Spilsby is set to lose its’ two PCSOs as part of cost-cutting measures introduced as part of Lincolnshire Police’s neighbourhood policing overhaul.
Changes to neighbourhood policing ‘a concern’
Representing Lincolnshire Police Sergeant Burtenshaw confirmed that the two PCSOs assigned to the Spilsby area, PCSOs Teresa Key and Iwona Blachut, will be redeployed within the force as it reduces its overall PCSO numbers from 91 to 50 due to financial pressures. From October the local neighbourhood policing team will operate with one Sergeant and two Police Constables as the PCSOs are moved to ‘higher risk’ locations such as Louth, Skegness, and Mablethorpe.
A new roads policing team has been put in place, based in Louth, that will also cover the roads policing around the area which will free the neighbourhood team from traffic duties.
It was confirmed that community engagement would be one of the other areas likely to be hit by the changes.
The announcement raised concerns from local residents who aired their concerns that Spilsby may now be seen as a ‘soft touch’ for offenders affecting the Town’s relatively low crime rates with Deputy Mayor, Councillor Liz Day, chairing the meeting in the Mayor’s absence confirming that the Council will be making representations to the Police and Crime Commissioner to challenge the new policy.
Positive moves for the Recreation Ground
Despite the negativity around the challenges around local policing, there was more positive news in the plans for the development of the Spilsby Recreation Ground, with a four-stage plan to improve the facilities available at the Ancaster Avenue site. Plans include the development of a new PlayZone which can be used for a multitude of sports activities, a skatepark, development of the Pavilion, and improvements to the car park. Funding is available from the Football Association and other providers.
The plans are currently out for consultation with the final consultation meeting taking place at the Pavilion on 31 May.
Local groups supported
The Town Meeting heard from the 2nd Spilsby Scouts Group about how the funding they have received from the Town Council has enabled them to purchase archery equipment which they have used to provide archery classes to members of the Scouts but also benefiting other local youth groups.
Spilsby Rotary also provided an update on Spilsby’s Bike Night, which was part-funded by the Town Council, and the other Rotary-organised events that the Council had provided their assistance, including the town’s Christmas Tree.
Updates were also received from the Spilsby Events Team, who have organised eight events in the town, and Spilsby Twinning Association who have maintained links and visits to Spilsby’s twinned towns of Fresney-sur-Sarthe in France and Bassum in Germany. Written updates were also received from other groups that had received funding during the year.
Spilsby’s dwindling Monday market attendance, local banking, and the celebration of the platinum jubilee, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and the coronation of King Charles III were also mentioned in the public forum.