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“Growing Distrust” In the ASB Working Party

Dear Residents,

It has been brought to our attention that there is “growing local distrust in the RA and working group” and we would appreciate your frank and honest views on this as I don’t think that we could have been any more open and honest in our conduct.  I may be wrong!

I think that our openness has been brought out by our publishing the Working Party updates and also publishing sections of letters and responses that we have had, during the short tenure of this Working Party that indicate exactly what we have been doing.  There has been no mention of “growing distrust” in any correspondence that we’ve received directly from any residents, prior to an email received yesterday. Au contraire, responses have been very positive and supportive of what we’ve been doing, so this is fairly disconcerting and we need to get to the truth of the matter.

Certainly, we’ve been working hard and fast and may have skewed off course and, that being the case, we need your honest input if you feel that that’s the case.

Our paymaster for this issue is the Parish Council and it is our judge and jury.  If the residents feel like this, they need to report the facts to the PC, who will review those facts and whether they influence the way in which the Working Party is operating and whether it then meets with the PC’s ethical guidelines and codes of conduct.  If they do not, it is incumbent upon the PC to take appropriate action if it feels that the Working Party is operating in a biased or unethical fashion and remove personnel and/or disband the Working Party. 

The Working Party has an open agenda and that is to represent the residents of the parish in a balanced and impartial way.  To that end, we believe that we have involved the residents, including residents who fall just outside the parish and fall within the SMBC administrative area, in contacting us with issues that concern them and possible solutions to those issues. From that and our own researches, we have produced a sizeable matrix of the issues, possible solutions and the possible consequences of those solutions.  We have then distilled this matrix down and had SDC prepare a survey on our behalf.  SDC will also collate the responses and report back to us. Once we have received the full glossy report from SDC, we will publish it.

So, I am not quite sure why there is “growing distrust” in what we are doing. There are seven of us spending quite inordinate amounts of time trying to resolve these issues on behalf of the residents.  Four of us are not inconvenienced by any of the ASB and little of the traffic issues that occupy the minds of so many of the residents around the Lakes.  We are giving of our time and effort to resolve these issues – I was going to say “freely” but, in actual fact, we all have costs, both financially and in time invested in this project, that we’re prepared to bear to help resolve this. We can walk away and dump this problem back on the residents of Malthouse Lane any time we like and it would probably have a beneficial effect on the quality of our lives.  We choose not to and to see this through because we deem it important enough to be involved in, so where’s the mileage in doing things that are seen to be untrustworthy?

It is important that, if you have these feelings, you either make them known to the WP, or report them directly to the PC, in order that the PC can review them and take the appropriate action.


Ewen, Chair

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.

Complaints – Contacting the Police

I have just had a conference call with Sgt Eagles of Alcester Police North SNT and one important thing that came out of the call is that everyone who reports anything really needs to report it on 101 or, if more serious, on 999.

If you email or contact the police any other way, it won’t get logged and, when the police are allocating their resources, the issues will not be fully identified, so we’ll miss out.

So please, please, call 101 or 999 every time you want to report something.  You are also perfectly at liberty to contact them in any other way that you see fit as well but, if you do, anything other than a phone call will not be recognised in the statistics.



28/05/20 15.00

The Lakes – Complaints

If you wish to register a complaint about any activities that you perceive to be inappropriate around the Lakes at this time, please read the following as it will direct you to the correct recipient.


This is covered by Warwickshire County Council. 

They have advised us, on 21 May 2020, as follows:

“Following government guidance, Warwickshire County Council has scaled back parking enforcement to concentrate exclusively on dangerous or obstructive parking.

Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) are continuing to patrol, while following government guidance on social distancing but will only take enforcement action against badly parked vehicles which prevent access for emergency services and other critical support teams.  The Council is also working with the emergency services to focus patrols around key areas such as hospitals, ambulance and fire stations, while maintaining a presence in towns and residential areas to help motorists find a safe place to park. It is recognised that home-working may be placing an additional strain on parking.”

