Minutes of ‘Rawtenstall Community Partnership’ meeting 05/02/20


Wednesday 5th February 2020

St. Anne’s Church, Edgeside,  Waterfoot


Notes of the Meeting

In attendance

Chair (Interim) David Rhodes(Limey Valley Residents Association), David Clarke/Mick Johnson (Lancashire Police), Amanda Robertson (Whitewell Bottom Community Centre), Simon Creasey (Rossendale Drum Majorettes/Whitewell Bottom CC Trustee), Natalie Ashworth (Newchurch Village Community Association), Hazel Caine, Bradley Smith, Brian Carter, Ian Griffiths, Cuan Hoare, Michael Pickup, Joe Teasdale, Peter Wood, Craig Beaumont (Residents), Marta Pacini (Rawtenstall Unitarian Church), Michelle Darwin (The Boo), Christine Moffatt (Headmasters Waterfoot/Poppy Appeal), Jill Bevan (EDCP/White Horse Project ), Dawn Taylor (Rossendale first responders/community defibs), David Hollows (Rossendale Methodist Circuit), Kathy Fishwick/Steve Baleson, (Rossendale Civic Trust), C.Cllr. Anne Cheetham (LCC), Chris Blomerley (Civic Pride Rossendale), Sara Bird (Rossendale Climate Change Action Group), Alison Wilkins/Stephanie Thornton (RBC Communities team), Neil Shaw (RBC Chief Executive), Cllr. Alyson Barnes (RBC Leader), Cllr. Andrea Fletcher


Tim Nuttall, Cllrs. Christine Gill, Julie Adshead, Steve Hughes, Pam Bromley1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained his interim position due to Cllr. Gill being indisposed.  The Partnership sent all good wishes for a speedy recovery to Cllr. Gill.  2. Police Update

Inspector Clarke provided the following update for the area.• Following a series of burglaries in the Rawtenstall/Waterfoot area a suspect has been apprehended for 16 offences and is now in custody awaiting an anticipated fairly lengthy sentence.• Natalie enquired about protection for her business and was reassured that small business break ins are taken very seriously and the police are dedicated to finding the perpetrator and prosecuting them.  They can visit vulnerable premises/owners more often and let people know when known criminals are released from prison and likely to be back in the area. • Hanoi burglaries are still an issue – house break ins to steal keys to high performance cars.  Advice – keep keys hidden.• There has been a drug dealing issue with people from Bradford  – this is a priority• A watchful eye is being kept on Thornfield house but all fairly quiet recently following a number of multi agency meetings between the owners, the council and the police and the revision of the owner’s allocation policy.  Insp. Clarke explained the background and that the old Primary school is now supported accommodation.• Staffing – 1 Inspector, 2 sergeants, 15 p.c.s but some long term sickness, 8 PCSOs – we should have 10.  More recruitment is taking place.  Rossendale is in a good position compared to neighbouring areas.  Consideration is being given to reverting to the Neighbourhood model with named officers for named areas.  • People reported 101 is hard to get through to.  Advice was if a crime in in progress ring 999 or try to report on line for anything else at Lancashire police and then click on your local officer.• Natalie asked about setting up Neighbourhood watch and whether there are any existing groups and was referred to Our Lancashire website to sign up.• An update on Our Lancashire and the upgrade of ‘in the know’ will be given to the next meeting – Action – DC/ST• Hazel Caine reported that she does not feel safe in Waterfoot in the evening.  Reassured that there are regular patrols.  A question was raised about CCTV in Waterfoot and Inspector Clarke explained that there is one at the main Waterfoot road junction but this is not where ASB occurs generally so not very helpful.  Police station is still there and this involves many journeys to and from work so there is a presence in Waterfoot.  • Cllr. Barnes explained that the PCC would need to provide resource to upgrade existing CCTV in Waterfoot.• There is a knife bin in the car park at the police station although knife crime is not a big issue in Rossendale.  • Peter Wood asked about McDonalds in Rawtenstall and an incident at the weekend when a female was attacked.  Insp. Clarke agreed this can be a hot spot, particularly early evening because there is free Wi-Fi.  They do regularly patrol and can use a dispersal order.  As McDonalds is open 24 hours, it can attract trouble after night clubs close too.  3. Rossendale Hospice Update

Claire Richards gave last minute apologies to the meeting due to a family issue.  Action – ST to rearrange for the next meeting4. Love Parks project – Edgeside Park, Waterfoot

As a number of residents had attended for this part of the agenda – Partnership updates, the Chair brought this one item forward.

