Agenda and minutes

Dartford Local Boards
Thursday, 20th March, 2008 7.00 pm

Venue: Wentworth Primary School, Wentworth Drive, Dartford DA1 3NG

Contact: Willl Farmer  07841 315596

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome to the meeting – Mr B Bassam, Chairman

Minutes:

In Mr Bassam’s absence Mr Maddison took the Chair and welcomed people to the meeting.

2.

Notes of Local Board meeting held on 29 November 2007 and progress on any actions agreed

Minutes:

The notes of the meeting held on 29 November 2007 were agreed.

3.

Declarations of Interests by Members in Items on the Agenda for this Meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Member Community Grants

Minutes:

Brent School have applied for a Member Community Grant from Mrs Angell for their wildlife garden.  She is proposing to give the school £1150 towards this project.  Because Mrs Angell is a governor of the school she declared an interest and therefore sought approval for this from the Local Board.

 

The remaining members of the Local Board present agreed that she could give the School this grant.

 

5.

Dartford & Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP)

Matt Roberts, Community Safety Officer, Dartford Borough Council will be speaking about the work of the Dartford and Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) and its success at reducing overall crime in recent years.

Minutes:

Matt Roberts, Manager of the Community Safety Unit, Dartford Borough Council was in attendance for this item.

 

Matt spoke about the Dartford and Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP).  It is a statutory requirement for Local Authorities and Police to work together in this way.  Dartford and Gravesham have a single CDRP.  Strategic agencies form a strategic group, below which is a support group comprised of mainly officers who carry out much of the work of the CDRP.  Both Dartford and Gravesham have their own joint public safety units (Police and Councils staff co-located).  This is a joint operations unit.  There are a number of sub-groups of the CDRP as well, that work on specific issues e.g. youth sub group, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour.

 

The Community Safety plan is being produced by the CDRP.

 

The role of the CDRP is to create a safer, cleaner place to live work and socialise.  Priority areas include acquisitive crime (burglary etc), anti-social behaviour, public confidence, substance misuse, violent crime and young people.  However, Crime is falling overall in Dartford.

 

The Public Safety Unit is a joint centre, Council Staff and Police work together.

 

Tools that can be employed include for example covert and overt CCTV, Section 59 Warnings on illegal motorbikes, served on rider and bike.  Also possible are dispersal orders, test purchase operations e.g. with trading standards.

6.

Questions from the public to the presenter

Minutes:

Q. Can the PSU be contacted?

A. Yes, it can.  The number to contact the Public Safety Unit on is 01322 343434.

 

Q. What can be done on specific places where young people are hanging around e.g. in the underpass?

A. There is the possibility of an overt or covert camera in this case.

7.

Neighbourhood Policing in Dartford

Inspector Peter Steenhuis, Kent Policewill be speaking on Neighbourhood Policing in the Dartford area and the role of the Public Safety Unit at Dartford Borough Council.

Minutes:

PC Pete Steenhuis was in attendance for this item.

 

Neighbourhood Policing is now implemented in both Dartford and Gravesham. There is 1 PCSO per Ward and 1 PC per Neighbourhood Policing area.

 

PACT meetings - these are Partners and Communities Together. We don't want these to be police driven.  PACT process identifies key people in the community and works with them to identify and solve issues. However, not all PACT initiatives will be Police driven e.g. dog fouling for example.  The PSU can deal with issues as a partnership.

 

A sergeant and 9 PC's can also be drawn upon for high profile presence, if needs be.

8.

Questions from the public to the presenter

Minutes:

 

Q. fireworks are being let off very early.  Is it possible to reduce the time when they can be let off?

A. Police are working on this but won't solve it on their own. It is about education and changing people’s perceptions.

 

Q. No one answered at the PSU the other day.

A. People in PSU all react to incidences and are sometimes out. Dartford Borough Council (DBC) is looking to recruit a public reassurance officer and will make sure people get called back and a response.

