Thursday, May 25, 2006

Could you be a Recycling Champion?

Just back from tonight's meeting of the Sustaining our Environment Scrutiny and Review Panel. A very interesting meeting with lots of pertinence to our ward: Home Parks (of which more later), graffiti and kerbside recycling.

Bournemouth's full kerbside recycling scheme will begin on September 4th. Reg Hutton, the Head of Cleansing and Waste at the Council, is looking for local people to be 'Recycling Champions'. This will mean that you will receive information and education from the Reg's team. They will explain how the recycling system operates, in order that you can advise and encourage your neighbours about the new scheme.

Please let me know if you would be interested in your name going forward for one of these positions.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wessex Way Telephone Mast

I've recieved this update, from the planning department, on the situation concerning the mobile telephone mast on the Wessex Way, by the Queen's Park Health Club and opposite Littledown Drive and Thistlebarrow Road.

"I write to advise you that a meeting between representatives of 02, their agent's and Officers took place yesterday to discuss the mast that has been erected at Queens Park South Drive.

The representative of 02 expressed the company's willingness to negotiate with the Council with regard to the possibility of relocating the mast from its current position and to discuss mast sharing with Vodafone. It was pointed out that if a mast share was agreed between the two companies that resultant structure would be far bulkier and higher than the monopole that currently exists. It was stated that the mast has yet to be switched on and an undertaking was given for the mast to remain off whilst negotiations are taking place.

02 and their agents will be looking at alternative locations in the near vicinity of the existing mast, considering improving the current site by painting the mast grey to match adjoining lamp columns and carrying out landscaping and talking to Vodafone about sharing a mast. 02 have undertaken to provide the Council with details of their proposals within the next few weeks."

To remind you, O2 put the mast up after receiving a letter from the Council refusing planning permission, which they contest was sent a day too late.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Local Area Agreement - Walk the Ward

Bournemouth Borough Council, in common I understand with all local authorities, is in the process of setting up Local Area Agreements in each ward. These will be used to highlight priorities in the various areas.

In preparation for these agreements council officers have asked to walk around each ward with the councillors representing it. Ours for Littledown and Iford is booked for Friday June 2nd.

In preparation for this I've been sent the following questionnaire, which we are due to complete as we walk around the area, expressing the views of our residents. It therefore seems a good idea to me to publish the questions and ask residents to help me respond to them, otherwise how can I truly know that I am representing what they think.

Here they are:

1. What is life like for people in your ward? How do you know?
a. What’s the situation at the moment? How do you know?
b. What’s that like for people? How do you know?
c. What’s it like to be resident in Littledown & Iford? How do you know?
d. What’s it like to live in Bournemouth?
e. What do you feel good about in this ward?

Do people feel safe, are children being well educated, do they feel part of a community, are people in good health, is the financial side of life manageable for people here, How do they get involved, How do they get included, How are they and their views listened to, Do they think it is a nice place to live, is there somewhere to go, what is work like for people here, what are relationships like in the ward etc.?

f. Do you have a concern for your ward or the people who live here? How do you know?

see the opposite of above e.g. are people unsafe, are they discriminated against, is the situation they are in unfair etc.

g. What have they chosen to do about that?
h. Is the community getting support for that?
i. What difference is that making? How do you know?
j. How come?
k. What have you chosen to do about the situation?
l. What else could be done about it?
m. What support could local organisations and services give to help your ward?
n. How do people get treated when they get support? How do you know?
o. If you woke up tomorrow and someone had waved a magic wand and removed the problems your ward faced what would be different about the place, tomorrow, a few years from now, in the end?
p. Do you think people in your ward are happy?

A lot of questions, I know. Comments and responses to some if not all of them would be very welcome, either leave them in the comments section below or e-mail me at:


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Proposed bungalow development Hayes Avenue

As promised I attended the Planning Board Meeting tonight.

I spoke briefly against the proposal to build two bungalows in the gardens of the houses in Hayes Avenue. I'm pleased to say that the Board voted unanimously to refuse the application.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ward Development Fund

Thanks to everyone who has been responding with their comments on the proposal to spend £880 from the fund on a notice board for the King's Park Skate Park.

It looks like it will be a resounding 'No' from residents, at the moment the vote is running at around 50:1 against.

Two suggestions for alternative projects to support:

  • Bicycle racks for the shops on Christchurch Road
  • Widening the path under the railway bridge on Iford Lane

There has also been some more support for the idea of creating a path from the steps leading in to King's Park at the end of Petersfield Road across to the nearest path already crossing the park.

