Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting 5th July 2011

Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, Mike Costello, Desmond Evans, Jackie Levitas, (Cllr) Nigel Martin, Ann Evans, Jan Harwood
Apologies for absence:
were received from Colin Green, Carole Reeves, Richard Fong, Odile Fong and John Halliday (Neighbourhood Warden).
Roger Cornwell chaired the meeting.
Report of the Neighbourhood Warden:
In the absence of the Neighbourhood Warden, Mike Costello read an e-mail from him: he had read the 'outstanding issues' list and felt that the only outstanding issues were now with Highways. Refuse wagons would continue to patrol daily until the end of the week, by which time students should have left; he would then continue regular patrols to ensure landlord waste does not become a problem.
Police report:
No representative from the police was present.

It was noted that the fire in Laburnum Avenue, as reported in the press, was the third similar event in the street in the last four years.

AAP report
Nigel Martin will give a presentation at the next AAP meeting about the situation regarding a Town Council: the County Council has now been advised that they can start the governance review while the current boundary review is in progress. Work will therefore start on the exercise for Durham City and Crook.
Neighbourhood Planning Forum
This had been raised at the MP's meeting on June 24th, which Carole Reeves had attended. She reported that the Sustainable and Balanced Communities Forum on 15th July would set up a shadow forum, which would enable it to move fast once the Bill is passed.
Roger would contact both John Murphy (of the AAP) and John Ashby (who had originally raised the matter with the group) about how such a forum might work.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as a correct record.
Matters arising
  • City Centre Development Group: Carole had written to John Murphy, expressing the CCP's support for reopening the consultation on Milburngate House
  • Neighbourhood Planning Forum already discussed.
  • Tourist Information Office: Jackie Levitas's letter on behalf on the group was circulated; she has received an acknowledgement, but as yet no reply. The letter was endorses, and Jackie was asked to enquire when she would receive a reply.
    Nigel reported that the budget had been cut by £1 million; that the plan was to provide three levels of tourist information: a rack of leaflets; a rack of leaflets plus information about how to use the phone bank to book accommodation (these points may include actual people - as in the Town Hall foyer - and / or a computer screen); staffed offices which will still refer to telephone back-up, of which there will be two in Durham City, one at the Gala Booking Office and one at the World Heritage Centre.
    The Soroptimists have submitted a petition opposed to closure which will trigger a debate in Council at the meeting on Wednesday 27th July at 10.00 am.
  • Register of Issues: The Highways Authority say the collapsing wall at Alexandra Terrace is not their business.
    The mirror in Sutton Street has not been replaced.
  • Green Belt: 130 people had attended the Green Belt Campaign's public meeting.
    There was discussion of an article in the Times, reporting that planning guidance on Green Belts is to be relaxed. Desmond Evans will write on the group's behalf to our MP, drawing this to her attention.
  • The planning application for a workshop on the Avenue was turned down, but parts of the application were retrospective. Not all work done will be undone, but some can be made good, and the meeting discussed whether it is now time to ask the council to enforce reinstatement. It was agreed that the immediate neighbours should be consulted.
Reports from local Councillors (brought forward)
Nigel Martin is attempting to introduce a by-law regulating busking. He is considering a licensing system, such as that in force in York, which regulates where buskers can play, and for how long. The meeting was keen that busking should continue, but welcomed the attempt to regulate it.
The Wharton Park Lottery Funding application has been submitted. If it is successful, matching funding will be required, but this has almost all been secured already.
Any Other Business
Discussion of development at Byland Lodge: Mike has spoken to a number of people about this, none of whom seem to know anything about it.
We have received an invitation to the AGM of Durham Council for Voluntary Service: this was passed to Jan Harwood, as the only person present who thought they might be able to attend.
Roberta Blackman Woods had refused to attend the official opening of the Market Place, whose remodelling she had opposed; this was generally approved. She has called a public meeting on this issue on Thursday evening, 21 July, at St Nicholas Church and it was agreed Roger would circulate details to the mailing lists.
Date of next meeting
Monday 1st August.