Venue: Ashton Primary School
Contact: Nigel Heckford, Area Forum ManagerItems No. Item
Welcome and Introduction by the Chair of the Western Area Forum
Councillor Mark Jewell (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending.
Minutes of the Last Meeting PDF 99 KB
The minutes of the last meeting are attached for your information (Appendix A).
Resolved – That the minutes of the last meeting of the Western Forum, held on 22nd October 2010, be received and signed as a correct record.
Matters Arising PDF 43 KB
Please see the attached table which provides a summary of the responses to written questions received at the last meeting (Appendix B). Members of the public, who have received a written response and wish to take it further, should in the first instance communicate directly with the person who supplied the response.
The Chair referred the meeting to a table of responses to written questions received at the last meeting. He advised that members of the public who had received a written response and wished to take it further should in the first instance, communicate directly with the person who supplied the response.
The Chair made an announcement regarding TRAX who are a company based on the docks. The Chair explained that TRAX had received funding to support young people to take part in projects that would benefit local communities. The Chair asked the meeting for any ideas for projects that these young people could become involved with and help the local community.
The Chair also advised the meeting that there was still some Western Area Forum Partner Action Group Funding available to be used to help address local priorities. He explained that the monies had been used to purchase Speed Indicator Devices to help address local traffic safety concerns and also graffiti removal kits. The Chair invited attendees to speak with Area Forum Officers after the meeting with any ideas that they may have for suitable projects which could be supported by this funding.
A representative from Lancashire Constabulary will be in attendance at the meeting to update on local policing priorities and be on hand to answer any questions that residents may have.
The Chair welcomed Inspector Mark Morley to the meeting to provide an update on local policing issues and initiatives.
Inspector Morley informed the meeting that he had taken over from Inspector Parkinson as the Lea Geographical Inspector as of 1st December 2009and would be in post for a minimum of 2 years. He stated that there was an excellent policing team in the West of Preston and his aim was to maintain the good work that had been achieved and where possible improve upon.
It was explained that the key priorities were to improve public confidence and satisfaction, improve the quality of service and improve the quality of lives. Inspector Morley advised that all areas of policing would be assessed, however, a focus would be applied to Anti-Social Behaviour and the associated problems. He added that every incident of Anti-Social Behaviour over the last month would be reviewed.
The meeting was assured that where possible officers would respond to incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour within an hour. Inspector Morley explained that on occasions when the police are unable to attend within an hour the person who called will receive a phone call from the police to advise them of this and they will check up on the incident. The police will also commit to re-visit the caller the day after an incident of Anti-Social Behaviour. Inspector Morley advised that all aspects of Anti-Social Behaviour will be dealt with such as repeat offenders, repeat incidents, hotspots etc. There had been conflicts between youths from Ashton and youths from Ribbleton and the meeting was informed that the individuals involved would be targeted at the weekend.
There had been a reduction in burglary in the area over the last quarter and 2 known burglars had been detained. Inspector Morley advised that there had been a small crime spike in Ashton relating to moped theft.
The following issues were discussed:-
Ø A local resident commented that it was difficult to get officers out for incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour and noise nuisance. Inspector Morley stated that the rotas for the Neighbourhood Policing Teams are being amended so that the majority of shifts will be evening and weekends. It was explained that noise nuisance is the responsibility of Environmental Health, however, as of this week the Police are being deployed for incidents of noise nuisance.
Ø It was asked whether it would be considered a public offence if the noise nuisance was taking place in a public area. Inspector Morley advised that noise offences usually occurred in dwellings but if there was noise nuisance occurring in the street the police would usually attend. He added that the police will also aim to now attend all instances of noise nuisance within an hour.
Neighbourhood Services PDF 1 MB
The Council’s Head of Parks and Open Spaces will be in attendance to provide information and answer any questions about topics including street cleansing, recycling and grounds maintenance.
The Chair welcomed Mr Mark Taylor, Head of Clean Environment, to the meeting to provide an update on the work of Preston City Council’s Neighbourhood Services Division.
Mr Taylor summarised the work of Neighbourhood Services and the three departments encompassed in the division which are street cleansing and litter education, horticulture, parks and green spaces, and refuse collection and recycling. Mr Taylor provided a Waste Management update in relation to the impact of snow and ice. He explained that the department had attempted to carry out as many waste collections as normal over this period, extra crews had been deployed when available and they had carried out extra shifts at the weekend to catch up with any missed collections. All brown bin compost collections finished on 18th December 2009and were due to restart on the 11th January 2010, however, this had been delayed and would now restart on 18th January. It was added that the brown bins could also be used to dispose of real Christmas trees. Mr Taylor provided the meeting with information on plastic recycling advising that Neighbourhood services had only ever officially accepted bottles and that, although, in the past they had accepted other plastics they had not been recycled. A new recycling transfer station was due to open on the Docks in 2010 which currently would not take other types of plastics except bottles. Mr Taylor explained that Neighbourhood Services was working with the new station in an attempt to recycle more plastics and hoped that it would not be too long before this was possible.