It is clear, form this, that they are not in a position to perform their whole range of statutory duties at present, as we start to relax lockdown.  Hopefully, they will start to get back to normal as the situation changes.  Please keep an eye on the following web page for updated info:

Parking where vehicles are left causing dangers and obstructions

This is covered by the Police:

For assistance with a vehicle which is parked causing an obstruction you may wish to contact the Police who have powers to take appropriate action.  The Police have the authority as the Highway Code states “You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road. [Laws CSDPA sect 21 & RTRA sects 5 & 8]”.  In such a case they may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or arrange removal/relocation of the vehicle. 

We have been advised by the police to register complaints by phoning 101

Anti-social behaviour including social distancing, cycling, night fishing, etc

We have been advised that these issues are dealt with by Canal and River Trust (CRT).  However, other sources have stated that the police advise that they are the primary responder for matters relating to ASB.  We have no confirmation at present as to which route is the better one. The information that we have for each responder is:

CRT: Please do not contact any individual at CRT directly but email  We have been asked to use this address as your query will then be directed to correct department within CRT, allowing for it to be dealt with quickly.

Police: Depending on the severity and urgency of the issue being reported, please report it by phoning 101, or phone 999 where urgent action is required.

We will revise and clarify these details when we have factual confirmation, which we’re endeavouring to obtain currently.

Other points:

If you see a situation that you feel is unreasonable do not get involved in it to the point where it becomes a danger to your wellbeing.  Leave and report it.  If you can take photos without exacerbating the position, that would be helpful.  If you can time and date stamp the photos, that would be even better.  On both Android and iPhone devices, you can download an app that can be set to automatically time and date stamp your photos. 

If you contact the above organisations for any of the above reasons, can you please copy the RA in so that we can keep track of what’s going on, as we are in contact with CRT and the Police regularly:


Joint Working Party Update 06/07/2020

Since the last update on the 28th June, we have been working hard on preparing the survey questionnaire and supporting documents.  We worked with SDC’s “Insight Unit” to fine tune it and submitted it as a finished document last Wednesday (1 July) morning.  SDC printed the documents off for us and delivered them on Thursday afternoon.  We bundled them into packs on Friday and had them all delivered on Saturday 4th July.  Thanks to all those involved in the process and, in particular to Simon at SDC, who opened their closed print room especially for us and to our deliverers who are not part of the Working Party (WP) but were just pleased to volunteer.

We had a Zoom meeting on the 30th June to finalise the content that we wanted included in all the documents that make up the survey bundle and we agreed all the amendments, additions and deletions.  One thing cropped up that’s worth mentioning and that is that WCC Highways has indicated that some solutions we are proposing “are not considered suitable”.  We have taken the decision that we don’t see it as being WCC’s prerogative to direct us in any particular direction, so we have included options that they don’t seem to like in the questionnaire.

We gave you details on the timeline that we hoped to operate to in the previous update and we’ve manged to keep to that, so thanks to everyone concerned.  Its progress is as follows:

  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 returned 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.

We estimated that we were going to deliver 300 packs and we’ve delivered 296.  One or two houses are locked up, so if you haven’t received a pack and need one delivered please contact Ewen on and we’ll deliver as we know which houses we haven’t delivered to.

We have received some interesting emails as a consequence of the survey – the first one having arrived by lunchtime on Saturday.  Thanks to all for the input, it’s appreciated and helpful.  I think that I’ve acknowledged receipt of them all currently.  All your emails are being circulated within the working party and the points that you’ve made will be added to our matrix of issues and will be considered along with everything else when we come to make our recommendations to the Parish Council, hopefully around the 22nd.

A meeting was organised, on Sunday 28th June, at the entrance to Malt House Park to discuss possible traffic and parking control solutions.  All the WP committee members attended and we were again joined by James Lines. We invited James to become a member of the WP committee and we’re pleased to say that he’s accepted.  The meeting was useful and will give us a better perspective of the issues when we get the results of the survey back.  It was also nice, from our point of view, that residents were expressing their appreciation that we’re being seen to be out and about too.

Re CRT’s security personnel operation around the Lakes area, we wrote to Adnan complaining that night fishing had started up whilst the security guys were operating.  We also requested Adnan to change the security guards’ operating shift times from 18.00 – 00.00 hours to 20.00 – 02.00 or 21.00 – 03.00 hours as there were still partying activities being reported.

