Castle Ward report (October 2017)
To comment on any of the items below or obtain further information, please contact Cllr Judy Rogers.
Parking on the West Hill
Parking on the West Hill continues to be a problem with many residents unable to park close to their homes when they return from work in the evening. Along with Godfrey Daniel, county councillor, we are investigating the introduction of a shared resident’s parking scheme. Initially along with residents in Gordon and Alpine Roads a consultation and petition is being taken around all the residents in Gordon, Alpine, Plynlimmon, Priory up to Croft Road, and Collier Road to hear their views. I am out with the residents petition getting signatures ready to present to county.
Similarly there are still concerns about the No.28 bus with some of the West Hill residents. The service was supposed to be hourly but with the impact from heavier traffic on the Ridge Stagecoach cannot run an hourly service so have changed the timings to one hour and ten minutes. Whilst it is appreciated that traffic flows can impact on buses the changes were made without users being advised which has led to a number of issues particularly with people having hospital appointments. There have been several meetings with Stagecoach and county officers over the past couple of months but Stagecoach have stated that they cannot change the new timetables and are refusing to attend any further meetings. This is really a wider issue for the West Hill in terms of buses in general with no services running into the evenings and something that I am working with Godfrey to try and resolve.
Prospect Place anti-social behaviour
The issues with drug dealing and anti social behaviour around the Prospect Place area have not been completely resolved but with increased awareness and some additional patrols seem to have been a lot better. However, the area around York Gardens in the town centre is causing concern with a lot of complaints from both residents and businesses. I have been working with council officers and a residents meeting took place last week with most businesses represented. Godfrey and myself are picking up on action points at both county and borough councils with officers and the businesses. A follow up meeting is planned for January.
Town Centre roundel
The roundel in the town centre with the 2 businesses has been really successful in making the area more vibrant and displacing a large majority of the street drinkers. The 2 current businesses have been given confirmation that they can continue trading there for the next year which is good news.
Pier’s financial difficulties
As you may have seen in the news the Pier is in difficulties financially. It is important to note that the council do not own or run the Pier and have, in the past, financially supported the Pier but there needs to be a clear plan in place to ensure that it is run as a viable business. Historic England are helping and working with the Trust and the council to ensure that this happens and have brought in a highly recommended consultant to draw up a workable business plan. On a plus point the Pier won the RIBA award last week so that will help when looking for grants.
I have been on 2 Grotbuster Walks during September. One with officers as part of our annual walk looking at the seafront and then with the chair of St Andrews Square Residents Association around the STAR area. A number of properties have been highlighted as requiring attention and referred to the Planning Enforcement team. I have been out today with a member of the Waste and Street Scene looking at the STAR area in terms of rubbish, fly tipping, incorrect use of seagull proof bags.
Castle Ward Forum
Castle Ward Forum is looking to have its AGM in January and I will circulate more details as soon as they are available.