Present. Vikki Slade (Chairman), Chris Walton, Russell Perry, Colin Merrett, Wendy Perry, Malcolm Burgess, Chris Burt, John Lodge, David Williams, Alan Jeans, Cllr Mike Brooke and Elaine Frew.
Apologies. Richard Hudson.
- Minutes of Last Meeting – held on 4th September 2018 were agreed by all as a true record, and signed by the Chairman.
- Matters Arising. There were none..
- Correspondence and Stepping Stones. (Elaine Frew)
News has mainly been circulated via e-mail.
Annette Brooke is trying to encourage more shops, offices and other groups to become “Dementia Friendly” and display the stickers. It was suggested that perhaps Annette could organise more courses but with several weeks’ notice so that details can be included in our Newsletter and also the Broadstone Link for greater circulation. Cllr Mike Brooke will suggest to Annette.
The Drop-in Friday afternoons are popular and many of the members are very enthusiastic about playing Carpet Bowls. The Reading Group also continues each week.
The Christmas Service will be at 2pm on 18th December in the United Reformed Church
- Chair’s Report. (Vikki Slade)
The last couple of months has seen a worrying increase in burglaries in Broadstone. The most recent report where CCTV was interfered with and a vulnerable person threatened is particularly worrying. I have written to Inspector Adrian Thompson to find out whether the increase in burglaries is happening across Poole and what the local force is doing to combat this – especially as resourcing of burglaries was a subject covered on the BBC news last week.
There has also been a spate of graffiti appearing, and I have been encouraging those affected to report the incidents using the police and council websites – although they are unlikely to get direct police action, it is important that photographic evidence is recorded as graffiti can often identify an offender, who is usually engaged in other ASB or low level crime.
Following some really nasty incidents in Poole over the last couple of months, there has been an increase in foot patrols – and I can confirm that these have included patrols in Broadstone during the early evening. I am not aware of any major incidents involving local young people but we need to remain vigilant as incidents like the damage to the bus shelter and drug taking continues.
I have received replies to my emails to the Home Office and local MP about the reduced police cover. It seems that the proposed merger of Dorset and Devon/Cornwall Police is now off the table, after the PCC for Devon/Cornwall decided it was not in their best interest. I have not yet spoken to Martyn Underhill for his thoughts on the next steps, but it appears that the Alliance between the two forces will continue, despite his protestations that this is what has been causing duplication of work.
Youth Shelter – Progress continues to be made on moving this – which should reduce littering and increase its use. However, it is still proving difficult to find the funding required (£7000) and I have been asked for additional community contributions. I have re-iterated that BNW have approved a small contribution, as have Broadstone Youth Centre but that there is no additional funding available. I have suggested that the council approach the Police Commissioner under his community pot, and also look to use some of the money set aside for the new crossing point at the bottom of Dunyeats Road (funded by McCarthy and Stone development) and I will be raising this at a meeting next week to discuss these road safety proposals.
I am still to hear back from the two first schools about our Safewise offer. I have also approached the CEO of Safewise for clarification about which school groups are funded to ensure that we make the most of the offer available.
- Treasurer’s Report. (Richard Hudson)
Income and Expenditure
- BNW has now received all the membership subscriptions due to it for its financial year 2018/19. The total is £3,603, which compares with £3,556 for the previous financial year 2017/18. As usual, we owe a big vote of thanks to the Watch’s efficient and hard-working coordinators and contacts. The stability of our subscription income also reflects the excellent job that Russ Perry does in maintaining the network through the recruitment of new coordinators and contacts when vacancies arise.
- Administrative expenses for the 7 months to 31st October amounted to £920, comprising £811 for printing and stationery, £94 for AGM and other meeting expenses, and £15 for sundries.
- The Watch has made its customary donation of £50 to The Royal British Legion for a wreath for Remembrance Sunday. The only other donation made by the Watch so far this financial year is £250 to Stepping Stones.
- It currently seems likely that the Watch’s expenditure on donations will be fairly small this financial year, compared with previous years. This makes it all the more opportune to purchase some new Neighbourhood Watch signs, in accordance with the schedules that Chris Walton has provided to the Committee on previous occasions. Chris and I have worked together this summer to try to agree proposals with Poole Council and a prospective supplier, with a view to eventually bringing these to the Committee for its consideration.
- It’s fair to say we are gradually making progress with this, for which Chris deserves the credit. However, a major stumbling block on which progress has yet to be made is to get the Council to agree to replace the signs lost or damaged as the result of its work on lampposts. There doesn’t seem much point in acquiring and fitting 24 new signs when 31 existing signs are damaged or missing.
- As at 6th November 2018, the Watch held £12,365 in its Barclays Community Account and a petty cash float of £64.
Malcolm Burgess suggested a donation could be given to Dorset Archives. They look after all our older paperwork, and they have a charity which would benefit from a one-off donation from BNW. The Committee agreed to donate £100.
Other donations, such as Christmas Lights, would need a change in our Constitution to put money aside to be used for such causes.
