Anti-social Road Use on Bury HIll

On Wednesday, February 17th, Bury Parish Council chairman Karen Davis and Cllr Paul Whyles, who takes the BPC lead on road issues, attended a meeting with senior police officers and other involved parties on the subject of road safety on Bury Hill. This meeting resulted from a previous meeting between Cllr Whyles and Chief Inspector Habib Rahman, Sussex police’s new dedicated anti-social behaviour chief inspector, recently appointed by Chief Constable Jo Shiner.

Ch Insp Rahman called the meeting and it was also attended by Supt Juliet Parker, Sussex and Surrey Police Head of Operations and Partnerships, Oliver Fisher, Inspector Operations Command, Emma Tugwell-Smith, Operations Manager for Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, Jon Forster, Road Safety Manager for West Sussex County Council, Chris Stark, Areas Highways Manager for West Sussex County Council, and Jeff Travis, Media Office for the South Downs National Park Authority.

Cllr Whyles was invited to paint a picture of the issues surrounding anti-social road use for the residents of Bury, during which he discussed a 20-year history of ever-growing motorbike noise disturbance, dangerous speeding, past police operations that failed to resolve the problem, residents’ gratitude for the most recent Operation Downsway but also disappointment that no lasting and sustainable solution had been found that did not depend upon a police presence.

Cllr Whyles reminded the meeting that BPC had made a well-researched and argued application for an average speed camera installation on Bury Hill and added that BPC was disappointed by the lack of response to that application by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. He argued that while the problems were long-standing, deep-seated and complex, the best possible approach to arriving at a sustainable solution would be one involving inclusivity and cooperation, as was represented by this meeting.

Cllr Davis added that BPC was a forward-looking and proactive parish council which was more than willing to play a role in the business case for a camera installation, adding she was confident that Bury could make a contribution via fundraising should affordability be the central issue over the provision of such an installation.

Jon Forster reported that the issue of anti-social road use on Bury Hill was something he had been aware of for 20 years and that still no solution had come to light. Engineering solutions, such as amending the start of the two-lane section of the hill, were limited in scope, he said, because of strict rules over road layouts. The meeting was told that an average speed camera installation had been made on Box Hill in Surrey where very similar anti-social biker road use was a problem. However, this had not served to reduce the problems of noise.

There was discussion of re-educating the minority of bikers who choose to speed and create excessive noise, through a campaign that would serve to stigmatise anti-social behaviour. While this was seen as a worthwhile approach, and that BPC could perhaps instigate a poster campaign to this end, it was also accepted that it would be a very long-term engagement and would not necessarily produce the sustainable solution that is most urgently needed.

Encouragingly, Supt Parker stated that she was determined and confident that a ‘blueprint’ solution could be found for the problems of Bury Hill.

Cllr Whyles said that all options should remain on the table, including average speed cameras and even acoustic cameras, which have been successfully deployed in other countries but have had only limited trials in the UK, with problems relating to securing prosecutions based upon their evidence.

It was agreed that a further meeting would be convened in about three weeks time.

While it is perhaps disappointing that an instant and lasting solution was not identified and agreed upon, it is nevertheless very encouraging that Sussex Police are engaging directly with Bury’s stakeholders in this matter and there is every reason to be hopeful that continuing dialogue will indeed produce the lasting solution that Supt Parker wants to see for Bury Hill.

Any feedback on this issue would be very welcome and should be directed to Cllr Whyles at: paul.whyles@buryparishcouncil.org.uk

Bury Parish Council update

The minutes of the meeting of the council’s Environment & Planning Committee held on 1st February are now available to view of the website which can be found here: – www.buryparishcouncil.org.uk

The next bi-monthly meeting of Bury Parish Council will be held online via Zoom on Monday15th March. The agenda for the meeting and guidance on how to attend will be provided in the week prior to the meeting.

Help choose our photo competition winners!

Here’s your chance to help decide the winners of the 2021 Bury photo competition. Each year, Bury Parish Council stages a village photo competition, open to all members of the community. Photos can have any subject, from nature to people or events, but the setting must be in the Parish. The prize is a certificate and having your image displayed in the Village Hall along with past winners.

All of this year’s entries are now available to admire on Bury Parish Council’s website at https://buryparishcouncil.org.uk/galleries/2021-bury-photo-competition-entries/Click on each picture to read the details.

