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the.southend.communitynews@gmail.com   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist, melaniejanette@gmail.com   07917730238

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The Community Safety Patrol Team dealt with 78 anti-social behaviour incidents during June, according to latest statistics.

 The Community Safety Patrol Team (CSPT) were introduced in September 2018 as a quick solution to the rising problem of anti-social behaviour in Southend-on-Sea town centre and other hot spots across the Borough.

 The initial interim team were supplied by Stambridge Security and gained overwhelming support from residents, visitors and local businesses. The permanent team started on April 1.

Monthly data released shows that in June 2019 they;

·         Had 102 interactions with people begging or sleeping rough

·         Responded to 43 street drinking incidents

·         Received 48 CCTV reports which led to arrest

·         Assisted with 28 crimes

·         Completed 31 targeted patrols

·         Dealt with 10 first aid incidents

·         Issued 3 community protection warnings or notices.

 This is in addition to helping find missing children, rescue a family stuck on the shoreline and helping to deliver a baby in the High Street.

  Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer contact, said: “Southend-on-Sea has undoubtedly felt the impact of central Government cuts to police numbers, and something needed to be done quickly to tackle the growing unease people felt within the High Street area with anti-social behaviour such as drinking alcohol and aggressive begging. Once the CSPT started their patrols, the feedback from the public was ‘I feel much safer with these guys patrolling the streets’.”

  The team has since had specialised training from EMS Executive Management Security and transport companies, First, Arriva and C2C have provided free travel passes to the CSPT, so they can easily access the various wards within the borough. CSPT will intervene with any issues that could arise whilst travelling on the bus network and at a later date will be accredited to assist in and around the stations.

 Cllr Terry added: “It makes some sense that this team help out all different aspects of the community and I want to thank these organisations for supporting the CSPT.

 “Whilst the team are not there to replace fully warranted police officers, and I will always fight for more police resource on the frontline, they are there to provide another uniformed presence on the streets, additional support for minor level incidents and give the public some reassurance. The links they are building within the community, with individuals and businesses, plus the intelligence they are gathering, is vastly important to the work we are doing to improve the safety of our communities.

 

“It is therefore great to see them doing such great things, and I will always support that work of the CSPT, along with making the case to restore fully warranted police officer numbers throughout the borough.”

 The community safety team is part of a much larger team working operating as part of the community safety hub. They work closely with partner agencies such as, Southend BID, South Essex Homes, Essex Police, HARP and Peabody,

 The team are now compiling their monthly data in an infographic to share on their social media account. You can follow them on twitter with the handle @Southend_CSP.

Community safety patrol team on the beat

Extra police officers to the town centre policing team have been officially welcomed by Southend’s councillor responsible for community safety.

  The five new officers will boost the existing team called Op Reflex, who were put in place in the summer of 2018 following an increase of violent disorder within the town centre.

  The team will continue to focus on protecting the public, reducing violent crime, anti-social behaviour, theft, drugs offences and maintaining the successful night time economy of the town, by working in partnership with community initiatives and organisations, including the council and its community safety patrol team and BID street rangers.

  Councillor Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer care, welcomed the additional officers. He said: “I am very pleased to be welcoming these extra officers to Southend-on-Sea on behalf of our residents, visitors and local businesses. I’m sure the additional frontline police presence in the town centre will reassure the public.

 “This is very much just the beginning though; Southend-on-Sea has undoubtedly felt the impact of central Government cuts to police numbers and my primary objective is to get more frontline Police Officers back on our streets in all our communities across the Borough.

 “In addition I know the council’s own community safety patrol team are looking forward to continuing their excellent working relationship with Essex Police to make the town a safer, a more inviting place for people to visit.”

 

police team

Councillor welcomes extra town centre police officers

The council is set to bolster its parking enforcement team, following a number of parking measures announced at Full Council last week (Thursday 18 July).

The council will ask its parking contractor APCOA to provide five new civil enforcement officers up to the end of March 2020. The council will assess the impact of this initiative and consider continuing it as part of next year’s budget setting (2020/21).

  The council is also set to enter into an agreement with a company to help it enforce against foreign number plates.

  Cllr Ron Woodley, deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, says: “Inconsiderate and dangerous parking is a major issue for local people, and as a listening administration, I am aware that there is an appetite for increased enforcement of parking contraventions in the vicinity of schools for example.

 I have therefore agreed that we will ask APCOA to contract an additional five civil enforcement officers to bolster resources up to the end of March 2020.

 “The enforcement of foreign registered vehicles is another area where we need further support, because we do not have access to the European Vehicle Database and it is difficult to follow through on enforcement. A company that specialises in this work has been found, and this will enable us to pursue owners of foreign registered vehicles that commit civil contraventions in Southend-on-Sea, and at no cost to the council.

