HELD ON THURSDAY 23rd May 2019
JOHN’S CHURCH HALL, MACAULAY ROAD, BROADSTONE.
The Meeting commenced at 7.30pm, some 60 members and friends were present.
The Chairman, Vikki Slade, welcomed all those present including Dame Annette Brooke (Steppingstones) and Cllr Mike Brooke. She introduced Chief Inspector Pete Browning, Dave Graham of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Martha Perry Dorset Police CSW coordinator and guests from other Watches.
She said that our MP, Michael Tomlinson, hoped to attend later.
- Apologies were received from Inspector Adrian Thompson, Roy Godfrey (past Chairman), Chris Walton and John Lodge
- Minutes of 2018 AGM were available at the back of the hall, and on the BNW website. The Chairman asked that they be accepted as a true record, and this was agreed by all members present and signed by the Chairman.
- Chairman’s report (Vikki Slade)
Vikki thanked the Committee, Coordinators, Contacts and Stella and Allen Lewis, the distribution team, for all their work over the last year.
She announced the sad news of the death, last month, of John Hewer. He was an early member of BNW, was Editor of the Newsletter and also produced the large print and special edition copies for many years.
She was pleased to report that we have a 71% coverage of addresses in Broadstone, and membership is increasing.
Unfortunately, Broadstone has seen an increase in vehicle crime and ASB. There is a “core group” of people committing the ASB. This seems to be due to a lack of visible policing. Unfortunately, the Police rarely attend our Committee Meetings now and do not send a report for our monthly Newsletter.
Local government is being restructured and there is currently no Safer Neighbourhood Team.
- Treasurer’s report (Richard Hudson)
Richard explained that the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019 are printed on the back of the agenda, so most people had access to the figures.
The Honorary Examiner, Paul Day, had signed the accounts to certify they were in accordance with the cash book and other records. On behalf of the Watch, the Treasurer thanked Paul Day for his work as Examiner. He reported that Paul is willing to remain in the post for another year.
Income for the year was £3,603, compared with £3,556 in 2018. It said a lot about the strong community spirit in Broadstone, that so many households were willing to pay the subscription of £1 to the Watch each year, in support of its community safety work and to receive the monthly newsletter. The continuing high level of support for the Watch also reflected the hard work and efficiency of the Watch’s coordinators, contacts and of Allan and Stella Lewis. The Watch is grateful to all of them.
Total donations made by the Watch were £400. The Watch gave £250 to Steppingstones in support of its local programme of activities for people with dementia and their carers. It gave £100 to Dorset Archives Trust, in recognition of its work in archiving Watch records, and £50 to The Royal British Legion.
New Neighbourhood Watch Signs
The Watch spent £2,428 on 26 new and 46 replacement Neighbourhood Watch street signs. These raise the profile of the Watch, help to deter crime and anti-social behaviour, throughout Broadstone.
Administrative expenses amounted to £1,755, against £1,770 in 2018. Printing and stationery was as usual the largest cost, at £1,488, with the printing of the monthly newsletter comprising most of this. The costs of the AGM and other meetings came to £166 and sundries were £101.
Subscription income of £3,603 and total expenditure of £4,583 resulted in a deficit for the year ended 31st March 2019 of £980. This compared with a surplus of £33 in 2018.
The Watch was in a healthy financial position. The Accumulated Fund stood at £8,626 at 31st March 2019, compared with £9,606 in 2018. The Watch has adequate resources for its ongoing programmes in Broadstone, working with the police and other partners.
At 31st March 2019, the Watch held cash of £9,071, which comprised £9,034 held in its Barclays Community Account and a petty cash float of £37.
The creditor of £445 at 31st March 2019 related to funds held by the Watch on behalf of Steppingstones.
Approval of the Accounts
There were no questions for the Treasurer on the accounts. A motion for the approval of the accounts (proposed by Malcolm Burgess and seconded by Chris Burt) was put to the meeting and was passed unanimously.
- Membership report (Russell Perry)
Russell said that we now have 3,450 members, which is 71% coverage of Broadstone.
We are represented in 97% of roads. This is the highest it has ever been. This year’s increase is mainly due to the initiative of Malcolm Burgess; Chris Burt; Sylvia Collins and Tom Hackney who between them have recruited forty-five new members.
Volunteer changes – in the last year we have recruited two coordinators and eighteen contacts. Russell is in the process of introducing one more contact. There are currently vacancies for one coordinator and two contacts.
He commented that filling volunteer roles will always be a challenge as people move on.
- Editor’s report (Colin Merrett)
Colin reported that we have successfully produced and distributed our Newsletter every month in the past year. He welcomed comments, suggestions and ideas from members about what else might be included in it.
Putting together the newsletter really is a team effort; Colin thanked all the contributors and our printers, Russell for organising the Large Print & Email versions, Stella & Allen Lewis who bundle up and deliver 3,500 copies every month to Coordinators and all the Contacts who distribute the newsletters to members around Broadstone so efficiently.
- Election of Officers and Committee Members for the year 2019/20
Elaine Frew is to retire as Secretary, but the rest of the Committee will stand again.
Mike Brooke proposed that Vikki Slade be re-elected as Chairman of BNW and all agreed.
Vikki Slade introduced the rest of the Committee – Chris Walton (Vice-Chair), Richard Hudson (Treasurer), Russell Perry (Membership), Colin Merrett (Editor), the other members are Malcolm Burgess, Chris Burt, Wendy Perry, John Lodge, Allan Jeans and David Williams. All agreed to stand again.
