Posted by: iangilbert | October 7, 2011

Parking and Policing

Parking and policing are two of the biggest issues that people raise with their local representatives. I attended two meetings last night – I visited the parking consultation drop-in session at Swanage Road Church and the Triange Residents’ Association at St Melitus, Oakhurst Road.

At the parking drop in I was able to gauge what residents were saying about the scheme for residents’ parking in the St Ann’s, Guildford Road, Maldon Road, Short Street, Coleman Street area. I was able to consult officers about some fine detail of the proposals, such as the status of the bays in Short Street and arrangements for parking outside churches in the area that might have problems with funerals etc. By making the officers aware of these issues we can increase the chances of getting a scheme that suits a large majority of local residents. The background information will be invaluable when the decision on the parking scheme is considered formally by the council’s Traffic & Parking Working Party, of which I’m a member.

I also discussed the issues about parking in North, South and Central Avenues as put to me by a reader of this blog. Unfortunately the councils’ resources are extremely stretched and are being asked to deal with parking problems in all parts of the borough, but if residents there feel that extending the residents’ parking zone to their roads is the answer, I’ll do my best to get it.

The Triangle Residents Association (of which I’m a Committee Member)  that I attended after was a well attended and positive meeting. I was able to meet PC Reid, our new neighbourhood police officer for the first time. Residents raised concerns about the high turnover of neighbourhood police officers, with PCs building up local knowledge only  to have to move on. Bringing in dedicated Neighbourhood Police Teams was one of the best achievements of the last government, but residents will not see the full benefit if officers are constantly shifted around. My colleague David Norman has raised this very point with the Chief Constable some time ago. Sadly the cuts to police force being implemented by the current government aren’t likely to help the situation.

My colleague Councillor David Norman raised serious issues about the future of South Essex Homes, which I shall probably blog on separately…

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