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PCC visits local community in Frome and Buckland Dinham

Cllr Sarah Barnett, PCC Mr Mark Shelford & Inspector Stuart King behind walking on the pavement

Last Friday (1st December), the PCC Mark Shelford was out in Frome and Buckland Dinham village, Somerset as part of his regular Friday Engagement activity.

The Police and Crime Commissioner started the day travelling by train from Sheffield, where he had attended the National Police Public Bravery Awards 2023 held the previous day (30 November).

The engagement started with a visit by the PCC to members of the Parkinson’s UK Frome Group. The Group offers emotional and practical support, health and wellbeing services and social activities, and provides information for people with Parkinson’s and their family and friends in the area.

They discussed challenges faced by some of the group members for example shopping, isolation, safety concerns, the lack of a Neighbourhood Watch and shoplifting. Issues relating to an increase of shoplifting incidents including targeting charity shops, where some of their members volunteer. There was also conversation about the need to raise awareness to group members about the risks relating to cyber-crime.

Following this, the PCC went on to meet with Buckland Dinham Parish Clerk, Mrs Diane Sleigh; Councillor John Reckless, Chair; Councillor Alan King, Vice-chair; and Councillor Sarah Barnett.

Mrs Sleigh is also the local Community Speed Watch (CSW) Coordinator. The discussion covered traffic concerns and high levels of non-compliance observed by the Community Speed Watch team and Police Speed Enforcement. Issues raised alongside speeding was the high volume of traffic estimated to be about 10,000 vehicles a day, non-local HGVs and increased noise levels for all residents.

The PCC joined the Councillors to walk the village pavements to experience the major threats to pedestrians, houses, and village vehicles. The road has largely blind bends and is quite steep in places.  Councillors told the PCC that residents park on the road and vehicles are regularly damaged.  Others’ homes which have their own parking must exit onto the road blind to traffic; issues were also raised where parents with prams and young children feel at risk walking in the area.  Many vehicles ignore the 20mph speed limit even when CSW volunteers are visible in their ‘gilet jaune’ (yellow ‘high-vis’ jackets). 

Commenting on the visits, the PCC Mark Shelford said:  “It was a pleasure to meet members of the UK Frome Parkinson Group and discuss their security and policing requirements. Helping to keep them safe, physically and in the Cyber world.

“And also meeting with residents in and around the Buckland Dinham area to listen to their rural road safety concerns and discussing various options in which we can work together to help improve safety particularly of pedestrians in their village.”

From left is Cllr Alan King (Vice-chair), Cllr Sarah Barnett , Inspector Stuart King, PCC Mr Mark Shelford and Cllr John Reckless (Chair).