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Jo McCarron was joined by Jack Dromey, Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, to meet with local councillors and residents at New Cheltenham Hall to discuss cuts being planned to the Council's Community Safety budget. Jo called for the Government to reinstate the funds and launched a petition to show residents' concerns about the threat to PCSOs, CCTV cameras and the Council team that tackles anti-social behaviour.

As a result of huge Government cuts to Council funding, South Gloucestershire Council is having to slash £277k per year from its Community Safety budget. Councillors deciding where those cuts will fall are having to choose between saving Community Support Officers, CCTV cameras, the anti-social behaviour team, or the team that work to prevent high risk sex offenders re-offending. That is no choice at all.

Jo said: "Yes the Government has to make cuts, but this Government is choosing to cut Council funding more than any other area of public spending, and it is cutting South Gloucestershire’s budget significantly more than other Councils in often wealthier areas.

“The Government could reinstate the £277k if it wanted to—look at the tens of thousands of pounds it’s given in tax cuts to everbody earning more than £1million a year. 

“And the fact is if it doesn’t reinstate this money, people’s fundamental right to feel safe in their community will be undermined."

Jo and the Labour team have delivered thousands of Community Safety surveys to residents across the constituency to ask about crime and antisocial behaviour problems in their local area, and whether they agree protecting the Community Safety budget must be a top priority. Dozens have already replied joining the call for the Government to reverse the £277k cut.

If you agree the Community Safety budget should be protected, please click here to join the campaign and help show how much people value the right to feel safe in our community.

Jo McCarron Launches Community Safety Campaign

  Jo McCarron was joined by Jack Dromey, Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, to meet with local councillors and residents at New Cheltenham Hall to discuss cuts being planned to the...

Jo McCarron has welcomed today’s decision by South Gloucestershire Council’s Policy & Resources Committee to allocate up to £150,000 towards improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way, in response to growing pressure from local residents who Jo has been working with over the last 10 months.

Jo joined with residents before plans for improved traffic calming had been drafted, and with the decision on whether to implement those plans – and exactly what those plans would involve – not due for another year. She and the local residents launched a petition, since signed by more than 400 people, calling for practical measures to address the traffic problems on Craven Way, and they submitted statements from residents about the traffic problems they experience on a daily basis.

Jo and the local residents are delighted that this pressure is paying off. The Policy and Resources Committee has now backed the campaign, enabling the Transport Committee to move ahead with the plans that have been drafted, and making resources available for it to do so.

The decision by the Committee today was seconded by Labour councillor Pat Rooney, leader of the Labour Group of Councillors, and was supported by Labour councillors on the Committee.

Jo McCarron said: “I have been working with residents in Barrs Court on this issue since early this year, building pressure firstly to make sure plans to replace the Craven Way chicanes actually address residents’ concerns, but also to make sure those plans ultimately get implemented. I’m really pleased that we’ve come a step closer today to that happening. I’d like to thank the Policy & Resources Committee for backing our call for improved traffic calming.”

Anne Sheppard, who has been leading the Barrs Court residents’ group, said: “I got in touch with Jo McCarron when it felt like very little progress was being made. We have been working together for many months now, getting more and more residents signed up to support the campaign and help deliver leaflets and get their views across in written statements, and it is great news that we are now a step closer to improvements actually being made. I’m very grateful to Jo for her help on the campaign so far, and to the councillors from both Parties who today backed the campaign.”

The Policy & Resources Committee voted in favour of the following motion:

“Policy and Resources Committee members agree in principle to allocate up to £150,000 towards improved traffic management measures on Craven Way , Barrs Court . The committee requests that the Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Committee, if it is so minded, gives approval to this scheme on both the scheme details and for the scheme funding to be allocated from the surplus £600,000 corporate capital programme funding previously earmarked for the A4174 Wraxall Road roundabout signalisation.

The committee recognises the urgency of this scheme, noting that residents have flagged up numerous incidents of road rage, cars crashing into chicanes and the potential for local residents with visual impairments to be knocked down by cars, due to the lack of a suitable pedestrian crossing at the Tower Lane end of Craven Way.”

