The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

Controversial changes to Boscombe Precinct spark fury

By Gerald Gilbert
Bournemouth Borough Council has decided to go ahead with controversial changes to Boscombe precinct despite angry opposition from local residents.
Trees are being cut down and street furniture dismantled with uncertainty as to why. The measure raising suspicions of ulterior motives.
Harry Seccombe, vice chair of the Boscombe Residents Forum, admitted there was some consultation but it was a year ago. He said: “They (The Council) haven’t engaged with the people very well as usual.”
He went on to say that they attended the forum but were not clear about the specifics of the proposal. He was upset that there was very little discussion.
His sentiments were echoed by local residents and businesses. Jamie Miller, owner of nearby cafe ‘The Crooked Book’ said: “They don’t seem to consult any one beyond their own people.”
Councillor Wakefield fiercely defended the council’s decision and its consultation practise. He admitted there was not much feedback but stressed that this was the local residents fault. He said: “People have had ample opportunity to object.
He added “If people had expressed an opinion during that consultation obviously voices would have been heard and taken into consideration.”
Consistent with this attitude ‘Boscombe Regeneration Partnership’ refused to comment. They issued a statement instead from another Boscombe West councillor Jane Kelly. In it Ms Kelly claimed there was consultation and that the action was being taken to de clutter the precinct.
She defended the council and said: “The decision to remove some of the trees has not been taken lightly.”
She went on to say that the trees will be replanted but her colleague had stated that this was in another area.
To assert this claim councillor Wakefield cited the case of changes to Boscombe Chine Gardens. There, he said, there was consultation and local opposition was proven to be wrong as the gardens are now better.
This has not appeased local people however. Steve, manager of ‘Time’ hairdressers in the precinct, said: “I think it’s ridiculous to cut down trees.”
Similarly Spanish visitor to the area Vija said: “I like the precinct the way it is. I think it is attractive and they are wrong.”
Despite the protestations councillor Wakefield justified the measures and said that the trees were growing in places where they shouldn’t be and the street furniture was in the wrong place.
He claimed the changes will actually improve the look of the area. Then went on to say: “We are obviously looking to de clutter the precinct.”
In another comment that appeared to contradict his previous remarks he said: “Ambulances and fire engines can’t get through on market days.”
Harry Seccombe held that that assertion was not valid. He said: “They have been coping up until now; they get Lorries down that road.”
The confusing contradictions from the council have raised suspicions of a hidden agenda.
Some believe the actions are to install CCTV. A claim Mr Wakefield rebuffed pointing out that cameras were already in place. He claimed the only people objecting to them were of criminal intent.
Work Started on the 23rd of June 20114

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Posted by on Jun 25 2014. Filed under Boscombe, Local, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Controversial changes to Boscombe Precinct spark fury”

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