A draft of the new Boscombe Regeneration Partnership (BRP) is currently underway, in the next five years the Bournemouth council plans to renovate the area and residents have been asked to contribute.
The partnership is made up of eleven organisations including the Bournemouth Council, Dorset Police and Bournemouth 2026 Trust and the plan will focus on six main areas that need improvement in Boscombe: housing, employment & enterprise, environment, crime, health and education & attainment.
Tina Thompson, Company Secretary of Bournemouth 2026 Trust says: “We have worked through the period of one Boscombe Commitment and as a result of the efforts of the partnership and our partners, some of the indicators have improved such as life expectancy and the level of crime.”
“Some problem sites have been redeveloped, the seafront and pier has been significantly improved and is a great asset, and significant investment went into Boscombe Chine Gardens which has made it a wonderful place for families to walk, exercise and play,” she says.
Five years ago, Boscombe was listed as the most deprived place in the south of England in the deprivation index, the new status will become known next year. According to the Boscombe West Residents Survey of 2014, despite the fact that the overall level of violent crime has reduced, people still do not feel safe to go out.
Harry Secombe, Chair of Boscombe Forum, admits: “The subject of crime is always a big subject at the forum meetings, and the statement that crime is falling is questioned by residents. It is in the hands of the police and council to put the right measures in place, but the public feel that it is the links to slum housing and also the overproliferation of supported (rehab) housing, that is a major cause”.
“It is also very important to separate people’s perception of crime to the reality of the situation, as perception is often distorted through media and many other factors. I also believe that through strengthening our community and coming together in many ways will impact on crime, a disjointed and separated community is where crime can thrive” he says.
The next Forum will take place on Thursday 12th March at 7pm in Kings Park School, where the head of planning will explain how this community led approach will work and the public is called to participate to the drawing up of the final plan.