As you may have seen on the PC and RA websites, CRT has responded to our second email letter and we’re not happy with the response and have replied again.  You can view it by clicking the link on the website.  Adnan has, subsequently, asked to have a meeting to discuss the current issues and we agreed that that was a good idea.  However, he’s offered the 22 July as the first date he can make for a meeting and we have replied in the negative as it’s too far into the future. We’ve also asked CRT for the email address of the Chair of the Board of Trustees but they won’t release that to us.  Apparently, it’s “not policy”.  Not bad, considering that over £50m of income each year is made by way of grants paid from out of the public purse!

Well, this report doesn’t seem to be quite as exciting as the last one but we’ve been working at least as hard, so thanks again from me to everyone concerned.

Ewen Cunningham

Chair, ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party


Alcester Police North Safer Neighbourhood team (SNT) Latest Weekly Report.

Sunday 28th June 2020


·         *ASB / Sus Circs etc. We have received a few reports relating to the Lakes area of Earlswood this week. The area continues to be very popular with locals and those travelling from outside the County. The Team is continuing with its targeted patrols.

If it’s not 999, try going online – Warwickshire Police is encouraging the public to try reporting non-emergency crime online, by using the force’s website. Currently the vast majority of non-emergency reports come into the force via the 101 telephone line. However, since the force moved to the Single Online Home website platform in September last year (part of a national project to standardise police websites across the country), the public are now able to report incidents online.

The benefits of using the website are:

·         Incidents or crimes which don’t require an immediate police response can be reported in a user’s own time and at their own pace.

·         It offers exactly the same service as calling 101 – the force has a dedicated Digital Desk team who work on online reports.

·         It can save callers waiting in a queue to speak to someone on 101 – which unfortunately can sometimes get busy during peak periods.

·         It helps to keep resources free for emergency 999 calls.

·         When a report is submitted, the user will receive an email with all of their submitted details for reference.

·         As well as the online reporting feature, the website also contains lots of information and guidance, including advice on who you should report specific matters to.

Supt Emma Bastone, who oversees the force’s Operational Communications Centre (OCC), said: “Although our ‘new’ website was launched last September, we have seen a relatively low number of reports via the online system, and this is a feature we would really like to encourage the use of. “Not only does it help to keep our lines free for the most urgent calls, but for the public reporting online will also mean not having to wait to speak to someone (via 101), and the report can be filled out in your own time. The online form is very intuitive and straightforward, with specific short questions asked to help provide the answers we need. “Once a report is submitted, the information goes through to the force’s Digital Desk, where a dedicated team will make an assessment of the information and decide whether more details are needed. Users will then receive a reference number and will be contacted back with the next steps. “All reports which come into the force are THRIVE-assessed (which standards for Threat, Harm and Risk), which means that whichever way you report an incident to us, it will be graded and responded to accordingly, irrespective of whether it is called in or reported online. “For those who do not have access to the internet or do not feel confident using it, please be assured that our 101 number is still available 24/7, but we do ask that if it’s not an emergency and you are able to, please visit our website in the first instance.”

Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour Online – You can now report Anti-Social Behaviour online via our website –

The website also has a number of different topics that can reported this way.

If you have any questions regarding the above please contact us on the details below or via the Warwickshire Police website. If you would like to be removed from the Teams email circulation list – please let us know.



Team email –                                        

SGT 1284 Angus Eagles                  

PC 427 Sue Blundell –                      

PCSO 6273 Aadila Hussain –          

PCSO 6330 Sanjay Singh –             

PCSO 6350 Taylor Brooke               

PCSO 6336 Mark Lucas –                 

Alcester Police Office Phone Number – 01789 444816    (not to be used for emergencies or priority calls. Always report incidents on 101). Online reporting services are also available on our website –

Twitter –                                              @AlcesterCops

Facebook –                                        Alcester Police

Instagram –                                       southwarwickshiresnts

Website –                                 

We do not monitor our social media pages, so please do not use them to report incidents or to pass on important information. Please call us on 101, 999 or use the online reporting forms as required.

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


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: 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.



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