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Pool Bank Street, Nuneaton - Statement from Cllr Clare Golby, Deputy Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Published on Monday, 14th August 2023

The area around Pool Bank Car Park has for years been plagued by high crime rates.

In fact, it is one of the highest crime areas not only in Nuneaton but in the whole of Warwickshire.

Residents and businesses near the car park have endured a range of issues, including anti-social behaviour, drug-related activities, violent crime, and even tragic incidents such as murder, right on their doorstep.

Concealed knives and machetes have been discovered in the undergrowth near Pool Bank Rec, close to the car park.

I recognise that for change to happen here we need to start doing things differently.

Securing Safer Streets grant funding we have installed targeted crime prevention measures installing new lockable car park barriers, along with additional CCTV and other surveillance cameras in the area.

We have focussed on empowering the local community with additional resources which I see as a pivotal aspect of reducing crime rates.

My commitment to public safety is unwavering, and this initiative reflects our dedication to creating a secure environment.

We have engaged with the community, and providing necessary resources, we are taking steps toward reducing crime and enhancing the overall quality of life.

This approach aligns with the current council’s overarching zero tolerance approach to crime, not allowing criminals a safe space to conduct their business, which this area of the town undoubtedly is.

It is also wrong to say this has just come out of the blue. We started the process over a year ago.

It is essential to assure everyone that during this process, we've engaged with various stakeholders, including the police, Abbey theatre, local residents, and Scouts to collaboratively determine a balanced way forward.

Not everyone will be 100 per cent happy with the outcome, but I feel this is a reasonable and fair compromise when we balance it against priorities, information and discussions we have had with police and other stakeholders plus, and most importantly, the requirements from the residents.

We have taken into account suggestions, such as the car park one-way system proposed by the theatre and have successfully implemented it.

This council has supported, and continues to support, the Abbey Theatre.

Although unsuccessful, not that long ago we submitted a grant application to government for funds to build a £20m theatre in the town centre.

This support has been extended to the car parking situation.

Some time ago we agreed the theatre and Scouts can access the car park whenever they need it.

Effectively the Abbey Theatre, and some other local organisations, will benefit from improved public safety measures and a secure car park for patrons, all with no financial outlay from themselves.

If these organisations choose not to use the car park it will be at their own discretion and is entirely their decision.

Alternatively, they can direct patrons to use either of the Victoria Street car parks 1 or 2 which are located a short walk away behind Johnson Jewellers and are open 24 hours a day.

Plus, in future years, they should also be able to use the new multi-storey car park we have planned on the Co-op car park.

These arrangements around the Pool Bank Street Car Park are not something we had to offer and have only offered to a small number of organisations as part of finding a successful compromise and we will be monitoring the situation.

Not all decisions made have been easy ones but through collective determination and strategic implementation, I want to pave the way for enduring positive transformation in and around our town centre, making high-crime areas of our borough safer.