Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the General Meeting 4th March 2014

1. Attendance:
Present: Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, Jonathan Elmer, Lesley Aers, John Moran, Doug Hollingworth, John Knowles, Sheila Knowles, Annette Keelty, Liz Brown, Alex Earle, Julie Arthur, Kevin Humphries, David Ramsden, Laura Fleming, Dot Patterson, Mike Costello, Cllr Grenville Holland, Tony Gargets, Anne Brown, Simon Squires, Amy Mycock, Ann Evans, Jean Meredith, Ruth Chambers, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Clare Wright
PCSO Steve Bell, PCSO Jean Fletcher
The meeting learned with regret of the death of former member Tony Hyland; Simon Squires was asked to convey our condolences to his family.
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Dick Fong, Odile Fong, Steven Bell, Jackie Levitas, Carole Reeves, Cllr Nigel Martin
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) PCSO Steve Bell was thanked for his report, which focussed closely on items of direct relevance to Crossgate residents: there had been a resurgence of cycle thefts, after a quiet month, and a number of burglaries, mostly at student properties, as a result of which police patrols had been stepped up.
b) Steve had checked the cases reported to him of vehicles causing an obstruction in the back lanes: the streets of which he had been given photographs (behind Sutton Street) were unadopted, and he therefore had no jurisdiction. Cllr.Grenville Holland pointed out that parking in back lanes prevents the bin men gaining access and therefore prevents the Council from doing its job. He is pressing the Council the adopt lanes where this happens, to allow enforcement, and will follow up progress on this approach.
c) Review of Priorities In view of the reported incidents, the meeting endorsed the Police prioritising of cycle thefts and burglaries.
4. It had been hoped that Mr James Lee, Waste Operations Manager for the East of Durham, would attend the meeting
but there had been a communications failure, and nothing had been heard from him. Cllr. Richard Ormerod had heard from him that he was carrying out "a door-knocking exercise". Roger Cornwell was asked to contact Mr Lee on behalf of the group, regretting that he had not been able to be at the meeting, inviting him to attend our next meeting and trying to organise a walk around the Crossgate area.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
6. Matters arising
a) 51 The Avenue: The Planning Department apparently understands that the applicant intends to appeal, but no appeal has yet been lodged (there is a period of 6 months in which they may do so). Given the pattern of repeated delays in the case so far, Grenville will raise the matter with the Council, and demand enforcement - if the applicant does intend to appeal, he should do so.
Mike Costello added that Phil Raine (Police University Liaison Officer)had talked to the student residents who claimed their landlord had told them the problem was caused by the Council who had refused planning consent.
b) Visualisations of the proposed development on the County Hospital site have now been added to the planning website, but this is not accepting comments, as the closing date for the application has passed. Ruth Chambers was asked to request Peter Herbert to reopen comments, in the view of this major addition to the application (which was expected to be heard at the Planning Committee in May). In any case, people were urged to continue to send in comments, as Councillors will be aware of them. It was agreed that the Trustees (plus local residents Steve Bell and Jackie Levitas) should now arrange to visit County Hall and view the application.
Grenville agreed to convey to Peter Herbert (case officer in the Planning Department) the CCP's view that the validation of the application at a point when necessary drawings were late or incomplete had caused confusion, and impeded the consultation process.
c) Liz Brown reported that asbestos had been found at the Neville's Cross Social Club, and been professionally removed. The 'To Let' sign had been removed, and an advertisement board for Workwear Express put up; Mike Costello had queried with Pam Glaister (the Council's Senior Enforcement Officer) whether there was planning approval for an advertising hoarding.
d) the problem of taxis making an illegal right turn up Crossgate is still awaiting the results of the national consultation.
7. Engagement with the University
Representatives of all five City residents' groups had written to the University Council, with copies to Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins and MP Roberta Blackman-Woods. Council meets at the end of March, and a reply has been requested after that meeting; meanwhile, an acknowledgement has been received. The meeting thanked and congratulated Ruth for co-ordinating this united approach.
8. Proposed Action Day / Spring Clean
Mike proposed that this should be organised as in previous years in co-ordination with student voluntary action groups. The general reaction was positive, and it was agreed that Mike would progress this and the CCP could make a modest financial contribution if needed.
9. Reports from local councillors
a) Richard Ormerod reported that the road surface at the rear of Tenter Terrace will be repaired, and he hoped that the same could be done for Pimlico. He was still pressing the Cathedral to repair the railings at the top of South Street; they have already received a grant for this work.
b) Grenville Holland reported that the Neville House redevelopment will now go to the County Planning Committee (rather that the Area Committee). Roger added that the developer had apparently been asking how to contact the CCP about attending a meeting; he felt that this was an attempt to 'divide and rule' and that consultation should be with the Sheraton Park Residents' Group, which represents those most immediately affected. The meeting approved this approach
c) A large hole has appeared outside no. 7, Waddington Street, where the main drain has collapsed. Grenville has asked the Council not simply to patch this, but to look seriously into the cause and potential further damage.
Concern was expressed about the effect of building an additional seven-storey block on Waddington Street.
d) Ruth asked councillors whether there was any chance of planning applications for student housing on the County Hospital site and at Neville House being considered by the same meeting of the Planning Committee?
10. Date of the next meeting
Monday 7th April 2014 (please note that this date is a Monday and not as on the circulated agenda).