There were two Guest speakers at this months Tasking Meeting. Mr Richard Davies Head of Northfield District, and Housing Manager Natalie Potter Housing Manager for Kings Norton and Brandwood.
PC Levy welcomed and thanked Richard for attending and opened the meeting, Richard was first to speak, to provide an update on the proposed budget cuts, and the impact this will have on local services.
Although the proposed budget cuts will mean change it also means positive impact.
Hawkesley Community Centre is to be taken over by Age UK, there are plans to increase use in the daytime and evenings. Work through the inter generational community will help lower ASB, and there is room for development training within the area to be able to offer more facilities than currently being offered by the Council.
Kings Norton Library will have no change to the opening hours or resources available to the community that use that facility.
Services for things such as care taking duties and graffiti removal will remain unchanged in Kings Norton, thanks to the ongoing support of local Councillors.
Although there will be some changes, services will remain relatively the same, despite the cuts being proposed within the Ward.
Neighbourhood advice services will still be available in Northfield, although they may commission some advice services via ‘outreach’ into the community.
The future of Northfield Baths was raised again by a member of the public, Mr Davies responded by saying the services were being outsourced by April 2017 and the new pool would be built within the Northfield Ward.
Natalie Potter, Housing Manager – gave a brief overview of her role. Natalie gave a breakdown of what has taken place over the last 12 months including –
20 legal actions, and also an average 20 legal interventions. The housing department are currently in the process of an injunction for dog fouling and for overgrown gardens. Natalie explained now that the better weather is also upon us, an active enforcement of Conditions of tenancy is now also taking place, to cover unkempt and un-maintained gardens. She did point out that help is available for those in need due to disabilities or age/vulnerability.
Anti Social Behaviour officers are conducting regular visits to the Police Station to liaise with officers and are also out on the estate with officers in joint operations.
Bag searches for fly tipping and rubbish dumping is ongoing to reduce rubbish across the estate. Fly tipping and rubbish is a constant battle, despite local crews carrying out a twice weekly clear up round. It provoked a heated debate regarding the switch over to green bins for green waste, and the charge by the council being implemented this year. A member of the public however responded to the claims of rubbish and the amount of litter in the streets/ green waste being abandoned by asking those present at the meeting about ‘social responsibility’ and pride of where they live ?, taking a more active role of the look and upkeep of where they live.
The problems of litter not being cleared away when trees and shrubs were cut back by the parks department was raised, Natalie responded that it should be cleared as part of the job and she will feed this back to the department. Natalie also gave some good news regarding the fantastic work that has been done in a joint venture up on Millennium Point, with National Trust work, and again across the estate with other organisations.
Priorities raised –
Concerns about travellers on Kings Norton, this has now been resolved.
Graffiti in Dellows Close and Buckridge Close, this has now been cleared by the local housing NCT / Rubbish Batheaston Close, was due to be cleared on Friday 21st March.
Bus Inspectors on afternoons. The concerns raised at the last meeting have been passed to National Express. A request has been submitted requesting additional bus inspectors on Kings Norton route covering afternoons. In addition a suggestion for the current signs re food consumption on buses to be enlarged has also been made.
New Dog Laws were briefly covered as it was raised again following on from last months meeting.
The Navigation Pub car park is now Pay and Display, Councillor Seabright who was in attendance will be raising this issue with the Brewery.
The crossings outside of the shops at The Green, Kings Norton have now been repainted and are now more clear.
Good News Stories
Crime figures February 2013-February 2014
Total recorded crime has fallen by 37 offences. Unfortunately there has been an increase in Domestic Violence and Assaults. On a positive note, there have been reductions in the following areas –
Burglary dwelling House – 15
Vehicle Crime – 20
Anti Social Behaviour – 30
Customer Satisfaction recorded as 87%
Officers working in partnership with Birmingham City Council Obtained an Anti Social Behaviour Injunction against a family in October 2013. The injunction was breached in February 2014. An adult female was arrested and put before the courts. She received a custodial sentence and was sent to a prison in Derby.
A 3 Year restraining order was issued at Birmingham Magistrates Court to a female that subjected her neighbours to racist ASB, while under the influence of alcohol. The courts also made an order which banned her from her current address and the streets for 3 years, This effectively made her homeless.
Officers from Kings Norton NHT seized two motorbikes which were being ridden dangerously around the estate, PC Levy reiterated the importance of ringing 101 for recording and intelligence gathering purposes now that the better weather is coming there may be an increase in instances. The information received and collated by the public helps to target resources at the problem areas. WMP will not pursue riders, as many do not wear helmets when riding these machines.
Additional Officers have been allocated to the 3 Estates in order to address ASB on identified areas in particular Hawkesley Square. The Officers will be patrolling in vans and doing a regular walk through of the blocks and communal areas.
The date of the next Police Tasking Meeting is Thursday 17th April 2014 at 6.30pm