To help decide this year’s winners, please list your first three choices in order (e.g.: A, B, C) in an email to Bury’s parish clerk Mike Simpson at clerkburyparishcouncil@gmail.com. Title your email: 2021 Photo Competition. The last date for voting will be Sunday, March 7, 2021.

Anti-social road use – A29/Bury Hill

Cllr Paul Whyles, who takes the lead on road matters for Bury Parish Council, had a meeting last week with Chief Inspector Habib Rahman, the newly appointed dedicated Sussex Police chief inspector overseeing all of the work and concerns relating to anti-social/dangerous driver behaviour. The meeting took place beside the A29 at the foot of Bury Hill and lasted around an hour, during which time Cllr Whyles was able to fully brief Ch Insp Rahman on Bury’s long-standing problems with anti-social road use on Bury Hill resulting in excessive noise and dangerous speeds blighting our community during weekends during the summer.

Ch Insp Rahman emphasised that Operation Downsway, which was so effective in reducing these problems last year as a result of police presence during many weekends over the summer, will be back this year and that if anything police commitment to it will be greater than ever.

This is good news for Bury in the short term but Chief Inspector Rahman also agreed with Cllr Whyles that a sustainable long-term solution (which was the purpose of BPC’s application to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership for average speed cameras on Bury Hill, an application backed by our MP Andrew Griffith and our district councillor David Bradford) was his ambition. To that end, Ch Insp Rahman has convened a meeting later this month to discuss road safety issues on Bury Hill, which will be attended by a number of senior police officers, as well as Cllr Whyles. A report of that meeting will follow in due course.

Parish Council news

Annual Parish Photo Competition
A reminder that the closing date for entries to the photo competition is 31st January 2021 so if you would like to submit a photo of any subject taken in the parish during 2020 please send your entry to the parish clerk, Mike Simpson at clerkburyparishcouncil@gmail.com  There is no fee to enter and the winning photo will be displayed in the entrance foyer of the village hall.

Planning
Bury Parish Council welcomes the opportunity for pre-application planning discussions with applicants and/or developers and their agents before a planning application is submitted. These discussions may be beneficial to both applicants and the residents of Bury. The Parish Council is a statutory consultee for all planning applications in Bury. Its role is to comment on applications and forward recommendations to the local planning authorities, Chichester District Council (ADC) and The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). BPC has chosen to adopt a protocol for pre-application planning consultations and engagement so that developers; applicants; the Council and residents are aware of the status of such discussions. For full details please see here:
BPC-Preapplication-discussions.pdf (buryparishcouncil.org.uk)

Environment and Planning Sub Committee Meeting
The next online meeting of Bury Parish Council’s Environment and Planning Sub Committee takes place on Monday 1st February at 6.30pm, the agenda for which can be found here: –
EP-meeting-1st-February-2021.pdf (buryparishcouncil.org.uk)

Members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting and speak for a maximum of five minutes about an item on the agenda for this meeting during the Public Session at the discretion of the Chair. Please email the clerk at clerkburyparishcouncil@gmail.com  or call 07894585048 if you wish to speak.

Christmas message

On behalf of your Parish Council, we would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

This has been a year like no other and we would like to wholeheartedly thank you all for pulling together.  There are so many of you who have been kind enough to look after and care for your fellow parishioners in 2020 and that is part of why living in Bury and West Burton is so special.

In 2021, we intend to do everything we can to build on this and foster even stronger community bonds, care for our Parish and support our schools, businesses, church and green spaces.  Finally, thank you to everyone who has got involved in our work this year and we wish you health and happiness for the coming year.

Karen Davis, Chair, Bury Parish Council

The ‘real’ Bury Parish Council

Environment & Planning Committee Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 7th December at 6.00pm online via the Zoom facility. Members of the public are welcome to ‘attend’ the meeting and speak for a maximum of five minutes about an item on the agenda during the Public Session. If you wish to join and/or speak at the meeting please email the parish clerk, Mike Simpson at clerkburyparishcouncil@gmail.com or call him on 07894-585048. The agenda has been placed on the notice boards and can also be accessed here.

Fake news hits Bury

You may have been somewhat surprised to read, in the December publication of Sussex Local, reports of work done by the parish council in the cemetery, the cancelling of the annual Christmas lights switch on event and the objection to a pram crossing and 2 bus shelters proposed in conjunction with a housing development. Sussex Local glean their information from a parish council website and unfortunately on this occasion the news they published was that of the Parish Council in Bury in Cambridgeshire. We have advised them of their faux pas!