Community Action Days in East Devon
Over the last two and a half years, Gerry Moore, the Community Safety Officer for the East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership, has arranged eight Community Action Days across the district. Two have taken place in Exmouth, with one each at Axminster, Seaton, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Colyton and Budleigh Salterton.
Community Action Days are where a variety of agencies work together in a specific locality and offer a wide range of services. Householders are able to avail themselves of the following:
•Free Police Home Security check, including property marking.
•Free Home Fire Safety Check by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. Free smoke detectors are also available as part of this service.
•To discuss any community issues with their local Police Neighbourhood Beat Manager or Police Community Support Officer.
•To discuss any issues with a Housing Officer from East Devon District Council if they are a tenant in premises owned by the Council.
•If they are interested in Neighbourhood Watch, arrangements can be made to discuss this with the Police.
•If they are persons on a low income and require simple security devices, such as door chains, spy holes etc fitted, this can be arranged for a small charge.
On the actual Community Action Days, officers from the various agencies visit all the households in the targeted area and speak to the occupants. The occupants are also given a Community Safety Advice Pack which contains information about various community safety issues such as crime prevention and fire safety.
In addition to this, the District Council arranges for the roads to be swept and litter and weeds to be removed. The DVLA also check for untaxed vehicles on public roads.
Recently the Community Action Days have also been used in the ongoing process of public consultation by various agencies but in particular by the Police and District Council.
These two agencies using the P.A.C.T. process, namely Partners and Communities Together, have consulted with members of the public, identified the main issues in the localities to tackle and then set about dealing with them. This has proved to be very beneficial and a large number of issues which affect local people have been addressed. Often it is the relatively small problems which if they can be dealt with, make the quality of life for the individual a great deal better.
A high proportion of the people surveyed stated that they were very happy living in their particular locality and identified only the odd minor issue which would improve their quality of life. In terms of assessing public satisfaction, engaging with members of the public in this way has proved to be time very well spent.
Community Action Days have been well received by the public and a lot has been achieved. People are now more aware of the services which agencies can provide. It is also a good way for agency representatives to work together, to get to know one another and for each to know exactly what services the other can provide.
Gerry Moore, Community Safety and Anti Social Behaviour Co-ordinator for East Devon, Tel 01395 273802, email Gmoore@eastdevon.gov.uk
Page last updated on 13 July 2009