Angela Sleet was asked to be our new Secretary – proposed by Vikki Slade and seconded by Richard Hudson, and all agreed.
Police report – Chief Inspector Pete Browning.
He is in charge of Neighbourhood Policing across Bournemouth Poole and Christchurch. There have been changes over the last years with 300 less Police Officers due to decreased funding.
Cyber-crime has increased, and there is more use of social media, which can contain horrid comments about people, on-line paedophiles, and fraud, which need specialist officers. Therefore, the Police have become stretched and we now see PCSOs covering shared areas. Neighbourhood Police Teams have been retained in Dorset, although there is uncertainty in various areas.
Dorset Police also have to help to cover in other areas, such as the visit of Donald Trump to Hampshire in June for the D Day celebrations, when royalty will also be present.
Crime in our area is generally low, burglary has decreased, but there is still theft of motor parts such as catalytic converters, which are valuable as they contain precious metals. The Police do engage with manufacturers to change how they are fitted.
There is an increase in youth related ASB, especially in Poole, although there is a known group of youngsters committing it in Broadstone. Criminal damage is not only done by youngsters, adults are also involved – as with the graffiti in Broadstone.
Young people are being encouraged to become involved to help the police, as a support system. Neighbourhood Watch in Broadstone is a positive help providing good community spirit. Community Speed Watch is helping to slow traffic and make our roads safer.
Hopefully, the Broadstone Police hub will be used more often. There are approximately 39 PCSOs covering Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. Some of these become PCSIs with more responsibility. There are 60 response officers, who react to emergencies. There is also a dog section and an armed response unit. There is a support group which cover several areas, including visiting and talking to fraud victims. The local elderly are more aware of possible fraud, largely thanks to Neighbourhood Watch.
People complain that phoning 101 is so slow. This is often due to busy call handlers taking all the calls and having to sort them, as not all calls need the police. If a crime is actually happening, the caller needs to dial 999.
One member complained that in Broadstone there is a group of youngsters with ASB, often assault, which may be drug related, and various other crimes. There seems to be a core group of children taking drugs, selling them and mixing with suppliers. Although local members know who they are and have photographic evidence, the Police do not seem to respond.
Inspector Browning replied that there is a sergeant in Winton, who covers Poole, trying to get various groups together to stop this. They visit parents who may have no knowledge of their children’s behaviour and others who may not care. He will develop this with our chairman.
Another complaint by our members is the lack of a Police report in our Newsletters. This is due to the time required by officers to compile it. There was a suggestion that perhaps a volunteer could produce it.
Steppingstones – Annette Brooke.
Steppingstones was set up to help those suffering with dementia and their carers, to prevent isolation and improve their quality of life. If they are inclined to wander, we can provide a bracelet with details of how to contact Poole Lifeline, with a special identity number. Lifeline has all the details of the person and how to contact their next of kin or carer from the identity number. This helps to provide peace of mind for carers. Details of activities each month are in our Newsletter. Annette is hoping to start a community Tea Dance each month, starting in June.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. – Dave Graham, Area Manager.
This service covers Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council, Dorset Council, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council areas.
Their Community Safety Plan sets out how they operate. They cover Fire safety, by extinguishing fires and protecting life and property. They also cover Road Traffic Accidents and other types of emergency. They are funded by contributions collected with Council Tax, Business rates and a revenue support grant. The service gets £56 million each year.
It has 50 Fire Stations, 74 Fire engines and specialist vehicles. There are full-time and part-time fire fighters, day crews and on-call staff.
Last year there were 12,500 incidents, including 59 rescues from fires, 771 accidental fires in homes, 3,250 fires (of which 919 were deliberate), and 359 non-domestic fires.
12,500 Safe and Well visits were carried out last year. These assess the risks of living alone, alcohol consumption, drug dependency, age, limited mobility, mental health and smoking. Safe and Well visits to older people include looking at fire safety, cold homes, crime prevention, social isolation and falls assessment. This helps to reduce the risk of fires, lowers hospital stays and ambulance call-outs. All of which reduces the public sector spend.
They engage with youngsters to educate them. School visits are made, to give fire safety advice, to engender safety, such as to Streetwise, and to encourage fitness.
Building protection is important, with building regulations, post-fire audits, complaints and licencing consultations.
Particular attention is paid to Residential Care Homes, high-rise blocks of flats, accommodation above commercial property and houses of multiple occupancy. A risk base approach is used in these cases, and they work with businesses to achieve voluntary compliance. There are 230 high-rise buildings in Bournemouth and Poole. Heaths and thatched cottages are big fire risks.
Other incidents include large animal rescue, cliff rescue, and water rescue such as with flooding.
Speed Watch – Martha Perry (Dorset Police CSW Coordinator)
This scheme has helped to reduce road accidents and deaths.
There are 82 Speed Watch teams in Dorset. Broadstone has a very good one, consisting of 15 members, covering 12 sites. All of which have to be risk-assessed.
Speed Watch is effective. The first offence produces a letter to the wrongdoer, as does the second. After a third offence, an officer from the ‘No excuse team’ calls to investigate the person.
Dorset Road Safe includes the team having a Police officer with a camera, who can issue a notice of prosecution to speeding motorists.
Vikki Slade thanked all of the speakers and members for attending.
The meeting closed at 10.10pm.