Minutes of the Annual Community Meeting 16th May 2018

The Minutes of the Annual Community Meeting held on Wednesday 16th May 2018 at Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester, commencing at 7.30pm

Council Members present
Chairman: Councillor J L Stewart Yes
Vice Chairman: Councillor M Goss No

Councillors: Councillor Ms. P Bacon Yes
Councillor Miss C Bailey Yes
Councillor R Beauchamp No
Councillor Mrs C Clouston Yes
Councillor D Clouston Yes
Councillor Ms de Smith Yes
Councillor J Dickson No
Councillor S Calver Yes
Councillor A Ellis No
Councillor Ms L Gray No
Councillor A Hayman Yes
Councillor P Hewitt Yes
Councillor Mrs A Jay No
Councillor R Johnstone Yes
Councillor D King Yes

Community Council Staff Present: Clerk to the Council Denise Humphris

14 members of the public

1. CHAIRMAN’S WELCOME
The Chairman of Myland Community Council opened the meeting.
His full report can be viewed in Appendix ‘A’. He introduced Chairman of
Council Committee present at the meeting and Councillor Catherine Clouston
who he thanked for her continued contribution as editor of the Mylander.

2. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE RESOLVED: None received

3. DISCUSSION AND GENERAL QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
Myland Community Council Events 2018
Those present were reminded that Myland Community Council plan to run the
annual fete again this year as well as an event later in the year to commemorate
the end of World War 1. Any volunteers who wished to help would be welcomed.
Braiswick Lane A resident of Braiswick Lane asked for something to be done about
the dangerous access onto Mile End Road. When coming out of the land it is
difficult to see North because of cars parked in front of the Church. There are
ongoing problems with maintenance and residents would like it to be a private
road with no parking for non-residents. The situation is so bad that it would be
difficult for Emergency vehicles to access the road if they were needed.
The Chair advise that he was aware of the problems and the Planning and
Highways Committee would look at the mater to see what may be done. County
Councillor Anne Turrell advised that as this is a private unadopted road residents
could put a sign up saying ‘Private Road No Parking’. Councillor Johnstone
advised that Essex County Council are well aware of the problems as Braiswick
Lane is part of the PROW network being footpath 42 and is therefore the
Responsibility of ECC.
Refuse Collections Councillor Bacon advised that bins being left on the path
were causing obstructions for pedestrians meaning they had to walk on the road.
She felt that the Borough Council should be asked to collect from driveways to
avoid this problem.
Highwoods Big Garden Project gave some brief background details. The project has
been running for 10 years but after losing its funding a Community Interest
Company was set up to help with fund raising. Myland Community Council were
thanked for their contribution which had allowed replacement of 3 large raised
beds. The Gardens are maintained by ‘The Big Friendly Gardeners’ a volunteer
group who are also seeking funding and have bins for tokens in local
supermarkets. The group are hoping to once again get Health Referrals as the
project assists with well being and is good therapy.

4. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL COMMUNITY MEETING HELD ON 10TH MAY 2017 RESOLVED: to approve the minutes (previously circulated) as a true record for
signature by the Chairman.

5. MYLAND COMMUNITY COUNCIL CLERK’S REPORT
Since joining Myland Community Council in September 2017, we have had a
very busy few months which has seen us make a start on refurbishing our office
modernising our processes and updating our ICT. New accounting systems are in
place that make it easier for Councillors to keep up to date with the Financial
position of the Council always and we have reviewed staff contracts and
hours to ensure staff costs are kept to a minimum whilst still servicing the
legal, financial and administrative needs of the Council. The new regulations with
regards to Data Protection which are coming into force this month have forced us
to review our copious files and filing systems and these are currently being sorted
and streamlined with a view to creating a paperless office. These updates and
improvements mean that Myland Community Council now has a good base for
reviewing it’s short, medium and long term aims and to shape this Council into an
organisation which is able to cater to the needs of the growing population in
Mile End over the coming years. None of this would have been possible without
the loyal and hardworking support provided by our staff and we must thank
Assistant to the Clerk Katherine Kane and our Street Services Warden Herbert
Duin who has been helping to keep Mile End streets clean and tidy as a
Myland Community Council employee for over 10 years.

5. WARD AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS
Essex County Councillor Anne Turrell gave some brief updates as follows:

  • Bergholt Road and Mill Road are scheduled to be re-surfaced;
  • Have achieved 20mph signs for the school;
  • Mill Road traffic calming project out for tender
  • Turner Road needs works and this is being pushed on by County and
    Borough ward councillors.
  • Brinkley Grove. Trees and utilities surveys being undertaken before works
    Can commence;
    Stowe Court – bump in the road on the list to be repaired.
  • New crossing for Queen Boudica school is moving forwards
    Councillor Turrell advised that Highways works can take up to 4 years to be
    completed.

