Minutes of NHW meetings

The meeting began with an welcome from PR.

PCSO Ade Richards was unable to attend due to operational commitments but sent us details of the crimes that had occurred along our streets since New Years day up to 20th March 2014. There has been one burglary, one robbery, two attempted robberies, a theft, an incident of criminal damage to a vehicle and a drugs seizure from an empty property. The police have thanked residents who reported their suspicions to them to enable cannabis with a 'street value' of £500,000 to be recovered.

We have been asked to provide a comparison, current quarter year to previous quarter year, from now on, and will endeavour to do so. The actual robbery incident has resulted in an arrest. We also pointed out a further scam, brought to our attention by police, that involves persons calling at homes, pretending to collect credit cards. The most recent newsletter covered an item regarding increasing reports of noisy neighbours, and police have been called four times, in recent weeks. PR then handed over to GS.

The Kensington Hotel, on the Pershore Road, no longer caters for private customers, but instead, offers room and board to social housing tenants, and local businesses have indicated that there has been a rise in petty theft, as a consequence, in the immediate vicinity. Consequently, the message to secure your property, and keep unoccupied cars and homes locked at all times, becomes particularly valid.

The need to report all crime was reiterated as this governs the degree of policing in our area. No report = no crime. Simples. Even small pieces of information can assist in the detection of miscreants. We asked the student wardens who attended our meeting to visit specific properties along our street that had been causing many of the noise issues, but no what the source, incessant noise is unacceptable! Police are seeking advice on how they respond to reports and create an official 'log'. Reports to Environmental Health cannot be undertaken outside of office hours.

A brief outline of actions around securing broken gates, broken street lighting, cleaning the upper end of warwards Lane of vehicle dirt during the rebuilding of Woodside and the removal of the water pooling on the curve of road on Darris Road were highlighted. Smoke pollution from bonfires must also be reported to the appropriate council department that can be found on our website; www.warawardsnhw.co.uk. GS then handed back to PR.

The new Council pre-payment garden waste registration has now begun, as all those involved should receive a green plastic recycling wheelie bin, bearing in mind only 'micro-chipped' bags will be collected. The contact telephone number to register is 0121 303 1112 or via the website address linked into our useful information section on the website. We are also looking into the possibility of utilising volunteers from Umberslade Nurseries to use our green waste for their composting needs.

A rather long debate took place around the proposed 'Article 4' proposition from the City Council, wherein companies failing to comply with the correct procedures around property conversions, would be served with enforcement notices! Local experience indicates that this has not been done up to now, and with only one hundred and seventy eight responses on the subject, it remains to be seen how this proposal will pan out.  We need to support residents who continue to fall foul of irresponsible companies like Britannia Property Services, as a lack of solidarity simply encourages more of the same.

PR confirmed the membership of the NHW along both roads remained fairly constant at around eighty households, although with the lighter evenings, we could now expect to begin recruiting again. We need more people involved in supporting PR and GS in organising initiatives like the 'Big Clean Up', the vehicle speed watches and newsletter delivery. All of these do not, in themselves, require large amounts of time, or regular involvement! we have said many times that numbers count. We should also mention that we had our highest attendance of an NHW meeting - around two dozen people!

The two streets seem reasonably clean, as the Big Clean Ups are always timed to occur after the Council have swept through following the students leaving, although there are as many other residents who can be as untidy as some of the students, to be fair. Plastic bottles need to be flattened, to avoid overspills, and in windy conditions, can we suggest that any ';rogue' recycling boxes are returned to the appropriate house. NOTE -: All boxes should have the house number clearly marked! There were several 'thefts' that resulted from boxes being mislocated....mine included!

It has been suggested, and supported by the student wardens in attendance, that we adopt our own Darris Road and Warwards Lane twitter feed, linked into the website, as students of recent times seem to engage with the 'new fangled' more than with the 'old hat'. Consequently, we will look to do this before the next meeting, and those with an account, can upload the relevant info around the street environment and security. We do not want to see comments on any other subjects....

The next 'Big Clean Up' date will be Saturday 12th April 2014, starting at 10.00am, outside Park autos at the junction with Raddlebarn Road. This will only take an hour of your time. We regularly get strong support from students so it is only fair to illustrate this.

The meeting then closed.

Thank you to those who attended.

Paul and Garry.