Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 10th January 2017

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Liz Brown, Lucille Butler, Alan Doig, Ann Evans, A. Lockhart, Drew Lowrie, Brendan McKeown, Carole Reeves, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Nigel Martin, Cllr Grenville Holland
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Lesley Aers, Jackie Levitas, Simon Priestley, David Ramsden, Doug Scott, Clare Wright
Cllr Richard Ormerod
PCSO Steven Bell
3. Announcements
Roger Cornwell informed the meeting of the death of one of our members, Richard (Dick) Fong. He quoted a message from Jackie Levitas, who described Dick as "always supportive, always full of fighting spirit," and pointed out that we have Dick to thank for the sequencing of the traffic lights at the top of Crossgate. Dick was eminent in his academic field, and played a major part in setting up a group in cosmology within the Physics Department at the University. We will miss him, and Roger was asked to convey the CCP's condolences to Odile Fong.
The CCP also sent its condolences to Clare Wright on the death of her mother.
4. Annual General Meeting
a) The Annual Report was approved.
b) Simon Squires (CCP Treasurer) introduced the Financial Statement: this was approved.
c) Election of Trustees: all nominees were declared elected. Trustees are now Liz Brown, Roger Cornwell, Alan Doig, Ann Evans, Simon Priestley and Simon Squires.
5. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) Roger Cornwell summarised PCSO Steven Bell's written report: There had been three cycle thefts in the area,
a spate of burglaries followed the same pattern, targeting houses that were unoccupied during the vacation and kicking in glass-panelled back doors; PCSOs and beat officers were patrolling the area.
In the case of the burglary previously reported, DNA analysis of blood left at the scene had resulted in an arrest.
b) Roger reported on correspondence he had received from the police about a Deliveroo delivery driver he had stopped on Framwellgate Bridge, who had claimed that his manager had permission from the police to disregard the 'no cycling' signs in the course of deliveries. Both the police and the manager denied this, and the manager had undertaken to ensure that this was made clear in staff training.
c) Priorities: It was agreed that the existing list of priorities should be retained: student nuisance, dangerous cycling and the use of mobile phones while driving.
6. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
In addition to Matters arising already on the Agenda, Cllr Nigel Martin pointed out in relation to item 9a) (University Masterplan) that Banks have submitted a planning application for student accommodation at Mount Oswald. This is in addition to the University accommodation already planned for the site, and is in accordance with the Masterplan.
7. Council Consultation on Letting Boards
The Council has launched a Consultation on Letting Boards (running until 17th February, despite previous information to the contrary). There will also be a drop-in session on Monday 16th February in the Town Hall. The Council are considering three options: a) do nothing, b) a scheme similar to the present Voluntary Scheme but with statutory force or c) a total ban. The meeting was unanimous in favouring the third option, and in addition thought that the ban should extend beyond the City Centre Conservation Area. Jean Rogers would submit the CCP's views to the consultation.
8. Bus Station "Consultation"
Roger and Simon Squires have both received acknowledgement of their complaints from the Ombudsman's office, but have not heard anything further. Roger's Freedom of Information request is now out of time, and he has received an apology for this: he is hopeful that this indicates he will eventually receive the information requested. Simon commented that his FoI request had likewise gone out of time, but he had pressed the Council to respond, and as a result had received some very informative documents.
9. Landlords housing students in family homes (C3) without seeking planning permission
In the case of 24 Nevilledale, David Chong, the Council's Enforcement Officer, says that notice will be served on the landlord, and that the property will have to be reinstated as a family home (and wood window frames fitted in accordance with Conservation Area guidelines) - but the process is lengthy. Cllr Nigel Martin had spoken to David Chong about the case after last month's meeting, and would do so again..
It was noted that three houses in Juniper Way still had 'To Let' signs, although they are not currently student homes.
10. Related issues of enforcement
Lucille Butler gave the viewpoint of the small landlord, making an effort to maintain good relations between student tenants and their neighbours, to carry out building works in accordance with Conservation Area standards and to maintain houses in a state which permits a return to domestic use. She aims to support her tenants and to obey the law.
She was concerned at the standard of works carried out at 2, Crossgate (adjacent to her property). She had not opposed the planning application as she had no objection to the work as planned, but implementation had been badly done by builders aiming to minimise costs. She had reported breaches of the planning consent / Conservation Area guidelines throughout the process, but both the planning department and the building control officers had failed to act. Cllrs Nigel Martin and Grenville Holland would advise her on the procedure for making a formal complaint.
11. Planning Committees - December and January
a) The December Planning Committee had turned down two applications for PBSAs, Holly Street / John Street (for which the Planning Department recommended approval) and Diamond Terrace (where refusal was recommended by the planners).
b) The January meeting had turned down an application to build three houses (allegedly domestic houses, but clearly designed as HMOs) on the garden of 24, The Avenue. It had, however, given retrospective approval to 16 Nevilledale, which had been deferred from the November committee. Nigel and Grenville were unhappy about aspects of the conduct of the meeting, and felt that different standards had been applied to the Nevilledale application and to one from Gilesgate which was turned down, but did not see grounds for referring this to the Ombudsman, since there was no incorrect procedure.
12. Reports from Local Councillors
There was nothing additional to report.
13. Proposed Nevilles Cross Community Centre
Alan Doig reported that this now has full funding. The next meeting of Nevilles Cross Community Association (on 23rd January 2017, 7pm in the Scout Hall behind St Johns Church) will discuss the involvement of all local community associations, including Sheraton Park Residents Association, Merryoaks Community Association and Crossgate Community Partnership. Anyone interested is invited to attend.
14. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be held on Monday 6th February.