The meeting were given a Clean Environment update and informed of the Clean Street Project, the aim of which is tackling environmental issues street by street. Through this project some staff have been deployed to individual streets to ensure that they are thoroughly cleansed. The staff monitor all areas of cleansing on these streets, act on issues that occur and then leaflet the residents to advise them of any actions taken. The meeting was informed that enforcement had taken place with prosecutions for fly-tipping and fly-posting.
Mr Taylor explained that winter pruning was continuing around the city and asked that residents advise the Parks and Horticulture department if there were any areas that they felt were in need of pruning. A tree planting event had taken place on Ashton Park on 9th December with rangers and volunteers planting 750 trees in one hour as part of Breathing Places attempt to break the world record. Another 500 trees are due to be planted once the weather improves and it was asked that anyone interested in helping contact the park ranger.
The meeting was shown photographs of the changes to the barriers on Bexhill Road to allow better access for wheelchair users. Mr Taylor informed the meeting that funding of £4,500 would be used to make improvements to Nog Tow Pond with work starting February 2010. The consultation for the improvements to the Tanterton Play Area was near completion with a further meeting due to take place on 1st February to finalise the location and it was anticipated that work would begin in spring. It was noted that the £75,000 improvements to Ashton Park Play Area were due to take place over the next few months to upgrade and replace the existing equipment and the park would also be submitted for Green Flag status in 2010. Mr Taylor informed the meeting that planning was underway for a centenary event on Haslam Park on July 10th 2010 which would be a community event and added that he welcomed any ideas or support.
A copy of the presentation is available to download from www.preston.gov.uk .
The following issues were raised:-
Ø One resident asked why the plastic recycling had been collected and not paper recycling and also added that recycling lids had been taken and used for sledging. Mr Taylor answered that there had been some vehicle problems but he would take this issue away and look into it. He was aware that some recycling lids had been taken.
Ø A local resident stated that the street cleanse took place the day before the recycling cleanse when it would have been more beneficial to be carried out afterwards. Mr Taylor advised that he would take the residents details and street details and look into this. He acknowledged that there was sometimes a problem with refuge being left behind after collections.
Ø The statement was made that the NEAT teams do not appear to cover all areas in the West or clean side streets and ginnels. It was noted that the NEAT teams only work in Neighbourhood Management areas and are unable to go out of these boundaries. Mr Taylor advised that he would take a note of the location and added that Neighbourhood Services had response teams that were available for other areas.
Ø The question was asked what could be done with the plastics that were not recyclable. It was answered that the easiest option was to take these to Tom Benson Way.
Ø One resident asked if there was a smaller street cleansing machine that could be used for the Cottam area as the current machine was too big to clean properly. The resident also stated that there was a problem with fishermen parking on the grass verge around Nog Tow pond and on Tom Benson Way. It was added that there was a problem with the height of some of the trees in that area. In response to the first point Mr Taylor answered that Neighbourhood Services have a small fleet of vehicles and there are smaller machines, however, the crew have been advised that if they find any areas that are not cleaned properly then they should report them and clean them manually. Regarding the problems with parking, a member of the forum highlighted that the fishing site was meant for local people within walking distance. Inspector Morley added that the owner of the grass verge would need to look into possible parking restrictions. It was noted that the issue with the height of the trees would be reported back to the horticultural department.
Ø Concern was raised that the overflow pipe from the pond across from the Ancient Oak pub in Cottam emptied across the pavement so that in the recent freeze, people had to walk in the road. It was asked that a pipe be fitted to run the overflow straight into the gutter. It was answered that the Parish Council carried out work to increase the path height but it hasn’t been sufficient in the recent weather conditions. It was added that the Parish Council may need to work in conjunction with Preston City Council to fix this. Councillor Buttle advised that she would look into this issue as the Parish Council had been provided with some funding to help alleviate the problem.
Ø It was highlighted that from Lane Ends to Pedder’s Lane had been missed out during street cleansing and it was asked if this area could be cleaned. Mr Taylor assured that this area would be cleaned. A member of the forum advised that Neighbourhood Management were meeting with the Cleansing Team in the next week to identify streets which needed attention.
During the 30 minute Open Forum Session residents have the opportunity to ask Councillors, County Councillors and representatives from the Police, Primary Care Trust and other agencies questions about anything that they are concerned about. If you would like a written response to your question, please complete a question card and hand it in to the Area Forum Officers at the meeting.
There then followed an Open Forum during which members of the public were invited to raise concerns on local issues affecting Ashton, Ingol, Larches and Lea.
