Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the General Meeting 5th March 2013

1. Attendance:
Present: Roger Cornwell, PSCO Leesa Bennison, PC Darrell Brown, Jonathan Elmer, Ruth Chambers, Mike Costello, Simon Squires, Annie Brown, Susan Goddard, Carole Reeves, Dick Fong, Odile Fong and Jean Rogers.
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Ann Evans, Councillor Nigel Martin, Councillor Grenville Holland, Jonathan Lovell, David Ramsden, Jackie Levitas, Liz Brown and Jan Harwood.
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) session
a) PSCO Leesa Bennison explained that as a result of changes in police organisation, this was her last meeting with the Crossgate Partnership: she was thanked all for she has contributed to the community in the past.
b) Priorities: antisocial behaviour at the back of St Margaret's Church - Ruth Chambers had reported problems with fly-tipping, and Leesa had tried to get neighbourhood wardens to attend to this, but their activities had been curtailed by staff sickness and leave. Police patrolling had prevented a recurrence of antisocial behaviour, and it was agreed that this should be kept as a priority.
c) Priorities: parking problems in Archery Rise - the police had patrolled the area but not found anything on which they could take action. Annie Brown reported a related problem with cars being parked long term outside the motorbike shop at Neville's Cross; the police will look into this, and it will be highlighted with the police team covering the relevant area.
d) Door to door sales: people in North End were alarmed by being visited by young men, sometimes in great numbers, on schemes which they believed to be run by the Probation Service. The sellers offered cleaning materials at inflated prices, and showed identification. Leesa would query with the Probation Service whether they were indeed backing such schemes, and whether they were aware of the criticisms. If the CCP was not satisfied with their reply, it would be up to us to take it further, since it was not in itself a police matter.
4. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
5. Matters arising
a) Richard Coleman had sent the CCP a copy of his letter to the Council about development on the Fred Henderson / Ainsley Street site. He has given them notice (which expires on 12.3.2013) that unless they revise their decision to grant planning consent, he will seek judicial review. Now that the CCP has the letter, the Trustees will write to the Council in support.
b) Student Community Action: Mike Costello has been in touch with SCA about cleaning up in the Crossgate area, and has agreed to meet their volunteers in Peskies Park on Saturday 9th with litter picks and gloves. The Council has agreed to provide bags and to collect the rubbish.
c) The Mount Oswald Development had been granted planning permission. Roberta Blackman-Woods had tried to get it called in, but the Council had moved fast to grant formal consent. The issue will reappear when detailed plans are submitted.
d) Other Planning applications: objections have been submitted on 21 Lawson Terrace / 4 Mitchell Street / extension of time for 27 And 28 Mistletoe Street as agreed.
e) To Let Boards: Mike had e-mailed the audit to Pam Glaister, who replied that all outstanding boards have now gone: this is not the case. Mike is raising the issue through the AAP Housing sub-group.
6. University Liaison
No representative of the University was present, as Michelle Crawford is still on sick leave.
7. Sheraton Park
In response to enquiries about plans to redevelop the old college as student accommodation, Cllr. Nigel Martin had written to say that he had raised this with the University before Christmas. Harvey Dowdy (Director of Estates) had replied that they were considering converting the buildings for postgraduate students, and had shown him draft plans for the conversion. He had e-mailed her a couple of weeks ago and nothing further had developed. He and Cllr Grenville Holland had circulated a questionnaire to the Sheraton Park estate before Christmas to let people know what was being considered. The response was fairly equally balanced between those who found the concept of postgraduate accommodation acceptable and those who did not want student accommodation of any kind.
Sue Goddard explained that she was speaking in a personal capacity, as the Sheraton Park Residents' Association was not yet formally constituted. They had however met with the Council and the developer Alumno Developments.
8. Byland Court
Ruth continues to correspond with the Council.
9. Rubbish and recycling
The recycling collectors seem to be very selective about what they take. Members were advised that if you phone in to complain, you should make sure that your call is treated as a complaint, and not as a service request.
10. Any Other Business
Jonathan Elmer spoke about the formation of the Durham Green Party: he would be standing as a local candidate in the council elections in May. Discussions of a political nature being beyond CCP's remit, interested members were invited to talk to Jonathan after the meeting.
Dick Fong asked about the building work in progress at 51 The Avenue: Roger Cornwell had been in touch with the Council about this. No permission was necessary for ripping out the garden, but if the intention was to create parking space in front of the house, the owner would not be permitted to put in a dropped kerb - and since the road in front of the house is within the controlled parking area, access could not be guaranteed.
11. Date of the next meeting
Monday 8th April 2013.