Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting 1st February 2011

Roger Cornwell, John Halliday (Neighbourhood Warden), Shamus Smith, Desmond Evans, Lesley Aers, Simon Squires, Carole Reeves, Mike Costello, Jean Rogers, John Murphy (AAP), Jan Harwood, Dick and Odile Fong
Apologies for absence:
were received from Colin Green (Treasurer), (Cllr) Nigel Martin, Paul Harwood, David Ramsden, Jeff Young, Simon James and Ann Evans.
Roger Cornwell chaired the meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting
were approved as a correct record.
Matters Arising from the minutes of the previous meeting
In addition to items listed on the agenda, the following matters arose:
  1. The treasurer has given a cheque to Durham Fruit Group.
  2. Crime statistics (reported clear-up rate): Mike Costello had consulted the new national police website, which reported no antisocial behaviour offences in the area; Roger Cornwell had looked at the local police site, which gave a higher figure for antisocial behaviour than the total figure. The two of them were asked to compare notes and report back.
  3. It was suggested that, regardless of the legal criteria for maladministration, a complaint to the Ombudsman can have the effect of stirring up activity at the County Council.
Report of the Neighbourhood Warden:
John Halliday reported that after a low key start he is now escalating action on littering; any problems should be e-mailed to him.
Jean Rogers suggested that problems were made worse by the habit of refuse collectors of leaving bins in clusters at the end of the street. This was not a unanimous view, but John said he would raise it with collectors.
Report from Area Action Partnership (AAP)
John Murphy, AAP Co-ordinator, has been asked to engage more with residents groups in the unparished areas of Durham. He gave an outline of the work and structure of the AAP. The AAp is not concerned with policy, but can enable action by bringing together interested parties: it was instrumental in setting up the Friends of Old Durham Gardens, hoped to set up a Friends group for Wharton Park to enable lottery funding, and was helping dialogue with Elvet Residents about future development of Elvet Waterside.
The major issue in Crossgate is that of 'balanced communities', and there was discussion of whether the AAP could help communication with the planning department and bring about more control over the activities of landlords.
People expressed interest in knowing more about the AAP; it was agreed that if John Murphy supplies information, Roger Cornwell will circulate it to the Crossgate email list.
Currently the CCP runs on an ad hoc basis. The only officer in post is the Treasurer. Roger Cornwell is happy to chair meetings, or to cede the chair to other volunteers. Jean Rogers is happy to continue to take minutes, and to maintain the website, but will not accept the office of secretary.
In the absence of volunteers, it was agreed that the group should continue to delegate action to named individuals, and to follow up on whether actions agreed have been taken.
Town Council
Mary Hawgood's petition currently has some 600 signatures, about half the number needed to trigger action. She is aiming for a mid-February deadline.
DCC's identification of sites for housing
The Durham Times had reported that the Council had identified its preferred sites for housing development. This anticipates their consultation on Green Belt. Roger Cornwell will circulate information about the Green Belt consultation.
Clean-up of Peskies Park
It was agreed that a date in late March would be best (as spring begins / before undergrowth hides all rubbish): Mike Costello and Lesley Aers will contact Paul Burgess from King's Church about what date would suit their volunteers, and bring a date back to the March meeting.
Late night disturbances in Allergate
Jan Harwood relayed a message from Chris Hutchison: he has had some discussion with the community police officer regarding students returning home late at night via Allergate. They have agreed to mount some night time patrols. The police carried out similar patrols last term (between 2.00 - 4.00 am) and this appeared to be effective (although it is not clear how much of the reduction in noise was due to the patrols as opposed to the weather.
Mike Costello also has a list of complaints from an Allergate resident, which he will take up with Chris Hutchison and Paul Anderson (community police officer).
Further matters arising
It was suggested at the January meeting that a register of issues complained of to the council (such as rubbish collections, absence of street signs in Hawthorn Terrace, replacement of broken mirror at junction opposite Colpitts etc) would allow us to track whether issues were cleared up. Mike Costello had drawn up an initial list, and Jean Rogers will make it available on the CCP website.
Mike Costello had invited Chris Hutchison, University Liaison officer to attend one of our meetings: he had agreed, and Mike would invite him to the next meeting (1st March).
Alcohol licensing - the Studio: the hearing had taken place today into the Studio's application for late opening on Sundays, plus variation of the terms of their licence on other days. The hearing had lasted all day, which was why Nigel Martin, David Wood and Ann Evans (who had been in Spennymoor for the hearing) were not present this evening. Eventually the Sunday extension was closed down, and twelve days variation of licence were granted, with the stipulation that none of those days could be a Sunday. As a result, the applicant had decided that the Studio would not open on Sundays, and the Loft would remain closed permanently.
The meeting congratulated all those whose hard work had achieved this result.
NOTE: Desmond Evans clarified after the meeting that the application for general opening on the Sunday was withdrawn at the beginning of the hearing and on the further representations of the public there, the 12 days special opening was banned for Sundays though they could be used for other days.
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 1st March.