PCC Rupert Matthews (left) and Russell George, Chair of the Parish Council
Off to Bagworth Community Centre for a public meeting organised by the Bagworth and Thornton Parish Council.
I was greeted at the door by Russell George, Chair of the Parish Council. I met Russell during the PCC Election Campaign when I knocked on his door. He extracted from me a promise to return to the village for a public meeting if I were to be elected. And so here I was. The main room at the community centre was already set out with a top table for Russell and myself, plus an impressive number of chairs in socially-distanced rows.
“Are you expecting that many people?” I asked pointing at the chairs.
Russell shrugged. “Possibly. Hard to tell how confident people are about coming out to something like this given covid and such.”
In the event we got nearly 40 people turn up. Not bad for a chilly November evening.
Russell gave me a flattering introduction, then we were straight into questions. The first was from a lady worried about speeding in Station Road, most of the audience nodded along in joint concern.
Clearly this is a problem. I promised to contact the local beat officer to see if a speed trap can be arranged. But in the longer term we clearly need to ramp up the SpeedWatch programme, and involve the parish council in that. I made a note to feed that into the Police and Crime Plan.
Next up was a question about flytipping. I assured the public that with new legislation on its way and new technology available in the form of hidden cameras and the like we can expect what is now a serious problem to ease somewhat. Again, note for future action.
Then came Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). More vigorous agreement from the audience. A long discussion followed, much of it between members of the audience themselves so I was called on to comment only now and then. There was a clear consensus about who was causing the majority of the problem and a recognition that this was a long-standing issue. This is clearly an intractable problem in the area. Some of the solution may lie with the police, but I think other agencies need to be involved. I promised to go and talk to relevant authorities.
I also mentioned that diversionary activities were often an effective tool with which to tackle ASB. I have a fund available to support this type of project and suggested that an application to my Office might pay dividends. If successful, this could potentially enhance the youth club service recently restarted in Bagworth.
Loose horses on the road also appeared to be an issue in the area and there was a useful suggestion from a resident that patrol cars carrying a harness or headcollar could potentially save police time.
The meeting wrapped up after just over an hour.
I noticed that the stock of cards that I put out for people to put in their front doors warning off unwanted callers have all gone. Given that I put out a bundle of a hundred, it is clear that people must have taken some for their neighbours as well as for themselves. Good stuff. [if you would like one or more of these cards, please contact my office].
Overall, a productive and helpful meeting in Bagworth – but lots of leads for me to follow up.
PCC for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Posted on Friday 5th November 2021