Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 3rd December 2018

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Mike Costello, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Ann Stokes, Kevin Turrington, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Carole Reeves.
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Ann Evans, Simon Squires,
Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Elizabeth Scott.
3. Minutes
Cllr Richard Ormerod had sent in a written report, which was circulated ahead of the November meeting; with this addition, the minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. PACT meetings
a) Mike Costello had attended the Durham City PACT meeting and reported that it was business as usual. However, Jean Rogers, who has also attended, had been disappointed to learn that police ability to deal with noise in the streets was extremely limited. Current regulations meant that they had no powers to intervene short of arrest, and could only arrest if the case met a 'necessity test'. A subsequent e-mail from Sgt Kay Howarth had set out the history and the criteria of the test, and remarked that "We often find that if some one is committing an offence and refuses details and we arrest them (often this relates to students), when we get them into custody, they provide full details and the necessity test then no longer applies and they are de-arrested as they no longer meet the necessity test. Very frustrating for us!"
PCSO Rebecca Carey had added that staffing levels currently mean that police can patrol in the City either by day or at night, but not both; there would therefore be no more night-time patrols until the end of term.
b) Cllr Liz Brown had attended the Neville's Cross PACT meeting, which had been concerned almost exclusively with car crime. She added that a student had been hit by a van at the Neville's Cross traffic lights
c) Kevin Turrington had had difficulty establishing which beat team had responsibility for the area around Parkside / North Road / Rushford Court: Roger Cornwell would write to the police and ask for clarification.
5. Planning Applications
a) DM/18/02369/FPA New County HQ: the Environment Agency has still not submitted a report, and the Planning Officers are now talking of scheduling the application for the January Planning Committee meeting. Even this was felt to be optimistic. Meanwhile, the news media were reporting a fall in the value of shares in Kier, the Council's chosen developer.
b) DM/18/02545/FPA 30 Nevilledale Terrace: The application for cladding to the external wall had been withdrawn. Sarah Wilkinson would write to Pam Glaister to ask what enforcement action the Council now intends to take.
c) DM/18/00291/FPA 24 The Avenue: Liz had asked Pam Glaister whether any enforcement action was being taken on the non-compliant uPVC windows in the light well, and had received a reply referring to the side window. She would write again.
d) DM/18/03418/FPA 24 Mistletoe Street: This application to convert a family home (C3) to HMO (C4) would be considered at the next Parish Council Planning Committee. Neighbours were aldo encouraged to comment. Liz would be objecting in her rôle as County Councillor.
e) Margaret Jefferson alerted the meeting that 22 Allergate, a very old and Grade II Listed building, had changed hands. She was particularly concerned that changes could be made unobserved to the historic interior. Roger would make an official approach to the Conservation Department.
6. NORA Committee Meeting
Mike Costello had attended a meeting of the committee of NORA (the National Organisation of Residents' Associations) with MHCLG (the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) Chief Planner and two civil servants; this seemed to be a first step towards continuing communication rather than annual meetings, but MHCLG were asking for terms of reference. Mike asked each of the City residents' groups to suggest terms of reference.
7. Student Behaviour
a) Proposals for a club to compile photographs for national distribution to press, and new website arose from Kevin's shocked reaction to student behaviour which he had observed at Newcastle Station and on the train in the evening. There was similar bad behaviour in the streets, but this had been exceptional. Unfortunately he had not had a phone with him with which to video it, but it had set him thinking about how photographic evidence, if it existed, could best be displayed.
There was a wide-ranging discussion of this question. It was agreed that there was no technical problem with uploading videos to a platform such as YouTube, and that this also had the advantage of being familiar to the potential audience. Would doing this constitute a breach of privacy rights and / or GDPR regulations? It was generally thought not, if behaviour recorded was public and individuals were not named or identified.
Mike and John Ashby offered to raise the issue in the forthcoming DURF meeting.
b) Margaret asked who should be contacted about problems with bins? Cllr Richard Ormerod suggested a relevant Council Officer.
c) Operation Brill: Mike had been invited to a meeting called by Andrea Arthur, Neighbourhood Inspector for Durham, in the Durham BID office. Constant night-time patrols would use up all available police time, which was not possible. But in December Operation Brill would commit four police officers plus two PCSOs plus two neighbourhood wardens to patrols. Mike would circulate contact details to local Googlegroups. Parish Councillors present noted that the Council had not been approached about the operation, and wondered why not.
d) General: Cllr Esther Ashby would confer with Hannah Shepherd (the University's Community Liaison Officer) about resuming their 'Shhh' campaign (encouraging students to be aware of noise in the streets) in the New Year. There were different opinions about possible designs, and the question arose whether residents and University should each run their own campaign, or whether they should merge.
e) Cllr John Ashby repeated his appeal for members to consider volunteering for the Task Force; Cllr Carole Reeves had responded to his earlier appeal, and had already been invited to a meeting.
8. Reports from County Councillors
a) Richard was concerned about traffic speeds on Crossgate: residents were worried that when Riverwalk is completed, traffic will increase. He will be meeting Dave Lewin (Strategic Transport at DCC) to discuss options such as reversing direction of one way travel, and may want to bring the issue back to the CCP's January meeting.
b) Liz thanked Ann Stokes for alerting her to the application for a change from C3 to C4 (HMO) in Palatine View - this will probably not be granted.
The Neville's Cross Christmas Fair had been a big success, and will probably be repeated next year.
She and Cllr Elizabeth Scott were campaigning for a 20 mph speed limit around the five (of seven) schools in the area where this is not already in force. There is no County Council funding for this.
Mount Oswald residents were complaining of builders who were disregarding conditions.
9. Reports from City Councillors
a) Carole was aware that while everything the Council did was being done for the first time, it was inevitably more laborious than it would when it was up and running.
b) Esther emphasised that the Neville's Cross fair had been largely delivered by student volunteers from Ustinov College.
Agreement had been obtained for a Christmas tree within the corner of Duresme Court.
The proposed Public Space Protection Order for Flass Vale would not go ahead.
The Licensing Committee was about to meet.
c) John reported that as of the following Monday, the Parish would have its own Clerk, initially for 10 hours a week, but rising to 25 in the New Year.
The Planning Committee was looking at a very large number of Planning Applications. It was taking time to establish the standing of the Committee with the County Council Planning Officers (in listing their comments as from a statutory consultee, and recognising their right to call decisions in to committee).
He would be at the County Planning Committee the following day, when three separate applications for Milburngate would be considered.
d) Roger had complained about Revolution bar's illuminated sign on Framwellgate Bridge, and the Planning Department had given them a month to take it down. They had now, at last, applied for planning permission (and been told it was unlikely to be granted).
He would be unable to attend the DURF meeting the following Friday, as it clashed with the Parish Licensing Committee:
  1. The Committee met just too late to comment on the Gin Company proposals for Riverwalk (planning consent has already been granted).
  2. There is an application from Bar 33 (formerly the Fish Tank); Brendan McKeown had not yet seen a blue notice advertising this, but will check.
  3. The proposed hotel on the Milburngate site has applied for a round-the-clock residents' licence, plus a late license for non-residents.
10. Dates of meetings in 2019
In 2019 our meeting room will not be available on Mondays. It was agreed that we should alternate between the first Tuesday and the first Thursday of the month, subject to availability.
11. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting, on Tuesday 8th January, will be our AGM.