Here are my notes from the meeting:
The Meeting was chaired by Councillor John Doddy. Councillor Martin Plackett was in attendance. Councillor Jan Goold sent her apologies.
Future of CAT Meetings
CAT Meetings are under review as part of a cost cutting exercise. Their future will be decided at a Council Meeting on 8 December. Councillor Doddy said that Bramcote Councillors will be recommending that they are retained.
Paul Nathanail pointed out that CAT Meetings are an important means for Councillors ‘to keep their fingers on the pulse’.
PCSO Chris Archer reported on crimes in Bramcote since the last CAT Meeting on 7 September 2015.
There had been 9 house/shed breaks, 12 vehicle break ins, 7 burglaries and 2 incidents of criminal damage. Concern was expressed over residents failing to secure their houses and cars. High value bikes were being targeted in sheds.
Overall there have been 16 less crimes in the past year although the September to November period has seen an increase.
Report from Sue Sambells. (Read out by Roger Jones as Sue was unable to attend the Meeting).
A year ago, I gave a presentation on the benefits of belonging to a Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) scheme, how to set a up a new scheme and what is available on the NottsWatch website, http://www.nottswatch.co.uk/. Councillor Doddy has asked me to give a short update at each meeting and for my first report, I’ve broken this into three sections.
- RussleyValmontRufford NHW – I am the Lead Coordinator for 257 houses, assisted by Roger Jones and a team of coordinators and I attribute the effectiveness of our scheme to the speed of communication, within ourselves and will our Beat Team. We have worked hard to collect email addresses and I currently have a database for over 60% of our members.
An example of where we can help – I recently received a resident’s complaint about the speeding traffic on Derby Rd. I emailed the residents group to suggest they report these concerns via the surveys, http://www.neighbourhoodprioritysurvey.co.uk/, that contribute to the police’s priorities and asked for feedback. I copied our Beat Team into the communication and they added Derby Rd to the list of Roads the Specials target with their speed gun. Six cars were stopped and warned or cautioned for speeding.
Secondly, with My Bramcote Today’s Editors hat on, when I recently received a few complaints about the new LED lighting contributing to an increase in the fear of crime, I directed concerns to the County Council via Stan, who in turn published the reply he received from the Highways Energy Saving Manager at County Hall (in his recent newsletter). I brought this to my resident’s attention and added a comment I received from a member who had technical experience in LED lighting and then added the council’s further response. The new lighting might not suit everyone but the publication of this correspondence, https://bramcotetoday.org.uk/2015/11/22/news-from-broxtowe-liberal-democrats-22-november-2015/, on our website, shows the change has been constructively considered and the council have been transparent to the public in their reasons.
However, I am very much aware this leaves around 40% of our residents, potentially, without regular contact from NHW, as we no longer have all the houses covered with coordinators. Sadly, volunteers can be few and far between. So we have raided our bank account and are sending a professionally designed & printed card to all homes next month to remind residents we have a scheme, who their Beat officers are and their contact details and encourages free registration for police alerts, amongst other policing information.
- Bramcote NHW – Whilst some schemes are more active than others, most of Bramcote is covered by some form of NHW except the Derby Rd area.
I’m pleased to say that our Previous Cllr, Ian Tyler, with the help of David Watts and current NottsWatch financial assistance for new schemes, is looking to set up a scheme here shortly. If you live on Derby Rd or Ilkeston Rd , within Bramcote or Ewe Lamb Lane, , Park Rd, Lyndale Rd Marshall Drive or Stanley Drive and could consider looking after around ten houses around you, please have a word with Ian or myself or email email@example.com.
And if you live elsewhere in Bramcote and would like to me more involved with NHW on your road, do contact me.
- Nottinghamshire Neighbourhood Watch (aka NottsWatch) is the county umbrella organisation for all verified, local schemes. As you may recall I became a Trustee early 2014.
In April 2015 the findings from our Review, http://nottswatch.co.uk/pages/3457/1/NottsWatch_Review_2015.html, carried out over during 14-15, were published on our website and can be found in the “About Us” section. The short term recommendations were to:
- “Introduce a Service Level Agreement between ourselves and Notts Police Force & County Council.” This has almost been finalised and should be signed off by The Chief Constable and Chief Executive early 2016.
- “Communication in all aspects of business need to improve” – I have been tasked with being Director of Communications & Publicity and have drafted a press release to promote NottsWatch within Nottinghamshire and have a meeting with HQ Media this Friday.
- “Review opportunities offered up by the Police ‘Citizens in Policing’ and Community Sector services across the partnership.” – Chief Inspector Richard Stapleford, the Lead in CiP and Chris Thompson, Notts Police Partnership Officer, joined the NottsWatch Board this financial year and they have both helped us, considerably, to achieve our objectives.
I hope this report has given you a flavour of what can be and is achieving at grass roots and Executive levels within Neighbourhood Watch.
