Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 1st August 2019

1. Attendance
Present: Simon Priestley (in the Chair), Gillian Banks, Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, John Knowles, Sheila Knowles, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Dot Patterson, Sally Patterson, David Ramsden, Sarah Wilkinson
Louise Fowler (Unite Students), Richard Freeman (John Snow College), Keith Evans (Bursar, John Snow College)
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Malcolm Reed, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes
Hannah Shepherd (the University's Community Liaison Officer)
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cllr Richard Ormerod,
Cllr Roger Cornwell, Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland and Cllr Carol Reeves
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record, subject to two corrections to minor spelling mistakes which would be amended.
4. Move of John Snow College into Rushford Court: Recent updates
Keith Evans of Durham University, Richard Freeman of John Snow College and Louise Fowler of Unite Students were present to give an update on the reception of students to Rushford Court. New students (mostly first year with a few post-graduates) would arrive in Durham on 21st September. Those arriving by car would, as stated at the previous CCP meeting, enter the site by the main entrance and there would be a one-way system enabling them to exit into Albert Street. All car drivers would be provided with a map. To meet the issues raised by Malcolm Reed at the previous meeting, 57 student marshals had been recruited who would assist in unloading vehicles and keeping cars moving. After leaving the site, cars could be parked at St Leonardís School or at County Hall; the parking arrangements were yet to be finalised. Start and finish times for arrival on 21st September had been communicated to all new students and police had been notified. It was noted that the main arrivals for the university would be on Sunday, September 22nd. Fortnightly meetings of University and Unite Students staff were being held to monitor arrangements. Any queries should be addressed to Louise Fowler at Rushford Court.
5. Lumière
There will be an artwork at Rushford Court during the Lumière Festival in November. This would involve light and music and there will be projections onto the walls of the new buildings to give the public the best opportunity to view them. The display would be animated by players of a "doctored" grand piano. Student marshals would be recruited and briefed to assist with Artichoke staff on matters of security.
Lumière are seeking to recruit suitable players for the piano. Details will be circulated to CCP members.
6. PACT meeting / policing issues
No representative of the police was present and there was no PACT meeting report.
7. Proposed New County HQ on the Sands
a) The closure of the Car and Coach parks at Freeman's Place to enable works to start on the new County Hall had been announced at very short notice. There were still outstanding issues to be resolved: in particular the report of the Environment Agency, the status of the Common Land and the possible presence of otters (a protected species). Once the coach park is closed it will once again be available as common land. There was still no agreement on the alternative location for the common land.
b) There was a brief discussion on the problems that will be caused by the change in parking arrangements for visiting coaches together with those being used by the schools to drop off pupils at Freeman's Quay. Concern was expressed about the proposed access arrangements.
8. Clean and Green Parish
There is a proposal for the Parish Council to contract with DCC for an enhanced service to the parish to meet the Clean and Green agenda. It was stressed that this should be over and above the service provided by DCC and would be carefully monitored by the Parish Clerk on behalf of the Council. The sorts of tasks in mind are: litter picking, street sweeping, street sign and road sign cleaning and other "handy" tasks such as painting, general handyman tasks.
Suggestions were made around the provision of handrails in certain areas and the maintenance of steps. If members have any further thoughts about how such a service might be used it was proposed that these be submitted to Simon Priestley.
Cllr Esther Ashby mentioned that the Parish Council had now got funds for planting trees in appropriate locations. Questions were asked as to whether there was a restricted list of trees that could be used and if the grant could cover wildflowers. Esther stated that some of the details needed to be clarified and she would bring details to a future meeting.
9. Planning Application DM/19/01418/FPA 24 Nevilledale Terrace
There was a brief discussion on this item. It was agreed that Crossgate Community Partnership would formally object to the above application supporting the Parish Council's detailed argument and ask that planning permission be refused. Given that the Chair had a conflict of interest in this matter it was agreed that this be submitted by Simon Priestley.
10. Letting Boards: Regulation 7 Direction
As there had appeared to be limited progress on this matter, Cllr Roger Cornwell had chased DCC about progress. He had been informed that an Inspector had been appointed and had held a hearing on 21st May and a report was awaited. This matter was now being pursued as none of the key individuals had known of the hearing nor had any been invited. There will be a report to the next meeting.
11. DURF Meeting
a) Leaflet: Welcome to Living Out in Durham A template for the leaflet on general information had been agreed by DURF with space for Partnership information to be included for the individual areas. A draft of the proposals had been circulated to members. This was endorsed by the CCP and Simon Priestley agreed to inform Hannah Shepherd accordingly.
It was noted that there was no information about how students might complain about either noisy social premises or their student neighbours. Simon agreed to include this in his response to Hannah.
b) Responsibility for dealing with evening disturbance This had been transferred to the police a few years ago and it was agreed that the work of PCSO Rebecca Carey in reducing the incidence of noise and anti-social behaviour was welcome. However it now appeared that within the police there was a move to concentrate more on rough sleepers and to rely on DCC to tackle evening disturbance. DURF was in the process of writing to PCC Ron Hogg, emphasising the benefits of the scheme in reducing problems and the need to maintain this work.
12. Reports from County Councillors
There were no County Councillors present.
13. Reports from Parish Councillors
  • Plans by the Parish Council to celebrate the work of Durham sculptor Fenwick Lawson were welcomed.
  • An e-mail from Stuart Timmis had referred the Parish Council to a possible source of funding for some projects.
  • The Parish Council is now a member of the County Durham Association of Larger Councils.
  • The Parish Council Business Committee has now been formed and would like to explore the possibility of a fund to buy back HMOs and restore them to the domestic housing market.
  • Members were asked to "keep an eye" on some of the new enterprises on River Walk to ensure that they complied with their operating schedules.
  • It was also noted that Savers had applied to extend their off-sales for one-hour. This might be part of a trend to supply more alcohol to customers previous to their visiting places of entertainment (pre-loading).
14. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd September.