Neighbourhood Development Plan information can be found at http://tanworthndp.org

Older News

RA’s and WP’s email response to CRT’s response of 1 July 2020

If you would like to read our most recent response to CRT, please dowload the pdf by clicking on the link below.

Land Rover Defenders

Please be aware that the Police are concerned about an apparent spike in the number of Land Rover Defenders that are being stolen.

There is no obvious reason for their theft but Police think that it might be to cannibalise them for parts now that the old model Defender is out of production.

Please take care of your pride and joy!

Joint Working Party Update 28/06/2020

Since our last update on 22 June, the Joint Working Party (WP) has been working on producing a survey that will be distributed to the households who are directly suffering from the ASB, drug and traffic issues.  Thanks to everyone who has supplied information that we have been able to consider.

We have spoken to SDC’s “Insight Unit” and they are happy to prepare the survey and review the supporting documents using their specialist computer programmes and to analyse the results.  This will be an independent control to the WP’s work.

The WP has concluded its work on the questions that need to be asked in the survey and the anticipated timeline is currently:

  1. Draft of questionnaire and covering letter to SDC on 28 June;
  2. SDC’s computer analysis of the survey questions, resulting queries resolved with WP, survey and covering letter printed by SDC, documents packaged for delivery (including reply paid envelopes) and retuned to the WP by close of business on 3 July;
  3. Survey packs delivered by Residents’ Association deliverers over weekend 4 and 5 July;
  4. Completed surveys to be returned by post to SDC, or placed in the PC letterbox, by first post Monday 13 July;
  5. All survey returns placed in the PC letter box to be delivered to SDC on 13 July;
  6. Data processing by SDC during the week commencing 13 July and the full results made known to the WP as soon as that work is completed.

As you will appreciate, this is a tight deadline, especially considering the exigencies of Covid-19 working but we are pushing for no slippage. Please watch the PC’s and RA’s websites for updates and how to obtain a copy of the survey results.

 The WP had a cordial Zoom meeting with the Chair of Earlswood Area Safer Environment (EASE) on 24 June and we had a meaningful exchange of ideas and objectives, which was very helpful to the WP.

Thank you to EASE.

The WP held a second Zoom meeting on 24 June and the following items were discussed:

  • It was decided to look at the ANPR system that Barston has adopted.  It was decided that the Claverdon model, although a quick fix, is done on the cheap with a lack of monitoring. Investigation may need to be  followed up with a site visit.

Discussions have been instigated with Barston Village PC.

  • There was an indication from our County Councillor that WCC Highways were planning on closing the causeway without consultation.  It was decided that we would write to WCC to confirm this.

There has been a detailed reply to the effect that everything is still on the table for consideration, except for the clearway proposal, which has been shelved.

  • The Chair expressed frustration with CRT and, in particular, that they had not even acknowledged several emails that had been sent over the past two weeks.

This has now been followed up – see below.

  • A question was raised as to what our District Councillor (Tony Dixon) is doing to support our efforts.

TD was contacted and has subsequently replied saying that he is “happy to assist”, which we appreciate.

In view of our non-responses from CRT and, in view of the full-blown 999 response by the police on 24 June, we wrote an open letter to Adnan Saif, CRT’s WM Director.  The letter is still on the website. 

This resulted in an immediate response stating that, in the first instance, security guards would be on duty around the Lakes from 18.00 to 00.00 hours from that night, for a limited period.  The other issues raised were not dealt with satisfactorily and a subsequent (closed) letter has been sent. CRT promise to deal with these questions by 1 July.

Also, as a consequence of the 999 call-out on 24 June, we wrote to PC Sue Blundell and her team to thank all the responders concerned for their efforts, which have widely been appreciated by the residents. 

By return, Sue has sent a very nice thank you letter and is very appreciative of the positive feedback.

If you wish to download a copy of this document, please click on the hyperlink

Ewen Cunningham

Chair, ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

28/06/2020

The Lakes ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party update 26/06/2020

The Lakes ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party is currently receiving so much email etc that we haven’t got time to answer it all, otherwise we’d get nothing constructive done.  Everyone just needs to know that we’re reading it and adding pertinent bits to our matrix and that we appreciate everyone’s contributions, positive or negative, as it helps us continuously fine tune and clarify the position, so keep them coming and, if we don’t respond, please accept that we’re not trying to be rude or evasive, we’re just busy.

Please note that anything useful will be being posted on both the RA and PC websites and we will publish periodic updates to keep you in the picture.

Thanks, Ewen, Chair.

Response to our open email to Adnan Saif, CRT’s West Midlands Director, today 25/06/2020

The PC/RA Working Party has just had a reply from Adnan to the open email that we sent earlier today and it contains some good news for a change:

In Adnan’s own words:

“The Trust has enlisted the services of a private security company to patrol the Lakes between 6pm and 12.00 mid-night each evening on a temporary basis, starting tonight.”