Councillor Bacon asked if we could have a monthly update from Councillor Turrell
at MCC meetings and she advised that she reports when there is anything new to
report and that herself and Borough Councillors Goss and King work very
closely together. Councillor Turrell will liaise with the new MCC Chairman after
appointment in May to see if any more regular or detailed reports were needed.
Councillor David Clouston noted that MCC came into being around 20 years ago
and that Anne Turrell had been one of the original councillors and he thanked her
for her work for Mile End.
Colchester Borough Councillor David King advised that he would look at what
could be done to improve the quality of reporting and assured of his intentions
to support residents, helping them to address concerns to the right authority and
giving them help and support in those processes where required. He advised that
the new Borough Council has not yet been formed. He will try to keep Mile
End residents informed of matters affecting them and will use Community Council
to help as an information source.
Myland Community Council – Planning and Development Policy Committee
Chairman’s report -Appendix ‘B’
Myland Community Council – Resources Policy and Strategy Committee –
Chairman’s Report – Appendix ‘C’
Myland Community Council – Neighbourhood Working Plan Group –
Chairman’s Report – Appendix ‘D’

6 TALK BY JANE GARDNER DEPUTY POLICE, FIRE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR ESSEX
The Chairman introduced Jane Gardner the Deputy Police Fire and Crime
commissioner for Essex.
She reported as follows:

  • Roger Hirst is elected Police Fire and Crime Commissioner and has 2 years
    of his term of office left.
  • He has some responsibilities that he cannot delegate:-
    a) Hiring and firing Chief Constable. Steven Kavanagh has left and they
    are currently advertising for a replacement.
    b) Setting the Council Tax Precept for Policing and Fire. This has been raised
    this year in response to residents’ desire to have more visible local
    policing. They are trying to get the best possible services from budgets
    so that savings can be re-invested on front line policing. Roger Hirst
    has been lobbying for more police and as a result of this the Government
    gave funds to increase the number of Police Officers on the
    provision that this would be match funded by raising funds from the
    Precept. This has resulted in 150 new officers across Essex and they will
    be asking for an increase to this number again next year. They are also
    lobbying Government for a review of the funding formula for Policing
    which does not follow development and the potential for crime as
    communities increase in size. Currently large cities such as London
    and Manchester get more money because they have higher crime but
    they are lobbying for more funds for Essex.

In setting strategic direction for the Police and Fire Services there are some key
priorities:

  • More Local and Visible Police. Lots of resources are taken for hidden crimes
    such as cyber crime and they want to see more re-investment in
    community Policing.
  • Crackdown on anti-social behaviour. Low level anti-social behaviour if left
    Unchecked has the potential to escalate to criminality and can be very
    damaging to communities. Colchester have a very good Community
    Safety Partnership team who are focussed, visionary and want to respond to
    Community needs. There is also a Restorative Justice Team who have had
    success in working with communities to eliminate anti-social behaviour.
  • Breaking the cycle of Domestic Abuse. Using prevention strategies to try to
    help young people understand what a healthy relationship looks like.
  • Reverse the trend in violent crime. Working hard on youth and prevention,
    with partnership working with a Countrywide Task Force providing pathways
    for youngsters to escape gangs.
  • Tackle Gangs and organised crime Fire Service offer to install and check fire
    alarms and can often spot social isolation and signpost this to other agencies
    to prevent vulnerable people and their homes being used by gangs.
  • Improving Safety on the roads Driving whilst using mobile ‘phones drug and
    drink driving, and speeding are the biggest killers in Essex and they are
    thinking about education to help stop this happening.

Whilst there has been some concern regarding the closure of Police Stations this
has been because they want an estate fit for modern day policing and equally
want officers out in the community. The sale of Police Stations has paid for
Police Officers to be given the technology needed to stay out on Patrol longer as
they can use smart ‘phones to submit reports etc. They can also use them to view
CCTV from wherever they are.
New investment has been made in 101 with additional training and staffing which
has resulted in reduced waiting times. It was down to 5/6 minutes wait last month
has been further improved to 2/3 minutes wait this month. Work to improve the
service continues, along with working to increase awareness of the ability to
report online wherever possible.
999 is hitting response times every time.
Work is ongoing to increase the number of Special Constables. These are fully
Warranted Police Officers who have the same powers as regular officers, the only
difference being that they are volunteers. There are plans to double the number of
Special Constables from 350 to 700 over the next few years.
Ms Gardner took questions from the floor.

Q: We used to have the name of a Community Officer responsible for this area –
will that ever happen again?
A: Probably not. The Local District Commander is working on new Engagement
Strategies to restore connections to the Community.
Comment: Rosewood Estate had experienced high levels of Crime but increased
Police visibility coupled with community focus had brought a successful outcome.
Emphasised that everything must be reported as this helps the Police to build up
an intelligence picture.

Q: Is the escalating crime in Colchester because tough policing tactics in London
squeezing them out of the City?
A: Yes this does happen but the Police work across borders with both the
Metropolitan Police and Suffolk Police to monitor criminal’s movements.
Comment: From experience there is an ongoing problem with displacement
Comment: Vulnerable people are being targeted for money and property
‘cuckooing’.

Q: Domestic Violence. Have officers now all been trained?
A: Yes they have an a multi-agency approach to these situations have enabled the
Police to improve performance.

Q: What is the approach to ‘victims of crime’? There are reports of victims being
put in detention due to immigration status, possibly making them afraid to report
crime.
A: Victims always come first.

Q: It sounds as if social education is key. How does this work?
A: Working with education colleagues such as the Association of Secondary Heads
to provide early education.
Comment: The Fire Station Open Day last year was a huge success incorporating
Police and Fire Emergency services and good community education in a format
enjoyed by youngsters.
A: This will be happening again this year.

Q: It has been said for many years that there is not enough Police presence on the
streets. There is a perception that we are safer with higher visibility policing.
Do we know statistically if this makes any difference?
A: No statistics to support this but it is accepted that a balance is required between
cars on Patrol and Police Officers on foot, who can better integrate with the
community. A new initiative ‘Coffee with Cops’ where Police Officers go to local
fast food and coffee shops to chat with the community is proving very successful.

Q: The Council’s Community Engagement Committee hold regular ‘Meet and Greet’
Events. Would it be possible to have a Police Officer attend as well?
A: Yes they would try to arrange this.

The Chairman thanked Ms Gardner for her time.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9pm.