Minutes of the Jarvis Brook and East Ward Neighbourhood Policing Panel Meeting Held 2nd November, 2012.
Present: Kate Bowsher (KB), Ann Divall (AD), Elizabeth Fermor (EF), Jim Gander (JG), Paul Guntrip (PG), Steve Isted (SI), Mary Lightfoot (ML), Amy Murphy (AM), Rod Norman (RN), Ruth Parnell-Mace (RP), Sally Potter (SP), Thomas Reynolds (TR), Ella Simpson (ES), Muriel Smith (MS), Pat Sales (PaS), Peter Sales (PeS), Colin Stocks (CS), Richard Stogdon (RS), Sandra Timms (ST), Georgina Wells (GW).
Apologies: Sam Astbury (SA), Jane Clark (JC), Sue Cowen (SC), Josie Gregory (JG), Mary Harris (MH), Mike Keeler (MK), Alan Weaver (AW), Richard Waters (RW), Crowborough Athletic FC.
1. Minutes of Meeting Held 3rd August, 2012
The Minutes were agreed.
2. Vehicles Driving on the Footway
The neighbourhood policing team have attended Western Road on numerous occasions, at two locations where there have been particular problems with vehicles driving on the footway. Three motorists received advice from officers, and four fixed penalties were issued.
Sussex Police's corporate communications group are developing posters that can be deployed on Western Road to educate and deter motorists from driving on the footway.
3. Street Meetings
RP reported on street meetings held in the Jarvis Brook and East Ward areas. Traffic problems very common. There are also issues with trials bikes being used in the Ghyll, the condition of the roads, and isolated cases of drug use.
4. Distraction Burglary
RP reported another distraction burglary. The Neighbourhood Policing team are raising awareness of the issue amongst vulnerable residents. If you are suspicious of people attempting to gain entry into homes, particularly the homes of elderly or vulnerable residents, please contact Sussex Police.
5. WDC Jarvis Brook Car Park
SI reported that a district wide consultation was undertaken by WDC, but the consultation period was very short. SI completed the survey on behalf of the local area. A report based on the results of the consultation will be presented to the portfolio holder.
SI has requested that the 23 hour bays be reduced to 7 hours to prevent commuter parking, which is limiting the number of parking spaces available to local shoppers. The district-wide order is being changed so that car park rules can be enforced. There are currently very few parking enforcement officers in the Wealden area. However, plans to give PCSOs the power to enforce parking offences are being drawn up.
SI also requested an increase in the number of 3 hour parking bays, and reiterated the need for the markings to be repainted so that they are clear and unambiguous.
No changes are planned to the bay sizes, even though many residents feel that the bays are too small for modern cars.
6. Refuse Collection
WDC have selected a private contractor to provide refuse collection services. The new contractor begins operations in April, at which time the refuse depot on Forest Dene will close. SI has suggested that the site is used to provide social housing.
Under the new collection arrangements, each dwelling will have three wheelie bins and one box. More refuse will be recycled. For households that may not want 220 litre bins, it may be possible to request the smaller 100 litre bins.
It was reported that refuse collections on Western Road are sometimes occurring at times of the day when there is maximum congestion. SI agreed to request a more sensible collection time given the serious traffic problems that exist. SI also agreed to try and ensure that the new contractor was informed about the problems on Western Road.
7. New Housing Developments
All tiers of local authority are united in opposition to new housing developments in the East Ward and Jarvis Brook Ward areas. Along with residents, they remain firmly of the opinion that the local road infrastructure is not adequate for the levels of traffic already experienced, so any increase would be wholly inappropriate.
The appeal against WDC's refusal to allow the new development at Alderbrook has been dropped. However, the spectre of the large development to the South of Walshes Road remains.
Funds have been made available for a major traffic survey, the results of which will be published in the first quarter of 2013. It is inevitable that battles over suitable sites for development will continue.
8. Yellow Lines on Burdett Road
RS reported that, due to the Burdett Road scheme consultation being combined with two other schemes, there has been a delay in implementation. Objections to one of the other schemes was raised, temporarily halting all three. ST reported that a site meeting at the problem scheme had identified a solution, and it is expected that all three schemes will now progress.
9. Bollards on Western Road
RS reported that Highways Authority officers had visited Western Road and assessed conditions at the location where bollards have been installed, causing a problem with flooding due to the removal of the grass verges.
Raised kerbs have been proposed as a solution.
10. Markings at the Junction of Blackness Road and Luxford Road
The markings at this junction have been repainted.
RS reported that the hedges adjoining the junction on Luxford Road have been improved, giving better visibility of the junction. It was reported, however, that the clearer view is causing some motorists to be less cautious as they approach the junction. Some means of reducing vehicle speeds is required, particularly given the number of children that use this stretch of road, which has no footway.
11. Blocked Gully and Storm Drain on Mt Pleasant
The drains have been cleaned, and the storm drain is scheduled for replacement. There have been no further reports of effluent issuing from the storm drains. RS askd that local residents report any more issues with the drains, should they occur.
12. Parked Vehicles Obstructing Bus Routes
TR reported that buses were frequently finding it difficult to negotiate parked vehicles. RP replied that the bus operating companies needed to report the issue so that enforcement could take place, if necessary.
13. Previous Policing Priorities
13.1. Jarvis Brook Policing Priorities
Priority 1. Vehicles Driving on the Footpath on Western Road
13.2. East Ward Policing Priorities
Priority 1. Parking near Jarvis Brook School
No specific priorities identified.
14. New Policing Priorities
14.1 Jarvis Brook Policing Priorities
Priority 1. Vehicles Driving on the Footpath on Western Road
Static patrols will continue to be deployed along Western Road to monitor the problem.
Priority 2. Distraction Burglaries.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to run workshops, and carry out leaflet drops. Other initiatives are also being considered that involve other groups in the area.
14.2 East Ward Policing Priorities
It was agreed that there were no issues that needed to be priority issues.
15. Other Business
15.1 Neighbourhood Watch Schemes
RP will contact the volunteer in Blackness Road that is willing to be a coordinator for a Neighbourhood Watch scheme there.
There was a request for better, and more prompt, dissemination of information about crimes that have taken place. The example was given of a theft from a tradesman's vehicle that was not reported to the relevant Neaighbourhood Wathc scheme until weeks after it occurred.
15.2 Speeding at the Junction of Herne Road and Luxford Lane
It was noted that some vehicles negotiate this junction at high speed. Children are often playing nearby, causing a potential hazard.
15.3 Hedge to the South of St Michael's Church
It was reported that this is growing large enough to obstruct the view of pedestrians trying to cross the road at this point.
15.4 Provision of a Crossing on Rotherfield Road
The cost of a crossing is likely to be approximately £80,000. Given the current shortage of local authority funds, it is therefore very unlikely to go ahead unless external funding sources can be found.
AM, attending on behalf of Tesco, informed the meeting that Tesco would be in favour of a crossing since many of their staff walk in from the local area, as do many of their customers. She noted that planning permission for a car park was previously granted to Tesco, but the car park has not yet been built. There was discussion about whether, if Tesco were to develop the car park, they might make funds available to assist with the installation of a pedestrian crossing on Rotherfield Road.
15.5 RP Leaving
RP told the meeting that she will be moving to a new role in Sussex Police, taking her away from her current role as PCSO for Jarvis Brook Ward and East Ward.
The meeting thanked RP for her work in Crowborough, helping to keep it a low-crime area.
16. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Friday, 1st February, 2012, at 10am in the St. Michael's Church Hall. (Thanks are due to St Michael's for hosting these meetings, and to the volunteers for providing coffee and biscuits).