Llandudno matters

Robin Meyerowitz, Llandudno

I read, with interest, the report in last week’s Sentinel (“LSRA discuss crime and grime”, Sentinel, November 23).

Wes Corbett’s security presentation stated that there were 12 violent and 5 non-violent crimes in Llandudno between the 2017 AGM and the 2018 AGM.

Over R1 million was budgeted for cameras, seismic detectors as well as a PPA night patrol costing about R140 000 a month.

Mr Corbett stated that PPA’s introduction in December last year has yielded positive results and a drop in violent crime.

Actual crime reports, confirmed and ratified by HBNW, paint a totally different picture to that presented by Mr Corbett.

Records show that instead of the 17 crime events reported during the AGM, 36 crime events have been confirmed by HBNW. This is actually the worst AGM to AGM crime report since the Llandudno SRA was formed mid 2014.

Actual confirmed crime reports are:

2015 AGM to 2016 AGM :13 reported crimes; 2016 AGM to 2017 AGM: 22 reported crimes; 2017 AGM to 2018 AGM: 36 reported crimes. This is 11 months after PPA has been introduced, and after the additional seismic detectors and cameras have been installed.

This is most certainly not the positive results as reported by Mr Corbett.

The average household is paying approximately R850 in security levies and Mr Corbett has proposed a meeting to discuss that the residents approve an additional amount in excess of R400 for daytime PPA patrols.

Serious questions must be asked as to why Mr Corbett is pushing for a full PPA service, in spite of their non-performance in reducing crime.

Trumpian bully and condescending tactics are used by the LSRA Board to prevent anybody questioning the security directors to get any clarity on security issues.

After three hours of security presentation, with a visually very small PowerPoint slide, that most sitting further from the front row could not see, Alistair Pearce, the LSRA’s financial director, proposed a 10% increase in levies.

Upon querying this, Mr Pearce stated that the increase was as good a number as any other, and he agreed that it was a thumb-suck figure. By this time, people, especially the more elderly, were quite tired and basically agreed to anything that was said.

Surely such comment, from a qualified CA, and a financial director of an NPO is quite frivolous.

The LSRA, on many occasions, including at the AGM, have stated that they are wanting the residents to pay the maximum 25% levy, in spite of many residents, saying that they are in arrears of their rates, due to high rates plus the increasing security levy. The LSRA chairlady, Kiki Bond-Smith, has stated on many occasions that if residents cannot afford the rates, they must move out.

Llandudno ratepayers are owed transparency from the LSRA.

* The LSRA responds:

Statistics: Robin Meyerowitz’s crime statistics are inaccurate and hence the inferences drawn from it are invalid.

Robert Tweddle, who presented the crime stats at the AGM, based his presentation on information supplied by HBNW and met with Mr Meyerowitz after the AGM to clarify matters. It should also be noted that CCP was in attendance at the AGM and supported Robert’s stats.

It appears that
Mr Meyerowitz is adding-in the
category of “suspicious activity” to the current year’s totals when it was not included in the prior year’s being compared. This is a completely unfair comparison.

The fact is crime has dramatically dropped and the LSRA is incredibly thankful to the residents of Llandudno for overwhelmingly supporting this effort.

Actual data is posted on the LSRA website so that people can make their own judgements.

Budget: The LSRA has always been transparent and published in advance the detailed budget both in the community newsletter and on its website to allow people to review.

The treasurer explained the forecasted budget included estimations for cost increases over the next five-years, which will need to be re-ratified at each AGM.

The proposed increases in levies are intended to cater inter alia for anticipated currency depreciation and its likely effect on security equipment replacement costs, given that the equipment is manufactured overseas. It is further incorrect that the LSRA wishes to take the levy to the maximum of 25%. This figure came up only at the AGM only in the form of a reminder that the maximum allowable is 25% of property rates.

Currently Llandundo is at only 10%, one of the lowest in the country.

Accusations and tactics: It is unfortunate that the SRA board has to continue to defend themselves from attacks by Mr Meyerowitz.

He attended the meeting as a proxy holder, but is in fact not a property owner.

Luckily, the board
has enjoyed consistent and enthusiastic
support from the vast majority of the community. In fact, the budget and board of directors were unanimously accepted (meaning Mr Meyerowitz himself did not object to the budget or election of the board of directors) at the AGM, indicating support to the SRA and its initiatives.