NEW POWERS FOR POLICE SUPPORT OFFICERS
Community Support Officers (CSOs) are soon to be given more powers to tackle low level crime. Lots of local residents gave us their views that these officers were active but with "one hand tied behind their back", so to speak, because of their limited powers.
Your local councillors, Mike, Joe and myself, passed on your views together with our own to the Leader of the Council, Marie Rimmer. We also made representations to Merseyside Police and finally to Government Ministers who were very sympathetic to our views.
Previously, CSOs powers varied from force to force and were governed by the respective Chief Constables. Soon legislation will allow all CSOs to carry more powers to help police local communities. Some of the new powers are: Issue fixed penalty notices for anti social acts such as drawing graffiti and dropping litter and powers to confiscate drugs and alcohol:
CSOs will also be responsible for conducting "truancy sweeps" to round up young people absent from school without good reason. We welcome these new measures which will help to make Rainhill Village a better place to live by tackling these low-level crime issues head on. Further details will be posted when known, watch this space!!
ALLEY GATES for RAINHILL
Funding has now been identified for Rainhill Village, to install some alley gates where it is felt appropriate, and where the affected residents are in agreement. Residents are now being consulted by the council and contacted by your local councillors to explain the process and offer assistance with any queries they may have.
These alley gates have been proved to reduce crime, reduce flytipping and to generally improve the visual appearance of the area. We whole heartedly encourage those residents affected to agree to the measures to be put in place.
CONSERVATION AREA REVIEW
The village of Rainhill has been identified as a priority, within St Helens MBC, to recieve a full review of it's present identified Conservation Area and any additional areas which merit inclusion within the Conservation Area. All local residents are included in this process as well as the local organisations, eg Civic Society, Parish Council, Rainlway Heritage Society, etc. and an exhibition will be on display in the local library from tomorrow, 17th January until Monday 23rd January 2006.Residents are invited to fill in a questionnaire, or write / email the Design and Conservation Team, details available at the display. Some funding is available so all ideas will be considered for inclusion in the package of proposals. The final outcomes of the new Conservation Area, to be in-place and finished, has a medium term forecast of 3-5 years. This is your village - have your say on its' future.
2.5% COUNCIL TAX RISE PROPOSALS
St Helens Council's Executive, consisting of Labour Councillors with Portfolio, are again proposing an increase in Council Tax of 2.5%. If approved next month, IT WILL BE THE FIFTH YEAR RUNNING THAT IT WILL HAVE BEEN SET AT AN INFLATION ONLY INCREASE.
St Helens Council has been officially classified as a four star council, the top rating, and has been judged to be well managed and cost effective. This is clearly indicated by these inflation only increases over the past five years.
The council welcomes comments from local residents about the proposals, which can be logged through the council's web site at www.sthelens.gov.uk or by writing personally to Ian Roberts, Assistant Chief Executive (Finance), Town Hall, St Helens WA10 2HP. Deadline for responses is February 22nd 2006.
SAT NAV SYSTEMS NOW NUMBER ONE TARGET
Don't let a sneak thief steal your new satelite navigation system by leaving it on show when you are away from your vehicle. Your Christmas/Birthday present is now the prime target for opportunist thiefs who will break in and snatch it in seconds. We have been informed that leaving the docking cradle only on view will not necessarily prevent your car being broken into, some motorists just place their sat nav system in the glove box!! The most persistant thieves even look for the sucker mark left on your windscreen as proof that you have a system and it may be hidden in the car.Your local crime prevention officer can be contacted and he will forward to you a "Sat Nav Crime Prevention Pack" free of charge. Call him on 0151 777 6883 or 0151 777 6047 now.
CONSUMER DIRECT NORTH WEST
Consumer Direct is a new service which gives consumers clear, practical and free advice on consumer issues. Upset about a faulty item? Possibly a article that has broken after only a short time? A garage bill that seems too expensive? Feel you have been unfairly treated?Speak to a professional advisor, someone able to deal with all manner of enquiries. This service is funded by the DTI and is available 6 days a week 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. Big savings can be obtained by sound advice: from refunds, reduced travel costs and less time off work dealing with problems, phone the number and reduce all the hassle. St Helens Council's Trading Standards are welcoming the service highlighting the benefits to themselves. They believe that if this service is widely used, then more time and resources will be available to deal with the more serious cases involving rogue traders, fraud and counterfeiting. The number is a local rate number 08454 04 05 06