IMPROVEMENTS are being made to the Ashley Road area of Poole tackling anti-social behaviour, with further measures planned for the New Year.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s Cabinet heard last week that the area was already beginning to feel safer.

“It’s early days but we are starting to see tangible improvements – although we won’t be taking our foot off the pedal,” said portfolio holder for community safety, Cllr Bobbie Dove.

Work in the area started in June following a petition with more than 2,000 signatures calling on BCP Council and the police to make the area safer.

Cllr Millie Earl, one of the ward councillors who presented the petition, agreed that there had been some change for the better although she said there was still some way to go.

She said people she had spoken to had said they were pleased to see community safety officers taking a hard line on street drinking and welcomed two new CCTV cameras for the street.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Millie EarlCllr Millie Earl

“There is still some way to go. Things do go up and down so we will need to be reactive if we are to regain the trust of traders and residents.

“Hopefully there will be a brighter future for Ashley Road,” she said.

She asked the council to consider using outreach workers and specialists to go into some of the homes in the area to help residents tackle their issues with drugs and alcohol.

The meeting heard that talks will be held in the New Year about making some physical changes to the area in an attempt to ‘design out’ poor behaviour while Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick is planning a meeting in January to discuss progress and consider further ideas.

Proposals are also being drawn up to work with traders on the street to make it more attractive to shoppers.

It was said that the area has around 180 businesses, 18 per cent of them food and drink related, with around one in ten business premises vacant – a situation which was broadly similar to many other areas outside the main town centres.

Cllr Beverly Dunlop said: “There are things we can do to lighten it, brighten it…and get people to fall back in love with this area.”

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