"Whatever happened to the Eastwood Deal?"

By Gareth Dennison | 26/09/2017

'Whatever happened to the Eastwood Deal?'

A FOCUS on anti-social behaviour in Eastwood saw 2,200 warnings and 450 formal notices handed out — but residents say much more is needed.

Rotherham Borough Council launched its Eastwood Deal plan last summer, with South Yorkshire Police allocating a dedicated mini-force of four officers.

A total of 438 enforcement investigations have taken place and there have been 191 fines for litter.

Most of the formal notices were for private landlords breaching selective licensing rules, with several cases waiting to be heard in court.

Reports of fly-tipping are down ten per cent, the council said, but instances of general anti-social behaviour have risen.

Council opposition leader Cllr Allen Cowles said: “We have a seven-by-24 problem in Eastwood but the council has no more than a five-by-eight response to it.

“Fly-tipping is still rife. Ordinary litter was everywhere too when I visited and the subway was very smelly.

“People down there are simply saying the council is deluded if they suggest it’s improving. However many fines we have issued, it’s not enough.”

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There are massive issues with drug dealers every day of the week and this has been reported to the cops many times.

“It’s out of control all weekend with young kids playing on dirty mattresses in Pocket Park. Just what happened to the Eastwood Deal?

“There’s many back yards full of waste waiting to spill out on to the streets."

Another added: “I’m relatively new to the area but still greatly disturbed at what’s happening in the village and the plight of some residents.

“We want to give folk an insight into the real truths as to how we are having to live on a daily basis. We are praying the council will finally resolve this issue.”

PC Nicola Dewhurst, the new beat bobby for Eastwood, who started work this week, said she was aware of the areas problems and called for residents to stop her and raise their concerns.

“In Eastwood, there are specific crimes we need to face, for example, with burglaries and drugs, but also CSE issues and community cohesion,” she said.

“The biggest issue at the moment is community confidence in the area.”

As a neighbourhood officer, she said: “The whole point is to go in and sort problems.

“The 2,200-plus warnings were over a range of enforcement issues, including private sector housing, noise, pollution, waste and food hygiene.”

Cllr Emma Hoddinott (pictured below), Cabinet member for waste and community safety, said: “I think it’s been a good start.

“We’ve achieved a lot in the first year but we need to continually evolve our approach. The issues in Eastwood are ever-changing and we respond to that.

“We are looking at fly-tipping being down ten per cent but anti-social behaviour, like in other areas, is increasing, so we will have to work on that.

“We will also sit down with partner organisations because we need to work together as we are all seeing smaller budgets.”

She added: “It’s not just about enforcement. 

“We have the Eastwood Deal there for a reason, to undertake a whole range of activities with other agencies.

“There have been five community litter picks this year and one had more than 40 people attending, trying to make a difference in their community.”



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