Present: Roger Cornwell, Jean Rogers, Lesley Aers, Carole Reeves, Brendan McKeon, Jackie Levitas, Ann Evans, John Knowles, Sheila Knowles, Ruth Chambers, Mary Sales, Dick Fong, Odile Fong, Jean Meredith, Liz Brown, Kevin Turrington,
PCSO Steve Bell, PCSO Phil Raine
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Drew Agnew, Alexis Cleveland, Mike Costello, John Lowe, David Ramsden, Simon Squires, Adrian Wright, Clare Wright,
Cllr. Grenville Holland, Cllr. Nigel Martin, Cllr. Richard Ormerod.
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
The meeting welcomed PCSO Phil Raine, attending his first meeting of the CCP; he now covers the Market Place and Whinney Hill beat in the City. PCSO Steve Bell informed the meeting that the new University Liaison Officer will start full-time in the New Year: she is PCSO Rebecca Carey ().
a) Steve gave an oral report: he apologised that this was incomplete, because of lack of time. In particular, it omitted figures for complaints of noise and anti-social behaviour, and Steve did not feel able to estimate figures for these.
b) There had been two attempted burglaries, and a number of bicycle thefts. It was thought that a person arrested at Maiden Castle was responsible for a number of these.
c) In response to an enquiry, Steve said that the police were aware of a number of homeless people sleeping out in the City. They tried to persuade these individuals to engage with homeless charities, but could not oblige them to do so. Where this strategy was not successful, police would keep an eye on the persons concerned.
h) Review of Priorities: the meeting agreed to retain the existing priorities of cycle theft, burglary and - as the end of term approaches - student behaviour.
a) Examination in Public of the County Plan: our previous meeting had taken place immediately before objectors met the Council, at the Inspector's request, to formulate a new Policy 32 on studentification / balanced communities. This meeting had now taken place, and the residents' groups feel that they and the University are now in agreement, but the Council claims to perceive some differences in opinion which prevent it accepting their draft proposals. It has subsequently come to light that the Council held a separate meeting with representatives of developers ahead of this meeting. That meeting had opposed inclusion of a clause which had been discussed at the general meeting but omitted from the Council's final version. A letter to the Inspector is in preparation: it has been signed by all residents' groups and by Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, and is awaiting signature by the University.
Hearings for stage 1 of the Examination in Public (strategic issue) are now complete. The new Household Projections (population statistics) are still awaited, and the Inspector clearly anticipates comments on these, but the discussion will be conducted in writing. Stage 2 of the EiP will be site specific.
b) The Village @ the Viaduct: Planning consent for this development was granted on condition that the developers provide a management plan revised to meet the council's requirements. The plan as submitted envisaged no overnight staff, one of three student wardens being on duty alone overnight (it was noted that although students are now in residence, reduced cover may be adequate since the accommodation is not yet at capacity). Jackie Levitas recalled raising this issue when the planning application was considered by the council, and thought that an acceptable plan had been produced at that time; she will contact the Planning Department to ask about this. Ann Evans will write to the Chair of the Planning Committee asking if the Committee is satisfied that its decision has been implemented.
c) Parking Zones in Viaduct Area: Kevin Turrington reported that following meetings with Danny Harland (County Council Neighborhood Parking Team), a three-phase approach was envisaged:
Phase 1: An increase in parking tariff paid at machines, and an increase in numbers of parking spaces in zone K. Line painting.
Scheme plans are currently with the Councillors for approval before embarking on the consultation with local residents. The letters and scheme proposals are expected to be posted out to residents Zone K mid-December 2014. If agreed, on site meetings January 2015 to progress work further.
Phase 2: The installation of bollards in John Street, Holly Street, Waddington Street and Back Lane Western Hill.
After additional discussions, Danny Harland has assigned staff to liaise with the Land Registry to ascertain who owns the land between Holly/John Street and Waddington Street and Back Lane Western Hill. Once this has been determined, further progress on bollard placement can take place. Kevin will continue to act as intermediary.
Phase 3: Repainting parking lines and extending to prevent random parking in the entrances to back lanes.
On-site meetings to discuss and confirm locations to existing white and yellow road markings. Discussions will indicate whether a consultation period with local residents is required before proceeding further.
On Phase 2, Roger Cornwell had information about the status of this highway, and would pursue getting it added to the Definitive Maps as a Right of Way.
Kevin will add the state of the steps by Flass Well to his list of issues.
Kevin was thanked for his work on this issue, and in turn thanked Ruth Chambers and Mike Costello for their help and support.
d) Neville's Cross Social Club had won its appeal against the refusal of planning permission. Liz Brown reported that there had been conditions to be met before construction could begin, but planning officer Barry Gavillet was satisfied that these had been met.
There would be a meeting of the Neville's Cross Residents' Group on December 15th.
e) Letting Boards: Ruth Chambers had written to Pam Glaister (the Council's enforcement officer) as agreed by the last meeting; in addition, Jean Rogers had written as an individual, pointing out some of the breaches of the Code of Practice. From the replies they had received, it appeared that the Council does not seek to enforce the Code, but relies on complaints from local residents to identify where it is contravened. However, in a letter to Cllr Grenville Holland circulated shortly before the meeting, Ms. Glaister said "from the evidence obtained to date since the introduction of the code, the affected areas have been monitored and there has been a significant reduction in the number of advert boards since pre 2011, and this does not support the code as a failure." Jean would write to Grenville asking what this "evidence obtained" might be.
f) The Community Action Team had organised a working party from Student Community Action, for a community clean-up of the back lanes around the bus station, in which they had been joined by some CCP members. The action continues for a further week, after which Jennifer Jones (the Environmental Health Officer responsible) will write a report. The meeting expressed its thanks to Ruth for her contribution to this, and asked her also to pass on our thanks to SCA.
g) Dates of future meetings: The church had informed us that they have no room available for the proposed February meeting, or for suggested alternative dates. Ruth will enquire about the availability of Antioch House. There were no problems with other meetings for 2015.
h) The application to convert Kingslodge / Finbarr's: to student accommodation had been turned down by the planning committee. The meeting congratulated Jackie Levitas and Simon Priestley, who had spoken on our behalf, and the planning officers who had recommended refusal.
6. University / Community issues
Ruth reported that there would be a further meeting between Residents' Groups and the University (Graham Towl and representatives of DSU). A register of issues was being compiled.
Jackie questioned the advice that residents should call the police to deal with anti-social behaviour, such as noisy parties: in some streets residents were so few in number that the students could easily identify who had made a complaint, which could lead to a worsening of relations between neighbours. She preferred the previous system of calling University security, which she saw as less heavy-handed. Ruth suggested that this could be discussed in the New Year when we meet the new University Liaison Officer.
7. Reports from local Councillors
A written report had been received from Richard Ormerod; this had been circulated. Progress has been made in countering obstructive parking at St. Margaret's Centre. He is chasing up the possibility of a handrail at the bottom of Crossgate (next to Halifax bank).
8. Other Business
Kevin reported students cycling at speed down Silver Street. It was agreed that dangerous cycling was another issue which could be raised with the police at the next PACT meeting.
Jean Meredith progress on traffic problems in the car park at Sainsbury's at Neville's Cross: the management were listening to criticism, and had agreed to create a second disabled bay, which would greatly alleviate the problem.