Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Crime and Disorder Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 7th December, 2017
Time:
3:00 p.m.
Place:
Preston Park, Preston Hall Meeting Room, Yarm Road, Stockton TS18 3RH
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr David Wilburn (Chair), Cllr Louise Baldock (vice Cllr Rowling), Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Stefan Houghton (vice Cllr Richardson), Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley and Cllr Paul Weston,
Officers:
Reuben Kench, Sarah Fortune (DCLE); Judy Trainer, Annette Sotheby (DCE); Mark Berry, Steve Donaghy (DAH).
In Attendance:
Gareth Welsh (Butterfly World); Rachel Dodd (River Shack); Dennis Kitson (Small Gauge Railway); Cllr Cherrett, David Thomson (Preston Parish Council); Carol Pattison, Colin Pickar, Brian Wright (Residents).
Apologies for absence:
Submitted on behalf of Councillors Richardson and Rowling.
Item Description Decision
Public
CAD
26/17
EVACUATION PLAN
The evacuation procedure was noted.
CAD
27/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no Declarations of Interest recorded.
CAD
28/17
MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 13TH JULY 2017
AGREED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13th July 2017 be approved and be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CAD
29/17
MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 5TH OCTOBER 2017
AGREED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5th October 2017 be approved and be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CAD
30/17
MONITORING OF PREVIOUSLY APPROVED RECOMMENDATIONS
AGREED that the progress updates be noted and the assessments of progress be confirmed.
CAD
31/17
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF SECURITY AT PRESTON PARK
AGREED that the information be noted.
CAD
32/17
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.
3.00pm-4.40pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAD
30/17
Consideration was given to progress on the implementation of previously agreed recommendations from the following reviews:-

-Review of River Tees Crossing Infrastructure;
-Review of Dog Fouling Enforcement;
-Review of Safety at Railway Crossing Points.
CAD
31/17
Evidence was presented to the Committee from the following park partners and the local Parish Council; the key points of which were as follows:-

.Butterfly World

Gareth Walsh advised that there had been repeated incidents including break-ins and vandalism. During one break in, there had been 15 - 20 youths in the park in the early hours of the morning and the break-in had resulted in a lot of damage to the plants due to the cold. At the suggestion of the police Butterfly World had installed 8 CCTV cameras externally up to the perimeter of their premises. The cameras recorded the date and time. However, youths were using BB Guns to shoot at the cameras and with the guns could shoot at the building outside of the range of the CCTV cameras.

Members discussed whether the Council's CCTV could be adjusted to provide coverage for Butterfly World and the merits of installing another camera. Sharing of information about incidents would also be useful.

Small Gauge Railway

Dennis Kitson advised that there had been various incidents over the years including break-ins at the shed and rails being ripped up, vandalism of the toilets. More recently there had been the theft of three locomotives from a trailer and a fire in the workshop which had resulted in the loss of the workshop and machines, although it could not be established if this was deliberate or accidental damage.

One problem was that there was no CCTV coverage of the car park by the railway.

River Shack

Rachel Dodds advised that rowing boats were stored at the river and there was a middle pontoon and landing for passenger boats. Nothing else was left at the riverside.

Issues included:

•Vandalism to boats (even if in the river) from children to adults in early 20s. This also poses a health and safety risk
•Damage to equipment - only robust signage is used and this is removed out of season
•Damage to fencing which has necessitated repairs
•Drinking, intimidating and aggressive behaviour from men in early 20s - enforcement were called but it often took time for them to attend - a greater on site presence would help. Staff taking photos puts them at risk.
•BBQs - dangerous behaviour
•Swimmers - open lake swimmers are professional. However, peak season leisure swimmers are unaware of the risks, not realising that the river is more dangerous than the sea

Suggested improvements included:

•More on site presence/ stretching of usage
•CCTV coverage at the riverside
•Improving access for those legitamately using the facilities
•Robust building with utilities at the riverside
•Diversionary activities to mitigate ASB
•Safe swimming areas

Members acknowledged the need for closer working with park partners and the correlation between the reduction in staff resource and ASB issues. The opportunity to review working hours for the two newly appointed park keepers in conjunction with gate closing times was highlighted. Other measures such as the introduction of number plate recognition were discussed. The designation of a safe swimming area was not considered to be practicable.

Local Residents

Local residents from Clifton Gardens reported problems with "boy racers" in the main car park when the main gates were open- a constant problem in the summer; quieter in the winter.

A local Councillor reported similar problems in the North Field.

Members agreed that this provided an argument for restricting access and reviewing gate opening times.

Local residents also highlighted security problems arising from a small section of public footpath near Clifton Gardens. The Director of Leisure, Arts and Events advised that, as far as he was aware, there was nothing in the master plan which would prohibit the diversion of this section of the footpath and undertook to discuss this with the relevant Council officers.
CAD
32/17
Members were presented with the Work Programme.

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