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DixonofDockGreen

New residents’ association in Pevensey Bay plans talks with public service figures

The New residents association with a geogrphical remit around ‘Timberlaine Road and the environs’ is planning a possible series of talks from local public service figures as part of their meetings.

The association, formed in August, saw a first meeting with 27 people turning up to see what people had to say about what is being seen as the ‘overdevelopment’ of what locals still call the Martello Beach holiday home site.

The meeting which took place at the Castle Inn public house in a small room dedicated to discussions for groups, saw an overspill and standing room only as local people in the area expressed their views

The initial success of the association has been galvanised by the news that organisers see a wider role for the group to include a neighbourhood approach to a number of questions pertinent to the area.

One of the organisers told Bay Life (13 September) that consideration was being given to the establishment of a series of talks as part of their meetings.

Possibilities mooted include the Police, Fire Service and Health Services.

Members of the association are to be asked if they would like to see these kinds of talks as part of the meetings.

The intention appears to be to widen the brief of the association to make further community connections beyond the basis on which the group was founded as an oppositional force to the overdevelopment of holiday home site.

One of the first people to be invited to give a talk to the association is retired police officer, Paul Smith.

He was a well known bobby on the beat in Brighton and moved, with wife Annie, to Beachlands in Pevensey Bay.

The couple are now based in Eastbourne, but are regular visitors to the Bay on a weekly basis, the place they say is their first love, in particular Beachlands.

Paul says about bis work with the Pevensey Bay Journal, “in the absence of a community beat officer here in Pevensey Bay, I am posting a kind of crime prevention section, one of my jobs was to give crime prevention talks to various bodies.”

His talks are in three sections, starting with his consideration, “what do we do now that there is no longer the Bobby on Beat?”

The talks range from simple advice about security and your shed to the connections in neighbourhoods that can now be made in some new and novel ways.

When we talked to Paul about these talks, we particularly liked the sound of the section that is titled “Twitter and the Curtain Twitcher”.

Retired police officer Paul Smith always starts his talks with a salute like George Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green from the sixties television show, the show voted the second most popular show BBC in 1962.

With calm re-assurance and just a pinch of wit and reverence, his opening line is always the same one, “evening all’.

What is interesting about the remit being established by the new residents association is that there appears to be some examples of ‘best practice’ emerging with the new body. There is clearly a long term view of how the association could benefit this small slice of the community in Pevensey Bay.

Paul told Bay Life that he would be ‘delighted’ to offer one of his talks to the new association.

Perhaps what is being done might make a connection with other roads and environs. Pro-active residents associations can add value to local communities.

The inspiration of these bodies is both their autonomy and the way in which their decision making can inform proposed developments in small communities.

But in addition they can consider key aspects of the microcosm of community life offering practical action that can led to positive outcomes in a number of ways.

If the latest applications by Holiday Parks UK, the owners of the holiday home site here are turned down, there will be an argument to be put that what the new residents association has done has been of value.

As a goal, the enhancement of neighbourliness and community engagement can be something that can make a direct connection with people that live in one particular road or set of roads in a distinct area.

Perhaps this new residents association will prove to be a template of some description in the formulation of other such local bodies.