Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 9th April 2018

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Ann Evans, Francis Gotto, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, David Ramsden, Carole Reeves, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Kevin Turrington
Cllr Liz Brown
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Lesley Aers, Mike Costello, Alan Doig, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. PACT meetings
Ann Evans had attended the March meeting, and reported that attendance had been very low, though this may have been due (in part or entirely) to the weather, which was atrocious.
Much police time had been taken up by the Easter Fair on The Sands. This annual event had begun to attract young people bringing their own alcoholic drinks and consequently their behaviour creates problems and deters families from attending. Police were very dissatisfied with the management of the fair in dealing with this. In addition, this year (as a result of weather conditions) the ground had become very muddy, and the fair was closed for one day on Health and Safety grounds. The police would like the use of the ground terminated for future years and the meeting agreed to make this a PACT priority.
The Police reported a small number of burglaries, the theft of a bicycle and three thefts from vehicles - people were reminded not to leave valuables on view in parked cars.
Preparations are in hand for extra patrols during the return of students after the Easter vacation.
Ann will attend the next PACT meeting (on 2nd May) and invited people to pass on any issues they would like her to raise.
5. Heavy lorries using the route through the centre of Durham
Margaret Jefferson described her observation of lorries at the traffic lights at the foot of The Peth, and her perception that these were increasing not only in weight but also in length, to the extent that some of them have real difficulty getting round corners. Given the existence of the motorway, do large lorries need to come through the City, and if not, how can they prevented from taking this route? Is it possible to impose additional weight limits? Brendan McKeown gave the specific example of lorries who reached the 'bus gate' in the North Road, and, not knowing where to go next, were driving up Neville Street. Cllr Liz Brown replied that her fellow councillor, Elizabeth Scott, has been working with the Highways department on traffic issues, and had hoped to invite an officer to attend our meeting: she was currently unavailable for family reasons, but would be pursuing the matter; meanwhile, Liz will do what she can.
6. Detailing of Riverwalk development.
Jean Rogers pointed out that past meetings have heard repeated complaints about aspects of the Riverwalk development, in particular the shiny black panelling of the entrance, and the industrial appearance of the roofs.
  • Roger Cornwell had written in January to Henry Jones, Senior Planning Officer in charge of the development, asking whether the cladding at the entrance, which he took for plastic, was in accordance with the approved plan. He had received the response that " This was approved under a discharge of the materials condition. The material you refer to is not a plastic but a black glass and it was therefore intended to feature on the elevation." (e-mail, 29.01.18)
  • In addition, Douglas Pocock had written on behalf of the City of Durham Trust, querying both the cladding at the entrance and the roofing material. The reply, sent on 21.03.18, included the explanation that "The roofing material on the kiosks was chosen so as to match with the roofscape of the wider redevelopment. Again an alternative could have been to use slate on the kiosks to better reflect Lambton View but then this would not reflect the new development of which it is part of."
This appeared to be saying that given a choice between matching the interior of the development, and harmonising with the surrounding of the wider city, the former option had been preferred. Jean asked whether the guidance of any conservation / heritage officers within the Council had been sought. Liz agreed to find out who the relevant person would be.
7. Parish / Town Council elections
Crossgate residents live in Elvet and Gilesgate have 15 candidates for six places; Neville's Cross residents have 24 candidates for eight places. The meeting welcomed this well contested election. The large number of candidates does, however, make it very unlikely that any sort of hustings can be organised. Carole Reeves had tried without success to persuade the Labour Party to take this on. Since canvassers were meeting some confusion on this question, it was emphasised that voters have as many votes as there are seats in their ward, and can use as many or as few of them as they wish.
8. Reports from Local Councillors
The meeting sent its condolences to Elizabeth on the death of her father.
Cllr David Freeman had circulated the appeal decision, upholding the Council's refusal to permit use of uPVC windows in Mowbray Street; this was welcomed.
Liz had received a request from the traffic department to close Elvet Hill Road for a day, to accommodate a funfair for Trev's Day. She had opposed this, and had raised it with PCSO Rebecca Carey, who was also opposed. The request was withdrawn.
9. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 1st May.