Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 8th January 2013

1. Attendance:
Present: Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, Councillor Nigel Martin, Jayne Mills (AAP), Jackie Levitas, Simon Squires, Carole Reeves, Ann Reeves, A. Hayton, Jonathan Lovell, Liz Brown, Jim Good, Ruth Chambers, Dick Fong, Odile Fong, David Wood, Jan Harwood, Ann Evans, Mike Costello.
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Mike Costello (for lateness), David Ramsden, Lesley Aers, PSCO Leesa Bennison, PCSO Deborah Sadler-Watson, Annie Brown, Jean Meredith, John Murphy (AAP) and Councillor Grenville Holland.
3. Roger Cornwell took the chair, and welcomed attenders to the meeting.
4. PACT (Police And Communities Together) session
a) Police reports: There were no police present but a report for the Neville's Cross, Crossgate & North End part of our area had been previously circulated. This had highlighted an increase in burglaries in that area.
b) Licensing review: Boxers Bar Roger Cornwell and Ann Evans reported that they had visited the Licensing Office and read the police application for a review. They outlined the grounds for this. Roger had subsequently made a submission in support of this and had put his name down as wishing to appear at the review hearing on behalf of CCP. The meeting endorsed this action.
c) Licensing application: Jumping Bean café When at the Licensing Office, Roger and Ann had read the papers for a proposed new licensed café at 5 Neville Street. They felt that the proposed operating schedule was so vague that it would permit the premises to be operated in a completely different way to that outlined by the applicant. Consequently they had agreed that Roger should submit an objection. This action was endorsed by the meeting. It also agreed that Roger should represent CCP at the licensing hearing, although the applicant had been in touch and was revising the operating schedule, which might address our concerns.
d) Antisocial behaviour at the back of St Margaret's Church Ruth Chambers had emailed to report litter at the back of St Margaret's Church which indicated late-night drinking and eating of take-aways, and consequent disturbance to local residents. Roger had forwarded this to the police with a request for a report to this meeting. He had subsequently discovered via a press report that police had apprehended some under-age drinkers and taken them home and spoken with their parents. Ruth and Jan Harwood are both members of the St Margaret's PCC and will keep them abreast of the position.
5. Annual General Meeting
Roger explained the background to the desire for a more formal structure for the Partnership, including the adoption of a functional constitution and conduct of an AGM: the group could then seek recognition as a charitable body by HMRC.
a) The Annual Report was received; it was agreed that Roger should circulate it to the press.
b) Financial Statement: Simon Squires spoke to the Financial Statement, which was circulated (and can be found online here). He explained that the figures for Meeting Expenses were misleading (the previous year's figures reflect the practice of Waddington Street of invoicing irregularly and do not give a true picture of the cost of meeting there, which would in any case have risen). The accounts were approved nem. con., and Simon was thanked for preparing them.
c) Constitution: Roger introduced the need for a more workable constitution, and presented the proposed constitution to the meeting. An amendment had been received to section 8(4): Simon proposed that instead of requiring all cheques to be signed by two signatories, this rule should apply to cheques for £100 or more. The amendment was not passed.
It was pointed out that no quorum was specified for a Special General Meeting: Mike Costello moved that the quorum for such meetings be eight, seconded by Ann Evans. This amendment was approved.
Roger then moved that the existing constitution be replaced in its entirety by the new constitution as amended, and with the correction of the typographical error, This was carried unanimously.
d) Appointment of Trustees: the following had been proposed as trustees at the close of nominations, and were therefore appointed as trustees: Ruth Chambers, Roger Cornwell, Mike Costello, Ann Evans, Carole Reeves and Simon Squires.
6. The minutes of the previous (December 2012) meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
7. Matters arising
a) Back Mowbray Street: no action had yet been taken on the overgrown condition of this street. Nigel was prepared to fund clearance (from his local Councillor's budget) and was in negotiation with Keith Parkinson about this, but the Council disclaim ownership of the street. Nigel will persevere. In addition, Student Community Action seem willing to help (eventually).
b) Allergate Play Park: Nigel has been polling opinion on what equipment was wanted, and had found a fair degree of agreement on this. Funding has been committed; contributions had also been promised by the CCP and by St John's College. It was hoped that seating could also be provided. It was not possible, however, to say how soon anything might happen.
c) 24a-c The Avenue: Jackie Levitas had attended the Planning Committee meeting, and been shocked at the low quality of the process. A letter from Richard and Rachel Collins, published in the Durham Times, described the decision as unlawful, and intended to challenge it. The meeting supported this line of action, and would be happy to meet to discuss it: Jackie was asked to approach the Collinses about this.
Roger suggested that we also seek a meeting with the East and Central Durham Planning Committee to brief them on the issues raised by the concentration of student accommodation in the City. Nigel suggested that we ask to meet the new committee after the elections in May. Roger would approach the other residents' groups about making this a joint initiative (with the possibility of looking towards a public meeting and also involving the City of Durham Trust).
Jayne Mills pointed out that as the AAP moves into the new year, it will be seeking new representatives, and would be a suitable forum in which this issue could be explored; Mike Costello expressed frustration that the report already produced by the AAP's Housing Sub-group had not had more impact.
d) Roger had had no response to his letter to the Halifax, asking whether they will install a handrail on their side of the road. Mike would follow this up.
e) Neighbourhood Planning Forum: deferred until the next meeting.
8. University Liaison
No representative of the University was present.
9. Estate Agents' letting boards
Mike described the current abundance of letting boards as evidence that "the voluntary code of practice fails again". He asks that people should audit their street for estate agents' notices where properties are not actually to let ('Let' signs, and 'To Let' signs accompanied by notice in the window explaining that the house is already taken).
10. Local Councillors' reports
Nigel has had a meeting with Stuart Timmiss about setting up a scheme to license landlords. He quotes the precedent of a scheme introduced in the London Borough of Newham. Stuart Timmiss has agreed to continue the dialogue.
11. Date of the next meeting
Monday 4th February 2013.