PCA Committee meeting, 8 September

Minutes

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11 Responses to PCA Committee meeting, 8 September

  1. Phillip says:

    It would be nice to know what is on the proposed agenda and as to wether further items can be put forward for discusion.

  2. marekkohn says:

    Sure, let me know by end of Friday please.

  3. Phillip says:

    Marek
    Thanks for the reply but unfortunately you omitted to give details of the proposed agenda. Can I also remind you that my last post regarding the ”Town Square” asked for details of any preliminary enquiries etc which had been undertaken, this information is still awaited.
    As you are aware, I have strong feelings about children playing in the road. Whatever the feelings of the committee members, the fact remains that if it causes a nuisance to road users or local residents (which it does), they are committing an offence. This needs to be discussed and for the committee to support the legal position.
    I’m sure you are also aware that it seems the existing St Luke’s Advice Centre is to be moved to 18 Exeter Street. Linda & Trevor at no 19 (e-mail lindaheath@ntlworld.com ) have already raised a petition and can provide further details. I feel that this is an issue in which the PCA should be involved and therefore added to the agenda.

  4. marekkohn says:

    I’ll post the agenda when I’ve drawn it up, at the weekend, and will include these two items. Will you be attending to put forward your arguments?

    We are aware of the Advice Centre issue, but as far as I know we haven’t been contacted by the petition organisers. Perhaps you could briefly say what your concerns are?

    The architects have been working on the Upper Hamilton proposal, which will address the questions you raised previously, but I’ haven’t yet received the material from them.

    I think I should add that including an issue on a committee meeting agenda doesn’t imply that the committee will decide that it can or should take up the issue. It has certainly declined to take up a number of issues I’ve felt it should tackle over the years!

  5. Phillip says:

    Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the meeting next week, as we are going on holiday tomorrow.
    Glad you are aware of the Advice Centre issue, Exeter Street is a residential area and the proposed location would be out of place. Also, I understand that no planning permission for change of use is in place, or local consultation undertaken. There are also concerns that it will cater for alcoholics and drug users, and I for one would not feel happy with such people loitering our streets. I suggest that you contact Linda / Trevor as I’m sure they would welcome any help available, and may be able to address the committee themselves.
    As for children playing in the road, my previous posts are self explanatory and I know that there are other local people who support my views. I would add that if the PCA are not able to come out in support of the legal position, the only avenue left would be police involvement.

  6. marekkohn says:

    I emailed Linda / Trevor after your previous post, and also St Luke’s. In his reply Peter Woodhead stated that there are no facilities for drug and alcohol counselling. One of the St Luke’s Advice Centre trustees is going to attend the meeting.

    Your objections to children playing in the road are indeed clear, but you haven’t said what you would like the PCA committee to do about it.

    You also say that police involvement would be ‘the only avenue’ left’. From your previous posts I understand that you have not attempted to discuss the issue with the children involved, or with their parents, and that you are not prepared to do so. If you have in fact attempted to do so, please let us know, so that we’re clear about the context of your statement.

  7. Phillip says:

    Just a quick note whilst waiting for our taxi. And thanks for the “Advise Centre” update.
    The children have been approached on several occasions, but basically ignore any requests to either move on or tone down their activities. The parents that have been spoken to have taken the attitude that the junction is a public space, and as such their kids are entitled to play there irrespective of the danger, possibility of causing damage, or the fact it is illegal and anti social.
    If the PCA where to come out and publicly voice the concerns that have already been raised and confirm the legal position, I feel that the parents involved are more likely to take notice. This could be done either by a limited mail drop to houses in the immediate area, an article in the Post, or by some strategically placed posters.

  8. marekkohn says:

    In order to confirm the legal position ahead of the meeting, I contacted our PCSO, Jennifer Pietersen.

    She advises that there is no law against playing in the street, nor against playing football in the street. The police might get involved if children were behaving anti-socially – making a lot of noise late in the evening, for example – or causing criminal damage. But they do not consider playing in the street to be anti-social behaviour in itself.

    I asked about the ‘bye-law’ you referred to in your original ‘Road danger’ post. PCSO Pietersen’s sergeant thought that there might be a very old bye-law of such a kind. However that would be a Council matter, not a police one.

    As we’ve noted in the minutes of the committee meeting, we are aware that there is a range of views among residents about children playing in the street. Some residents warmly welcome it, and indeed single it out as one of the things they appreciate about life in Prestonville. The Committee isn’t going to take either side: we’re confident that problems arising from children playing in this friendly community can be resolved by discussion between neighbours.

    On the question of St Luke’s Advice Service, I’ve been copied in on a letter dated 10 September and sent to residents by Linda Heath and Trevor Carroll, in which they say they have now received the assurances they wanted. The account Sue Worthing gave at the committee meeting of how SLAS works is summarised in the minutes.

  9. sueworthing says:

    Thank you to the committe for your time at the recent committee meeting, To give a little detail of the St Lukes Advice Service: we were founded in 1999 and have been working from premises at the back of St Lukes church at the end of Stanford Road for 10 years. These premises were hopelessly inadequate for our needs and we are thrilled now to be able to offer our services from the church’s premises at 18 Exeter Street. We are a discrete professional service which assists people in difficult circumstances mainly in the areas of debt and welfare benefits. We have been pleased to assist many in your community in these areas over the years. We operate by appointment and have a dedicated professional and hard working team of part time staff most of whom give their time voluntarily. Last year we were shortlisted for two national awards in recognition of the excellant work we do. One of these was in the Law Society pro bono category. We are one of the only organisations in town who has a solicitor to represent clients on appeals at tribunal level. Towards Christmas we are hoping to participate in an open day with all those who use the church’s facilities in Exeter Street. Please do come along and learn more about our work.

  10. Phillip says:

    Quite right for you to check the legal position and our local PCSO would be a good starting point, but unfortunately she has limited knowledge of the law, as the advice she gave is incorrect and misleading. My information comes from more authoritative sources including the Police National Legal Database, and I am therefore confident that the legal position as outlined in my posts is correct.
    Apart from the antisocial aspect and possible danger of accidents/injury/damage being caused, I believe that the matter is also covered under the Highways Act 1980.
    As for some residents welcoming children playing in the road, its interesting to note that the problem is not on their “doorstep”, and they don’t have to put up with the noise and nuisance.
    Attempts to resolve matters at a local level have failed and I am therefore disappointed that the committee intend to sit on the fence. As the matter has been formally brought to the attention of the PCA, and unless the committee condone the law being broken, I suggest that they reconsider their position.

  11. hutch says:

    Personally I have no objection to children playing in the local streets and have never, in 16 years, seen any behaviour that I’d call “anti social”. But regardless of that, this thread seems very evidently to be about one person’s personal grievances vs. democracy and common sense, and I trust the latter will prevail.

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