APOLOGIES: Sandra Price; Marianne Abley; Councillor Lesley Dedman

PRESENT: Charles Clark; Jan Peters; Lyn Lever; Councillors Claire Bath; Paul Hilliard; Trevor Watts.

MATTERS  ARISING: The MCA site outline planning permission ran out in August 2018 but there may be some interest in the site.

The Pinebeach Nursing Homes has received several complaints on the state and safety of the development site.

Chairman’s Welcome: Jan Peters welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained she and Charles would be standing in for Marianne.

Council Updates: Cllr Claire Bath explained that Christchurch was advised to withdraw from the appeal regarding the restructure in Dorset because of the cost involved. The restructuring will now go ahead. The shadow authority arrangements are now in place, the new unitary authority will come into being in April 2019 and local elections will take place in May.

Questions from the floor included:

  • The scope of local powers
  • What would happen to the Civic Centre
  • Payments to displaced Council employees based on reported 40% cut in staff and a new joint management structure
  • Residents had concerns about the changes in terms of finance, service provision and political focus.  

Trevor Watts stated that with Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch working together services should be better coordinated. It is believed that Council Tax will be going up in the future. Trevor also explained that the money received for new housing will bring in monies, which can be spent on specific projects to benefit local communities.

It is understood that the Boundary Review will result in ten Councillors from Christchurch on the new Council, with two members representing the following wards: Christchurch Town Commons; Grange; Highcliffe and Walkford; and Mudeford, Stanpit and West Highcliffe. Any local Resident may stand for election. Regarding the arrangements for community governance Parish Councils will be developed and the scope of their limited responsibilities such as open spaces developed.

Trevor stated that Parish Councillors do not get paid and most Councillors have full time jobs as they only get £4000 a year.

With Highcliffe and Christchurch starting up they will need a Clerk.

It was commented that representation would not be inclusive as only those who could afford to take up a voluntary role would stand for election.

Local Planning: Christchurch has assigned areas in the borough to be built on despite much public concern about the issues that such developments cause in terms of lack of infrastructure, worsening transport issues and other pressures. It is understood that Cllr Peter Hall and Wendy Grace have discovered that there are major problems on specific sites with potential flooding, complex electricity cables and drainage across the plots, among other issues.

The development of the police and law courts by Aster Homes was discussed including the increasing pressures on town car parks and fears of not enough parking being allocated to the homes.  Residents raised issues about the town centre as more retail shops are becoming vacant.

FCRA website: The website is being updated and revamped to cover traffic/weather and Council updates by a local Explorer Scout as part of his volunteer / community service.

A.O.B. On-going concerns were raised regarding the Noisy Lobster/Avon Beach Café including issues around waste collections, closure of car park gates and unpleasant smells from disinfection of the rubbish area making the general ambience of the area unpleasant. Some residents have made individual complaints about the cooking smells and the effectiveness of extraction systems. Some residents felt monitoring by the Council should take place. Other residents suggested that a constructive, positive, dialogue with the tenants should be attempted again. perhaps a meeting could take place with the tenant, local Councillors and FCRA to try to understand and avoid future issues and improve the local area. Cllr Hilliard agreed to follow this up with the tennant.

Road Wardens are still urgently needed and residents were asked to please contact Patricia Whiffen, Head Warden to help her distribute the Forum.

Meeting closed 21.00

14 Residents, 3 Councillors, 3 Committee members

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