Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Council Meeting - A Safe Place to Live

There were only seven councillors at the monthly meeting last night, including Mr Gittins, the newest councillor - the ombudsman decided that the rules had been followed and he was allowed to be a Hay councillor after all. There was some annoyance that a letter had been printed in the Brecon and Radnor about the numbers of people who had voted for the new councillors as opposed to the existing councillors - Nigel the town clerk contacted them to say the numbers were inaccurate, and gave the correct figures, but the Brecon and Radnor didn't print that, but there wasn't much enthusiasm for chasing up the B&R for a correction now.

The election of new councillors to fill the places left vacant by the resignation of Rhona Muirhead and Sue Felgate will be held sometime towards the end of December. The Community Centre, which is usually the Polling Station, is no longer suitable - it has deteriorated somewhat since it has closed - so other sites are being looked at and the front runner seems to be the Bowls Club, which has the space and the parking to make it convenient.

Inspector Scrace, the temporary Inspector for Breconshire (though he hopes to become permanent) had been invited to speak. There hasn't been a police report for some time, as PC Fion Thomas was ill, and then went off to work on a wildlife crime job - something he is apparently very good at - so Insp. Scrace was able to give a few up to date figures.
Powys Police are the best in the UK in detecting crimes, but their priority is prevention, and it seems to be working.
There were 16 violent crimes in the Breconshire area since April this year - and last year there were 37.
There were 21 sexual offences this year, and 41 last year.
There were 12 burglaries this year - two of houses and the rest of sheds - and 14 last year, with two being of houses again.
There were 22 thefts this year, including shoplifting, and 22 last year.
So not such an improvement there, but these are crimes that are hard to solve.
There were 31 cases of criminal damage this year, compared to 46 last year.
There were 26 drugs offences this year, of which five were for trafficking and 18 were for cannabis possession - I missed the figures for last year.
There were 174 complaints about anti-social behaviour this year, including boy racers, compared to 232 last year.
The presence of a PCSO has helped a lot around Hay. The present PCSO is Helen Scott, and everyone agreed it was good to see her out and about. The Inspector is also keen to see the PCs out and about, rather than centralised in Brecon Police Station waiting to be called out. He said that one of their priorities is policing the border between Wales and the West Mercia police area, because it was fairly common for criminals to come across and then disappear back to England.

While the Inspector was available, he was asked about dog fouling - but said that getting PCSOs to issue fixed penalty fines was not a priority for them. Another option that Ellie Spencer has been exploring is to give the Traffic Wardens the ability to issue fixed penalties (which are now £80), as well as to recruit dog walkers to become volunteer community dog wardens, to give out poo bags where necessary and report on people who allow their dogs to foul the paths. The volunteering wouldn't mean doing anything they weren't already doing, as it would just mean taking notice of other dog walkers when they went out normally with their dogs, but they would have training from Keep Wales Tidy. There is a scheme running in Hereford which covers dog fouling, fly tipping and graffiti, and they have been talking to Ellie, too.


Iconoclast said...

We seem to be slowly turning into a Rotten Borough. It's time we turned out the old guard, who are increasingly corrupt and complacent, and replaced them with people who will actively do something for the good of the community. I hope Ellie Spencer's drive to gather enough signatures to force a re-election is still going forward.

Eigon said...

Ellie has succeeded with her letter. Ten signatures were needed and she got 49, so the election will take place in December - as long as people are prepared to stand as councillors.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Iconoclast!

Iconoclast said...

Thank you Anonymous. My view was written more in sadness than in anger. We must hope that the December election draws out a few champions from the area, who are prepared to slay the dinosaurs and bring in a new era where we can trust our council to act in our best interests, rather than theirs.

Anonymous said...

Great idea to let the traffic wardens issue fixed tickets for dig fouling,and then they could let the dog wardens issue parking tickets to EVERYONE who is illegally parked!!
Have you noticed how certain people don't get a ticket where ever they park,yet others overstay a limited time zone and bang...fixed penalty. And oddly enough it's not just one of the traffic wardens that seems to turn a blind eye,they all do. Anyone who got a ticket in Hay today should refuse to pay it and ask Powys CC how many tickets have been issued to Post Office vans parked on double yellows along Lion St and even on the pavements outside St Johns.