Residents afraid to go out
PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 September 2011
A FIFTH of people living in Weston's South ward are afraid to go out during the day, according to figures released by the council.
The ward includes Bournville, Oldmixon, Potteries and the Coronation estate and is home to 10,500 residents.
The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment presented to the council last week contained figures saying 20 per cent of south ward residents felt ‘unsafe to go out in the day’ when the data was collected in 2008.
The report also said 13 per cent of Weston Central residents felt unsafe in the daytime.
The figures are based on the Government-funded Places Survey 2008 and a follow-up survey in autumn 2010 found little difference in the figures. But not everyone agrees with the statistics.
South ward councillor Ian Parker said: “I was surprised when I saw that because I don’t recognise the fear that people are saying exists. Especially during the daytime. I don’t see it.”
Anne Riney, aged 68, chair of the Bournville Residents’ Association, said: “I was born here and have lived here all my life and have never heard anyone say they are afraid to go out during the day.
“Everybody knows everybody. I really don’t think anyone is frightened of being on the Bournville.”
Nigel Lindores, who has been a Bournville resident for 13 years, told the Mercury there have been night-time problems, but again questioned the daytime figures.
He said: “People are afraid to go out during the evening because of the young thugs that parade around in groups which are a little bit intimidating. I don’t believe people are afraid to go out during the day. Maybe 10 per cent, but you would get that anywhere.”
A number of steps have also been taken to cut problems in the area since the data was collected.
Sara Brown, of the South Ward Neighbourhood Management Partnership, said: “There are a lot of really good things happening in South ward.
“The figures from 2008 are a sample size of 47 people, which means less than 10 people feel unsafe.”
Liz Hughes, Weston sector Inspector for Avon and Somerset police, said: “This survey has highlighted that in 2008 some people in Weston South felt unsafe in their neighbourhood.
“In the three years since the survey was completed we have continued to work closely with our communities to tackle the issues they tell us are important to them.”
And Simon Kerrigan, Coronation Neighbourhood Management Team chair, said: “I see people from the Coronation estate out at night, let alone during the day.
“There are plenty of old people around during the day. I am annoyed that North Somerset Council hasn’t contacted the community leaders to discuss the figures.”
North Somerset Council is inviting members of the public to sign up to receive its survey results as they are published. Go to http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/econsult to sign up.