Jo McCarron and local residents welcome Council’s decision to back Craven Way campaign

Jo McCarron has welcomed today’s decision by South Gloucestershire Council’s Policy & Resources Committee to allocate up to £150,000 towards improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way, in response to...

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Jo McCarron is working with local residents in Hanham to help ease parking problems at school drop-off and pick-up times on Memorial Road.

Over the summer, a number of residents in the area raised concerns with Jo about vehicles parking on both sides of Memorial Road at school drop-off and pick-up times, making it difficult for moving traffic to pass. In particular it causes problems for larger buses and restricts access for ambulances and fire engines. It also makes it difficult for those exiting the junction of Heath Road to see if moving vehicles are coming down Memorial Road when they are pulling out. 

Jo circulated a survey to households along Memorial Road and Heath Road to ask if they share these concerns, and if so how they think the problem should be addressed. All 24 residents who returned the survey agreed the parking situation is a problem. They made a number of practical suggestions, which Jo has looked into to clarify a process for the residents to press their case. Jo will continue working with them to make sure their concerns are heard where they can be acted upon. 

(Please see below for a summary of the work Jo has done on the issue and the opportunities for residents to raise their concerns.)

Jo said, “The parking problems at school drop-off and pick-up times seem particularly severe on Memorial Road – partly because two schools, Christchurch Primary and Hanham Woods Academy, are both on the same site, partly because of the width of the road, and partly because Christchurch is being expanded – but I know school parking is a frustration for residents, and parents, across the constituency. For lots of residents the end of school holidays means the return of school traffic and daily parking chaos.

“It’s important that schools understand residents’ concerns and do what they can to encourage responsible parking. The work Christchurch school has done encouraging parents to park safely and legally – and encouraging more children to walk to school – is a good example for other schools to follow. It’s also important that residents use the opportunities available, such as at local Safer & Stronger and Area Forum meetings, to raise their concerns with the local police and local councillors, who need to be aware if the enforcement of current restrictions should be improved, or if road markings need to be changed.”

“One of the major obstacles residents face in getting local concerns dealt with is knowing where to turn to raise those concerns – I’ve experienced that frustration myself, trying to get things done but facing layer upon layer of bureaucracy – so I will always do what I can to support and guide residents so they know who makes the relevant decisions, how those decisions work, and how they can have their say when those decisions are taken. My priority is always to help make sure local concerns are heard and acted upon.”

Summary of the work Jo has done on the issue and the opportunities for residents to raise their concerns.

  • The most common suggestion in the surveys returned to Jo was that new parking restrictions are needed, either all day or at pick-up and drop-off times only, at least on one side of Memorial Road. Jo contacted the Council to ask about the prospect of improved restrictions. The Council advised that local councillors are due to decide at a meeting on 24th November whether to implement a scheme to review waiting restrictions in the Hanham area, including on Memorial Road and Heath Road. Currently it is on a longlist of potential schemes for inclusion onto the Council’s programme for next year. Jo has written to residents encouraging them to attend the meeting, which is at 7pm at the Civic Centre on Kingswood High Street (BS15 9TR), and will read any statements from residents unable to attend.
  • Some of the suggestions – for example a drop-off zone within the school grounds – would require action by the school, so Jo raised residents’ concerns with the head teacher at Christchurch School. Ian Hutton, the head teacher, said he fully understands the frustration for local residents, and explained the work the school already does to encourage parents to park responsibly and legally. Last year they held a campaign day where children made banners and posters and stood out on the pavements, and they have launched a new travel plan which looks at ways to encourage more children to walk to school, and to make children and parents aware of how to park and drive safely on the surrounding roads.
  • The survey returns also pointed out the importance of better enforcement of the restrictions that already exist, and this was a point also emphasised by Ian Hutton. Jo has written to residents encouraging them to attend the upcoming Safer & Stronger community meeting with representatives from the local police. This is an opportunity to discuss the prospect of better enforcement of parking restrictions, including the general requirement for safe, legal parking. Jo is also inviting Ian Hutton – or another representative from the school – and will read any statements from residents unable to attend.

Jo McCarron joins residents to address school parking problems

Jo McCarron is working with local residents in Hanham to help ease parking problems at school drop-off and pick-up times on Memorial Road.

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