It will be interesting to see how this goes.  If the security firm does a good job, it should cut down ASB and, hopefully have a secondary influence in cutting down traffic issues and this should give a strong indication as to where the real source of the problems lies.

We would like to thank Adnan openly for this initiative as a first step to stamping out all the ASB and anti-social behaviour around the Lakes.

Would any residents who have been involved previously with these issues please report back to the Working Party through the Chair: chair@earlswood-forshawheath.org.uk and let us know how effective they think this initiative is being? If we could ask you to identify the issues that you’re commenting upon e.g. the Lakes, the causeway, drugs, traffic offences, etc that would also help.

Thanks, Ewen 25/06/2020

Open email to Adnan Saif, CRT’s West Midlands Director

Hi Adnan,

I am unhappy in the extreme this morning with CRT and am sending you this open email that I’m going to publish on the RA’s and PC’s websites to let the residents see that we are actually trying to do something about the ASB and traffic issues around the Lakes and that we are trying to goad CRT into some sort of meaningful action.

You are most assuredly aware that there has been a huge escalation of serious ASB, drugs, and traffic issues around the Lakes since the good weather commenced during lockdown.  We’ll, it kicked off big time last night and there has been a larger than usual mountain of discontent being directed at the RA and PC this morning from the residents as a consequence.

CRT’s sticking plaster approach just won’t work – not that it was really working before. A tourniquet is now needed – and fast!   

For the last three weeks, I have been trying to obtain from CRT your Risk Assessment, or similar, for Earlswood Lakes and surrounds and you, Richard Preston and Tim Booker have all failed even to even acknowledge my emails regarding this.  That doesn’t inspire confidence in CRT management, hence this email.

Firstly, I need to update you on a couple of things:

Firstly, the Parish Council and the Residents’ Association have formed a joint Working Party to deal with all the ASB and traffic issues around the Lakes.  I am the Chair and will not be contacting the CRT general enquiries email address from now on, I’ll be speaking either directly to you or to Alan Leighton.  The CRT general enquiries email responses are a joke, given the current circumstances. This is now too serious just to dispense holding email responses and platitudes!

Secondly, and it can’t have escaped your notice, there are numerous 101 calls made each evening and night to the police and last night the police themselves upgrade the 101 calls to a 999 response.

Why does CRT not see itself as having any meaningful responsibility for the Lakes?  These issues would start to subside if CRT had a proper management plan in place.  Just as an example, you are currently installing 40 new fishing pontoons in Engine Poll.  This 40 does not include the fishing pegs on the reservoir dam wall and, yet, you can only provide 25/26 parking spaces for this and the other two Lakes.  You operate the fishing as a commercial activity – you’re very happy to put the fishing receipts in the bank but where are the fishermen, who you charge, going to park after the Wood Lane Car park is full? You are aware of the parking issues around the Lakes e.g. Malt House Lane and Wood Lane.  You allow visitors to use the Lakes for walking and other non-business activities but where are they to park? What facilities are you providing?  You don’t even manage the small car part in Wood Lane efficiently, thus allowing it to be fully utilised out of hours for all sorts of ASB activities.  There are not enough rubbish bins, or they are not large enough, or they are not emptied frequently enough.  This gives the (currently correct) impression that nobody cares about the Lakes and anything goes.  Where are the toilet facilities for, at the very least, the fishermen who buy day licences?  During lockdown, the woods around the Lakes have become open cesspits. Raves were taking place on the beaches when Engine Pool was drained down to enable the old pontoons to be removed and the new ones erected.  Tim even witnessed open drug dealing and substance abuse when he visited a couple of weeks ago.

Last night there were about eighty youths disgorging from trains and vehicles to attend some function at the Lakes.  As I said above, the trouble last night escalated into a full blown 999 incident with a number of police units attending and the police helicopter in attendance. This may be, so far this summer to date, an extreme event but it’s happening every night and increasing in seriousness and the RA and PC are being flooded with complaints from residents about noise and ASB issues occuring through the night.  We have better things to do than try and manage the position round the Lakes, which is all that we seem to be doing these days.  That is your duty and responsibility.  Please deal with it now before someone gets seriously injured or worse.

Given CRT’s failure to respond to my previous recent mails, I will be contacting Alan Leighton tomorrow if I haven’t received some form of meaningful reply.  You are welcome to forward this to him and his Board of Trustees as you see fit.

I am looking forward to hearing from you timeously.

KRs,

Ewen

Ewen Cunningham

Chair, Earlswood PC and RA ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

Joint Working Party Update 22/06/2020

The PC held a meeting on the 16th of June to put a resolution to the Council that it would sanction a combined working party with the Residents’ Association in order to work towards dealing with the anti-social behaviour, including drug dealing and substance abuse, and traffic issues that have been occurring around the Lakes and surrounding area. The PC sanctioned this and appointed Councillors Dave Burgess, Jason Adams and Dermot O’Brien.

