Group 1 Feedback

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Group 1 Feedback

This is what Group 1 discussed.

Part 1.    Communities - including anti-social behaviour, safer roads, poverty and welfare, affordable housing.

Provision of good housing advice; affordable and decent housing stock

Key Points:

  • Important that Rother District Council develops and holds close links with Housing Associations e.g. AmicusHorizon and private sector landlords to provide sufficient housing needs across the district.
  • Provide sustainable housing stock.  New projects to include cycle ways and cycle parking areas.
  • Bexhill (central) - requirement to have an infrastructure for affordable housing - Rother District Council to investigate further.
  • To support elderly residents in the rural areas to downsize their properties, but remain in the local area, where they already have an established support network.
  • Multiple housing stock; generates more profit.
  • Robust sound insulation incorporated into all housing stock (old and new).
  • Solar panels to be incorporated into all housing stock (old and new) - support energy efficiency; can be an expensive exercise and will not suit all properties.  AmicusHorizon currently provide care packages to their residents - to see how they can achieve best energy efficiency within their properties.
  • Concern regarding staffing cutbacks - how the Council intends to provide advice to the community.  Important to work with other authorities, partners, the local community and voluntary groups to ensure that duplication of work kept to a minimum.
  • Education: to provide sound advice to young people; ensure that the correct message is being delivered; to 'quash the expectation' that once you leave school the Council will provide you with a house.
  • Suggest a joint school project run by the Council and AmicusHorizon to help the younger generation understand housing issues.
  • Important to retain the younger generation in the district.

Safer communities and reduction in anti-social behaviour

Key Points:

  • Communication and sharing key information between the relevant organisations, Rother District Council, Sussex Police, Safer Rother Partnership and other local voluntary and community groups.
  • Dog Fouling - considered to be a high priority form of anti-social behaviour.  Increase the number of dog bins throughout the district and in particular Bexhill town centre.  Adopt the 'Green Dog Walking Scheme' (a community led initiative to help combat dog fouling) - promote responsible ownership values, improve the surroundings where you live - free hand-outs e.g. dog fouling bags etc.
  • Road awareness for cyclists - lack of infrastructure and safety for cyclists.  Cycle ways to be incorporated into all new development plans.  Proposed project for Bexhill: to create safe cycle paths from the local infant, primary and secondary schools to the seafront.
  • Believe that anti-social behaviour by the younger generation would decrease if they were included on how the district was run - involve them in projects.
  • Underage drinking and street drinking: Hastings Borough Council adopts a policy of no street drinking - should Rother District Council do the same.
  • Noise nuisance - neighbouring disputes - figures progressively increasing - important to encourage and retain community and neighbourly values.
  • To provide a Graffiti Wall in Bexhill town centre - specifically allocated for the younger generation to display their graffiti artwork - turn something that is considered to be negative into something positive.
  • To provide support to the isolated and vulnerable people who are often targeted by anti-social behaviour.  Important that community based bodies and Neighbourhood Panels share information for preventative measures; learn from experiences.  How many residents in Rother currently live like this?
  • To provide clear lines of communication for the public - help point and contact details etc.   Important to have a community based system.  Suggestion: Sussex Police to share their adopted "matrix" system and Neighbourhood Panels to expand their role.
  • Street Watch project currently running in West Sussex - remove graffiti, retrieve abandoned supermarket trolleys etc.  Suggestion: the establishment of a pilot system in Rother, residents to take ownership of where they live.
  • '20s Plenty for Us' - community led project - make your neighbourhood a better place to live by getting the Council to give it a 20mph speed limit http://www.20splenty.org/ - general concern that by lowering the speed limit, roads may be used as playgrounds - important to ensure that the community is well educated.
  • Improve general road safety and awareness for the community e.g. re-launch the 'Green Cross Code'; encourage walking to school schemes (continuous reduction of school crossing patrols [lollipop people]).
  • Street Pastors (aim to keep a watchful non-judgmental eye on vulnerable people late into the evening) - excellent project, important that this is continued.
  • Grants / Funding (INTERREG) - Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and local community groups to collectively source funding for regeneration projects across the district.
  • Important to encourage the younger generation to stand as District, Parish and Town Councillors - "the younger voice needs to be heard."

Promoting active and healthy lifestyles

Key Points:

  • Important to establish an infrastructure for 'Active Rother Partnership / Website' activities e.g. the continued development and promotion of leisure facilities, clubs and activities across the district.  Encourage 'A to B' walking schemes.  Suggestion: all activities to be promoted on the 'Rye News' website, being launched on 1 May 2014.
  • Encourage companies and employers to adopt 'getting to work without the car' schemes.
  • Promotion of 'over 50s population' active health schemes.
  • All new property developments to include public footpaths, cycle lanes and meander routes.

Addressing deprivation and welfare needs

Key Points:

  • Social housing - important to educate the younger generation.
  • Food Banks - popularity increasing - added pressure.
  • Universal Credit (one benefit payment per household) - anticipate significant changes once introduced e.g. reduction of Rother District Council services.  Potential to see increases in domestic violence.
  • Important that society, Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council are held accountable for decisions e.g. highlight mistakes.  Suggestion:  establish a project on accountability across Rother.
  • Collaborate with the National Health Service and Public Health Departments on key areas: nutrition, healthy eating and road safety initiatives.
  • To work with key partners to provide community support projects to assist with promotion activities of how to help residents to become more technologically self-serving e.g. mobile, website and computer literacy classes etc.  Central Government and Local Government websites all mobile active.
  • Essential - to provide faster broadband across the whole of the district (including rural areas); companies and employers encouraging their employees to agile work or work from home.
  • Education on Budget/Food Management - key area - to provide financial sessions at school - important to break the cycle of claiming benefits from generation to generation.

Promoting diversity and inclusion

Key Points:

  • Technology in general - engage with the younger generation to help train the older generation in computer literacy skills.
  • Encourage private sector landlords to accept benefit tenants.

 

Part 2 - Economic Prosperity - including local enterprise, jobs and skills, major housing sites, transport, culture.

What's good about Rother?

  • Rother is unique.
  • Attractive countryside, attractive place to live and excellent weather.
  • Tourism is an important industry for the district, offer attractions that encourage visitors to spend money, recommend to others and return.
  • Important to sell the district, encourage people and businesses to relocate to the area.
  • Transport infrastructure weak; need to ensure that the current transport links are sufficient and efficient.  Anticipate improvements once the high speed rail link has been completed.
  • Deter car usage; promote public and other modes of transport e.g. walking, cycling etc.
  • Important that the district has an efficient digital link-up.  Rother District Council to work with local partners to ensure that this is provided for the community.
  • Use the district's assets for economic projects e.g. solar energy, channel tides (free energy).
  • Introduce a train halt at Glyne Gap.
  • Support small businesses; what opportunities are available to them; promote apprenticeships and work experience placements e.g. small businesses to work collectively to offer these - Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council to source / provide funding.
  • Education: offer joint / combined academic qualifications e.g. hairdressing / business courses.
  • Important that schools and colleges offer the right qualifications to train the younger generation for the workforce - "education feeds employers."
  • Anticipate an increase in the trend of self-employment, lone-working across the district.
  • Important to provide support and help to promote local voluntary organisations.
  • Important to share the skills of the older and younger generations across the district.
  • Ensure that local organisations and community groups do not lose their identity, but work together.
  • Important to ensure that the elderly / older generation do not feel isolated.

General comments:

  • Disappointed that no young people were present at the event.
  • Suggestion: important to include the younger generation in all future projects / events.
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