Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 6th November 2018

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Mike Costello, Francis Gotto, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Simon Priestley, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Carole Reeves.
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, Kevin Turrington,
Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott.
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. PACT meetings
Roger Cornwell had been telephoned by PCSO Rebecca Carey, who informed him that the next City Centre PACT meeting, although it does not appear on the Police website, would take place on Wednesday November 14th. Ann Evans confirmed that she would be able to attend.
5. Planning Applications
a) DM/18/02369/FPA New County HQ: this was not listed for the November Planning Committee meeting; the Planning Department was waiting to hear from the Environment Agency, who are having trouble running a computer model of the flood risk of the site, apparently because of a shortage of data.  SNCF (Saint Nicholas' Community Forum) had been running a leafletting campaign against the development: since this is a city-wide issue, Roger had suggested to them that the CCP might be approached to share the costs of this, but no such application had yet been received. Mike Costello moved that the CCP contribute £56 towards the cost of the leaflets, if requested; this was seconded by Jean Rogers and carried nem.con.
b) DM/18/02545/FPA 30 Nevilledale Terrace: The case is awaiting determination by delegated powers. An objection from the Highways Agency had been posted to the Planning Portal, since the thickness of the cladding means that it overlaps the highway. Roger will write to the PLanning Department, pointing out the legal position.
6. Distribution of leaflets to students and residents
Leaflets were now available. Some members had contacted Hannah Shepherd and obtained leaflets which they had distributed to their neighbours. Francis Gotto had given leaflets to his student neighbours, and felt that they had been well received. Brendan McKeown had also distributed leaflets locally, and gained the impression that students had already received the Police leaflet. He emphasised the importance of getting the leaflets out at the very beginning of the year.
Cllr Esther Ashby expected to join Hannah Shepherd (the University's Community Liaison Officer) in making return visits to PBSAs: they are trying to build relationships with management, and access for the distribution of leaflets was one of the things that might be negotiated.
7. Dun Holm House
Dun Holm House had opened at the end of September, despite building work still being in progress. There had been press reports of dissatisfaction from student residents. Meanwhile, access arrangements still left students crossing the road in traffic, rather than making the detour to use the crossing: there seemed no reason to expect this to stop when building was complete.
8. Student Behaviour
a) General: Mike's impression was that it was worse than ever. Ann had called the police to a party (which Jean and Roger had also heard) at 11.30 pm (the police had arrived at 1.00 am, by which time the party was over). According to Hannah Shepherd, 8 warning notices had been issued to date. It was reported that the University (a team led by Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Colleges and Student Experience) was working on a Code of Conduct which was almost but not quite ready.
Cllr John Ashby had attended a meeting of the Community Engagement Task Force: unsurprisingly, everything was seen from a University perspective. More community input was needed, and there were a number of subgroups for which community volunteers were being sought: John would circulate information about this to the mailing list.
Cllr Liz Brown had received notification of a party organised by the President of DSU in "celebration" of the University and Community, but unfortunately she had been unable to attend. She had heard about this because she and the DSU President are friends on FaceBook: he did not seem to have made any formal approaches to community representatives.
b) This item, about a Club to compile photographs for national distribution to press, and new website had been placed on the agenda at the request of members who were unable to attend this month's meeting. In the absence of any other information, it was deferred to the December meeting.
9. Illegal HMOs
Mike reported a new illegal HMO in Mistletoe Street; he would send details to Liz, who would pursue it with the Council.
Roger was seeing a pattern of planning applications for certificates of lawful use, which he interpreted as HMOs being sold, and the vendor being asked to establish that their status was lawful.
Liz had prepared a document setting out All You Need to Know about AMOs; Jean would upload it to the website.
10. Regulation 7 on Letting Boards
The request for a Regulation 7 (submitted in June 2018) was still with the Secretary of State: Neil Carter of the Council's Legal and Democratic Services team had told Roger that an Inspector has been appointed.
The meeting noted a recent article in Palatinate about students camping outside letting agencies as lettings opened on November 1st, and reiterated our belief that pressure to sign up early is harmful to students.
11. Reports from County Councillor(s)
Liz's current activities have focussed on HMOs and To Let signs, which had already been discussed.
She warned Simon Squires that as sole permanent resident in the street, he would be consulted about marked bays for on street parking.
Cllr Richard Ormerod had sent in a written report, which was circulated ahead of the meeting.
12. Reports from City Councillors
a) John reported that the Council had held an 'away evening' to decide its priorities.
It was taking advice about legal action on the County HQ.
He urged members to consider volunteering for the Task Force.
A coalition was being formed to oppose the proposed Northern and Western Relief Roads.
The Parish Council has agreed to take over the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Council's Planning Committee was opposing a number of planning applications, such as the move of the coach drop-off to Belmont Park and Ride.
Residents had asked the council to intervene in tree felling by Network Rail.
b) Esther had been unable to attend the Environment Committee which had been addressed about a Public Space Protection Order for Flass Vale; this may not be legally possible.
The Licensing Committee had not yet met, but was working on an application for a variation of the licensing conditions on The Loft. Brendan commented that conditions required doors to be kept closed to prevent sound pollution, but it was possible this was not enforced: local (student) residents complained about the noise.
c) Carole Reeves reported that the Personnel Committee had met to and made an appointment of a permanent Parish Clerk.
The Council had been addressed by students asking it to put forward a motion on accommodation fees. Durham has, apparently, the most expensive accommodation in the country, and it is in the interest of residents that college accommodation should be affordable.
d) Roger had asked the Planning Department whether Revolution bar had planning permission for their illuminated sign on Framwellgate Bridge, and had been told that no application had been received. John added that he had been talking to Council Enforcement Officer Pam Glaister about refuse bins which had been displaced onto the roadway by the construction of the glasshouse.
The Parish Council had welcomed the reinstatement of the heron sculpture from Lumiere, but thought the wrong location had been chosen. They had hoped to discuss this with planners, and were disappointed that consent had been given under delegated powers, and the sculpture installed without reference to the City Council.
13. Dates of meetings in 2019
In 2019 our meeting room will not be available on Mondays. Roger had received messages from several members who would prefer not to hold all meetings on a Tuesday. He was asked to confirm what alternatives were available, and to circulate the options ahead of our December meeting.
14. Other Business
Frances had been researching the history of the old buildings in Back Western Hill: they were an old car repair workshop, and before that a brewery. He hoped to get them designated as a Community Asset. It was pointed out that they are already listed in the Conservation Area Report as a Non-Designated Heritage Asset. He was encouraged to ask the City Council, as owner of the Neighbourhood Plan, to agenda this.
15. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Monday 3rd December 2018.