Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 8th January 2019

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Mike Costello, Ann Evans, Francis Gotto, Fiona Lowrie, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Simon Priestley, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Kevin Turrington, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Carole Reeves.
Roger Cornwell announced the recent death of Jeff Young, former City Councillor and member of the Crossgate Community Partnership.
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Bob Banks, Margaret Jefferson, David Ramsden,
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott.

Annual General Meeting

3. The Annual Report
previously circulated, was approved. There were no questions.
4. Accounts
The Financial Statement, previously circulated and now appended to the Annual Report, was approved.
5. Trustees
The following had been nominated as trustees, and were appointed: Liz Brown, Roger Cornwell, Ann Evans, Simon Priestley and Simon Squires.
The Partnership continues without a Secretary, and Roger repeated the Annual Report's thanks to Jean Rogers for taking the minutes.

Ordinary Meeting

6. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
7. PACT meetings
Ann Evans had attended the Durham City PACT meeting and described her continuing frustration at the Police insistence that they had no powers to deal with disorder in the streets: even reports of a student party taking place in the street had led to no action.
She had also reported to the meeting the recent crash in the Avenue, in which a driver appeared to have lost control on the bend: she argued for more and clearer warnings that this is a steep hill. Cllr Liz Brown added that it was recognised that the Avenue is increasingly being used as a rat run, but that there were no powers which could be used to prevent this. The CCP could ask for a 20 mph zone to be established in the Avenue, as part of the approach to St Margaret's Primary School. Cllr Elizabeth Scott had been meeting the Highways Department about the use of these zones.
8. Relocation of John Snow College to Rushford Court
Following notice from the University that they intended to occupy Rushford Court as John Snow College for the coming year, Roger had invited them to attend tonight's meeting and discuss issues with local residents: he had received no reply, but assumed that this was because of university vacations.
Kevin Turrington had heard that after its period as John Snow College, Rushford Court would serve as accommodation for Hild/Bede College during renovations there. He was concerned at the potential for changes at a location which was currently working well, and supported the need for proper consultation.
Frances Gotto reported a conversation with one of the student residents of the Court, which seems at present to be only two thirds full.
Liz reported that Hannah Shepherd (the University's Community Liaison Officer) is in conversation with Carolyn Summerbell, principal of John Snow, and hoped to accompany her to the CCP's February meeting.
9. Planning Applications
a) DM/18/02369/FPA New County HQ: the Parish Council has sent a solicitor's letter warning the County Council that it would be unlawful to proceed with this development on the current basis, citing the inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Assessment and conflicts with the current Local Plan and NPPF. They have received an acknowledgement, with a promise of a full reply in due course. Simon Priestley pointed out that supporting documents for the application did not seem to include a formal business case, which would be normal in public service, and Roger agreed he would check this.
b) DM/18/02545/FPA 30 Nevilledale Terrace: the applicant no longer proposes to clad the existing wall, and has accepted that it will be necessary to rebuild: the Parish Council had welcomed the application to do so, with some caveats about materials / safety of the proposed gate. Sarah Wilkinson confirmed this approach. She also emphasised the need to preserve access along the lane during building work.
c) DM/18/00291/FPA 24 The Avenue: discussion at our December meeting made it clear that Pam Glaister has misunderstood which windows were being complained of. Liz had taken this up with Pam, and been promised a reply "in due course". She would chase this.
d) DM/18/02983/FPA Farnley Tower: Fiona Lowrie had studied the applicant's response to objections, now on the Council's website, which replied only to the objection from the Parish Council, not to those from local residents. It denies that the takeaway operation creates parking problems. It also denies that planning consent, once granted, can ever lapse. Roger would revisit the application, but noted that it does not seem to have been called in to decision by Committee, and must by now be too late to do this.
e) DM/18/03671/FPA extension to cottage at rear of 22 Allergate: Bob Banks had provided Roger with information about this extension, on the basis of which the Parish Council would object to the application, and ask for it to be called in.
f) DM/18/03487/VOC Odeon Cinema open till 3.00 am in The Riverwalk: the Parish Council had objected to late opening, as had the Police and a resident of Lambton Walk. It was generally felt that late nights were not appropriate in this mixed residential and commercial site.
g) DM/18/03828/FPA 16 Laburnum Avenue: application to expand an HMO which Mike Costello would oppose.
10. Use of Sutton Street as an alternative taxi rank
Kevin reported that taxis / Uber cars were waiting on yellow lines: traffic wardens appeared able only to remind them that they should not do this. Many keep their headlights on, and these shine into the windows of houses on Parkside. Kevin has been asking them not to do this, but some drivers object, and the police have asked him to desist. Would it be possible to have bollards installed along the edge of the pavement?
Liz responded that the County Council would not pay for bollards; police will not act on parking on double yellow lines, but traffic wardens go off duty at 5.00 pm.
Roger added that while the County Council will not pay for bollards, this is something that ward councillors could fund; alternatively, the Parish Council could look at funding bollards or enforcement staff.
11. The Three Bridges, North Road
The seating area outside this pub (formerly Yates' / William Hedley) had for some time been an occupation of the public highway. It has now been completely enclosed, with access only from within the pub. Roger had queried this, and Liz had discovered that while they did have permission for a limited "outdoor seating area", this did not include astroturf or barriers. The Council is now on the case.
12. Bar 33 Application for an Amended Licence
Bar 33, formerly the Fish Tank, is now under new ownership. The Parish Council had initially objected to its application for a late licence, but after a meeting with the applicant, had withdrawn their objection. Brendan McKeown was unhappy that this was a change of policy, and left him, as the only permanent resident in the street, sole objector. It was felt that this was primarily something to be resolved by the Parish Council, but Mike suggested the CCP ask the Parish Council for a general policy.
13. Reports from County Councillors
a) Liz has been invited to meet County Councillor Carl Marshall and Dave Wafer, Traffic Manager, for a briefing about their plans for the North Road.
She had arranged a delivery of salt for the kerbside bins.
There was a possibility of cameras to stop unauthorised traffic using the bus and taxi-only part of North Road.
b) The meeting expressed its condolences to Cllr Richard Ormerod on the death of his mother.
14. Reports from City Councillors
a) Cllr Grenville Holland explained that he had been inactive during a period of illness, but was now making a good recovery, and looked forward to being more active.
b) Roger explained that Cllrs John and Esther Ashby had sent their apologies as they were at the meeting of St Nicholas's Community Forum.
c) Roger reported that the Parish Council had now appointed its Clerk, and was looking for accommodation for him.
The Planning Committee meets fortnightly on Friday afternoons; the Environment Committee is meeting monthly; the Finance Committee would meet the following Friday to discuss the budget for the coming year. All of these are open to the public, and details are posted on the Council website.
15. Other business
The County Council has now published the Submission Draft of the County Plan.
16. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th February.