Stephanie explained that this project is being led by the Communities team at the council working with Parks colleagues, local councillors and local groups.  Edgeside has been identified as the first park for this project.    The council have followed the successful model developed to upgrade Stubbylee Park in Bacup.  This involves drawing up a Master plan for the park following extensive public consultation and then seeking funding for the individual bits of the plan.  Newground have been commissioned to draw up the masterplan.  It is a long term scheme.  

Consultation is due to start shortly.  Next Tuesday 11th February at 6.00pm at Edgeside Baptist church the local residents association will discuss the plans.  During Half term activities at the park there will be consultation with children and their carers on the Wednesday.   

There is planned consultation with the general public on Wednesday 19thFebruary from 3 – 6.00pm at the Boo Theatre, Waterfoot.  St. Anne’s Church and Whitewell bottom community centre will also consult with all their user groups.  All local people are welcome to comment.  There will also be opportunities via social media on the St. Anne’s Facebook page.

Brian commented that he is a regular dog walker in the park and is frustrated that is has been let go to this extent and happy that plans are in place to improve it.  However he has noticed that recent tree felling has taken place by the council but then the ‘logs’ have not been removed for weeks and cones have been put around them which do not work as a deterrent and look ugly.  

Neil Shaw undertook to take the matter back to the council.

A plea was made for consideration to be given to ongoing maintenance.  

A Friends of Edgeside park would be a good solution working with Civic Pride perhaps but this will be developed as the project progresses.  

Updates will be brought to subsequent meetings.5. Notes of the last meeting and matters arising  – Thursday 10thOctober 2019

Cllr. Barnes reported that LCC have submitted a bid to the Pinch Point fund for the Rossendale gyratory system to be improved to relieve traffic pressures.  This is the only bid for Lancashire and involves significant amounts of money.  Kathy asked about the whole of the A 682, Burnley Road and Prospect Road.

Questions were asked about parking in Rawtenstall and Cllr. Barnes explained that surveys were currently taking place by consultants to inform a parking strategy.  Steve commented on Bank street parking and the need for re-drawn yellow lines.  This will be addressed.

Peter asked a question about Spinning point, progress and borrowing,.  Cllr Barnes explained that is it difficult to give figures because they are changing all the time as plans are changing.  It is quite usual now for councils to borrow commercially as they usually receive preferential lending rates.  She assured the meeting that borrowing in Rossendale is modest compared with many local councils e.g. West Lancs have borrowed £80m.

Chair advised that if Peter is determined to get the answer then he could submit an FOI request.

Re Spinning point Cllr. Barnes explained that more information about phase 2 will be released to the public in the next couple of weeks.  There may be claw back implications and this will also be clearer when phase 2 plans are known.  

Chris asked about the state of the road to the tip in Haslingden which Cllr. Cheetham had agreed to look into.  Cllr. Cheetham said that much of the road is unadopted and the questions was asked whether LCC should look to adopt the road. 6. Suicide prevention and support

Alison reported that Suicide rates are higher than average in Rossendale for the population size.  The issue was flagged up by LCC Public Health at the Rossendale Health and Wellbeing Partnership.  As a result it was the subject of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee Task and Finish group.

The O&S Task and Finish group made a number of recommendations, mainly focussed on raising awareness amongst staff, elected members, residents and offering training, including ‘The issue will be raised on agendas at Community Partnership Meetings’.   

Working with LCC Public Health and NHS an action plan has been developed.  Specific actions –

‘Increased awareness of suicide risks and prevention’

‘Communities and providers are more skilled to identify individuals at risk of suicide and respond’.

There is a lot of help available for people who are contemplating suicide, and also a lot of focus on the importance of starting conversations with people we know or come across who may be thinking about suicide.  We all have a role to play here.  The main message seems to be that talking to someone about how they’re feeling is hugely important and that asking someone if they are thinking about suicide won’t make it more likely. 

Don’t be afraid to have that conversation  – you won’t make it worse. 

