Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting 10th January 2012

1. Attendance:
Roger Cornwell, Jan Harwood, Simon Squires, James Good, Ann Evans, Janie Bickersteth, Odile Fong, Dick Fong, Jean Rogers, David Ramsden, Jackie Levitas, John Halliday (Neighbourhood Warden).
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Cllr. Nigel Martin, Cllr. Grenville Holland, Colin Green, Lesley Aers, Goshka Bialek, Mike Costello and Desmond Evans.
3. Roger Cornwell chaired the meeting.
4. Neighbourhood Warden's Report
John Halliday reported that "tidying up" had been worse than usual, although he had put more work into it. He continued to press for 1100s (large bins) where appropriate, and his manager supported this. Wheelie bins in Flass Street had been replaced by 1100s.
The issue would be further complicated by the issue of "twin" refuse / recycling bins: this was discussed in the light of information passed on by Cllr. Nigel Martin. John clarified that it was recognised that this would create particular problems in the City centre, and staff working there were aware this.
It was agreed that Roger should write to Nigel, thanking him for the briefing and saying that since the new bins will create major additional problems, we would like the opportunity to talk to him about it.
Jackie Levitas reported that she had been in touch with Terry Collins (corporate director of neighbourhood services); since refuse collection is within his remit we should ask for a meeting with him. Roberta Blackman-Woods should also be kept informed.
Dick Fong reported two recent break-ins to garages - is this a known problem? This is a police issue, but John offered to e-mail the PCSO asking for residents groups to be kept informed.
From April 1st, there will be no designated City Centre warden; wardens will work shifts across a wider area.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
6. Matters arising
1) Refuse collection see above.
2) County Durham Plan: Janie Bickersteth had asked that this be placed on the agenda because it was essential that more people be kept involved and active as consultation proceeds.
The City of Durham Trust has asked the Council about the schedule; it was suggested that councillors might be able to provide this information.
Ann Evans is involved with the Green Belt Campaign, which is moving towards a public meeting in the spring.
Roger proposed that he meet Janie and Ann after the Trust meeting with Stuart Timmiss.
3) Tourist Information Centre: no progress reported, but it was agreed that this should remain on the agenda.
4) Treasurer A provisional volunteer will contact the current treasurer to ascertain whether the job is one they are prepared to take on.
5) BRE Focus Group on student housing: Mike Costello, Jackie Levitas, Ann Evans and Janie Bickersteth had attended, and felt that the meeting had been useful - they felt that they were being listened to. It was agreed that Roger (as initial point of contact) should pass this back to BRE, and enquire when their report would be available.
Those attending the meeting had been shown a large map which appeared to show that the Council will not be seeking Article 4 protection for the centre of the City. Ann had already written to Nigel, asking for clarification of this; she will follow it up, and will also contact Roberta.
6) Voluntary Code of Practice on Letting Boards: Roger had not yet written the letter agreed at the last meeting, but will do so.
Ann had written to the press, and to Stuart Timmiss; she will follow up.
Some boards have now been removed; others have blown down in the recent strong winds, and are now lying across the pavements. Jackie will take this up when she e-mails Terry Collier about street cleaning.
7) University / City Liaison meeting: Ann had been unwell and had therefore not been able to attend, but Mike Costello had attended.
8) Planning application for 19, The Peth: several members had attended that morning's Planning Committee, at which planning consent had been granted. The consent is subject to the use of approved materials. Nigel Martin had expressed the intention to complain about administrative issues (officers' report written before closing date for objections, documents not available on website), and will also ask for details of materials approved.
9) Article 4 Directive: having seen the map displayed at the focus group session (item 6.5 above) Jackie Levitas felt that any correspondence with the Council about Article 4 Directives would be of no relevance to the Crossgate area.
Ann Evans had requested a copy of the map; Roger will brief her about pursuing this as a Freedom of Information request.
7. Links between students and community groups
It was agreed that Sarah Elliott (Membership Services Manager at Durham Students Union) should be invited to attend our next meeting, and to ensure that there is room on the agenda to discuss student / community relations with her.
8. National HMO Lobby
At present Desmond Evans and Mike Costello both receive mailings from the lobby, and circulate to the group those items they think are relevant. The meeting felt that in doing so they were providing a useful service, and would be grateful if they would both continue to do this.
9. Future meetings
It was greed that we should continue to meet at the North Road Methodist Church. Tuesday meetings will be held in the Choir Vestry, Monday meetings in the large hall downstairs, in which we will be preceded by a yoga class which finishes at 7.30.
It was therefore agreed that all future meetings should be scheduled for 7.45 - 9.15 pm.
The next meeting will therefore be at 7.45 on Monday 6th February.
10. Any Other Business
1) Play equipment has been removed from the recreation area in Allergate, but local councillors and residents have not been informed what is going on. Roger will write to Nigel, saying that the meeting shares our councillor's disappointment and annoyance that play equipment has been removed. We would like to ask the council what is the prospect of its being replaced. We should also point out that we are able to make small grants, and that funding may also be available from the AAP and from the University.