Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 5th January 2016

1. Attendance
Present: Ann Evans, Liz Brown, Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Michael Costello, Alan Doig, Jackie Levitas, A. Lockhart, Brendan McKeown, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Kevin Turrington, Clare Wright
Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Richard Ormerod
PCSO Steve Bell, PCSO Leesa Bennison, PC Gary Thompson
2. Apologies for absence:
were received from Dick Fong, Odile Fong, Jean Meredith
Apologies sent by David Ramsden were received too late to be given to the meeting
Cllr Nigel Martin
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) PCSO Steve Bell gave his report: there had been one cycle theft from a garage in Albert Street; in addition to two attempted (but unsuccessful) burglaries, there had been a burglary at Palatine View at which a man had been identified and subsequently charged.
b) University Liaison Officer PCSO Rebecca Carey was on two weeks' leave, but would return to work for the start of term. She had sent a written report. In December:
  • 5 Community Protection Notices had been issued,
  • there had been 22 seizures of alcohol from students,
  • 1 ticket had been issued for vomiting in the street (littering)
  • and an operation had been conducted in the last week of term to prevent noise and antisocial behaviour.
    This will be repeated on random nights throughout the year, starting with one in January.
In the course of the autumn term:
  • there had been over 150 seizures of alcohol in the DPPO (area covered by the Designated Public Place Order),
  • 26 tickets had been issued for vomiting / urinating in the street
  • 51 Community Protection Warning Notices had been issued,
  • and 5 of these had led to the issue of Community Protection Notices.
  • No Community Protection Notices had been breached.
c) People can sign up to a new police information system via and receive e-mails with information about crime trends, fraud etc. It was agreed that this should be publicised through the CCP website.
d) The meeting was shown a video presentation about the dangers of 'vishing' (Phishing via the telephone).
e) Steve confirmed that it is perfectly legal for members of the public to ask cyclists to comply with signs / not cycle on pavement etc., so long as they do so politely. However, he stressed that such intervention should be non-confrontational, and if the cyclist reacts angrily you should back off.
f) Priorities remain dangerous cycling, student behaviour and combatting burglary by better security.
4. Annual General Meeting
a) The Annual Report was received.
b) Simon Squires (CCP Treasurer) introduced the Accounts. Cllr Grenville Holland pointed out that local Councillors have funds to help with the expenses of residents' groups: he and Simon will liaise about this. The accounts were approved by the meeting.
c) Election of Trustees: Roger Cornwell asked Cllr Richard Ormerod to take the chair for this item.
All nominees were declared elected: trustees are now Liz Brown, Roger Cornwell, Mike Costello, Alan Doig, Ann Evans and Simon Squires.
d) Other AGM Business: the meeting thanked Ruth Chambers for her work for the Partnership during her tenure as Secretary, and Roger was asked to write and pass this on to her; it will now be the task of the Trustees to appoint a Secretary from among their number.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
Since Mike Costello was unable to stay until the end of the meeting, he reported at this point on various issues on which he had been active, including enforcement of the voluntary code on letting boards, the County Plan, planning consent for development in the Green Belt at Lambton and the DURF (University / Residents' Forum). He proposed the revival of a "snagging list" of streetscene maintenance issues; he was asked to circulate the list asking members for information about outstanding issues, which the Trustees could then compile into something more structured.
6. Companions' Club / Ainsley Street development
Jackie Levitas has been liaising with Nathaniel Lichfield, who represent developer 3R Land & Property (formerly Fultons). Neighbours have received consultation letters saying that they must respond within 21 days (of 21.12.2015). We are encouraging the developers to hold a public consultation with display of information.
The developer is claiming that extant planning permission for part of the site has not expired, on the grounds that demolition of previous buildings means that work has begun: the Planning Officer dealing with the case is no longer contesting this. Roger and Jackie were asked to write Grenville a letter outlining the issue, so that he could ask a Senior Planning Officer what the position is.
Roger will circulate the case number of the planning application.
Roger has written to the Financial Conduct Authority querying the absence of accounts for the Companions Club for 2014.
7. University / Community issues
Members queried the University's claim that it has no standing to regulate the conduct of its students: if Mike can obtain a copy of the University's contract with students, Roger and Ann Evans will examine it.
8. Letting Boards: Voluntary Code of Practice
A number of members reported that although many signs had been taken down, there were still properties displaying double signs (a breach not of the voluntary code but of actual planning regulations). Council officers tell us that the possibility of statutory regulation through Section 7 is not closed, but we have no information about any action / consideration on the issue.
9. Planning application, George Street
Liz Brown was primarily concerned about access during building works: can builders be prevented from using an unadopted road for access? Grenville and Alan Doig will attempt to find out.
10. County Hospital appeal
The Inspector told the hearing that she planned to report by late January / early February. It was widely felt that the Council's performance had been abysmal. The Trustees were asked to write to the Chief Executive, with a copy to Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, complaining of the Council's failure to defend its case.
11. Reports from Local Councillors
a) Richard had had a quiet month, though the saga of taxis on Claypath was ongoing. There had been some reports of rowdiness outside the Angel over Christmas, but nothing exceptional for the time of year.
b) Grenville reported that Councillors had been told they could not refuse planning consent for executive housing on the Lambton Estate (within the Green Belt). Officers were claiming that the Inspector's Interim Report on the County Plan had been "quashed", and the Council appeared to have decided that there was no urgency about the County Plan, since any policies it contained could simply be implemented without it.
12. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 1st February 2016.