Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 6th February 2017

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Lucille Butler, Ann Evans, Drew Lowrie, Brendan McKeown, Carole Reeves, Jean Rogers, Ann Stokes
Cllr Nigel Martin, Cllr Richard Ormerod
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Liz Brown, Morag Crichton, Alan Doig, Jackie Levitas, David Ramsden, Simon Squires, Sarah Wilkinson
PCSO Steven Bell, PCSO Rebecca Carey
3. PACT (Police And Communities Together) Session
a) Roger Cornwell summarised PCSO Steven Bell's written report: there had been two cycle thefts, both during the vacation, and a number of burglaries. However, police had been successful in making arrests, and there had been a conviction in a burglary previous reported: press reports of this case had been circulated. Lucille Butler had circulated these reports to her student tenants, urging them to secure their belongings.
For the second month running, there was no report from PCSO Rebecca Carey, and the meeting expressed its regret for this, emphasising how much her reports are valued.
b) A complaint had been received from Ruth Chambers about noisy motorcycles at night, picking up from the Nadon Thai restaurant in Crossgate and making deliveries. Roger had also seen a Deliveroo delivery motorbike with L plates: research suggested that this would be prohibitively expensive to insure. It was noted that these two instances raised separate issues, and Roger was asked to refer them both to the police.
c) It was agreed that our priorities continue to be student nuisance, dangerous cycling and the use of mobile phones while driving, with the clarification that dangerous and inconsiderate cycling includes the practices of delivery drivers.
d) Future format of PACT meetings: police shift patterns have for some time made the timing of our meetings difficult for police to attend, and Roger's recent conversation with Steve Bell revealed that a recent change now meant that neither he nor Rebecca would be able to attend in future. The meeting agreed that we could not claim to be holding PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings without police attendance, and that written reports were no substitute for police presence. It was also noted that since the introduction of a PACT element into CCP meetings, other PACT meetings have been set up covering the City as a whole. Roger was therefore asked to write to the police, asking whether they continue to find attendance at our meetings useful.
4. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
5. Council Consultation on Letting Boards
The Council's Consultation on Letting Boards was still open for comments, and Jean Rogers had submitted comments on behalf of the CCP. She was thanked for doing this. Cllr Richard Ormerod has been encouraging people to submit comments, and those present were likewise encouraged to do so.
6. Bus Station "Consultation"
The Ombudsman's office has allocated the same case officer to investigate complaints from Roger and Simon Squires, as they requested.
Roger's Freedom of Information request has been met in part: his request for the responses to the 2016 consultation has been turned down, in part on the grounds that these documents will eventually be published. However, he has been analysing the responses to the 2014 consultation (published on the WhatDoTheyKnow website): of 62 unique responses:
  • 10 were critical of the consultation in Blockbusters
  • 13 supporting proposals for the North Road, without discussing the Bus Station
  • 2 commented on North Road but neither supported nor opposed the Council's proposals
  • 18 opposed proposals for North Road
  • 8 Supported Bus Station proposals
  • 8.5 commented on the Bus Station but neither supported nor opposed the Council's proposals
  • 31.5 were critical of the design of Bus Station
The half vote is from Cllr Patrick Conway, whose email said on the one hand / on the other hand. This does not demonstrate the "broad public support" the Council has been claiming.
The Council is now expected to submit its planning application in July.
7. 24 The Avenue
A further planning application had been submitted in respect of 24 The Avenue, this time for the construction of 12 one and two bedroom flats in a building that has the appearance of three terraced dwellings. Although no site notice had yet appeared in the Avenue, Ann Evans had received a neighbour consultation letter, and had already sent in an objection. The 12 separate units, of one or two bedrooms each, would each be too small to require licensing as an HMO, and the feeling of the meeting was that this was an attempt to evade regulation: but the development could accurately be described as purpose built student accommodation, and the application should be treated as being for a PBSA. If this was not the applicant's intention, presumably some condition such as a minimum age, could be imposed. It was agreed that Roger would submit an objection on behalf of the CCP.
8. Town Council
The launch meeting which Roberta Blackman-Woods had held in the Town Hall was packed, and the Town Council consultation was now starting: the Council would be sending out letters imminently, one per elector. Members were encouraged to return a response, and to urge others to do so.
9. Neighbourhood Plan
The NPF were now planning their consultation to run from March 1st to April 17th (Easter). The official launch would be at the AGM on February 17th. The draft plan is available to read on the NPF website.
10. Reports from Local Councillors
a) Cllr Nigel Martin reported that he had met Stuart Timmiss (Head of Planning) and Ian Thompson (Corporate Director of Regeneration and Economic Development) about the number of problems with planning enforcement: too many things were being built which were not in accordance with the planning consent, and were then being allowed retrospectively. The Council are apparently afraid of losing at appeal.
He had also complained of the unhelpful attitude of planning officers, who appeared to see it as no part of their job to help councillors on planning committees express their decisions in a legally sound form. This was blamed on the "conservatism" of the Legal Department.
Nigel felt, and the meeting agreed with him, that this was not good enough.
b) Cllr Richard Ormerod was chasing the Highways Department about relaying the cobbles in Crossgate to reduce traffic noise: he stressed that the cobbles would be retained.
11. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th March.