by Steve Beasant on 6 August, 2013
In the period when East Marsh Ward Councillor Steve Beasant was Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Neighbourhoods, North East Lincolnshire Council developed a new service to build upon the Community Wardens – it was the Community Pride Service.
In recent years, despite his objections at each Annual Budget Meeting of the Local Council the Labour-run have cut the budget and resources to Community Pride which is having major impact for local residents.
BARKING dogs, blaring alarms, loud music and litter… welcome to North East Lincolnshire’s nuisance hall of shame.
There have been an average of eight complaints a day in the borough in a two-year period – and the East Marsh alone was the culprit of almost 20 per cent of the staggering 6,000 reports.
Sound off: East Marsh is North East Lincolnshire’s capital of nuisance complaints, responsible for nearly 20 per cent over two years. Councillor Steve Beasant feels the cutting of Community Pride funding to this area is part of the cause.
Photograph with courtesy of Grimsby Telegraph
A Freedom of Information request made by the Grimsby Telegraph has revealed complaints were logged about loud music, alarms going off, dogs barking, waste in gardens, fly-tipping, and smoke coming from bonfires.
The figures, during the local authority’s two financial years running from April 2011 to May 2013, revealed that:
There were more complaints in East Marsh than any other ward – in BOTH years
A total of 1,177 out of 6,000 complaints were about the East Marsh, which is 19.61 per cent – nearly one in five
Second and third were Heneage, with 741 complaints, and Sidney Sussex, with 665
The three quietest wards were Wolds, with 98 over two years, Scartho with 119, and Waltham with 125
The biggest rises were in complaints over noise, with barking dogs going from 232 to 662 and loud music from 830 to 1,178 – across the whole borough
In 2012-2013, 62 per cent of all nuisance complaints were about loud music or dogs barking
The biggest fall was the number of complaints over waste in gardens, which dropped from 1,638 to 398 between the two periods.
The overall number of complaints dropped slightly from 3,109 in 2011-2012 to 2,981 the following year
In 2012-2013, the 2,981 complaints resulted in seven prosecutions and five seizures. The figures are not available for the previous year.
East Marsh Councillor Steve Beasant (Lib Dem) believes the drop in nuisance complaints is due to people losing faith in Community Pride – the council-run organisation that deals with them.
He believes that North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) simply passed the problem onto Humberside Police when they cut more than £500,000 from Community Pride’s budget in 2012 – and NELC is now “failing” residents.
“People call time and time again but they either can’t get through or get annoyed because Community Pride are simply too stretched to act on every complaint – so they call the police,” he added.
The wards were ranked as follows – lowest to highest – over the two years:
Wolds 98 – 1.63 per cent; Scartho 119 – 1.98 per cent; Waltham 125 – 2.08 per cent; Humberston 129 – 2.15 per cent; Haverstoe 176 – 2.93 per cent; Immingham 268 – 4.46 per cent; Yarborough 314 – 5.23 per cent; Freshney 331 – 5.51 per cent; Croft Baker 337 – 5.61 per cent; Park 386 – 6.43 per cent; South 559 – 9.31 per cent; West Marsh 575 – 9.58 per cent; Sidney Sussex 665 – 11.08 per cent; Heneage 741 – 12.35 per cent; East Marsh 1,177 – 19.61 per cent.
The Telegraph article just shows how valuable a service, Community Pride is to the local residents of the East Marsh and to whole Borough; speaking after a recent East Marsh Involve Meeting, Steve said:
“I can remember when Community Pride was a very effective service; our streets were much cleaner because everyone new that they had responsibility to pick-up litter and make sure that they cleaned up after their dog had messed in the streets.
“I also remember the first occasion when we seized someone noise making equipment because they had been causing mayhem in their local neighbourhood – local residents thanked me for the ‘Sounds of Silence’.
“We have a duty to protect local residents from nuisance but I don’t see them as nuisances – they are blight on life! And, this council is now failing its local residents – we need to bring back a sense of community pride!”