White Hills Park Federation Update
At the last CAT Meeting the performance of Bramcote School was discussed. An OFSTED report said many areas required improvement. There has now been a follow up HMI visit and the school is making significant improvements in the required areas. The HMI report for the visit on 3 November 2015 can be found at http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/138837. The next OFSTED report will be in April 2017.
White Hills Park Federation is looking for funding for rebuilding and so improvement in performance is essential as nobody will invest in a failing school.
A substantial sum of money is required for rebuilding (£25M?) and the Federation is still working on sourcing this money. A proposal is to sell some of the school land to a developer. The situation is complicated in that the Federation does not own the land but leases it from the ultimate owners, Nottinghamshire County Council. The Executive Head of the Federation, Paul Heery, confirms he has agreement with the County Council for a sale and is proposing this be the land adjacent to Coventry Lane. Ian Tyler queried whether this would raise sufficient money. The view was expressed that selling the leased land with planning permission would raise almost as much freehold land.
Councillor Martin Plackett spoke about the challenges that had been issued to Mr Heery at the last CAT Meeting.
The first was to seek alternative sources of funding to selling the land. The Federation is looking into this and Martin Plackett expressed optimism regarding this. Councillor Doddy said that in any case the use of any land for housing or other development depended on Broxtowe Borough Council’s green belt review and that this would not be completed until early 2017. The Federation also has a problem in that at least £500K will be needed to obtain planning permission and the Federation does not have this money itself.
The second challenge was to make better use of the school playing fields for sport for the community. The Federation is having discussions with the Head of Leisure for Broxtowe Borough Council, Ashley Marriott, regarding this.
Councillor Doddy concluded by saying that the school would be redeveloped but it was not clear yet where the funding would come from.
Finally, Paul Nathanail queried whether the lease for the school land from the County Council had a restrictive covenant so that the land could only be used for educational purposes. Councillor Doddy did not know the answer to this.
A52 Sherwin Roundabout Update
Councillor Doddy reported that 2 drifts of crocus bulbs were to be planted to improve the appearance of the roundabout and he circulated a map to show their location.
He then said that Councillor Jan Goold had met with Highways England and their contractors, AONE+ earlier in the day. Broxtowe Borough Council were offering to help with the maintenance of the roundabout but he was not privy to the outcome of the meeting. Broxtowe Borough Council were offering
Roger Jones stressed that the roundabout needed a programme of continual maintenance rather than one off blitzes.
Boundary Commission Changes
Councillor Doddy confirmed that splitting of Bramcote over two new divisions for Nottinghamshire County Council elections will go ahead.
Bramcote Hills Golf Course
The applicant for planning permission for the retirement complex has now submitted the long awaited wildlife study. Apparently there is some additional information which will be submitted shortly. A consultation letter about this is being circulated to those who have commented on the application. Councillor Doddy said he thought the application would be decided at the January or February Planning Committee Meetings and his view was that it would be turned down. If this happens, the Council will review the situation regarding the unsightly building on Thoresby Road and is likely to put an enforcement notice on the site.
Paul Nathanail asked if there was a Plan B if the application was turned down. Councillor Doddy said there was no Plan B and his view was the applicant would appeal. Paul Nathanail observed that the reasons for refusal need to be watertight or the appeal would be successful.
David Watts said the land was listed in the Core Strategy as protected open space which should give it a high level of protection.
However, the Council is not meeting its housing plans at the moment. It needs to do this or an appeal will be looked on favourably by an Inspector.
Ian Tyler observed that the current Council is having the same problem as the previous administration and will have to allow building on green belt land over and above that already planned to meet its housing targets.
Councillor Martin Plackett said the Council is taking steps to minimise the need to build on the green belt. It was noted that this appeared to imply the current administration would not meet its election promises.
David Watts spoke about the work he and a number of other residents are undertaking to provide a café and toilet facilities on Bramcote Hills Park. It was noted that survey undertaken by Bramcote Hills Community Association at the Hemlock Happening showed that a café and toilets would be welcomed by visitors to the Park.
David Watts is setting up a community interest company to undertake the project and when the café is up and running all profits will be ploughed back in the café. The company will be limited by guarantee and so far 40 residents have agreed to be members of the company and to put up £1 if the café goes bankrupt. David is seeking to encourage further residents to give this guarantee which will help convince potential sources of funding that the project has substantial local support. Bramcote Hills Community Association and the Council are supporting the project.
Fund raising will start in the New Year and the aim is to have a café, toilets and a community room by 2017which will provide a meeting place for post crematorium funeral gatherings, children’s parties and dog walkers
Rumbletums and Pulp Fiction who work with people with learning disabilities are keen to work with the café which will provide them with additional training opportunities
Graffiti on Bramcote Hills
Steve Austin spoke about an outbreak of graffiti on Bramcote Hills. He said details have been notified to the Council’s Environment Department and they are responsible for dealing with it.
Devolution and Capital Spending Projects.
Councillor Doddy undertook to update residents when plans become clearer.
Date of Next Meeting
This is planned for Monday 7 March at 7.00pm at Bramcote Memorial Hall.