I am sure you share in my shock and sadness to hear about the two terrible incidents in Boscombe this week. Our thoughts, like many in this close-knit community, are with the families of those affected.
The two incidents are thankfully rare and we now know that the circumstances around the death of the man with the head injury is not thought to be suspicious. Nonetheless it is very sad that an individual has lost his life. I give my sincere thanks to Dorset Police as they continue to do a terrific job investigating what happened.
I thought it might help to reflect on all the good work which has been undertaken in Boscombe over the last few years.
Since the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership began five years ago, a very successful multi-agency approach has resulted in improved outcomes in many respects. Outcomes for young children in terms of their readiness for school have improved, under 65 deaths have fallen, access to health and well-being services has improved and the local economy has grown.
The work to improve housing and the environment continues and is shaped by the Boscombe and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan. This community-led plan ensures that future developments in the area are through a planning framework fit for the area and its people. Housing conditions are significantly improving thanks to Operation Galaxy – enforcement action has been taken against rogue landlords to ensure they improve the quality of the housing they offer.
We have purchased HMOs and refurbished them, making them fit for families and now private landlords in Boscombe are investing heavily in improving standards in the area.
And let’s not forget, Boscombe is a growing destination of choice for many, famed for its vintage culture, vibrant street scene and fabulous beach and seafront.
We would all be forgiven for thinking that when dreadful events like this happen, then everything about the area is bad. But the spirit and resilience of the Boscombe community is strong and enduring – we commend and celebrate this amazing place and its community.
Bournemouth Council and all its partners will keep the faith, and continue to work proudly with the Boscombe community with shared long term goals of transformation and regeneration, to improve further the quality of life for residents in the area.