Agenda and minutes

Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) - Wednesday, 28th November, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR

Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer  01205 314227 email:  janette.collier@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

60.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 24th October 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Committee’s last meeting, held on 24th October 2018, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

61.

UPDATE ON ACTIONS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

To report progress on outstanding actions from the minutes of the last meeting, for information only.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Place and Space updated Members with respect to actions agreed at the last and confirmed that a letter had been written to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner who had responded by informing the Council that in respect to the elements requested, he suggested committee may wish to invite the Chief Officer for Lincolnshire Police who would be able to discuss operational elements.  However he did also suggest a joint meeting could be held but it was for committee to discuss.

 

62.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were apologies for absence from Councillor Ben Evans and Councillor Stephen Raven.

63.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations were noted.

64.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

No public questions were tabled.

65.

PUBLIC SPEAKING TIME

To allow members of the public to address the Committee.

Minutes:

Three members addressed the meeting as follows:

 

Mr Abbott addressed the committee and raised two questions:  one was in relation to a question he had submitted to the Chairman which had been rejected (by the Council) because it did not relate to the functions responsibility of the Council and was a police matter:  the second related to a situation with his ward councillor.

Addressing the issue of the police matter Mr Abbott relayed his question to Inspector Morrice:  Earlier in the year Inspector Morrice whilst attending a meeting of this committee acknowledged that there were problems of speeding along London Road.  He stated things would change within the next six months.  The question I was going to ask him was regarding this promise and what he had done in the last six months. 

 

Mr Green addressed the meeting asking if previous information he had requested by the police, in respect of central park had been provided.

The Head of Place and Space advised Mr Green that the information had been provided and the previous meeting and the minutes of that meeting included they information provided.

 

Mr Rawlings addressed the meeting citing concerns about an escalation of drinking problems with the PSPO not working; the continued failure of the 101 service in trying to report crime, issues about central park being open 24 hours a day and a lack of legislation by Boston Borough Council to support the work of the police who had been subjected to savage cuts by the Government.

 

Inspector Morrice responded to the comments made where possible and advised that the meeting was a Council meeting to allow questions of the Council.  He recommended that should any person have questions in respect of policing specific then they make an appointment to discuss the issues directly as against eating into Council time.  He then confirmed he had the figures from last month in relation to the park.  2016 there were 100 incidents; 2017 there were 60 incidents and 2018 there were 85 incidents.  A slight increase on 2017 but still below the 2016 levels.  He stated that he appreciated members and members of the public would say that 101 did not work but obviously all the statistics noted, had been rung through on 101.  In his opinion the Inspector stated he felt that the 101 service did work, he further advised he had offered and the Council had accepted, an invitation to visit the Force Communication Centre where they had seen for themselves exactly how it worked; how long the delays were and how many calls were handled per minute, per day.   Afterwards he felt members were satisfied that although there was a peak demand, in general calls were answered very quickly.

 

Stating that in his role as both portfolio holder and BTAC Liaison member, Councillor Welton advised Mr Rawlings that he would welcome Mr Rawlings contacting him to arrange a time whereby they could meet and he could try and assist Mr Rawlings who could show  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

FINANCIAL REPORT - STANDING ITEM pdf icon PDF 94 KB

(Information provided by Paul Julian, Chief Finance Officer)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the report.

67.

UPDATE ON WORK OF BTAC OPERATIVES pdf icon PDF 939 KB

(A report presented by Phil Perry, Head of Place and Space)

Minutes:

The Head of Place and Space reported the work undertaken by the BTAC Operatives in October and November, illustrated by ‘before and after’ photographs.  The team had been removing graffiti, supporting BTAC events and installing signage.  A further 25 litter bins had been installed, chewing gum removal on been ongoing along with pathway maintenance and they have also assisted the craft market and also assisted in the erecting stalls for the shooting of the Wild Bill film.

