Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 7th May 2019

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson
Cllr Liz Brown,
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Carole Reeves
Cllr Roger Cornwell welcomed members to the meeting, and apologised for the disruption caused by the fire alarm.
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Mike Costello, Simon Priestley, David Ramsden,
Louise Fowler (Unite Students)
Cllr Alan Doig, 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 previous week's City PACT meeting. She had been concerned to learn that police had been told not to enforce the ban on drinking in areas covered by a Public Spaces Protection Order. Cllr Esther Ashby volunteered to liaise with Cllr Liz Brown about finding out from County Hall what the problem is. Cllr John Ashby emphasised the urgency of the County Council getting to work to renew the designation before it expires in October. Police also felt that they did not have adequate personnel to enforce controls on rough sleepers: they were hoping for new powers to ban designated individuals from the City under the renewed PSPO.
PCSO Rebecca Carey goes on maternity leave in July; her maternity leave replacement will be PCSO Sean Tindale. but not on Saturdays.
5. Proposed New County HQ on the Sands
a) Judicial Review update: Roger explained the process, and the point that has been reached. The County Council has responded to the Parish Council's challenge, and does not intend to back down.
b) The Crowdfunding appeal has more than met its initial target, and continues to climb towards its stretch goal. The crowdfunding platform can only accept online payments, and there was some discussion of workarounds available to people who prefer not to do this. Jean Rogers proposed that the CCP should make a donation. Treasurer Simon Squires reported that our current funds stand at £1131.60; our annual expenditure is £259. In the light of this, it was agreed to donate £250 to the appeal.
c) Tree felling and wildlife: The County Council had given itself consent for the felling of trees within the car park and between the car park and the river. The Parish Council had engaged an ecologist, who reported that the trees were not of great importance, but that there should be no felling within the nesting season (DCC had further undertaken not to fell trees until the judicial review is resolved). The ecologist had also found otter spraint along the river bank (otters are a protected species). It was recommended that Durham Wildlife Trust be contacted about this.
6 Planning Application DM/19/00855/FPA: Erection of detached bungalow adjacent to Flass Bungalow, Flass Vale
This is Green Belt land. The Parish Council will oppose the application, and Liz has called it in to committee.
7. Unauthorised sign at Revolution bar
Roger had written to Pam Glaister (the Council's Senior Enforcement Officer) asking about progress on removal of this sign, and she had replied that "an Enforcement Notice will be served upon the company this week" and that it was to have been removed voluntarily, but this "clearly has not been the case".
John noted that there are additional issues concerning Revolution: residents of St Helen's Well had complained of noise from a recent event.
8. Durham University / Residents' Forum
Roger would be unable to represent the CCP at the meeting on June 17th: he asked for a volunteer to substitute for him. In the past Simon Priestley has done this, so it was agreed that Simon should be asked whether he would do so again; if not, Liz volunteered to stand in.
9. Reports from County Councillors
a) Liz reported that Cllr Elizabeth Scott had received a complaint about buses leaving their engines running while waiting in the Bus Station, and was looking into it.
b) The 20 mph zone around St Margaret's School, for which they had both been pressing, was in the Cabinet papers.
c) The County Council will not provide bollards outside Rushford Court, to prevent use of the street as an unofficial taxi rank.
10. Reports from Parish Councillors
a) Roger reported that the Neighbourhood Plan is about to start its final consultation stage; members were urged to participate, attend open sessions, make comments.
He also pointed out that the Council has set aside a budget to make awards to the community.
b) Liz reported that the Parish Council had been unsuccessful in opposing late opening for the Odeon cinema at DCC Planning Committee; but would also oppose the terms of the license, and try to reduce the hours in that way.
c) Esther reported that the Council was close to finalising an agreement with DCC to fund additional hours for an Enforcement Officer, with specific attention to parking and dog fouling. They were also about to advertise for someone to do odd jobs in the Parish (such as cleaning road signs and weeding verges).
She was also a member of the Economic sub-group of the University's Engagement Task Force, which was becoming very dissatisfied with the University's understanding of 'engagement'.
d) John had circulated the summary of key decisions prepared by the Clerk to the Council. The design of a logo was progressing.
e) Cllr Carole Reeves was talking to a group of people about St Margaret's churchyard.
11. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 6th June.