Following numerous concerns raised with me by many local residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour in St Austell town centre, today I chaired an emergency meeting on this critical issue.
In attendance were senior local Police Officers, business representatives, St Austell Town Council, including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, as well as Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection Cllr Rob Nolan and officers from the council via video link.
I was very pleased that everyone representing St Austell robustly presented the current unacceptable situation and demanded urgent action be taken, as well as the need to address the underlying issue regarding the number of people with complex needs that Cornwall Council place in the town.
As a result of this meeting, I am pleased to report immediate action will be taken, including a dedicated police officer to cover the town centre and increased patrols by anti-social behaviour and outreach teams provided by the council.
It continues to be disappointing that Cornwall Council are, two years after I first asked them, unable or unwilling to provide us with answers to perfectly legitimate questions as to how many people with complex needs are placed by them in taxpayer funded housing in St Austell, and how this compares to other parts of Cornwall.
I am however, pleased that Cllr Nolan has committed to providing this information.
While I am pleased we have worked together to secure a commitment to action to address the current issues, we need to continue to hold Cornwall Council as an organisation to account to address these underlying issues that have blighted our town for too long.
I also remind anyone who witnesses any sort of anti-social behaviour or illegal drug use in St Austell, or elsewhere, to please report it to the police via phone on 101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org