Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting 5th December 2019

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson
Keith Evans (Bursar, John Snow College), Richard Freeman (John Snow College), Louise Fowler (Unite Students)
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Simon Priestley, Malcolm Reed, Simon Squires
Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Carol Reeves
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4.Rushford Court
a) Open Day: Louise Fowler reiterated the invitation to residents for the following day's Open Day at Rushford Court.
b) Lumière: Rushford Court were congratulated on the success of the Keys of Light installation at the site.
c) Fire safety: Since the question had been raised following the fire at the Bolton Cube, Louise confirmed that Rushford Court has all proper fire safety accreditation. Cllr Roger Cornwell recalled that this had been discussed, following the Grenfell Tower fire, while the buildings were under construction: residents had been informed that the proposed cladding, while already meeting the required standard, had been upgraded.
5. Policing issues
a) Theft in local area: Louise reported the theft of a student's motorbike: the thief had gained access by climbing the fence, but in order to leave with the bike and cut the padlock and opened the gates, so this was clearly a premeditated and planned theft. Roger added that garages in the vicinity had recently been broken into.
b) Student parties: Brendan McKeown had called the police to a party at 29 Allergate. He had been informed by PCSO Sean Tindale (University Liaison Officer) that the police had been given the go ahead to resume the practice of issuing warning tickets for AntiSocial Behaviour: this news was welcomed by the meeting.
6. Planning Applications
a) 24 Nevilledale Terrace DM/19/01418/FPA (refused): As expected, the landlady has now appealed against refusal of this application. Ann Evans asked what the CCP can do to ensure that the County Council defends its decision robustly: Roger undertook to circulate information about how to oppose a planning appeal. It was agreed that the CCP should also maintain its opposition, and that Ann and Roger would write this letter.
b) Sign at the Revolution Bar: planning application DM/19/03409/AD: Despite opposition from the Parish Council, the City of Durham Trust and the World Heritage Site, DCC's Design and Conservation team thought the illuminated sign was acceptable. The Parish was drafting a second letter for approval at its meeting the following day.
7. The large gazebo/canopy erected on the footpath in front of Babylon nightclub on North Road
No-one knew of any advance permit for this. Roger would ask the Parish Clerk to investigate the legal position, would pursue the issue through the Parish Council, and would report back.
8. Good Neighbour Scheme
Cllr Esther Ashby reported that she and the student organiser of the Good Neighbour scheme were attempting to plot a match between students and locations where problems had been reported. There is an annual budget currently dedicated to snow clearance, but members raised concerns about fallen leaves on Western Hill and Blind Lane: these can be as slippery underfoot as snow. Brendan McKeown had cleared the fallen leaves from Footpath 21.
9. Report from County Councillors
Cllr Richard Ormerod had sent a written report, which was circulated, and discussed. There was general support for a weight restriction on Crossgate. Members were asked to send comments on other specific points direct to Richard.
10. Reports from Parish Councillors
a) Cllr John Ashby spoke to the summary circulated by Parish Clerk Adam Shanley: the action points resulting from the conference on AntiSocial Behaviour would be considered by a Working Party, of which Adam would be a member. John was also concerned about the loss of income resulting from the exemption from Council Tax of student households.
b) Esther expressed a degree of concern that the ASB Working Party had been set up at officer level; she would have preferred more councillor involvement.
c) Roger reported:
  1. that numerous Parish Councillors had been attending the EiP. The Inspector seemed to have reservations about various aspects of the Plan, but was prevented at present from asking his questions, as this would be seen as a breach of 'purdah', the period of political inactivity which precedes a General Election.
  2. LNER are building a second floor over part of the area of the station car park, effectively creating a multi-storey car park. They do not need planning consent to do this. The Parish Council had had a meeting on site with a representative of LNER, but works had previously been cleared with the County Council.
  3. The County Council's consultation on the Bus Station redesign, previously announced for December, is now expected to take place in February.
  4. Members were invited to join retiring MP Roberta Blackman Woods for pre-Christmas drinks at Redhills the following day.
11. Date of next meeting
Subject to confirmation of room availability, our next meeting will be on Tuesday 7th January. It will be our AGM.