The RA held a Committee on the 17th of June with a similar proposal and this was also sanctioned and Committee members Sarah Adams, Jo Wilday and Ewen Cunningham were elected.

The first working party meeting was held on the 18th June and minutes were prepared by Sarah Adams.

The key issues identified were:

  • ASB in and around Malthouse Lane, the causeway, the leisure park and the Lakes;
  • Parking in Malthouse Lane, the causeway T junction and the leisure park;
  • Speeding/dangerous driving on Malthouse Lane and the causeway. ASB, speeding, drugs dealing, drugs usage;
  • Drug dealing/usage on the causeway, at the leisure park and around the lakes including the Wood Lane car park;
  • Lack of enforcement by the appropriate agencies at key times;
  • Failure by various agencies to take responsibility for relevant issues.

A number of possible solutions were discussed and some concerns were expressed about finding resolutions that simply pushed the issues a few hundred yards away.

Possible closure of the causeway was discussed. Concern was expressed that winter closure, combine with the failure to grit Springbrook Lane could make it difficult for residents to leave their homes. There was also the possibility that a traffic free causeway might be a magnet for groups to gather, resulting in ASB and drug use/dealing.

Funding had been identified by Cllr Horner over a year ago to implement a clearway over the causeway, meaning that the police could take enforcement action, rather than WCC Highways. However, action appears to have stalled.  Information now received indicates that this has now been cancelled.  Dave Burgess has already contacted Paul Taylor at WCC Highways to find out why and to see what resolutions to this problem WCC Highways have to offer.

The closing of the parking area at the bottom of the dip in Valley Road was also discussed as a “quick fix” due to it being connected with drug dealing.  Suggestions were using large silage bales or tree trunks to prevent parking.  However, on further investigation, it transpires that the car park is being used as a school bus pick-up and drop off point. Although this is private land, we have asked SMBC who to speak to re changing the pickup/drop off point.

It was agreed that it was important to identify what local people wanted. So, residents would be consulted about any proposals to alleviate the issues identified. This would be done by means of an independently run and analysed survey of the residents in the roads affected i.e. Malthouse Lane, Cloweswood Lane, Small Lane, Springbrook Lane and Valley Road, including Earlsmere and Wood Lane. 

It was agreed that SDC would conduct the survey independently and return the analysed results.  The PC has made funds available for this. A draft of what the WP believes the issues to be has now been prepared by the WP for SDC and SDC is being contacted currently to discuss finalising the process.

Ewen Cunningham

Chair, ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

22/06/2020

Members – Can we have your email address?

As with many organisations, we want move more of our communication with members to email and through the website.  This will enable more effective communication  and deliver some  cost savings thus making your membership fee stretch further.  However, we will always use other means to contact those members who don’t have access to the internet, an email address or find it easier to read hard copy.
So we would be very grateful if you could download the form below, complete and return as instructed so we can update the membership register.

ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

The RA Committee had a meeting on the 17th June 2020 at 18.30 and resolved to join with the PC in setting up a working party, under the auspices of the PC, to attempt to resolve the myriad of ASB and Traffic issues in the area.  The initial working party will be formed of six members, three from each of the PC and the RA.  The RA’s Committee members elected to serve are: Ewen Cunningham, Sarah Adams and Jo Wilday.  They will join the members elected at the PC’s meeting of 16th June 2020, who are: Councillors Dermot O’Brien, Dave Burgess and Jason Adams.  The first meeting of the working party is the 18th June 2020.

WCC public consultation on a proposed change to the Home to School Transport Policy

Just in from our County Councillor, John Horner:

Warwickshire County Council is running a public consultation on a proposed change within the Home to School Transport Policy which could affect the way in which a pupil’s Qualifying School is determined. 

Currently, a pupil’s qualifying school is defined as the closest school to the pupil’s home with a space available and with the distance being measured by the shortest available route (driving route if over the statutory walking distance or walking route if the journey is less than the statutory walking distance). This may, therefore, not be the pupil’s priority area school but will be the one physically closest to their home address.

The proposed amendment to the policy would mean that a pupil’s qualifying school could be one of the following:

1) The school is the closest to the pupil’s home address that has places available and that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the pupil and takes into account any special educational needs that the pupil may have;

OR

2) It is the priority area school in which the pupil resides.

This could mean that some pupils would have two qualifying schools.

The way that transport is determined for pupils attending selective and faith schools will remain unchanged.

The consultation opened on 8 June 2020 and will close on Friday 17 July 2020.

Further information on the proposal and ways to provide feedback can be found on the Ask Warwickshire consultation pages.