Citizens’ Panel Newsletter

Issue 2: Summer 2008

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Welcome! This is the latest Citizens’ Panel update where we tell you about the results from our Summer 2008 survey. Thank you so much to those of you who completed the questionnaire for us. We hope that you find the results useful and that you will continue to share your views with us in the next survey or via the link below so that we can continue to make informed decisions when planning and developing services across the council. www.tameside.gov.uk/consultation

In this newsletter:

  • Helping Out
  • Neighbourhood Policing
  • General Crime
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Emergency Planning
  • Fire Service

Get Involved!!

Nearly half the UK population volunteer on average each year! Tameside’s Third Sector Coalition (T3SC) wanted to find out if you volunteer and if you were aware of the support and advice available. They also wanted to look at how empowered you feel as a Tameside resident. T3SC are also the new hosts of LINk – the Local Involvement Network that allows you to have your say over local health and social care services. To get involved in this, just take a look at the following link!: http://www.cvat.org.uk Link to External Website

The results showed that overall, almost half of you (45%) have given some form of unpaid help over the last 12 months, and over a third of you (38%) agreed that you can influence decisions that affect your local area. Who are T3SC and what can they do for you? T3SC is the Council for Voluntary Service for Tameside. They offer services and support, liaison, representation, development work and a partnership that shapes service delivery in Tameside. If you want to get involved in local issues, join or set up a community group, or if you work in the voluntary sector, get in touch with T3SC! http://www.cvat.org.uk Link to External Website.

Did you know? The top three reasons to volunteer are: to help others, to learn and try new things, and to improve your CV.

Everybody needs good neighbours…

We wanted to know what issues there might be in your local area and how much confidence you have in the police when dealing with these issues.

The results showed that your biggest issue regarding anti-social behaviour was ‘parents not taking responsibility for the behaviour of their children’. The majority of parents do take responsibility for the behaviour of their children, however for the small number of those that don’t, we address this in many ways. The majority of you also felt that litter, vandalism and graffiti were less of a problem compared to last year. If you need support for any type of anti-social behaviour take a look at: www.tameside.gov.uk/communitysafety/asbo/leaflet

We want you to contact the Police and the Patroller Service with your concerns about youths causing annoyance so that we can work with these issues.

What are we doing with the results?

  • We are working with support agencies to encourage parental responsibility.
  • Most young people are not involved in anti social behaviour. However for the minority of those that are, we support the parents of young people who are/or are at risk of being involved in anti-social behaviour by recommending agencies that can help, or by pointing them towards our ‘Surviving Teenagers course’.
  • We have been working with the Police, the Patrollers and other services to target “hot spot” areas.
  • We piloted an event for parents in Mossley to raise awareness of young people's drinking habits and encourage parents to take responsibility – we are looking at bringing this event to all of Tameside.
  • We are working throughout the council to improve street lighting in areas of poor visibility and introduce alley gates for areas vulnerable to burglary and crime.

Most people don’t worry about crime

Most of us don’t worry about crime (we worry about other things). However, where there is crime Tameside Council and its partners will deal with it. Have you thought about setting up a Home Watch scheme to...

  • reduce crime
  • reduce fear
  • build communities
  • help neighbourhoods and police to work together to improve your area.

Our community safety team has been measuring your views of crime, and compares your views on a yearly basis to see how effective their work is. The results showed that the majority of you felt:

  • Crime rates have increased more nationally, compared to locally.
  • Safe when out in your neighbourhood during the day (97%).
  • Safer after dark when compared to last year.

What are we doing with the results?

  • We will continue to work with the Police and Fire Service to make your streets safer after dark, particularly in Ashton and Stalybridge over the busy Christmas period.
  • We will target alcohol related crime and disorder and continue to develop our STAND initiative (Safer Tameside Against Nighttime Disorder).
  • We are going to put our new Safe Bus out on weekend nights in Stalybridge, where it will be used as an advice and information drop in centre in early 2009.
For more information on preventing crime and what’s going on in Tameside, have a look at: www.tameside.gov.uk/communitysafety.

Crime Stoppers…

PACT (Partners and Communities Together) meetings aim to lower crime rates and increase feelings of safety. They tackle criminal damage, burglary and focus on hotspot areas. Neighbourhood policing wanted to ask your opinion on some of the work they have been doing, and to see how effective this work has been. The results showed that more of you agreed (than disagreed) that the Neighbourhood Teams in your local area understand the issues that affect you local community.

Patrollers work with Greater Manchester Police to tackle disorder such as youth nuisance and environmental anti-social behaviour.

What are we doing with the results?

Emergency Planning

Every council has a legal duty to respond promptly to any major incidents such as flooding. We want to make sure you get the support you need during an emergency and know what to do before it happens. The results showed that more could be done by the Council to raise awareness of what steps would need to be taken by local people if an emergency were to happen.

What are we doing with the results?

  • We sent out a ‘z card’ with the last survey that will help you to prepare for an emergency. These will be distributed on a wider scale soon.
  • We will be publishing articles in the Citizen newspaper to raise awareness.
  • We are planning to raise more awareness through displays in local libraries.
For more information on what to do in an emergency, please visit: www.tameside.gov.uk/emergencyplanning/publicadvice.

Smoking Kills!

  • Did you know that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have already fitted over 100,000 free smoke alarms in our local communities?
  • They also carry out free fire safety checks for you in your home, known as a Home Fire Risk Assessment.
  • They are committed to reducing fire deaths by ensuring that every home in the county has a working smoke alarm.
  • For more information visit: http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice/smoke_alarms.aspx Link to External Website

The Fire and Rescue team at Greater Manchester wanted to know what you think is the biggest causes of fire, whether you had a working fire alarm, or had a free Home Assessment. The results showed that:

  • 93% of you were correct in saying that cigarettes were one of the main causes of house fire, with chip pans coming a close second at 86%.
  • 84% of you were aware that the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service provide talks to primary school children on fire safety.
  • 84% of you said that you did have a working fire alarm installed in your home.

What are the Fire Service doing with the results?

  • Carrying out more free home visits, to identify risks and provide information/ advice. For instance to leave ashtrays in a safe place, to extinguish a cigarette before leaving it, and to avoid smoking in bed.
  • Involvement in the national campaign ‘Fire Safe Cigarettes’. Such cigarettes self-extinguish if left alone – they are being used in the USA. The National Fire Service are lobbying parliament because we want to make these the standardised cigarettes that are used.
  • Established ‘SafeGuard It’ and Tameside Volunteer Centre ‘Community Action Team’ to train volunteers and carry out around 6,400 fire safety checks every year.
  • Working with the Police and Council on ‘Fire Bikes’, where Fire Fighters go out on mountain bikes to speak to the community and identify hazards.
Chip pans are one of the main causes of a house fire. Residual fat and grease build up on unclean pans and grills can ignite, so keep your grill and pans clean. The Fire Service identify risk and can provide a free deep fat fryer for those of you who are most vulnerable.

And finally, next time...

Thanks to everybody who filled their Summer Survey in online. Please look out for the link to the online Panel survey in your covering letter – completing your Panel surveys online is a better, more efficient use of resources and is a faster way of getting your views to us. It costs us, on average, £2.29 if you fill in the paper survey but only 45p if you do it online! It is also better for the environment in the long run and you can even help further by recycling your paper version. Simply use your unique password to log on and follow the instructions.

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