Any other ideas are very welcome!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ropley Road and Castle Lane East Update

I have had some feedback as a result of the earlier e-mail which I thought I should share and have also been told some other good news today.

2 Ropley Road

As a councillor now I am not allowed to object to a planning application formally until it gets in front of the planning board. For this reason I wasn’t aware that the revised planning application had been refused already by the planning department. My thanks to the residents of Ropley Rd who e-mailed me to tell me this. Apparently those who sent stamped and addressed envelopes with their objection letters will have heard already that this is the case.

I’m very sorry for not being more on the ball.

I should have also mentioned in my earlier e-mail the concern that there is a large amount of rubbish being dumped on the site. This has been brought to my attention and I have spoken already to the planning department about it. They visited the site last Monday (May 8th) and sent me the following update after their visit:

“A period of 21 days has been given for the items to be removed. If no action is taken after that period of time, we will consider whether to issue a Section 215 (untidy site) Notice. Failure to comply could result in a prosecution being taken against the owner through the courts”

This means that we should be looking at action being taken two weeks on Tuesday (Monday being the bank holiday) if the site is not cleared. I understand further rubbish has been dumped there this week and therefore I will be speaking to the council officers concerned on Monday morning to ensure that they are going to take action once the time limit is up if the rubbish is not cleared.

Castle Lane East

I had a meeting with a highways officer yesterday to discuss some issues on Castle Lane East. He mentioned some plans to me then that I have been able to confirm today.

Since I was elected in December I have been pushing for new signage on Castle Lane East as you head towards Iford so that it is clearer that the right hand lane can only turn in to Holdenhurst Avenue. I have also been asking for a review of the road markings heading towards the Cooper Dean roundabout, particularly through the traffic lights, as the current layout to my mind only adds to the chaos there.

I’ve had confirmation today that reviews of both are being undertaken and that the highways department accept that both need to be reviewed and reformed. We can therefore anticipate some action before the autumn on both counts!

Thanks for reading this further update

E-mail Update

Here's a copy of the news from my latest e-mail update to residents of the ward, if you are not on the list but would like me to add you to it please leave a comment below.

Planning Appeals – 2 Ropley Road and 163 Harewood Avenue

The Planning Inspector visited both these sites last Monday, May 8th. We now have to await his decision with regard to the original applications. Speaking to the Planning Department they remain hopeful of the applications being refused. Keep your fingers (and everything else) crossed!

The renewed application to the council for 2 Ropley Road does not appear on the list for consideration at Monday’s planning meeting. This means, if it is put forward, it will probably be considered at the meeting in June, which is scheduled for Monday June 19th at the moment. I will keep you up to date.

Planning Application – Hayes Avenue

Although not in our ward, the planning application to build a small estate of bungalows in Hayes Avenue, Kings Park, is very close to those people living in Thistlebarrow Road and at the King’s Park end of Littledown Drive and Littledown Avenue. Most importantly, it is close enough to Old Littledown to allow a precedent if accepted. For this reason I’ll be attending the Planning Board meeting on Monday, along with my colleagues from Springbourne, to object to it.

Telephone Masts

You will remember from my last e-mail that the proposed telephone mast for Castle Lane East by Tesco has been refused. I have heard that there may be a fresh application coming to site the mast in a similar location but rather than have it as a stand alone structure, rather to disguise it as a lamp post. I’ll keep you up to date with this application and will continue to oppose it’s positioning at the front of Tesco. There are better places within a short distance that are much further away from St Peter’s School and local houses.

The Planning Board will consider alterations to the Council’s policy on mobile masts on Council land on Monday, this should make it much easier for the Planning Department to suggest alternative sites that are further from residential locations to the mobile operators.

As part of this it is hoped that the O2 mast constructed on the Wessex Way by Queen’s Park (and the Vodafone mast approved for the same location), both of which are close to homes in Littledown Drive and Thistlebarrow Road, can be moved into Queen’s Park, further away from local housing and the Park School.

Anti Social Behaviour/On Street Car Sales/Illegal use of garages for Car Repair

These are issues that seem to be particularly effecting the area around Corhampton Road and its surrounding area at the moment. I’m pleased to say that we seem to have been successful in getting the Eastern European car breakers who were causing such a problem at the bottom end of Warnford Road to move elsewhere.

However there are still a number of problems persisting in the area. I’m therefore organising a mini ‘summit’ of the police, council officers responsible for ASBO’s, on street car sales, housing and environmental health and representatives of the local residents who have made complaints to see what coordinated action can be brought to bear.

