Over the last few months, local residents have benefitted from enhancements across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as part of BCP Council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer campaign, that aims to bring back a sense of pride across the area.
Improvements have already been made to the street cleansing service and thousands of trees have been planted across the conurbation, including 2,000 in Bearwood back in March. The council is also encouraging residents to report issues such as broken street lighting or overhanging trees obscuring sight lines to ensure everyone feels safe when they’re out and about.
In addition, through the work of the Community Safety Partnership, a multi-agency approach is being taken to increase opportunities for positive engagement with young people in order to raise their awareness of the signs of exploitation and how to protect themselves. The council have increased the range of positive activities and the youth outreach offer in key locations across the BCP conurbation for the summer period and prior to the end of the school term, work was also undertaken by the charity Teaching School Alliance to educate young people on county lines and knife crime.
A pilot CGS panel has been created in partnership to identify and act on key issues around the conurbation. The panel comprises of key figures from the council as well as representatives from all three town centres and Coastal BID’s. They are currently working on shaping a programme of activities to inform an investment report that will go to Cabinet in September.
Leader of BCP Council, Councillor Drew Mellor commented:
“One of our main priorities is to make Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole cleaner, greener and safer for every single resident, business and visitor to our area. We want people to have a sense of pride in their place and the work the panel are undertaking will help us understand how we can transform our city region into one of the best coastal places in the world in which to live, work, invest and play.
“Over the last year, the pandemic has reinforced just how important local public spaces are to our communities. A network of safe, well maintained and people-friendly spaces encourage people to be active, interact positively with others and respect their surroundings. Going outside into the public realm promotes good health and a resilient population, and we want to build on this to empower our communities so everyone feels safe, engaged and included.”
This campaign will support longer-term improvement ambitions to regenerate the public realm, looking at the way these spaces are designed to support everyone in the community taking into account social justice, civic equality and economic growth for all.
Councillor Bobbie Dove, Lead Member for Equalities commented:
“Through our Cleaner, Greener, Safer campaign, we can look at redesigning our public spaces to be fully accessible for everyone in our community, including those residents who may experience our streets in a different way to others. We are committed to our fulfilled lives objective, helping people lead active, healthy and independent lives and are passionate about inclusivity, making Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Cleaner, Greener and Safer for everyone.”
The council is proposing to undertake street audits to provide information on the issues affecting the town centres and other areas identified as requiring attention, while also taking into account public opinion to ensure wider representation of Cleaner, Greener, Safer priorities are captured.