There are a number of websites, groups, campaigns etc. providing information and support.  Zero Suicide Alliance campaign wants to shatter the stigma around suicide by getting more people talking about suicide, sharing thoughts, offering support.  They highlight that one person in the UK dies from suicide every 2 hours.  

They produce a leaflet about talking to someone who might be suicidal.  Emotional support and understanding offered to someone who feels like they can’t go on can have a hugely positive effect.  If people feel they can ask for help and find it when they need it, then many more suicides can be prevented.  

There is no single answer to the why some people chose suicide.  However the following factors can increase the risk: drug and alcohol misuse, history of trauma or abuse, unemployment, social isolation, poverty, poor social conditions, imprisonment, violence, family breakdown.

Some groups of people are more at risk: young people, people aged 45 and over, men – suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 – 49

There is a lot of information and training available that can help people spot the signs when someone is contemplating suicide and help them to know what to do about it.  

Talking to someone who is thinking about suicide seems to be key, and can save lives.  This can be a relative, friend, colleague or complete stranger.  

The council is offering 3 hour suicide prevention training in March for partners and 20 minute online training is available.  Sources of help and information are attached separately.

Marta explained that there is a support group running in Bolton for those who have lost someone close to them through suicide. Details are on the attached sheet. 7. Updates and issues from Partnership members• VE DAY – Stephanie asked if anyone was organising or aware of any events to mark 75th anniversary of D Day on 8th May 2020.  St. Pauls are having a street party and events are planned for Haslingden and Whitworth.  Information will be made available on the council website of events across Rossendale• Newchurch village association are holding their Annual Kirk Fair on 16th May.  They are concerned about speeding in Newchurch and wish to get hold of some large yellow posters for the lampposts stating community concern.  They are having difficulty sourcing the posters.  Inspector Dave clark will liaise with them on this.• Poppies for Rawtenstall raised just less that £13k in 2019 with £10k being raised at Asda.  • Civic Pride AGM is on 18th February at 6.30pm at Rawtenstall cricket club with a free buffet.  All are welcome.   The annual development plan will be considered plus agreement to enter Britain in Bloom.  Expenditure in 2019 was c. £40k so funds are being sought and sponsors welcome.• The Boo will be the centre of the Waterfoot Wakes on 10/11/12 July 2020.This is a free event with a parade and events involving local schools and community groups.• Unitarian church is holding free legal advice sessions monthly.  There is one this Friday and one in March.  The first one was well attended and well received.  The Shiva trust is planning 500 trees and people can sponsor a tree for £10.  • Rossendale Climate change action group.  This is a new group with a website and Facebook page.  Action:  ST to tell her colleague Daniel Burton who is working on a climate change strategy for the council.  • Water Village Band:Had a successful year, ending with 20 engagements in the run up to Christmas ranging from Newchurch Village Walking Nativity, St Anne’s Carol Concert, and Rawtenstall Lights Switch-On plus Rawtenstall Market’s Christmas Market.Currently interviewing for new Musical Director to replace Beth who, after two years, has moved on to Blackburn & Darwen Band as Principal Cornet.• Waterfoot Forward:Successful Remembrance Sunday event (part funded by Neighbourhood Forum grant) at Trickett’s Memorial ground for the 12th year running. Around 100 attendees.

Proffitts about to open their suggested revamp plans for Trickett’s to public consultation (also funded by Forum grant).• Friends of Bocholt:New website launched.Successful town twinning weekend in October with a coachload of Bocholt residents staying with host families. The Bocholt town twinning choir also visited for that weekend but stayed in Liverpool. Joint concert with Water Village Band, Rossendale Ladies Choir, and St Anne’s Community Choir was a sell-out at St Mary’s church• Civic Trust – Kathy said that they have done much work on the Weavers cottage and they will hold leaflets and information on Rossendale for any other organisations.  She said they were grateful for the grant for security cameras which are now in place.• Dawn said she is still fighting the decision to remove police involvement in traffic management at Remembrance day parades and will bring an update.8. Grant Applications – 

The following groups were funded in this final round of community grants for 2019/20.- Civic Pride Rossendale for work in Crawshawbooth- Vision (Rossendale) for musical instruments for young people- Crawshawbooth cc on behalf of the scouts for security fencing.9. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 20 June 2020.  Venue tbc.10.