Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting, 3rd March 2020

1. Attendance
Present: Cllr Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Dot Patterson, David Ramsden, Jean Rogers, Ann Stokes, Sarah Wilkinson,
Keith Evans (Bursar, John Snow College) Matthew Hulse
Cllr Liz Brown
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Simon Priestley, Malcolm Reed, Simon Squires,
Louise Fowler (Unite Students)
Cllr Richard Ormerod, Cllr Elizabeth Scott
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr John Ashby, Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Carole Reeves
3. Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
4. Rushford Court
a) Anniversary Lecture: Keith Evans circulated invitations to John Snow College's Anniversary Lecture on March 16th; members are welcome, but places are limited.
b) Coronavirus There had been no further health scares. The University has detailed plans in place.
5. Policing and public order issues
Goshka Bialek had circulated a letter she had received from the County Council, informing her that investigations into her complaint of antisocial behaviour were now complete, but that "In line with data protection and confidentiality, all investigations must be conducted in private. We are therefore unable to advise you regarding the outcome of this investigation. However please note that appropriate action has been taken in line with our agreed policy." The meeting saw no obstacle to the complainant being informed what action had been taken, without individuals being identified; Ann Evans contrasted the treatment of a recent complaint to the police, when she had been informed, without being given any names, that those concerned had apologised. Cllr Liz Brown would ask why the Council could not do likewise.
6. Licensing application for Suites 11 & 12 Crossgate Centre (Jovial Technologies Ltd)
This application had been withdrawn, after a record number of objections were received. However, the applicant was likely to reapply from different premises, and although this would avoid some issues of disturbance, serious doubts about the business model remained.
7. Planning Applications
a) Erection of community centre building at Lowes Barn Recreation Ground (reference DM/20/00066/FPA) has been withdrawn because of a technical error in the submission. Those who supported the application were thanked: it will be resubmitted.
b) 24 Nevilledale Terrace (result of appeal) The appeal was lost, and the property is now on the market as "an ideal family home". The Inspector's report placed great emphasis on the Council's 10% limit on HMOs being exceeded, and could usefully be quoted in other appeals (such as 22 Allergate).
8. Neighbourhood Plan (update)
The Regulation 16 Consultation has now closed, and the Parish has chosen Tony Burton from the panel of possible examiners. He has seen the comments, and raised some questions. The Parish has now also seen all the comments, and is seeking permission to publish them. On three of the six themes, the County Council's comments appear to refer to a previous redaction of the Plan, and the Parish is currently seeking an urgent meeting with DCC to clarify this.
9. County Durham Plan (update)
The Inspector has found against the proposed relief roads. The deletion of an area of Green Belt will go ahead, but is subject to conditions. The Inspector has also instructed the Council to extend the regulation of HMOs to cover extension of existing HMOs as well as creation of new ones. There will be a six-week consultation on these Main Modifications.
10. Possible sites for tree planting
A request has been received from the Parish Clerk for suggestions for sites where the Parish Council might plant trees (to be provided by the Woodland Trust). The intention is that the first plantings will be British native varieties, although a later stage of the project will plant fruit trees in schools. Possibilities were discussed, and it was also recommended that the Friends of Flass Vale be consulted.
11. Report from County Councillor
Liz had taken Martin Briscoe, DCC's Area Supervisor for Clean and Green on tour. She is asking for a litter pick in our area, for Blind Lane to be cleared, and for action on fly-tipping in Flass Street and Ainsley Street. Next week she will focus on a walkabout around Waddington Street.
She has received complaints about litter around Domino's.
She is also trying to persuade the council to install bollards along the pavement opposite, to prevent its use as a taxi rank.
12. Report from Parish Councillors
a) Liz has been on the phone to the University's Catering Manager, and has persuaded them to reduce the licensing application for South Road College to the same terms as those in force at Ustinov: on this basis, the Parish Council has withdrawn its objection.
She is looking into the Pincident system, which allows students to report harassment without taking it to the police; no action is taken, but it maintains a record. The Parish might be able to use something similar to report and monitor transitory noise in the streets.
She has reported the illegal parking by builders in Ainsley Street to Enforcement, and offenders have been told that they must either discontinue the practice or seek planning consent.
b) Roger reported the death of Cllr Judith Atkinson. This creates a vacancy in the Elvet and Gilesgate ward. The procedure offers two ways of filling the vacancy: either ten electors can demand an election, or the Parish Council can co-opt.
The Parish Council was trying to extend the Article 4 directive to the whole of the parish area, and had set in train the process to do this.
The Parish was paying a solicitor to advise on the use of restrictive covenants (to control the buy-to-let student rental market): estate covenants appear to be potentially more useful than other kinds, and the Parish believes that some of these do exist in Durham.
According to a report in the Evening Chronicle, the cameras monitoring the North Road bus lane had caught 1400 motorists in two months. Liz added that if this means the County Council have ANPR cameras, she will ask them about using them at traffic lights (at Neville's Cross and elsewhere).
13. Date of next meeting
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 2nd April.