The following topics were discussed and members of the Forum gave responses where possible:-
Ø A local resident asked for an update to question 4 on the question schedule. It was noted that this question had been updated and copies were made available to the meeting.
Ø More details were requested on the new Sports Facility that was to be located on Ashton Park. The Chair explained that he was constrained in what he could say as there was a media embargo around the project. It was advised that the project was sponsored by a major company who would be carrying out their own press release.
The presentation will give a brief overview of the legislation that covers dog fouling and dogs on leads and the types of Dog Control Orders that the Council can adopt. Then there will be a question and answer session to gauge public opinion on what orders the Council should adopt.
The Chair welcomed Marie McCracken, Senior Environmental Health Officer, to the meeting to provide a brief overview of the legislation that covers dog fouling and dogs on leads and the types of Dog Control Orders that the Council can adopt.
Ms McCracken began by explaining that the public consultation was being carried out to make members of the public aware of proposals for the Council to adopt up to 5 Dog Control Orders, to invite views on the adoption of Dog Control Orders prior to commencing the formal adoption process, and to ensure that the Council’s proposals take on board the concerns of interested parties from the outset.
It was explained that the current enforcement of Dog Legislation was carried out by 2 dog wardens and covered all of the Preston City area. In use currently was the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 to serve fixed penalty notices on persons not picking up after their dog. The Council previously also had powers under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to require dogs on designated roads to be on leads; however, these powers were recently lost when the Highways function reverted to Lancashire County Council.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gives the Council a number of powers to update and consolidate their powers to deal with dogs. This is done by the adoption of Dog Control Orders (DCOs). The regulations provide for the following five orders:
- Failing to remove dog faeces
- Not keeping a dog on a lead
- Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
- Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded
- Taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land
It was highlighted that the adoption of Dog Control Orders had numerous benefits to the community. One benefit would be that an order for dog fouling would allow the council to set a higher fixed penalty fine than at present (£50). The adoption of an order requiring dogs to be put on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer, or at all times, would replace powers previously enacted under the Highways Act. Another benefit was that the number of authorised officers who can serve fixed penalties may be increased e.g. Park Rangers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), & Litter Enforcement Officers.
When adopting Dog Control Orders the Council must balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against those who may be affected by dogs. For example the need for children to have access to dog free areas and areas where dogs are under strict control. The council must consider which orders are appropriate to deal with the local issues and problems of dogs within the City of Preston. The council do not have to adopt all five orders. The council also need to show that this is a necessary and proportional response to dog problems. Consideration must be given to how easy it would be to enforce any order made.
The meeting was informed that the adoption of Dog Control Orders is a lengthy process which requires consulting with primary and secondary authorities and other consultees e.g. the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Agency. Other interested parties include the Police, the RSPCA, Parks, and British Waterways. Part of the process is to publish a notice describing the proposed order in the local newspaper and invite representation. Environmental Health expect to have adopted orders in place for this summer.
Ms McCracken highlighted that dog fouling and dog control issues are matters of great public concern. She added that the adoption of orders that strengthen the council’s regulatory powers in the area would both accord with public demand and contribute to the Council’s Clean Green City agenda. The adoption of Dog Control Orders would modernise and add further powers for the council to deal with irresponsible dog owners and also increase the level of fixed penalty fines and enable them to be brought in line with fixed penalty notices for littering offences.
Dog Control Order Questionnaires were handed out to the meeting for attendees to complete. Completed questionnaires will be used to gauge public opinions and which Orders they would like to implement. It was asked that completed questionnaires be returned to the Environmental Health Department.
A copy of the presentation is available to download from www.preston.gov.uk .
The following issues were discussed:-
Ø One resident stated that officers were needed for instances of dog fouling outside of work hours as most people walked their dogs before and after work. Ms McCracken answered that officers are flexible and are able to work out of normal working hours.
Ø It was stated that there were not enough bins for dog fouling. It was explained that any bin could now be used for dog fouling and all litter bins should now have a sticker to advise that dog fouling is welcome.
Ø Concern was raised regarding the large amount of dog fouling on a Monday morning on Larches estate on the walk to Lea County Primary School. The resident stated that this is a health and safety issue for the children and she has sent emails in relation to this to the council. Ms McCracken asked that residents report all instances to the Call Centre and advised that it would be very useful for the Animal Welfare team if when incidents occur, residents could provide details of times, places and owners as this makes it easier to catch offenders. It was suggested that all main schools be targeted as hotspots. It was noted that Neighbourhood Services would look at how they could also help address the issue.
Ø A local resident asked if Neighbourhood Services could use the Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team (NEAT) team to clean dog fouling as with local knowledge they will know where the biggest offenders are. Mr Taylor advised that the NEAT team do this and that they need information about hotspots to keep on top of the cleaning.