 “Enforcement is always a controversial topic, but it is an important area that we must keep on top of, both to ensure the borough is kept moving, but also to ensure the safety of all road users and pedestrians, and so I am pleased to announce these changes.”

 

Parking enforcement to be strengthened

Government funding has been secured for a brand new school-based nursery to be built in Southend-on-Sea.

 Prince Avenue Primary School, in conjunction with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, secured £780,000 from the Department for Education to build a brand-new nursery for 68 children.

 The nursery will be a separate block, built within the school grounds and will hopefully be open in September 2020.

 Will Hill, Headteacher of Prince Avenue Primary School, said: “We are thrilled to be awarded this funding as the new nursery will make a massive difference to the school and the local community. We are now able to extend our capacity and offer full, as well as part-time childcare places for children aged two up.

 “We were one of the first schools within Southend to have an on-site nursery, but it is in a converted classroom and the staff have managed well with limited facilities for some time now.

 “This is a really exciting project and we are delighted that by September 2020, we will be able to offer first class resources and early years childcare support, in a purpose-built nursery. It’s really going to make a big difference to the families in our local community.”

 The school in Hornby Avenue already has an on-site nursery with 26 places. The new-build will allow for an additional 42 places to be offered to parents and in a purpose-built setting.

 Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “This is great news for Southend-on-Sea as it means additional childcare resources for the town, more high-quality day-time nursery placements for our young generations and with the 30 hour tax-free childcare funding scheme, we will hopefully see more parents being able to return to work.”

  Southend-on-Sea Borough Council asked for expressions of interest from local schools to support bid applications, after the Department for Education announced the school nurseries capital fund in July 2018. In total there were 69 successful projects to create new or improve and refurbish existing school-based nurseries for children aged 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

 

Funding secured for new nursery

 

A Southend Business Partnership briefing, looking at the key Southend 2050 strategic theme of “connected and smart”, will take place on Thursday 26 September at The Forum.

 The Southend Business Partnership is an independent business association, with a network of over 800 professionals across Southend-on-Sea. The partnership brings together businesses from all sectors and of all sizes and backgrounds to share best practice, contacts, knowledge and news.

The briefing will give people in attendance the opportunity to listen to different speakers delivering important information on how Southend will achieve its ambition of being a leading digital city and accessible place.

Come and hear speakers from local and national organisations discuss their plans for making Southend a truly connected and smart city, with C2C and First Bus will be speaking. CityFibre, along with Vodafone, will also be explaining their plans for turning Southend into one of the first full fibre gigabit broadband towns in the country. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Connected and Smart lead officer, John Williams, will update you on the connected and smart agenda and how this will benefit local businesses.

Connected and Smart: briefing offers opportunity for Southend businesses to learn more

 Southend Girls’ Choir celebrates 30y ears

The Southend Girls’ Choir was formed in 1988 and will be celebrating its 30 years with a big Birthday Concert on Saturday 5th October, 7.30pm at Kings Road UR Church, Westcliff.   The concert will include a wide range of music performed by the choir over the years, including some music commissioned by the choir from top composers.   The choir is actively seeking former members to come to the concert, and to join in a special “alumni finale” to the concert.

The choir was formed by Roger Humphrey and Rosemary Pennington, who are still the musical directors.  Over the 30 years the choir has performed in many countries overseas, with concerts in the Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Kennedy Centre in Washington,  St Peter’s Rome, St Mark’s Venice, Sagrada Familia, and in cathedrals across France, Spain, Italy, France, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Hong Kong, Singapore and Seychelles.  In London the choir’s performances have included a great many appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, including many performances in the BBC Proms, and broadcasts on radio and TV.  They perform regularly at St Martin in the Fields, Royal Festival Hall, St James’s Church Piccadilly, and in some of London’s top hotels, and have performed alongside Aled Jones, Russell Watson, Anton du Beke and many other stars in their concerts.

Over the last 30 years, the choir has drawn its members from local schools in Southend and Essex, and many former members are now working themselves professionally in music.  Former choristers are now working in Opera houses in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, BBC Proms, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, music publishers to name but a few.  Many are music teachers in schools and colleges both in the UK and overseas, and several have now formed their own choirs.  In recent years the choir has formed 2 groups for younger singers – “Little Singers” for ages 3 -6, and a “Step Up Choir” for ages 6 – 9.  The choir makes no charge to its members to be in the choir, and over the years has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

Tickets for the Birthday Concert can be purchased online at brownpapertickets priced £10 for adults and £2 for under 16s.  Anyone wanting information about joining in the “alumni finale” to the concert should contact info@southendchoirs.org.uk