Published: July 10, 2008
Highbridge residents launch new police-backed action group

Community-minded residents in Highbridge have this week launched a new police-backed Local Action Team to tackle problems in the town.

Over 20 local people, including police officers, gathered in the town's Morland Community Hall on Thursday evening (July 10th) to form the new group, which will deal with problems including litter, dog fouling, traffic issues and anti-social behaviour.

Chris Fry, the Local Action Team (LAT) Co-ordinator for Avon and Somerset Constabulary, told "The concept behind Local Action Teams is for them to take ownership and responsibility of community issues. Current legislation empowers groups like this to solve problems and there's strength in numbers. You really can make a difference."

The group's members discussed a number of issues that it would like to tackle first and agreed that 'quick wins', such as resolving litter problems, would be first on the list.

Trish Hart was chosen as the group's first chairman and Angie Leach stepped forward to take on the secretary role. The two, pictured below with local police, live in the area and are drawing up a list of local problems to tackle.

Sgt Ian Kennett, who was at Thursday's meeting with beat manager Constable Adrian Jones and PCSO Claire Chambers, told at Thursday's meeting: "I'm very pleased to see this group being set-up. We are very keen to work closely with the LAT to help them improve the community for the community."

Local resident Toni Newman said she would like to see a drop-in centre created by the new group in the centre of Highbridge. "There are many people living on benefits here and I think we could set it up a service even for just one day a week that would really benefit the town."

Church Street resident Jason Adams suggested: "I'd like to see improvements made to Southwell Park, which has suffered problems with dog fouling and anti-social behaviour for a long time."

Local resident Pat Farrow said: "It's so sad to see Highbridge in its current state. It's gone downhill a great deal from how it used to be. I hope this group can start to help put it back on the right track."

And King Alfred Sports Centre's Lee Vaughan explained at Thursday's meeting how the facility is seeking to give young people in Highbridge aged between 5-16 lots to do during the school holidays through its active holidays scheme.

The new LAT will meet again on Thursday July 17th at 7.30pm in Highbridge's King Alfred Sports Centre.


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