Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 7th January 2014

1. Attendance:
Present: Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, Drew Agnew, Simon Squires, Cllr Nigel Martin, Ann Evans, Liz Brown, Ruth Chambers, Clare Wright, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Dick Fong, Odile Fong, Jean Meredith
PCSO Steven Bell
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Carole Reeves, Lesley Aers, Mike Costello, Cllr Grenville Holland, Annie Brown and Jonathan Elmer.
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
PCSO Steve Bell circulated his written report, which would be added to the website as soon as possible. Items picked out for discussion were:
  • A number of incidents of people threatening to throw themselves off the viaduct were mainly cries for help, and often involved people in the care of the Lanchester Road Hospital. Sadly, however, there had been one fatality.
  • There had been numerous reports from licensed premises: most of the licensed premises in the city had had at least one incident over the festive season. Ann Evans referred to reports that the Council were sympathetic to an increase in the number of licensed premises, and asked whether the police agreed with this? Steve replied that this was a matter for the Alcohol Harm Reduction Unit, but that while there was some disorder at licensed premises, much of the alcohol-related crime seen by the police was domestic. Roger Cornwell had also seen the report Ann mentioned, and had referred it both to Martin Haigh of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Unit and to the Health Department at County Hall.
  • Jean Meredith asked what had been the response to the Community Engagement exercise in the Nevilles Cross area. Steve had been involved in the exercise, and had found the public response positive. Most of the householders were older than would normally be recruited as special constables, and as far as he knew there had been no actual volunteers, but general advice had been given out.
  • Taxis making an illegal right turn up Crossgate: Cllr Richard Ormerod reported that the Council had been hoping to address this by installing CCTV. But Eric Pickles is conducting a consultation exercise on the use of CCTV for parking enforcement, and as a result the Council had removed this action from its agenda. It was agreed that the CCP should submit evidence to Eric Pickles supporting the Council's use of CCTV; Richard would supply a copy of his submission for information.
    Members reported a number of incidents involving taxis, parking in disabled bays, on pavements etc.
Review of Priorities In addition to the existing priorities, police were asked to pay attention to parking on the pavement where this causes an obstruction.
The meeting was also concerned about moving traffic offences where taxis make an illegal right turn into Crossgate. Although Steve has no power to act on this himself, Roger will write to him asking for action on this, and Steve will refer the letter up.
4. AGM Business
Richard Ormerod pointed out that information in the Annual Report about his and Cllr David Freeman's attendance at meetings reflected their decision to divide ward responsibilities so that he attends CCP meetings and David attends Elvet Residents. With the assurance that no criticism of David Freeman had been intended, the Annual Report was approved.
Simon Squires spoke to the Financial Report (appended to the Annual Report). Jean Rogers noted that the absence of any expenditure on stationery and postage suggested that people were not claiming their expenses, and urged them to do so.
Noting the expenditure on room hire, Roger proposed, and it was agreed, that we write to the church and thank them for their hospitality: we appreciate Malcolm's helpfulness, which has gone well beyond his duties, and would like to thank him.
Election of trustees: Nominations were received for the existing trustees (Ruth Chambers, Roger Cornwell, Mike Costello, Ann Evans, Carole Reeves and Simon Squires) and for Liz Brown, and they were elected unanimously.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
6. Matters arising
a) 51 The Avenue planning application goes to Committee on Tuesday 14th January. Cllr Nigel Martin will speak against the application, and Roger has also asked to speak. Roger was asked to speak on behalf of the CCP.
b) Reinstatement of play area in Allergate Park is now complete, and it is already being used. Liz Brown proposed a vote of thanks to our councillors for their work on this issue, and this was agreed.
c) The Planning Department have received an application for the County Hospital site, and are in the process of validating it: there is therefore a possibility that the period for objections will close before our next meeting. Roger proposed that the trustees consider the plans and draw up a response which can either be submitted or brought to the next meeting.
The meeting regretted that planning applications can no longer be consulted at the Library. Given the level of interest in this major development, it would be helpful if the plans could be placed on display somewhere more convenient than County Hall. Nigel offered to suggest this.
Ruth Chambers informed the meeting that the NPF (Neighbourhood Planning Forum) will discuss student accommodation at its meeting on January 30th, and hopes to involve the University.
d) No new planning application has been submitted for Neville's Cross Social Club. There are four skips outside the building, which seems to be being stripped, and holes have appeared in the car park. Ruth will write to the Planning Department asking whether they are aware that work has started.
e) Roger asked whether our submission on the County Durham Plan had been received and acknowledged by the Council, as some organisations (including the City of Durham Trust) had had problems. It was not clear whether our submission had been acknowledged.
Nigel had made comments on the sections of the Plan dealing with Merryoaks, and on the absence of any plan regarding the University.
f) Conversion of part of Crossgate CIU to student lets: planning consent had been refused because the conversion would raise the ridge of the roof above the line of the street, and an appeal has been submitted.
7. Reports from Councillors
Richard reported that the proposal to suppress the drop-off bay at Hopper House, which he had opposed, was now on the back burner.
The railings at the top of South Street are in poor condition. They belong to the Cathedral, and Richard and David Freeman have agreed to contribute to the cost of their replacement.
Nigel invited the meeting to watch out for news about Wharton Park.
8. Other Business
The Chair had not received notice of any Other Business.
9. Date of the next meeting
Monday 3rd February 2014.