Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting 1st November 2011

1. Attendance:
Roger Cornwell, Simon Squires, Jean Rogers, Carole Reeves, Mike Costello, Desmond Evans, Ann Evans, John Hitchman, John Halliday (Neighbourhood Warden), Janeice Spence, Cllr. Nigel Martin, Ros Priestley, Simon James, Jan Harwood, Richard Fong, Odile Fong, David Wood, Paul Coburn and Tim Thompson (Police representatives).
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Lesley Aers, Colin Green and Janie Bickersteth (belatedly).
3. Roger Cornwell chaired the meeting.
4. Neighbourhood Warden's Report
John Halliday reported that he had spent most of his time in the last month in the Sherburn Road area, and had little to report about Crossgate.
In response to matters raised last month about bin bags and wheelie bins, the position now was that refuse collectors should be returning wheelie bins to where they found them (but often don't). Regardless of what may have been said in the past, it was recommended that people number their bins.
5. Police Report
October was a busy month, with a number of call-outs to deal with anti-social behaviour: where students are involved, the Police liaise with the University. There was also a current spate of bicycle thefts. Burglary is comparatively rare, partly as a result of student landlords becoming more security conscious.
Carole Reeves raised the issue of cycling on pavements: the Police have had several complaints about this, and will take action. They do not recommend that people challenge the cyclists.
The Police had been asked why the PACT (Police and Communities Together) meeting for this area had been held at Newton Hall: they had tried in the past to hold meetings in Neville's Cross, but attendance had been low, and administrative boundaries placed Neville's Cross in the same area as Newton Hall. They would be happy to treat the CCP as a PACT meeting, and would take care of feeding the concerns raised into the appropriate geographical division. They would also be happy to raise issues via the Crossgate mailing list.
6. AAP report
Nigel Martin reported that the next AAP meeting (next week) would be the Forum meeting which votes on priorities; it is open to all, but people should register the intention to attend.
Mike Costello added that the AAP Housing sub-group has been meeting and raising some good issues.
7. The minutes of the previous meeting
were corrected to transfer the name of Jean Rogers from those attending to those sending apologies. With this change, they were agreed as a correct record.
8. Matters arising
a) Use of skate boards and roller blades: there is a problem in the Avenue of skateboarders etc going downhill at dangerous speeds. There was some discussion of the wisdom of the Avenue being a designated cycle route, but no ideas for action.
b) County Durham Plan, including an update on the Green Belt Campaign: there was a discussion of the latest phase of the consultation, but people were reluctant to put effort into consultations which were widely felt to be ignored.
Nigel outlined the schedule for approval of the Plan.
The meeting asked Carole Reeves to write to the County Council on behalf of the CCP saying that nothing in the new document changed our opposition to the previous drafts.
c) The Tourist Information office is now closed. Ann Evans had tested the assertion that other sources could provide visitors to the City with information by asking at the World Heritage Centre about the Lumiere event: she had found information online, but failed to print off a map. Roger suggested that all those present repeat the experiment, and try to find information for tourists which is available to those already visiting the City (ie without using a computer at home).
d) Banks proposals for Mount Oswald: Carole and Mike had heard Banks' presentation at the AAP Housing group (there will be a further opportunity at the Elvet Residents' meeting): they are trying to set up a consultative group. This was met with some cynicism, particularly from those who had been involved in such a group in the past.
THere appeared to be no basis in fact for the suggestion that some of the proposed housing would be student accommodation.
e) Neville Court There is an application to demolish on file, but the accompanying planning application was not validated. The Planning Office say that comments received about the application will be will be taken into account on the full application when this is available (though people may wish to comment further).
9. Market Place Meeting
Mike Costello will represent the CCP
10. Student Charter
Richard Fong had drawn the attention of the group to this document, with reference to the absence of any reference to students' responsibilities towards the Town community; Simon James explained the nature of the Charter whose existence reflected the expectation, in the light of higher fees paid by the students, of a contract between students and university. Nonetheless, Roger pointed to the annex to the document which suggested that "obligations to the wider community" was a valid topic for such agreements, and Simon offered to feed this back in to the consultation process.
11. Development brief for Milburngate House
Roger will place the Design and Development Brief on the website as a PDF, and circulate a link.
12. Treasurer
Colin Green sent his apologies, with a brief report, and asked whether, since he was no longer resident in the area and was rarely able to attend meetings, anyone would be prepared to take over the office of Treasurer? There was some discussion, and this item will reappear on a future agenda.
13. Reports from local councillors
Nigel reported promising signs that Wharton Park would win the lottery funding needed; but it needs to demonstrate local support, so people are encouraged to join the Friends of Wharton Park: e-mail or contact via the Friends' FaceBook page.
14. Dates of meetings in 2012
Roger suggested that if we continue with the current practice of alternating first Mondays and Tuesdays the dates would be: Tuesday 10th January (already agreed as an exception to the rule), Monday 6th February, Tuesday 6th March, Monday 2nd April, Tuesday 1st May, Monday 11th June (exception as 4th/5th are bank holidays), Tuesday 3rd July, Monday 6th August, Tuesday 4th September, Monday 1st October, Tuesday 6th November, Monday 3rd December and Tuesday 8 January 2013. This was agreed, subject to the meeting room being available.
Nigel suggested that we should think about a street party for the Jubilee.
15. Any Other Business
Carole will do some more leafletting in the Allergate / Crossgate/ Tenter Terrace area; it was suggested that she include Highgate, and this was felt to be a good idea.
16. Date of next meeting
Monday 5th December.