We all know (don’t we?) that with a good quality of life we are likely to be healthier, live longer, are more likely to be employed in a job we enjoy doing, and feel safer in our local community.
This is why for me and my council colleagues, your quality of life is important. It is why we invest a lot of time, energy and resources in protecting the quality of life for all South Holland communities.
You may already know that in the last year, and on your behalf, we have issued 96 first level behaviour warnings, 12 unacceptable behaviour warnings and seven anti-social behaviour contracts.
With the co-operation of off-licences and police operations such as Operation Trunk, street drinking problems are being significantly reduced which in turn is having a positive influence on community confidence.
Most recently we, with the police, supported a dispersal order in and around Ayscoughfee Hall, the Vista and the Bull and Monkey. The order will be in force for nine weeks to let residents who want to enjoy the magnificent Ayscoughfee Gardens and surrounding area, do so in peace.
My remit for community safety is central to helping keep communities safe. Anti-social behaviour, which tends to hit a peak in the summer months, and street drinking, alcohol related issues and crime prevention advice, are all being combatted through our work with a range of partners including the police, Trading Standards, UK Border Agency, drug and alcohol action teams, youth offending teams, the county and other district councils. In the past year alone we have engaged with more than 1000 residents across South Holland, listening to their concerns and talking to them about keeping their communities safe. What we are told will be used, together with the results of our annual community survey, to decide the priorities for future community safety efforts across the district.
Current priorities include anti-social behaviour, violent crime including domestic abuse (sadly, an increasing problem), and community cohesion. You may already know about how much pressure local councils are under to find new ways of saving money and being ever more efficient. By sharing services, and the council’s chief executive and senior managers, with other councils, we are able to protect more front line services such as community safety.
We will continue to find innovative ways of ensuring quality front line services and the best quality of life possible.