Some of you will already know about this, if you are aware of a problem in this area and would like to be involved then please let me know. The meeting is likely to take place in the middle of June, probably at the Town Hall.

Littledown and Iford Forum

The reformed Littledown and Iford Forum are going to hold their first meeting in their new guise. It's scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, June 8th. The venue will be St Peter's School on Holdenhurst Avenue. I do hope as many local people as possible come along, it's a chance for residents to hold both the Council and your councillors to account and to feed back to both.

Well done to the chairman, Cyril Baker and the committee for all their hard work in getting the Forum off the ground again. Please do try and support them.

Ward Improvement Fund – Your Feedback Please

You may be aware that each ward receives a total of £5,000 in each financial year for improvements in the ward. These need to be ‘capital projects’, i.e. lasting changes. Up to the end of last year there had been no expenditure from this fund, therefore £15,000 had accumulated to be spent. Since then £200 has been given to the local Neighbourhood Watch for the purchase of UV Marker Pens and £1,000 towards the yellow line painting in Durrington Road (I have to say I was opposed to this use, but without the donation the lines would not have been painted).

The expenditure requests need to be put forward by councillors, although the Forum should play a role in suggesting projects. For example, I am working on putting forward a request for money to be used to pay for a new path to be built from the steps leading in to King’s Park at the end of Petersfield Road linking to the nearest path running across the park.

In the absence of a Forum meeting for a couple of weeks, I would appreciate your feedback on a request I’ve been asked to sign off. This is for £880 for a new notice board at the Skate Park in King’s Park. I’m not convinced this is a use of the money local people would support.

Therefore I would appreciate your input, with a short YES response if you think the money should be used for the notice board, or NO if you don’t. Not a scientific sample of Littledown and Iford Residents, I know, but there are now almost 500 of you on this list which is a fair sample of people.

Please also let me know if you have any projects you think would appropriate for use of the fund.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Littledown and Iford Forum

The reformed Littledown and Iford Forum are going to hold their first meeting in their new guise. It's scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, June 8th.

The venue will be St Peter's School on Holdenhurst Avenue.

I do hope as many local people as possible come along, it's a chance for our residents to hold both the council and we councillors to account.

Castlepoint Car Park

For those of us who live in and around Bournemouth, the saga of Castlepoint car park has been one of those living nightmares which doesn't seem to ever go away.

Castlepoint is a new out of town shopping centre built on the eastern edge of the town about three years ago. It's not in my ward, but the traffic chaos caused by it can effect us very badly.

Within a year of its opening problems were found with the construction of it's two tier car park. The car park fronts the shopping area and therefore its closure means the shops have to close too. This happened in the first week of December last year, closing the shopping centre through until New Year.

Now the owners of the development have announced that the entire car park is going to be demolished in a phased manner spreading over some months, if not years. The whole structure not having been built to a safe enough standard.

Apparently, the construction has never been signed off by the Council's building control staff. This didn't need to happen apparently because the building contractors remained on site throughout the period. Surely though, the structure should have been signed off prior to it being opened? Had this happened we presumably wouldn't be where we are today.

It appears to me to be a matter of scrutiny. The Council should have scrutinized the construction and ensured that the car park was being built to a satisfactory standard and not allowed it to open if they were dissatisfied with the end result. If they were hampered in doing this by building Control legislation, then that legislation must be wrong and should be changed.

Allowing the centre to open with the car park construction either incomplete or improperly finished is unacceptable. The Council should be giving the people of Bournemouth detailed answers on how this came about and assurances that their scrutiny of the rebuilding will ensure construction is undertaken to a satisfactory standard.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Purbeck Election Results

Back from to posting to the blog after a week of campaigning in Mid Dorset and Nort Poole.

Here are the results from Thursday night (with change from the comparable election last time) follow:

Lytchett Matravers and Morden

Lib Dem: 796 (51.9%) -11.6%
Con: 739 (48.1%) +11.6%

Majority: 55 (reduced from 295)


Lib Dem: 1339 (60.4%) + 17.9%
Con: 879 (39.6%) + 16.6%
Ind: - 29.5%
Lab - 5.0%

Majority: 460 (increased from 307 over Independent last time, and from 459 over Conservative)

Very well done and commiserations to Brian in Wareham and Colin in Lytchett Matravers. Both ran very energetic and professional campaigns and both have laid excellent groundwork for next year in Wareham and 2008 in Lytchett when these seats are contested again.

We certainly had the Liberals worried in both seats, ensuring that they concentrated their resources in their own two areas rather than targeting ours. Overall it was a good night in Purbeck District where we held all of our seats and also picked one up from the Independents.