please visit the website


Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

During these challenging times, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has put in place a range of initiatives to support the region’s economy as a direct response to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, while also looking ahead to some of the longer-term support that businesses will need post the current crisis.

Dorset LEP runs a facility called Dorset Gateway which provides a range of advice and support. Calls to Dorset Gateway were being logged as early as the start of March when businesses first felt the impact of the outbreak. By mid-March, Dorset LEP had invested in further resources to help signpost businesses to local and national support, seconded existing staff to new and temporary roles, helped businesses apply for government grant funding, and launched a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey for Dorset.

They invite more businesses, charities and the self-employed to share their experiences to help inform our future support, as well as identify local sectors which may need financial backing.

To ensure the business voice of Dorset is heard, the LEP is sharing the results of this survey with the government's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as they continue to develop COVID-19 business support measures, nationally and locally.

Over 4279 businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have now received grants totalling over £55 million from BCP Council to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

A new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new online platform on asks business owners and the self-employed to fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire. They will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for. 

Fishing and aquaculture businesses in Dorset may have access to cash grants through a new fisheries support scheme. In the latest step to protect the industry, plans mean that up to £9 million will be available to eligible businesses.

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility has been opened at Creekmore Park and Ride in Poole as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers, and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers. 

Since lockdown began, 222 people have been helped into temporary accommodation. Some were rough sleeping, and some were at risk of ending up on the streets. Of those in emergency temporary accommodation, 44 people have now been supported to move into more sustainable long-term accommodation.

Our three Household Recycling Centres in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will reopen on Monday 11 May for residents who cannot safely store their additional waste at home. Several extra safety measures will be in place. Please only visit if essential as they are expecting long queues to enter the tip.

BCP continue to hold council meetings online, following the temporary removal of the legal requirement for councils to hold public meetings in person.

Dorset Police

Recorded crime in the Dorset Police area has remained stable while crime has increased in many parts of the country, new figures reveal.

Latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics, covering a 12 month period to December 2019, show a 0.3 per cent increase in crime for Dorset, against a national rise of 4 per cent.

Dorset remains one of the safest places in the country with the ninth lowest recorded crime rate and 11th lowest numbers of victims of crime.  Both burglary and theft have seen significant reductions.

Officers are continuing their patrols on Dorset’s roads, key locations, and beauty spots to ensure the public adhere to the Government’s stay home rules to tackle the coronavirus. 

Between Friday 27th March and Wednesday 6th Dorset Police issued 377 fixed penalty notices to people who have been found to be making non-essential journeys or blatantly flouting the regulations. Police have warned the will not hesitate to hand out more if people flout the rules.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset has launched a public perception survey inviting members of the public to comment on whether they support the approach taken by the Force during the lockdown.

The survey also includes general questions about whether the public think the Force can be relied upon to be there when needed, and how confident they are that they could access police services in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Restrictions on Dogs

Dog owners are reminded that during the months of March – July it is bird nesting season. When taking daily exercise on any of our heathlands, residents are being reminded of the Countryside Code which is to keep dogs on a short lead in order to protect wildlife from disturbance and ensure that ground nesting birds do not fly away in distress. Dogs should also be kept on a lead around livestock as it is an offence for a dog to worry livestock.

From 1 May, BCP Council is temporarily easing restrictions for dogs on all beaches, to ensure social distancing measures continue to take place in these difficult times.

During the warmer months from 1 May – 30 September, the main beaches across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole do not normally allow dogs, however due to the current measures around social distancing the council will temporarily suspend enforcement meaning dog owners can continue to use the beach during this time.

All dog owners across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being reminded to keep their dogs on a lead when they are in spaces where they are likely to come across other users; remember to pick up after their dog – waste teams are continuing to empty dog bins across the three towns; always keep your dog under control when using any beaches, parks, nature reserves and open spaces; remember some people are afraid of dogs – and even more so currently

Protecting St Catherine’s Hill

Earlier this year two plots of land near Foreland Close (off Hillside Drive on St Catherine’s Hill) that had been retained by the original builder were sold at auction for £45,500 and £121,000, respectively without planning permission.  

Having spent that money, the buyers are very keen to start building so instructed a tree surgeon to start clearing the sites. Unfortunately, Tree Preservation Orders were in the system but had not been completed and some trees were felled.

The local community sprang into action. Councillors were contacted. There were numerous site visits from them, Officers from BCP, and the police. As a result of everybody’s hard work, particularly BCP Councillor Margaret Phipps and local Councillor Sue Spittle, Tree Preservation Orders are now in place. A tremendous result in such a short space of time.

The tree surgeon is also being investigated to see if he has committed offences under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981. Particular attention is being paid to the issue of felling trees during the nesting season.

We now await developments. At some point the owners will submit a planning application at which point they will discover the rigorous legislation that protects Dorset Heathland such as St Catherine’s Hill and the embargo on building within 400 meters of the Hill.

At the same time, on-going problems persist, not least cyclists not obeying the rules. Mel Gibbons, Chairman of Friends of St Catherine’s Hill said:

Cyclists using paths which are out of bounds for cycling are causing disturbance to wildlife such as ground nesting birds and reptile breeding areas, as well as erosion and the formation of extra unwanted pathways. There are signs around the area to say where cycling is not allowed.

Please, if you cycle, keep to the main tracks only, Dudmoor Farm Rd (the old railway line) and the main track along the top from St Catherine's Lane, and observe all no cycling signs.

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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Christchurch, England BH23 2RJ
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