Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting 1st August 2011

Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, (Cllr) Nigel Martin, Ann Evans, Desmond Evans, Richard Fong, Odile Fong, (Cllr) Grenville Holland, Mary Hawgood, Lesley Aers, Carole Reeves and John Murphy.
Apologies for absence:
were received from Mike Costello and Colin Green.
Roger Cornwell chaired the meeting.
AAP report
John Murphy reported that the AAP's budget had been cut by £30,000 (of £150,000) as part of the council's cuts programme; there is therefore now no full-time administrative support.
The Governance Review (the next step towards a Town Council) is scheduled to start on 1st November (on completion of the Boundary Review). The AAP will be responsible for organising the consultation.
The document about Community Centre closures which has been leaked is not a final document; in any case, there is no Community Centre in the Crossgate / Neville's Cross area.
Market Place: despite reports, the AAP will not involve itself in any clean-up or operational matters. If it is asked to investigate what went wrong, it might do so.
There is a vacancy for a public representative on the AAP, which is hoping to recruit in time for the September meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as a correct record.
Matters arising
  • Nigel Martin's by-law regulating busking is still in the pipeline.
  • The Wharton Park Lottery Funding application has been submitted. If it is successful, matching funding will be required, and there was some discussion of the technicalities of this.
  • Town Council: Roger Cornwell and Mary Hawgood attended the full Council Meeting which will now set a Governance Review in motion. There was discussion of how and when this will work: it starts on November 1st and aims to complete in 11 months (schedule in Nigel Martin's blog) in time for May 2013 elections.
  • Neighbourhood Planning Forum: progress was reported towards the setting up of a shadow body, ready to start work if implemented under the Localism Bill.
  • Closure of Tourist Information Office: Roger was present at the meeting of the County Council at which the Soroptimists petition was presented. The Council nonetheless endorsed the Cabinet's proposals to close the TIC. Roger will write to Helen Graham of the Soroptimists, expressing the CCP's support and offering help in the continuing struggle; we accept that there must be cuts, but feel that the Council should have considered low cost alternatives.
    It was noted that Tourist Information is one of the services which could be funded by a Town Council (or Business Improvement District).
  • Green Belt: the date for comments on the Council's proposals has now passed. Roger Cornwell reported on the discrepancies between the County Council's own statistician's estimate for population growth and the (higher) ONS figure preferred by the County Council; he will send Nigel Martin and Grenville Holland a link to further information about this.
    Nigel and Grenville have been to see Banks about their proposals for the development of Mount Oswald; new plans should be available soon.
  • Market Place: (see also AAP report above). Ann Evans asked what had happened to those parts of the scheme which had not been delivered, such as the proposed improvements to the vennels? Can the contractors simply forget about the original specification? Was there no contract to which they could be held? It was agreed that Ann would write a letter on our behalf to Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, asking where the money had gone, and whether this amounted to mismanagement of the contract. This could then be released to the media, if it was felt to be appropriate.
Reports from local Councillors
covered in previous discussion
Any Other Business: How can the CCP improve participation in its activities?
Possibilities discussed including seeking inclusion in the Durham Times' spotlight on community groups; publicising our activities through Ann's letter (discussed above); Carole Reeves will circulate ideas towards a leaflet to be distributed locally (the AAP could make a small grant to aid this kind of outreach).
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 6th September.