Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting, 6th February 2020

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Matthew Hulse, Margaret Jefferson, Ed Johnson-Williams, Brendan McKeown, Dot Patterson, Sally Patterson, Lyn Preston, Simon Priestley, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Simon Squires, Ann Stokes
Hannah Shepherd (the University's Community Liaison Officer)
PCSO Steven Bell, PCSO Kirsty Lawrence
Cllr Elizabeth Scott
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Lesley Aers, Pat Mussett, Malcolm Reed, Sarah Wilkinson,
Keith Evans (Bursar, John Snow College), Richard Freeman (John Snow College), Louise Fowler (Unite Students)
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Ormerod
Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Carole Reeves
3. Minutes
The minutes of the AGM (the previous meeting) were agreed as a correct record.
4. Rushford Court
a) Flyer for local residents: Hannah Shepherd apologised for delays in finalising the leaflets giving details of who to contact. It had now been approved by all agencies listed. Copies were circulated, and the leaflet has been passed to John Snow College for distribution.
b) Coronavirus As Louise Fowler had already notified the mailing list, a student who lives in Rushford Court had been taken ill and, given the current heightened sensitivity around the Coronavirus, the NHS had implemented their precautionary measures and sent two ambulances. The student was taken to hospital for tests and discharged later back into College, where they followed the advice from Public Health England so self-isolated. All relevant medical assessments had now been completed, and the NHS had confirmed that there was no need for the student to remain in self-isolation as they did not have the coronavirus.
In response to questions, it was confirmed that the College is offering all support to international students, but was not aware of any hostility arising from the epidemic; police confirmed that no hate crimes had been reported to them.
5. Policing and public order issues
PCSO Steven Bell pointed out that he and PCSO Kirsty Lawrence do not themselves deal with student issues, but would so their best to answer questions. He reported a recent case of burglary where a conviction had been secured because the resident had photographed the intruder.
Cllr Esther Ashby asked how she could access information about the law covering photography / CCTV, and what the police viewed as justifying intervention; Cllr Elizabeth Scott reported that she had had a meeting with Jane Robinson, DCC's Corporate Director for Adult and Health Services about the possibility of using CCTV to monitor transient noise in the streets.
6. Licensing application for Suites 11 & 12 Crossgate Centre (Jovial Technologies Ltd)
This application was open for comments until March 3rd. The application was to license the premises in connection with an online ordering and delivery service, but it was very unclear exactly how it was proposed this would operate (for example, whether alcohol would be stored on the premises). Elizabeth would ask Cllr Liz Brown to investigate. Meanwhile, the CCP Trustees would submit an objection on behalf of the Partnership.
7. Planning Applications
a) Erection of community centre building at Lowes Barn Recreation Ground (reference DM/20/00066/FPA) Elizabeth explained the background to this application, which she had submitted, and which had the support of the Neville's Cross Community Association (NXCA): the funding came from developers and could not be transferred to any other purpose. It had at one point been hoped to build in collaboration with the Bowls Club but that organisation was no longer viable, so the application was instead to build on the bowling green itself. The committee were looking to involve potential users for the centre, and would be carrying out a survey to determine what facilities were needed by local residents. Asked whether revenue, as well as capital, was secure, Elizabeth replied that she was working on this, but was satisfied that it is viable. On this basis, the TRustees would write on behalf of the CCP to support the application.
b) 22 Allergate (application reference DM/19/01673/FPA and appeal reference APP/X1355/W/19/3242181) Mrs Moore has, as expected, appealed the refusal of leave to convert to HMO. Roger anticipated that the Parish Council would in due course submit further comments.
8. Report from County Councillor
Elizabeth has been complaining to the County Council about littering. She has plans for a community litter pick in the spring, but meanwhile urged people to use the Council's Do It Online interface to report problems.
The path past St Margaret's School is mushy underfoot with fallen leaves, and many of the trees are strangled with ivy. She and Liz have been discussing management of trees, and would use local funds to improve this, if necessary. The meeting recognised the problem, but it was pointed out that people also value the wildness of the lane.
She was looking at commissioning new notice boards about the Battle of Neville's Cross; also at repairing the Cross itself, although this is not straightforward.
9. Bus Station
Simon Squires was still not persuaded of the case for redeveloping the bus station, as detailed in his letter published in the local paper. Roger told the meeting that the City of Durham Trust opposed the plan for similar reasons, but that the Parish Council supported it. Members present also made some detailed points about the new pan.
10. Other business
a) Neighbourhood Plan Simon Priestley is drafting comments on behalf of the CCP, and invited contributions from other members; Roger reminded the meeting of the limited scope of this consultation. The Parish Council has been given the names of three potential Examiners, from which it must choose one. The examination will then be carried out on paper, unless the Examiner decides that a hearing is necessary.
b) Fencing at 24 The Avenue This is learning ominously over the pavement, and may well not survive the storms of the weekend. The landlord and agent have already been notified; Roger will now seek emergency action from the Council.
11. Reports from Parish Councillors
a) Cllr John Ashby reported that the Parish Council was helping to fund implementation of the electricity supply for traders in the open air market, which would make it unnecessary for them to run vehicle engines constantly. It was also increasing funding for neighbourhood wardens, for flower planting and for officer time for a County Council Planning Enforcement Officer.
The County Council has embraced a national landlord scheme, but the City is not sufficiently deprived to compel landlord co-operation.
b) Roger reported that there would be a tree planting exercise on the Sands on February 14th, with the co-operation of the Freemen, to replace trees felled by the County Council.
Builders at work in Ainsley Street seem to have installed two parking spaces on land which they do not actually own; the Parish Council is investigating.
c) Esther circulated samples of the 'portable ashtrays' which will be distributed by the Environment committee: this is a preview, as the scheme has not yet been announced.
12. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd March.