Ø A member of the meeting voiced their support for Dog Control Orders. He added that Whitby Road had become a Dog Watch Area but that no Fixed Penalties had so far been issued. He asked that for the next meeting details of how many Fixed Penalty Notices issued in the last 12 months be provided. Ms McCracken highlighted that at present for Fixed Penalty Notices to be issued, incidents of dog fouling had to be witnessed. From the consultation it was hoped that PCSOs would be able to provide witness statements for enforcement.
Ø The statement was made that funding had been received for a new play area on Ashton Park and currently owners let their dogs onto the area and foul. It was added that owners doing this should be given a fine and named and shamed if they do not pick up the fouling.
Ø One resident suggested that dog licences should be reintroduced as it would be easier to identify and report dogs.
Ø The comment was made that in regards to the consultation questionnaire, its need to be clarified where dogs can be let off the lead and how dog fouling will be dealt with. Ms McCracken highlighted that this is the wording of the legislation and comments like this were needed.
Ø A member of the Forum advised that a Sub Group of the Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Panel had recently been formed to consider the proposals to introduce Dog Control Orders and emphasised that the views provided from the consultation be taken back to the Sub Group and would be used to help to inform the work of the Group.
Ø It was asked whether it was possible to have temporary notices for where to keep dogs on leads i.e. at events or if it could be part of the contract for specific events. It was answered that it was not possible to issue temporary notices, they would need to be permanent. If it was part of the contract for a specific event they would need to enforce on the day.
Guild Wheel PDF 930 KB
A short presentation will be given to the meeting on the planned Guild Wheel Project to develop a 21 mile linear park with an all weather walkway around the City.
The Chair welcomed Mr Peter Ward, Chair of the Guild Wheel Committee, to the meeting to provide a presentation on the planned Guild Wheel Project to develop a 21 mile linear park with an all weather cycle walkway around the City.
Mr Ward advised the meeting that the Guild dates back to 1179 when King Henry II granted the town its first royal charter, in Richard II’s reign was the first public celebration of the Guild, in Henry VIII’s reign the Guild was celebrated every 20 years, and in Queen Elizabeth’s reign came the 1952, 1972 and 1992 Guilds.
It was explained that the Guild Wheel is a 21 mile cycling and walking circuit, mostly off road, around the city. It will be used by thousands of walkers, cyclists, and runners and will be easily accessible to wheelchair users. The facility will be safe and attractive and can be enjoyed by individuals, groups, and families and will be available for community activities. It was explained that the route passes through areas of the city which suffer from health inequalities and it was explained that it was hoped that the project would help increase cycling participation and promote healthier lifestyles.
The Guild Wheel will make a significant contribution to cutting pollution and congestion in the city. Together with related facilities the Wheel is likely, by increasing walking and cycling, to reduce car use in Preston by over 15%. Car and safe cycle parking facilities will be established at intervals around the Guild Wheel.
At intervals around the Wheel will be located four Artworks about Preston’s historical events, and children’s play activity centres. The Wheel links communities to the city and the surrounding country side passing by the Docklands, Millennium Canal, Preston Sports Arena, Cottam Village and Marina, Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Broughton High School, Savick Brook Valley, Blue Bell way, Boilton Wood, Brockholes Wetlands, the River Ribble and Avenham and Miller Parks.
Mr Ward informed the meeting that the Guild Wheel is set to become the legacy for Preston Guild 2012 along with the 1842 memorial for the 1992 Guild and the Guild Hall for the 1972 Guild. Those in support of the project include Sir Tom Finney, the Duke of Westminster, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, High Sheriff of Lancashire, Leaders of the City & County Councils, North West MEPs and the four Local MPs. Further support for the project includes Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, and Community Organisations. Sport celebrity endorsement came from Chris Boardman OBE, Nicole Cooke, and Brian Cookson OBE. Mr Ward listed the public and private sector business support as coming from the NHS (Primary Care Trust), Learning and Skills Council, Lancashire Probation Service, Lancashire Job Centre Plus, Barton Grange, Faisaltex, Lancashire Evening Post, and several more companies are keen to be involved.
A copy of the presentation is available to download from www.preston.gov.uk .
The following issues were discussed:-
Ø One resident asked if the Guild Wheel would follow an already established walking route. Mr Ward explained that there were points of the Guild Wheel route where it met with the existing walking route and added that a separate cycle way was also needed.
Ø Maintenance of the project was discussed. Mr Ward advised that Barton Grange were supplying the flowers and shrubbery for the landscaping of the all weather path and a minimum of 10 years maintenance has been built into the project.
Ø Congratulations were given on the project.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Western Area Forum is schedule to take place at 7.00pm on 4th March 2010at Cottam Primary School.
The next meeting of the Western Area Forum is scheduled to take place at 7.00pm on 4th March 2010 at Cottam Primary School.