Council drops plans for private policing

Selston Parish Council has dropped controversial plans for a referendum on private policing after a total of six councillors resigned.

At a packed meeting at the Old Council Offices councillors voted not to proceed with the plans which have caused bitter division in the parish.

The resignations sparked a raft of changes, with Independent councillor Sam Wilson appointed as new chairman replacing Robert Sears Piccavey.

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Vice Chairman coun Christine Quinn Wilcox stood down as vice chairman after there was a vote of no confidence in her.

She is replaced by Independent councillor Dawn Justice.

Addressing the meeting Coun Quinn Wilcox conceded the council had gone through difficult times and it was time to learn from mistakes and put personal egos to one side.

The move for private policing was put forward by members of the Selston Parish Independents grouping who had acted alone after concerns about a lack of policing in the area.

She paid tribute to the councillors who resigned including Robert Sears Piccavey, Gail Turner, Margaret Lodge, Chris Lewis, Arnie Hankin and Mike Biggs.

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She added: “Much of this has been due to misunderstandings, misinterpretations and lack of councillors to engage with each other in an open honest and constructive way.

She said: “Personal issues, interests and differences have frequently been an influencing factor in discussions and decisions made within the council.

“This should not happen and I hope with the appointment of a new Chair and subsequently in the near future with the appointment of new councillors that personal interests, issues and differences will be left aside as we concentrate fully on doing the best for our villages.”

Inspector Glenn Longdon addressed the meeting and gave crime figures from April 2016 which he said overall showed a total of 460 reported crimes in Selston Underwood and Jacksdale- a reduction of 3.5 per cent on the previous year.

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Violent crime had seen an increase of 38 per cent with 33 more reported incidents, but he said police had changed the way in which these were reported. There had been eight more cases of violence with injury.

There had been 12 more sexual offences, a rise of 200 per cent, however nine of these had included the new category of sexting via mobile phones.

There had been a total of five reported rapes and four of these were historic cases which allegedly took place many years ago at childrens’ homes.

There had been one case of robbery, a reduction of one.

Burglary in homes sheds and shops had seen an overall reduction of 42 per cent with 68 offences reported.

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There had been 266 reports of anti-social behaviour which was 26 more then the previous year. This 10 per cent rise compared to a 30 per cent rise in Ashfield.

Coun Quinn Wilcox said her biggest concern had been bad response times on the 101 number.

Insp Longdon said he was analysing dropped calls on the system and wuld soon have the data.

Councillor David Martin said the people of Selston had paid millions into the policing budget but had not seen the benefit as resources had been concentrated in New cross and Hucknall.

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Councillor Sam Wilson said those areas had been trial areas in a new initiative which would be rolled out through the whole of Ashfield.

Coun Dawn Justice proposed a motion from the group #SelstonTogether that the council had not been in receipt of sufficient information and would not promote the use of private security in the parish. The motion was carried.

It was announced that the council would not increase its precept this year.