Committee Report

Despite lockdown, your committee has remained active and had regular on-line meetings through Zoom and MS Teams. We have also maintained regular dialogue with our councillors and pursued many lines of interest and concern. The key points to update you on are outlined below.

In the absence of a public meeting, this summary illustrates the breadth of issues brought to the attention of the committee and that have been duly investigated and a summary of responses. 

FCRA Chair

The FCRA Chair-Person role has been vacant since Marianne stepped down. The committee is rotating the Chair until the vacancy is filled, so please step forward if you have an interest in filling this key local role (page xx).

Road Wardens

The FCRA need Road Wardens for the roads listed on page xx. Without Road Wardens it becomes difficult to distribute the Forum and collect subscriptions, so do please contact us if you can help fill the gaps.

FCRA Membership

Work is ongoing to rationalise membership data and community boundaries to assist in analysis and formulation of actions plans etc.

FCRA Membership Subscriptions

Due to lockdown it has been difficult to gather in all this year’s membership subscriptions. If you have not yet paid (it is after all only £2 minimum per annum), please could you contact your Road Warden soonest to make payment, or alternatively contact any committee member. Thank you.

FCRA Web-Site

Do please look at the FCRA Web-Site (http://www.friarscliff.uk/). It’s excellent and contains a wealth of information on our locality, the history of our area and ongoing issues, with full access to the FCRA archive. Many thanks to Jan Peters and her son, Bill, for a considerable effort to get the old site overhauled and the new site so well established.

 FCRA Quarterly Meetings

Meetings are suspended until further notice due to social distancing. 

Green Space (behind the Beach Hut café)

Since the last Forum, the committee contacted BCP about damage to the green caused by council vehicle access to clean the sea front toilets. Following this, the council instructed contractors to drive around the boundary rather than diagonally across the grass. Many thanks to our councillors for tackling the issue so promptly, and residents are requested to advise of any infringements.

We understand that the green is designated a BCP ‘open space’ and under review along with all other open spaces to establish the status of assets. We must follow this carefully through our councillors, as its use and management need to be closely monitored. Various avenues of investigation are underway to protect this space, and action is ongoing.

Social Distancing

The committee has been in regular contact with councillors to help ensure that the correct social distancing is maintained along the beach promenade, and between trestle tables etc. It’s impossible to get this right at times of high load, but a reasonable arrangement now seems to be in place.

Jet skis

Jet skis continue to present occasional hazards where they encroach close to shore and even run up temporarily on beaches. The danger is obvious and our councillors recognise and seek to address the problem.

Cycling

Cycling on the promenade presents an on-going issue, and we have requested to look at improving notices, particularly around promenade ramp entries and exits. Cycle lanes are (as always) under some form of consideration but without significant investment it will likely remain outstanding for now.

Beach Hut Extensions

It has been recently noticed that the front line of a number of beach huts along Avon Beach are being extended forwards. We are unsure of the BCP policy for this and clarification has been sought.

 

Rubbish and Signage

Rubbish accumulation at beachside collection points remains, especially after warm days when the beaches are heavily populated. We are addressing this formally through our councillors, and also investigating different forms of eye-catching signage that may have greater effect at encouraging (or shaming?) visitors to take their rubbish home. We note that some smaller signs have recently been placed by BCP that include the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ slogan.

Generally speaking, BCP collect beachside rubbish each morning and attempt general clear-ups. Installing larger bins is not necessarily feasible but the addition of extra bins is being looked at. We are following this issue closely. Also, quite a few local residents do their own beach and footpath litter collections, which is evident for all to see and deserves many thanks.

Finally, we should appreciate that our seaside cafés, notably the Beach Hut café and Noisy Lobster, do their own litter collections as well in an endeavour to keep the area tidy.

 

Seafront Operations

The BCP Seafront Operations Manager recognizes that there are various operational issues along our beach areas requiring BCP effort to resolve. This has included during lockdown car parking restrictions, public toilet openings, beach-side presence etc.

One initiative is to provide greater seafront staffing for litter picking and general patrol duties. We welcome this, and also the BCP desire to address concerns through their contractors and with local interested parties including the FCRA. With the current CV19 pressures on BCP, issues may not be fully resolved this summer but it is a ‘work in progress’ and the committee will liaise closely with BCP for all of this.

Seafront Operations

The BCP Seafront Operations Manager recognizes that there are various operational issues along our beach areas requiring BCP effort to resolve. This has included during lockdown car parking restrictions, public toilet openings, beach-side presence etc.

One initiative is to provide greater seafront staffing for litter picking and general patrol duties. We welcome this, and also the BCP desire to address concerns through their contractors and with local interested parties including the FCRA. With the current CV19 pressures on BCP, issues may not be fully resolved this summer but it is a ‘work in progress’ and the committee will liaise closely with BCP for all of this.

Traveller Access

Local residents have witnessed travellers trying (so far without success) to force access onto the parking green near Penny Way and Seaway Avenue. Councillor Paul Hilliard advises that the council are confident the area is secure and that the site is checked regularly. Vigilance and a prompt response is needed from residents if consequential damage is to be avoided, and police should be advised of suspicious cars and registration details.

Grass Cutting

Grass cutting is an expensive activity for the council. After some effective campaigning by our environment officer, Ken West, the grass cutting now focuses on having neat and tidy verges about 1 metre wide, thereby allowing areas further from roads and paths to grow wild. This is pleasing to the environment, encourages natural habitat and helps save the council money. Ken has been advised by BCP that they want to work with us to manage local expectation around grass cutting and identify areas that can be left longer. We will try to keep a close eye on this.

PCSO’s

Our local PCSOs have been contacted and invited to attend future FCRA quarterly meetings. 

Friars Cliff Community Web-site

There is now a Friars Cliff Community Facebook Group. It is not connected to the FCRA but is a good connection for topical issues. The group can be found through a FB search for ‘Friars Cliff Community’.

BCP Newsletter

Councillor Paul Hilliard advises that a paper copy of the BCP newsletter should be posted through all doors. If you haven’t  received a copy you can access it at the following link: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/BCP-Magazine/BCP-News-Editions.aspx. The magazine is well worth a read, particularly to see what has happened following the creation of the wider BCP one year ago.

Two Riversmeet

The Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex has recently had a £70k BCP investment upgrade. This included a new cycle studio, new weights and rowing machines, and a refurbished reception. There has been a lot of reorganisation during lockdown to create greater distancing between machines and increase personal safety. Also, the centre is running virtual fitness classes and has now introduced an on-line gym booking system, one-way movement of people, limited class sizes and much else. The centre is a wonderful local amenity so do please use it. More details are at:  https://www.christchurch.gov.uk/sport-leisure/two-riversmeet-leisure-centre/two-riversmeet-leisure-centre.aspx

Recycling

From 1 April BCP took over the refuse collection in our area and have widened the range of refuse that can be placed in the green recycle bins. Items for recycling now include:

  • Plastics pots, tubs, trays and bottles
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Tins, cans, foil and aerosols
  • Paper, newspaper, directories, magazines and cardboard

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