- Membership Report. (Russell Perry)
We now have a membership of 3,379, and 3,336 subscriptions have been received so far. 70% of addresses are now members. No-one in Waterman House has yet asked to be a member.
There have been several phone calls from e-mail receivers requesting that they do not receive paper copies as well.
We now have a new Co-ordinator in Blue Area 3, and new Contacts in Roman Road, Upper Golf Links Road and Barn Road.
We still need a Contact for part of York Road and Lancaster Drive, and a New Co-ordinator for Abbotsbury Road.
- Editor’s Report. (Colin Merrett)
Colin reported that there was no report from the Police again. Vikki will send on a report which was sent to her.
The facility to request Dorset Alerts via the bit.ly web page was discussed. Chris Walton pointed out that this is advertised to be used to request Dorset Alerts and e-mail Newsletters. The e-mail Newsletter part of the facility works well, but not the Dorset Alerts which used to provide a filtered (local interest only) set which John Hewer managed. This no longer works and Chris Walton suggested that we need to use the bit.ly web page facility for e-mail Newsletters only. It was agreed to make this change in the paper Newsletter heading. There is a further complication in that the bit.ly web page form has a tick box facility for the filtered Dorset Alerts which needs to be removed. Russell knew that the bit.ly web page used the Mailchimp and Wufoo websites, and we did not know enough about how these worked or how to change them. John Lodge looked it up and reported these Websites did not have current owners. Chris said that the facility mentions Tim Watson with an e-mail address. Email Newsletter@broadstonewatch.org.uk Russ found a current location for Tim and will contact him for help.
It was suggested that for the moment, the notice in the Newsletter should have the part referring to Dorset Alerts removed leaving it as an application form to receive e-mail Newsletters only.
- Police Report.
No report was received from the Police, and no-one was able to attend the meeting.
An increase in crimes, burglaries and graffiti in Broadstone, already reported, has become very worrying.
There was some discussion about the difficulty in reporting problems by phone to 101. Experiences were related of people who “could not get through”. Chris Walton explained that Calls are always answered, but there is a variable delay depending on how busy the call centre is. Chris said he had the Statistics from the police Committee and would let Vikki have a copy of the most recent information.
POST MEETING NOTE (from Chris Walton) – The Answering delays are categorised from Excellent (answered in less than 2 minutes) down to Needs Improvement (15 minutes or greater to get an answer). The July 2018 figures were 51% answered in 2 minutes, 22% in 2-5 minutes, 9% in 5-7 minutes, 13% in 7-15 minutes, and 5% in 15 minutes or longer.
- Street Signs. (Chris Walton)
Vikki Slade had received an email from Laura Dyson-Litchfield, with a list of signs which the Council had refitted out of the 31 which had gone missing during the Lamp Post upgrade program. We do not know if they have been refitted pointing in the right direction. Vikki will send the list to Chris Walton for marking up on the Signs Register.
Chris reported that the situation with the four Council officers with whom we are dealing to get permission to start the New and Replacement signs fitting program was as follows :-
Barry Sparkes (StreetScene Team Manager, Environmental Services). Barry was checking the credentials and qualifications documentation from Insignia Signs, our preferred Contractor to do the Job. Barry has written to us on the 28th Sept giving us the go ahead.
Terri Brown (Traffic Assistant, Network Management, Growth and Infrastructure). Terri was responsible for giving us the formal approval required by the Highways people for fitting each of the 24 new signs in the place we proposed. We also kept her informed of our need to fit 41 replacement signs which were degraded or dirty beyond cleaning. Terri wrote back to us on the 8th October saying we were all clear to start the job. Vikki wanted to use this as blanket approval to put the whole program in motion. Chris did not agree as Terri’s remit doesn’t include for the responsibilities of Steve Dean and Sam Araujo (see below).
Steve Dean (Growth and Infrastructure). Steve had asked for specification and documentation to demonstrate that the proposed signs and their fixing methods all met with Highway Standards. All this was sent to Steve by 27th Sept. Chris spoke to Steve today (6th Nov) as we had not had a reply. Steve thought that if Barry Sparkes had given us approval for his part of the action, then this may mean we are fully compliant with his(Steve’s) requirement. We are now waiting on Steve to check that he is happy. Mike Brooke and Vikki volunteered to give assistance in progressing this if we haven’t heard from Steve this week.
Sam Araujo (Improvement Works Technician, StreetScene). We were checking that Sam would allow us to fit the standard size signs (nominal 280mm by 380mm) as per our existing signs. Sam had previously expressed a preference for the small signs (roughly half the size). We had had a hopeful reply from Sam that this could be OK, and he asked for a list of the locations and Photographs. We sent the list on Aug 10th, but asked if Pictures were really necessary as it would be a lot of extra work. We have not had a reply yet.
- Dates for 2019
The dates for next year are all booked and everyone on the Committee has been circulated.
David Williams reported that the Dorset Alert messages sent by telephone are difficult to hear and have a lot of background noise. He wondered how many people without computers used this service.
The meeting closed at 9.20pm.