 

Referencing a recent email in respect of the boundary defining wards and the BTAC enquiry information to be able to report anything through to BTAC

The Head of Place and Space stressed that members should please use the direct link Btacenquiries@boston.gov.uk email which would be picked up and routed to the correct person.  Furthermore members were provided with a mock-up sign for the playgrounds across the BTAC area which would brand up the play areas to ensure that people knew they were in the BTAC areas.  A report towards the end of January would be provided by the Open Spaces working group which would include the sign.

 

Responding to a question in respect of response times to complaints and publication of the new email, members were advised the team always looked to prioritise:  one such issue would be offensive graffiti which would be dealt with straight away.  In general the team routinely looked at things like chewing gum removal which they fitted in around their standard working. 

The new contact email went straight through to Jen Moore who would look to prioritise.  However, not all the enquiries were for the town team operatives, some could be for highways or other areas, but those that were for the team allowed them to be made aware of the issue as soon as possible.  The new email had been and would continue to be publicised to encourage members of the public to use it and deter them from making comments on social media.

 

Stating he felt the new posters for the play grounds to be a positive move and noting and recognising the work done to date to improve the town, a member said that the Council needed to move to the next stage.   He felt the poster needed to be used across the town with it being amended so it was suitable for other locations being inclusive with comments like ‘everyone should be safe’ and ‘respect should be shown to everyone’.  Other comments could be added to the poster to include prohibiting of spitting and disposal of cigarette ends in the streets.  The poster should also say ‘to keep our town clean’.   

In response a member said he saw the logic in the comments and felt he could possibly support it, but he was cautious being mindful of the cost of producing the signs.  He noted that whilst people knew not to throw litter, they still did so.  He asked that if the suggestion was to be considered, that before any decisions were made, research  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

WORK PROGRAMME - STANDING ITEM pdf icon PDF 164 KB

(The Committee’s work programme for the current year for discussion and/or updating.)

Minutes:

Committee were advised that the next meeting of the committee would be on the 9th of January 2019 and not on the 2nd January as scheduled.  The change was to allow final collation of the budget reporting for that meeting, which would be a one item agenda. 

All other items scheduled for the meeting on the 2nd would be re-scheduled at the meeting on the 31st January 2018.

 

One member questioned if there would be any mileage in the committee investigating the possibility of a multiple community speed watch group with radar guns.  Whilst acknowledging such training would be expensive the member asked if it could be considered and also confirmed that when a Parish undertook this operation they were responsible for all costs and as such BTAC would be liable should committee agree it.  The Head of Place and Space advised that in terms of any new group it would have cost implications that would involve staffing and other elements.  However, if committee agreed it would need to be thought about going forward next year.  A member referenced earlier deliberation with Inspector Morrice who he believed had already confirmed he was progressing the community speed monitoring and as such committee would simply duplicate existing work should it wish to proceed.

 

A request was made for an update on the speeding statistics and the officer confirmed a report would be produced for the February 2019 meeting.

 

Referencing his concern in respect of the bus stop near the Medlock Centre, a member advised it had no lights and was very dark in that area.  He asked if it was possible to check the dark areas around the town centre to see if additional lights could be added.  The member was advised that lighting was a County Council responsibility.

 

Concerns were raised in respect of when coaches arrived into the town, especially on a Wednesday.  Quite often these day visitors were dropped and given a pick-up time and as the bus station stood at the moment, there was nowhere for these visitors to sit and wait for their returning coach. A further commented noted that the bus station area did not look particularly welcoming and The Head of Place and Space noted that a review of the area may be a suitable project for the next Council due to the size of piece of work required.

 

A request was made at this point in the proceedings by Councillor Griggs who asked members to liaise with as many young people as possible, ahead of the meeting scheduled on the 30th January 2019, to find out just exactly what they wanted in the parks.  He advised that at the sub-groups last meeting it had been agreed to hold a big consultation now that the parks were in order. 

 

An update on the fitness equipment would be provided in due course.

 

Addressing the issue of toilet provision a member referenced the baby changing facilities at the park toilets which, whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.