Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 3rd November 2015

1. Attendance
Present: John Ashby, Robert Banks, Steve Bell, Liz Brown, Roger Cornwell, Alan Doig, Ann Evans, Dick and Odile Fong, Jackie Levitas, Brendan McKeown, Jean Meredith, David Ramsden, Carole Reeves, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires and Clare Wright,
Cllr Grenville Holland
PCSO Steve Bell, PCSO Rebecca Carey, PCSO Khaled Malki
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Lesley Aers
Cllr Nigel Martin and Cllr Richard Ormerod.
3. Roger Cornwell took the chair and welcomed members and police, especially new attenders, to the meeting.
4. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) PCSO Khaled Malki presented the written report which he had prepared. The police are continuing the 'Think Pink / Lock it or Lose it' campaign, using old bikes sprayed pink to publicise the risk of cycle thefts. Two cases in Hawthorn Terrace illustrated that a simple chain is not enough to prevent thefts, and police recommend the use of D-locks.
The City Beat Team are continuing initiatives in relation to burglaries and thefts from parked cars: hand shaped leaflets are placed in houses where doors are left open, and the owners of cars in which valuables are left on display are contacted.
Police had received several complaints about homophobic leaflets distributed in Durham City; a suspect has been identified, as someone who has been visiting different university cities. He has been flagged on the Police National Computer, and it is anticipated that he will now be stopped.
b) PCSO Rebecca Carey, University Liaison Officer, reported on the term so far. In the past month she has issued 28 Community Protection Notice warnings, of which 20 were in the Crossgate area (and one was a non-student household); in three cases (of which 2 were in the Crossgate area) she had proceeded to a Community Protection Notice.
She had issued 8 tickets for urinating in a public place (2 in Crossgate) and had an appointment for the following day to issue 16 tickets (for littering) to rugby players who had been urinating or deliberately throwing up in the street. It is possible that the relevant premises license will also be reviewed.
Police are no longer able to contact the colleges of miscreants, because it has no information sharing agreement with the University (which is now simply a service provider, and has no loco parentis rôle). John Ashby had written to the Police and Crime Commissioner about this issue, and had asked for statistics; he would circulate any response.
Police had responded to reports of noise from Wharton Park and found a group of students partying in the bandstand in the closed park.
In all, police had made 123 seizures of alcohol in the city-wide DPPO (Designated Public Places Order) zone.
The meeting thanked Rebecca for her work, and remarked that firm action on parties early in the month seemed to have had an effect.
c) Priorities are cycle theft, dangerous cycling and student behaviour.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record, and Ann Evans was thanked for taking the minutes.
6. Matters arising
No matters arose other than those already appearing as separate agenda items.
7. County Hospital appeal
The appeal (against refusal of planning permission) will be heard on Tuesday 8th December, in Waddington Street church; written submissions must be made by Wednesday 18th November. All comments on the second planning application (the one being appealed) will automatically be sent to the inspector, but comments on the initial application would not be referred unless resubmitted.
The appeal documents are now, after a delay, on the Coucil's planning website: the main document is the appellant's Proof of Evidence. This includes references to a Statement of Common Ground (in which the appellant and the council set out the points which will not be disputed). No such statement had yet been agreed.
The Council had appointed a consultant to present its case, which is restricted to the grounds on which the application was turned down in the first place. It is therefore the task of local objectors to ensure that the full reasons for refusal are put in front of the Inspector. Roger invited anyone interested in sharing this work to contact him.
Steve Bell argued that the number of objectors, and the strength of local feeling, must carry weight, and encouraged as many people as possible to attend the next meeting of the CCP, which takes place on the day before the hearing.
8. Council Consultations
a) The CCP had added its name as signatory to submissions from the Neighbourhood planning forum on an Interim Policy on Student Accommodation, accompanied by an Article 4 Direction
b) We submitted comments on the Council's Conservation Area Appraisal.
c) The meeting endorsed both of these submissions.
9. Letting Boards: Voluntary Code of Practice
Jean Rogers outlined the position; as the new lettings year begins, she has been in correspondence with the Council's Enforcement Officer, but wonders whether this is the best strategy for the future. On the one hand, the arguments against seeking a Regulation 7 Direction include a fall in the number of complaints, which would suggest that if we want such a directive we need to keep complaining; on the other hand, if no action is going to be taken this is a waste of everyone's time. Cllr Grenville Holland offered to put this question to Enforcement Officer Pamela Glaister: is she interested in violations of the rules ot not?
Roger Cornwell and John Ashby would raise the possibility of incorporating good practice on letting boards in the criteria of the Accredited Landlord Scheme at the forthcoming DURF (Durham University / Residents Forum).
10. Neville's Cross Monument
Ann Evans reported that a group of residents are looking at using available funding for public art to restore / replace the existing monument, very little of which is of any actual antiquity. A briefing is being prepared for the Neville's Cross Residents Group, and will also be circulated on the Crossgate mailing list.
11. County Plan
Nothing has yet emerged from the County Council about this.
12. Neighbourhood Planning Forum
For the last month the NPF has mostly been engaged with the Council's consultations. An analysis of public responses so far has now been added to the NPF website, and the Forum is moving on the the stage of engaging with interested parties.
13. Town Council petition
Volunteers were invited to take the petition door to door around the City.
14. Reports from local Councillors
a) A written report had been received from Cllr Richard Ormerod: the meeting was particularly vocal in support of his work on handrails.
b) Grenville promised that the closure of the DLI museum would be opposed. The Council had not at any point asked whether any other body would be prepared to take over the running of the museum.
15. Other business
Roger informed the meeting that Ruth Chambers and Mike Costello had resigned as trustees. While the meeting could appoint trustees at any time, all trustees would resign and, if desired, be re-elected, at the January meeting (AGM). It was noted also that this leaves the Partnership without a secretary.
16. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th December 2015.