‘Council’ initiative was first big success for Colnbrook’s Neighbourhood Action Group

The chair of Colnbrook’s Neighbourhood Action Group has insisted that the recent door-knocking campaign by the council, police and fire service in and around Horton Road was a result of lobbying by the NAG.

The situation near Willow Close

The situation near Willow Close

The blitz on the twin scourges of fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour has been one of the big successes of the reformed Neighbourhood Action Group its chair has revealed.

While not part of the multi-agency team on the ground, chair of the Colnbrook NAG Raymond Jackson posted on these pages earlier in the week that the NAG had been responsible for making it happen.  He has now told Colnbrook Views that the NAG held meetings with Slough Borough Council representatives to formulate an action plan, the first stage of which would be “an education and information exercise” to be led by the Council.

Slough Borough Council, Thames Valley Police and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service sent a team of 8 to the area last Wednesday to deliver leaflets and warn of a clampdown on anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and fly-tipping.

Pictured (left to right): Rhian Richards (SBC), Kuldeep Kuner (RBFRS), Esther Masters (SBC), PCSO Jemma Cropper (TVP), Diane Viechweg (SBC), Michelle Isabelle (SBC).

Last Wednesday’s multi-agency door knocking campaign in and around Horton Road was portrayed as a Slough Borough Council initiative, not a local one.

Portrayed as a Slough Borough Council initiative – with no mention of the local involvement – in a Council press release this week, that was the exercise carried out last Wednesday, Mr Jackson told Colnbrook Views.  Further actions are promised in the weeks ahead.

Mr Jackson says he was compelled to take action earlier this year after becoming aware of the huge scale of the fly-tipping problem locally.

He and fellow NAG-member Michael Nye compiled a photographic montage of the scale of the fly-tipping problem.  The result shows a truly disgusting situation and a mini-environmental disaster in the making with oil and chemicals seeping into local water systems, old mattresses and rubbish dumped in areas around the village.

Following an email to 24 individuals associated with the village the matter was discussed at the April NAG meeting and at a subsequent meeting with Slough Borough Council, L & Q and Thames Valley Police on May 6 at which SBC outlined their proposals and plan of action:

“The photographs were sent by email to an extensive list of recipients within the village and within Slough Borough Council as well as L & Q Housing Association … Many of those in turn passed it to colleagues, particularly Slough Borough Council members.”

As a result of direct result of the NAG’s intervention Rhian Richards, Resilience and Enforcement Team Leader at Slough Borough Council, was appointed to lead on the issue in April, meeting minutes, yesterday shared with visitors to Colnbrook Views by Mr Jackson, reveal.

The view from Horton Road towards Colnbrook

The view from Horton Road towards Colnbrook

They also report that under the auspices of the NAG, Cllr Hood had been in contact with Heathrow regarding “the problem of waste being dumped by taxis”, while Raymond himself had addressed the issue of stones, mud and discolouration of the roadside with Jayflex.

Responding to complaints that the NAG is not communicating, he said that meeting minutes “are currently distributed by email to all those who attend meetings, submit apologies or who expressed an interest in the NAG in the past”.  He said the group is looking to create its own Facebook page where minutes and others items of interest can be placed.

“At present we don’t have anyone with the skills needed to create such a page but we will keep trying.”

Local groups attending had been asked to publicise the Action Plan via their respective group websites and Facebook pages at the meeting.  None, it seems, did – although the CRA and CCA both linked to SBC publicity on fly-tipping.

Raymond rebuffed new parish councillor Eddy Elum-Smith, after he hit out at being kept in the dark on these pages.  However the Parish Council itself has received criticism not only for failing to mention the Action Plan at its meeting on May 19 but also for not informing new councillors about the NAG initiative.

Minutes of the April NAG meeting show that Thames Valley Police, the Colnbrook Residents’ Association, Colne Valley Park, and Colnbrook Parish Council were all represented at the meeting but, aside from Mr Jackson, just one unaffiliated resident was present.

Mr Jackson, who was formally voted the group’s chair in April after a period serving in an acting capacity, says the NAG is still short of core group members.  The group met again on May 20, and we will endeavour to provide advance notice of the next meeting on these pages when we learn of it.

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