Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting Tuesday 3rd May 2016

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Liz Brown, Mike Costello, Alan Doig, Ann Evans, Ann Lockhart, Drew Lowrie, Brendan McKeown, Simon Priestley, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Kevin Turrington
Cllr Grenville Holland
PCSO Martin Haigh
2. Apologies for absence:
Steven Bell (Parkside), Odile Fong, Richard Fong, Barbara Ravelhofer, Carole Reeves, Simon Squires, Clare Wright
Cllr Nigel Martin, Cllr Richard Ormerod,
PCSO Steven Bell
3. Licensing issues
a) Basement, 29 Neville Street (below The Fishtank): PCSO Martin Haigh had examined the application and had spoken to Tim Robson, agent for the applicant. The operating schedule was quite sound, but was incomplete: it did not include a plan and would not be approved by the Fire Department without one. There was no reference to disabled access, which is a planning rather than a licensing issue (in addition to the premises license, the business requires planning consent for change of use). In addition, aspects of the operating schedule are not as described by the applicant to a previous meeting of the CCP (it is no longer part of the plan that the business is primarily for the sale of food, nor that music will be acoustic only). It is proposed that smoking be permitted outside the premises, and Martin expected this to be found acceptable, since it is in line with the practice of other premises: the meeting argued that as numbers increase, eventually capacity is reached. Now that the application has been submitted, the previously agreed sub-committee (Liz Brown and Ann Evans) will meet with Martin. They would ask Yvonne Raine whether the closing date for submissions applies, given the delay in providing some of the documents.
b) The Bishop Langley: Martin was making enquiries about whether the presence of the burger van on the terrace required a Street Trading License; Roger added that the City of Durham Trust is already enquiring about the planning status of this structure.
c) It had been discovered that although takeaway outlets in Claypath were licensed for late night opening, they did not have planning consent past 11.00 pm. Martin had asked Council Enforcement Officer Pam Glaister to enforce this, and the result has been a rash of planning applications. The police are opposing this, and Martin has been invited to a meeting of Saint Nicholas' Community Forum, the local residents' group.
d) Martin had talked to The Lounge and discovered that they were only interested in very limited sales of alcohol. He has helped them modify their proposed schedule to reflect this, and feels that the result is entirely acceptable.
4. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) In the absence of representatives from the police, Roger Cornwell read PCSO Steve Bell's report; there had been no cycle thefts in Crossgate in the last month;
There had been two burglaries (one through a broken window and one through a forced rear door) plus another attempted burglary;
There had been no noise complaints during the Easter vacation;
Three people, already known to the police, had been arrested outside the Angel;
The Beat Team are issuing Community Protection Notice Warnings and Notices to buskers creating a nuisance and beggars sitting in doorways.
b) PCSO Rebecca Carey is on holiday.
c) Rebecca had asked Mike Costello to attend a presentation to the Chief Constable at which various officers had put forward their projects in a sort of "talent show". Mike had been very impressed by Rebecca's proposals.
d Roger had asked for the pink bicycle to be removed from Crossgate, where it obstructed use of the handrail. The meeting endorses this action. In general, members had welcomed the bicycles as a temporary measure, but would prefer them to be removed, and then reappear for short periods, as appropriate.
e) Priorities: dangerous cycling and student behaviour remain unchanged as priorities;
Kevin Turrington reminded the meeting that a sign is still needed at the foot of Silver Street, to remind cyclists that the 'No Entry's sign also applies to them. Simon Priestly reported numerous sightings of motorists (including HG drivers) using mobile phones at the Neville's Cross traffic lights, and this was made a priority.
f) Future of PACT meetings: For the second month running we found ourselves holding a Police and Communities Together meeting in the absence of the police: clearly there was a problem of scheduling police attendance at our meetings. Should we be asking the police whether they continue to find it useful to schedule part of the CCP meeting as a PACT meeting, and if so, whether they wish to continue doing so every month. Mike Costello offered to raise this informally with Sergeant Kay Howarth,
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were agreed as a correct record.
6. County Hospital
a) Work appeared to be going on on the site, though this may be preparatory site clearance. The Inspector's decision imposed conditions which must be met before substantive work could begin. Pam Glaister says that enforcement of these conditions is a planning matter and should be referred to Andrew Inch in the Planning Department.
b) Kevin Turrington is interested in pursuing a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. Nick Rippin is understood to be drawing up documentation supporting this.
7. Rubbish deposited by Domino's Pizzas
Kevin had contacted the franchise holder, and the rubbish had been removed.
8. University / Community issues
a) DURF are planning to convene a national conference.
b) Stuart Champion, the City Streets Warden, is the County's only dedicated Neighbourhood Warden, with permanent responsibility for a fixed area. The University and the County Council have agreed that the University will provide 50% of the funding for this post for the next three years.
c) Matters for forthcoming DURF meeting: Roger was hoping to persuade the University that it should take disciplinary action where University organisations (such as sports teams and societies) were involved; Mike added that the University's Code of Conduct was under review, and that residents were trying to insert a clause about behaviour which brought the University into disrepute. Liz Brown reported that DURF members Rosemary Zakrzewski and Esther Ashby are drawing up an alternative Guide for Livers Out. Brendan McKeown pointed out that at some universities, women's groups are pressing the university to take sexual harrassment more seriously, and that this is one instance where the university is being asked to take responsibility for student behaviour.
d) Ann Evans argued that the University could do more to prevent students bringing cars to Durham. Cambridge University does not allow students to keep cars in the city unless they are disabled and rely on their car for mobility: why can't Durham do the same?
9. Reports from Local Councillors
a) Grenville reported on the Planning Committee meeting held that morning: in September the Committee had turned down an application to develop land outside Sherburn, citing three grounds for refusal. The minutes omitted the policies which were grounds for refusal. The applicant (the Church Commissioners) had appealed, and that morning the application was brought back to the committee, who were told that they must now approve the application, since no consultant could be found to defend a refusal. Grenville disputed this, and had raised the recent Court of Appeal decision on the weight to be attached to planning policies which might be regarded as out of date.
b) Progress towards a Community Centre at Merryoaks continues, slowly.
c) Kevin asked if there was any progress on an additional 'no entry to cyclists' sign for Framwelgate Bridge / provision of bollards: Grenville would liaise with Cllr Richard Ormerod, who had been pursuing these matters.
10. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th June 2016.