Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 6th March 2018

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Simon Priestley, Carole Reeves, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Val Standen, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Liz Brown
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Lesley Aers, Alan Doig, Ann Evans, Grenville Holland, David Ramsden, Clare Wright
Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. Matter arising: Planning Application DM/18/00058/FPA (The Lodge, Laburnum Avenue)
This application will be considered by the Committee on Tuesday 13th March; the officers are recommending refusal, and Cllr Liz Brown will be speaking against the application.
5. Managing Flass Lane
Val Standen, representing the Friends of Flass Vale committee, explained that the Committee feel that Flass Lane could be managed to make it safer, more useful and attractive - and an improved green corridor. She described the route of the Lane, which linked Allergate with Fieldhouse Lane before the construction of the railway viaduct, Sutton Street etc. It now consists of: the steps and lane leading from Flass Street to Ainsley Street running past Flass Well below the Miners Hall, Ainsley Street and the lane between Ainsley Street and Back Western Hill. The whole is a single historic route, but it is now broken up into adopted roads and paths which have not been claimed as Rights of Way.
The recently installed metal posts at the bottom of this lane were seen as very successful; the corresponding wooden posts at the top of the lane were less satisfactory, and there was some discussion of whether these could be upgraded: would the developers of the County Hospital site contribute, as they had to the bollards? Liz, as local councillor, has been pressing for improvements, but the Council are reluctant to act since the road is unadopted. Nonetheless, she feels that Section 106 money should be available to fund it, and the Probation Service would be willing to take on the work (although not immediately, as they have a backlog).
Roger Cornwell talked about the historic route which was broken by the railway, and the research Gwladwyn Ashby had done into it; it was possible that her documentation might support the claim of Flass Lane as a historic highway. In any case, there should be no difficulty in establishing the 20 years of continuous use necessary to claim it as a Right of Way.
Discussion also covered the need for management of the wooded bank below the Miners' Hall at Redhills, and the potential impact of the redevelopment of the Companions Club.
The CCP expressed its strong support for the proposals of the Friends, and asked Val to keep us informed of progress.
6. February PACT meeting
Liz had attended the meeting, and reported that since the previous meeting (i.e., in the last month) 35 warning notices had been issued as a result of 11 house parties; 4 individuals from two houses were now on their second warning, and four (student) dispersal notices had been issued (to the Gospel Project in the North Road).
There had been 14 bike thefts in the last month (the police had a suspect in their sights).
A 21 year old had been arrested in connection with the 'LOST' graffiti throughout the City.
Liz was not able to attend the following day's PACT meeting, but no other volunteer was forthcoming.
7. Parish / Town Council elections
Jean Rogers had asked for this item to be placed on the Agenda since nominations would both open and close before our next meeting. The CCP is non-partisan, but agrees in the desire to see a good level of engagement in the election and the resultant Council. No opening date for nominations had yet been published, but people were encouraged to stand for election. With so many seats to be filled, hustings might be difficult to manage, but interest was expressed, and Carole Reeves offered to pursue this through the Labour Party.
8. Other Business
a) Cladding on walls and roof of Riverwalk (formerly The Gates): No reply had yet been received from Cllr Richard Ormerod; Roger would remind him.
b) A-boards: Liz asked whether anything could be done about these advertising boards which obstruct the sometimes narrow pavements; are they something on which Neighbourhood Wardens can take action? Roger replied that this is an issue which has already been discussed by the City of Durham Trust; it is also an accessibility issue.
c) Publicity for University 'Consultation' meeting: A show of hands revealed that while not everyone had received the leaflets (supposedly delivered to every house in the City), most had.
9. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Monday 9th April (April 2nd is Easter Monday).