For those residents who were unable to make the September meeting – and it was mentioned that more notice is needed! – what follows is my account of the concerns and issues that were discussed.
Antisocial behaviour (ASB)
Those residents with the best view of our green spaces seem to agree that the play area is the focal point of a lot of the ASB we have been experiencing, with criminal damage (see Crime, below) occurring near there as well. It is generally agreed we should pursue (from the council, most likely) installation of better lighting in that far corner or even CCTV to deter and help catch the perpetrators.
On quite a few occasions, newly-planted trees have been fatally, criminally damaged and even a car has been similarly attacked. It is unlikely Redrow will replace the damaged trees long before they leave the site; if they do replace them (and I will ensure they do), it will probably happen very close to their leaving date. Residents have been calling 101 for any incidents where youths and young adults have been misusing the playground, damaging paving tiles etc., and we should continue to do this. Our local PCSO is of a particularly zero-tolerance mind-set where even ASB is concerned.
Suspicion of drugs sold by Premier store
It has been brought to our attention that there is an individual who often sits outside the Premier store and he is allegedly selling drugs on that corner. We will check to ensure whether the police are aware of this individual so that our children are not at risk of exposure to this activity.
On at least a couple of occasions, residents have been dissatisfied with the response from the local constabulary. I will be setting up a form on this site which allows residents to report criminal damage or ASB alongside an incident number, and then anyone concerned by the response they received can report their issue and I can link it with the incident number. This should help us to keep track of how well we are supported in case a complaint needs to be raised. Additionally, our local PCSO has been assisting by following up on some of these concerns.
Other estate concerns
Refuse and dog excrement bins
Many residents find the responsible party’s failure to empty both kinds of bins on a regular basis intolerable. Jane Austen at the council has been particularly helpful with this and, hopefully, by the time the council takes full responsibility for the site, this issue will be rectified. We should keep well on top of this issue, since the green space is there for everybody.
Several residents have noted that the main pond in particular has been completely overrun with bullrushes. Others have had their driveways and their pavement areas purposefully strewn with bullrush detritus, which is of course quite unpleasant, not to mention difficult to clean. We should try to ensure that the council’s groundskeepers cut these back from time to time. More seriously, there has been vandalism and/or theft of the safety equipment which was positioned around the pools, and this needs to be replaced ASAP.
Several attendees of the meeting were concerned about the speed at which some drivers tear around on Carey Fields’ roads, and I have often seen the Redrow builders’ vehicles doing 40mph+ around 4pm, which is when there are lots of children on the road coming back from school. We will need to keep an eye on the speed problem once the council takes over responsibility for the roads. A 20mph limit and speed bumps were suggested as a minimum goal.
To be actioned
Better notice of NHW meetings
Despite a full mail drop, a Doodle poll and notifications via Moulton Facebook groups, it seems quite a few residents remained unaware of the NHW meeting, which is on me. I will be setting up a form on this site which allows concerned residents to provide me with their email addresses for meeting and other important alerts, and it looks like mail drops will need to continue, for now. It was also suggested that we go door-to-door to preach the good word of the Watch, to put a more human face to the group. I see no reason why we shouldn’t do that as well.
For quite some time we have relied upon a select few residents whose houses front the park, but this is obviously not ideal moving forward, not least because much of the ASB and criminal damage occurs at night. I will look into obtaining some lighting and some CCTV for the play area or the first bend in Moorbridge Road to improve our chances of catching the perpetrators. We will also be getting some NHW signage put up.
Collaboration with other Moulton NHW groups
An extremely good suggestion came out of the meeting where I should liaise with other NHW groups locally so that problematic but geographically diverse issues might be better dealt with. I’ll totally be doing that.
Assistance with technical issues
If any resident would like to install their own CCTV unit and would like assistance selecting one which meets their security and financial requirements then please let me know. I’m happy to help. (I will post, separately, some details from the Which? web site on their favourite netcam solutions.)