Minutes of NHW meetings

The meeting began by introducing; John Burke, the manager of our local waste disposal site, at Lifford Lane.

Normally, the first item would have been presented by one or more of our local PCSO's but they had operational commitments on this occasion so had supplied your NHW co-ordinators with some facts and figures of the crimes reported along our street since our last meeting.

Some of these were mentioned in March, as the timescale over which they applied ran from 1st February - 4th July 2012. There were nine incidents in total; four thefts from a motor vehicle, three motor vehicles were criminally damaged and one pedal cycle was stolen.

The consensus was that this was a very low level of activity, which was good news for residents living within the street, but it is worth reminding everyone that all crime should be reported, no matter how low level it may appear, as police resources are allocated, accordingly.

Paul Rickards then handed over to John Burke to allow him the opportunity to inform those who attended the meeting of the Council waste disposal and recycling services within our area. Upon completion of his overview, he then invited questions from people in the audience.

A key area of concern was the impact of Council operated tenants who consistently failed to leave their houses, and the areas adjacent to them, in a reasonable state, often leaving refuse out on the wrong day, and allowing food waste to rot openly on the street.

He acknowledged the procedures in resolving these were often weakly enforced, if at all on occasion, and stressed that it was the intention of the Council to make social landlords more accountable, and deal with poorly managed Council tenants, in a firmer fashion.

The refuse collectors were being reminded to take more care in loading the trucks as there were a number of anecdotal references where they had been observed tossing rubbish, bagged and boxed, in a way that led to spillages and broken recycling boxes/crates.

The long-term plan is to re-allocate the existing refuse collection teams to specific wards, so that the quality of the work being done is more accountable. Likewise, it is fair to point out that every resident has responsibility to comply with the bagging and storage of waste.

Apparently, black bin bags can now be used for garden waste, provided they are not holding rubble and larger branches, as indicated on our own NHW brochure on the subject. These bags must be left open to allow for inspection to allow checking for the above items.

Additional green bags will be distributed this September. Every effort is made to place these bags, inconspicuously, in front gardens, and occasion, these may be stolen by passers by. Any second delivery must be signed for, the contact number being on the bags themselves.

Garry Sayers made two requests. The street cleaners should be sent round later on in the morning when more cars are not parked at the roadside. Secondly, the special collections arranged by the Council should be done after the students move out.

The meeting moved on to the next topic after John Burke was thanked for giving up his time to attend. Garry Sayers then raised the question as to the street view of the vehicle speeds along Warwards Lane and whether there was a desire to install speed boards.

The response was in the negative. That said, we will continue to operate irregular speed watches although the exact number will depend very much on the level of participation by the existing NHW membership as it has been Garry and myself who have done most of these.

Paul Rickards then outlined his continuing concerns surrounding the standard of car parking evidenced along many portions of our street. Given the closure of the Dogpool Lane bridge around November time, excessive spaces between cars is bound to create issues.

The suggestion proposed is that the NHW undertake random checks and any vehicle that is parked inconsiderately has a polite reminder note added to the front windscreen requesting that in future, the vehicle owner makes more effort to park in an efficient way.

The specific registration numbers will be recorded against the date along with the vehicle make and model. There were no objections to this as an idea and whilst some of the poor parkers will be visitors, there are a majority that do belong to residents of the street.

'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Simply put. A reminder was made to all the audience about the next street litter pick on Saturday 14th July and how it is important that as many people as possible attend. We are aware that some people work Saturdays.

Paul Rickards then outlined the continuing work on recruitment of NHW members along our street, as we were now near to eighty-five households out of about one hundred and ninety. That said, we do need to improve on the participation by NHW members, as well.

The two co-ordinators feel that it would improve matters if we could encourage existing NHW members to volunteer to take responsibility for canvassing any thoughts from households they agree to be a focal point for and then pas on the details to Garry and I.

The rationale for this is simple. Geographically, Garry and my houses are in the bottom half of our street and therefore we are remote from what goes on beyond the midway point of the street on a day to day basis. Such volunteers would have this specific localised knowledge.

Even if there is little to report most of the time, it would make the NHW stronger, in our view. Please give this some thought. GS then gave a brief overview of the successful Queen's Jubilee party that was held in Darris Road on the afternoon of the Tuesday bank holiday.

The NHW contributed £20.00 towards the provision of sufficient paper cups and plates to allow those attending to eat and drink from. As far as the statistics are concerned, there were eight nationalities and a total of sixty-two people who attended. A good result.

Under the AOB item, the landlady of the Dogpool asked to raise two items. The first of which was that the mosque opposite the car park entrance on St. Stephens Road was repeatedly blocked by vehicles belonging to those attending one or more prayer sessions. The second was to mention that the Dogpool carpark was being used by non-customers as an overspill car park that was intended solely for her customers. She is prepared to allow non-customers to park their at a negotiated price and has done so for some people already.
The meeting concluded.