Lawley and Overdale Parish Council

Winter 2020 Newsletter

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Season’s Greetings from Chairman Raj Mehta

A photograph of Raj Mehta, wearing a grey blazer, glasses, and a red tie.

It has been a most difficult year for many and whilst we approach the New Year facing uncertainty, Lawley & Overdale Parish Council would like to share with you some positive stories of what has been happening this year.

Whilst the office may have been closed since March, with staff working from home, a lot has been done behind the scenes, as both councillors and staff have tried to continue to serve the local community.

The office team have responded to residents’ queries, created virtual events, worked on future projects, published news on a variety of issues, and you may have noticed the changes to our website, making it more modern, informative and easier to navigate.

Lawley & Overdale Parish Councillors and staff send you all Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year! Stay safe and well in 2021.

Parish Council website improvements

Regular visitors to our website may have noticed that we’ve been working to improve it since March. As well as making it look a bit more modern, we’ve tried to make content easier for you to find, added a host of new tools and features, and we’ve done our best to bring it up-to-date with modern accessibility requirements.

The goal has always been to make our website more useful, more user-friendly, and more accessible to our residents.

Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for further improvements!

Drop-in events/survey feedback

One of the most common complaints the Parish Council hears from residents is about anti-social behaviour (ASB). Speeding, quad/motorbikes on footpaths, abusive language, and drug use in playgrounds are the most frequently highlighted concerns.

In late August and early September, the Parish Council, in partnership with the police Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT), began hosting police drop-in surgeries. These were opportunities for residents to come and talk to our Councillors and the Police directly and voice their concerns. It also allowed us to gather some information about the exact nature of the problems being faced by residents.

We ran a survey at the same time, both on paper and online. Unfortunately, we were only able to hold three drop-in surgeries before the worsening pandemic forced us to postpone the others we had planned. But the online surveys kept running afterwards, and we had a fantastic response – over 100 people took the time to respond – thanks to all concerned.

Some of the findings of the ASB survey include:

  • More than 76% of people reported witnessing anti-social behaviour (ASB) at least “sometimes”. Only 6.4% of people said that they ‘never’ witnessed ASB.
  • Speeding vehicles were the most common form of ASB witnessed, as indicated by almost 70% of all participants. The other most common forms of ASB were scooters/quadbikes/motorbikes, general noise, littering, and dogs barking. Almost a quarter of respondents had witnessed abusive or intimidating language and a similar number had witnessed drug use.
  • 66% of people said that the process of reporting ASB was ‘hard’ or ‘very hard’, and 67% of people thought that the process could be improved. Many people indicated that they were unsure of how to report ASB, or to whom it should be reported. One of the most common suggestions was for ASB to be reported online or via an app.
  • Only 9% of people thought that police responses to ASB reports were ‘very good’ or ‘good. 62% rated police responses to ASB as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.
  • 40% of people felt that making changes, such as removing shelters from playgrounds, may help to reduce ASB in those area.

These issues aren’t easy to fix, but we’ve already been able to make some minor changes around the Parish on the basis of your feedback and we will keep you updated with our future progress. The full report of our findings will be published on our website.

Posted in Newsletters.