Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting, 9th November 2021

1. Attendance
Present: Roger Cornwell (in the Chair), Lesley Aers, Gillian Banks, Robert Banks, Ann Evans, Margaret Jefferson, John Knowles, Brendan McKeown, Pat Mussett, Simon Priestley, Jean Rogers, Sarah Wilkinson,
Louise Fowler (Unite Students), Grant Slater (Collingwood College)
Cllr Esther Ashby
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Mike Costello, Catherine Draycott, David Ramsden, Malcolm Reed, Ann Stokes
Cllr Liz Brown, Cllr Richard Ormerod,
Cllr Victoria Ashfield, Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland
3. Updates from Rushford Court / Collingwood College
Louise Fowler reported that there Rushford Court's residents current include 63 members of Collingwood College, all of them freshers; Unite Students was very happy to have this presence of Collingwood on site. They were still waiting to find out what the arrangement would be for September 2022, but relations with the University were constantly improving.
Grant Slater, Assistant Principal / Senior Tutor for Collingwood College, explained that the college's presence at Rushford Court was due to this year's huge intake of students: the Department of Education had not moderated grades, students had deferred places from last year, there were fewer withdrawals than usual. Despite the large numbers, student behaviour was generally good.
The college's second-year students all live out, and the college regarded absentee landlords as a major problem. The college was aware of the problem of early signing, and struggled to discourage it.
Grant also gave an update of University management of Covid-19: students were constantly tested, and rates were very low. Infection was currently more likely to pass from lecturers with young families to students than vice versa.
4. Dates of future meetings
Following the usual pattern, our December meeting would fall on Thursday December 2nd, and this was agreed.
It was proposed that we should continue to meet at Rushford Court, on the first Tuesday and Thursday of alternate months, but starting on the second Thursday of January. Roger Cornwell would circulate a draft list of the resultant dates.
5. The minutes of the previous meeting
were approved as a correct record. The following matters arose:
Simon Priestley formally thanked all those who had participated in distributing the 'Living Out' leaflet.
He also asked for thanks to be conveyed to Cllr Liz Brown for her successful efforts in sorting out surfacing works in the Avenue.
6. Antisocial behaviour issues
This item had been placed on the agenda at the request of someone who had subsequently been unable to attend the meeting. It was not therefore possible to deal with the specific complaints. However, a straw poll reflected people's experience of the usual level of late night noise. There were also complaints about rubbish: Cllr Esther Ashby commented that this issue takes up more Parish Council time than anything else, except Planning: the County Council are making a genuine effort on this. She urged members to continue to report problems to DCC, who will continue to try to clear the rubbish.
It was agreed that Roger and Esther would discuss the complaints he had received, and involve Cllr Victoria Ashfield; they would circulate the outcome of their discussion to the Googlegroup.
7. Planning applications
No information was available about current planning applications, because a technical problem has taken the Council's Planning Portal out of service. The meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the length of time it was taking to fix this, and hoped that deadlines would be deferred accordingly.
8. Views obstructed by vegetation
As agreed by the previous meeting, Jean Rogers had sent the list of locations discussed to Cllr Victoria Ashfield, for the attention of the Parish Council Environment Committee, but had received no response.
Discussion followed about the maintenance of back lanes, which was referred to the Hallow Green project about which Esther has spoken at our October meeting.
9. Obstruction in North Road affecting shops
Work on the new Bus Station had been delayed by the threatened collapse of a wall; meanwhile access to North Road shops is obstructed by people queuing at bus stops. Suggestions were made for how disruption could be minimised: could busier stops be moved further from shops? was it known how many people waited at each stop at any one time? Cllr Liz Brown was already aware of this problem, and Roger would discuss possible solutions with her.
10. Parking on upper Crossgate
In the absence of the person who had asked for this item to be tabled, discussion was deferred.
11. Reducing traffic on Crossgate
Cllr Richard Ormerod's written report included some suggestions which were generally felt to be helpful.
12. Timing of pedestrian crossing lights
Ann Evans reported a dual problem: a) motorists jump the lights, but b) even when the pedestrian phase is observed, it is not long enough. She identified particular problems at Millburngate, where there is not time to cross the single lane, or to cross the bridge; Simon added that the timing on the lights at the Pot & Glass was very short.
Ann was asked to write on the CCP's behalf to Dave Wafer at the County Council.
13. Leaves on pavements
As soon as these are wet, they will be a major slip hazard. Roger was asked to refer this to the Parish Council.
14. Property maintenance issues
In the absence of the person who had asked for this item to be tabled, discussion was deferred.
15. Reports from County Councillor
Cllr Richard Ormerod's written report had been circulated by e-mail shortly before the meeting; Roger gave a summary.
16. Report from Parish Councillor
Esther reminded people that the County Council is seeking nominations for heritage assets to be listed; Roger would circulate information to the mailing list.
The planning application for development at Fern Hill had been refused.
She was frustrated by the limitations on the Council's influence on licensing applications: Babylon had been permitted to accommodate more people, and to employ a live DJ, and the Parish Council could not comment as internal numbers and safety were a matter for the Fire Brigade.
The Full Council was looking at who runs the mayoralty, and has agreed to ask DCC to look into the business case for making the Town Hall into a Community Hub.
The Hallow Green project continues; Peskies Park turns out to be very boggy.