 

Q. There have been bogus callers at Temple Hill

A. Contact details for each area’s PCSO’s are on the Kent Police website.

 

Q. Regarding the first PACT meeting, what publicity was there for the meeting?

A. All the PACT’s are being set in place by the beat officer, so publicity might vary. They are an excellent initiative but need to be owned by the community.

 

Heath PACT and Friends of the Heath attended by a good mix of people. People don’t want to attend another talking shop. When actions happen as a result, people will see them making a difference and want to attend.

 

Sutton at Hone PACT is working very well as well, all singing from the same song sheet and making life easier with the working together.

 

Q. There is a problem in this area, at weekend’s there are regular groups of people walking between Dartford and Crayford that are rowdy and ‘tanked-up’ from night spots in the Town.

A. Police provide dedicated resources on a Friday and Sat night including knife arches, drug testing. Grab a cab scheme moving 600 people per night and very successful. CCTV available on some routes and can be deployed on some lights for hotspots. Kent Police have excellent liaison with the London Met Police.

 

Q. If the bulk of Police are to be based in new headquarters at Ebbsfleet, what happens if the roads are gridlocked?  Might this prevent Police getting around Dartford?

A. No, it shouldn’t do. Police will be using satellite stations e.g. at Bluewater.

 

Q. Will Police be familiar with geography of area?

A. Yes, they also have GPS.

 

Q. What are the helicopters used for?

A. They are used at night and owned by Essex Police.  They are used for missing children, nuisance motorbikes, stolen cars etc.  Essex people have the facility also to log onto the Essex Police website and find out what the helicopter is doing in any one area.  Kent may look into obtaining the same facility.

Q. Concern over PACT’s. There are lots of groups e.g. residents associations, parishes etc. Some people coming together all the time and nothing is changing.

A. PACT does slightly different thing from the role of elected members.

 

Q Why is it that all issues in Bluewater are put into the parish of Stone? This pushes up crime figures for Parishes, adversely affecting insurance.

A. They are trying to take Bluewater out of Parish and have it as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Local Development Framework and Regeneration in Dartford

Paul Buckley, Senior Planner, Dartford Borough Council will be speaking on the core strategy for Dartford’s Local Development Framework and regeneration in the town.

Minutes:

Paul Buckley, Dartford Borough Council was in attendance for this item.

 

The Local Development Framework (LDF) sets the broad strategy for development in Dartford.  There is also an action plan that is about getting things done.  The LDF looks forward to 2026. Anticipate that the core strategy will be adopted by 2009.  Town centre plan adopted by June 2009.

 

North of the A2 there will be 15000 new homes, 32,000 new jobs making three primary areas for growth.

 

The town centre will have an area action plan and incorporate what people have said in consultation.  There are concerns about safety, the number of clubs and bars, conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists on footpaths. People want more CCTV, more police, a ban on drinking in public areas.  They also want improvements in the evening economy such as café/restaurants and encourage a range of activities into the town, new homes and jobs.  New Developments design out crime, for example through designing new public open spaces and safer walking routes.

10.

Questions from the public to the presenter

Minutes:

Q. Is there going to be new hospital provision for all these houses?

A. The plans are discussed with the PCT/ hospital trust and they are aware of developments.

 

Q. Is there going to be separate cycle paths in the town centre?

A. This would involve a larger land take.  New cycle path being created through Central park

 

Q. Is there going to be parking for all these new houses?

A. Car use is looked at in the stages of planning to reduce the reliance on car journeys.  For example, options such as Fastrack are taking cars off the road.

11.

Questions from the public to Local Board Members on general issues

12.

Future Local Board Meetings

The next meeting will be on 18 June 2008.  The venue is yet to be confirmed.

Minutes:

Date of the next meeting 18 June 2008.  The venue is to be confirmed.

 

13.

Any Other Business notified to the Chairman prior to the meeting.

This meeting is due to close at 9:00 pm.