Crossgate Community Partnership: Minutes

Minutes of the meeting, 5th April 2022

1. Attendance
Roger Cornwell (in the Chair) apologised for the last minute decision to take the meeting online; Covid levels had been rising to an alarming extent (including among those who had sent in apologies for the meeting).
Also present (via Zoom) were: Joan Adams, Gillian Banks, Robert Banks, Morag Crichton, Ann Evans, Chris Hugill, John Knowles, Pat Mussett, Simon Priestley, Malcolm Reed, Jean Rogers, Sarah Wilkinson,
Louise Fowler, Tracey Gallon (Unite Students)
2. Apologies for absence
were received from: Simon Squires, Ann Stokes
Cllr Liz Brown,
Cllr Esther Ashby, Cllr Alan Doig, Cllr Grenville Holland, Cllr Carole Lattin.
3. Update from Unite Students
Louise Fowler emphasised how happy Unite are to host meetings of the CCP when we are ready for in person meetings. Meanwhile, she is about to go on maternity leave, and introduced her maternity leave replacement Tracey Gallon. Tracey has worked for Unite for eight years, first in Newcastle and now for three years in Durham, working alongside Louise, so the transition to maternity cover should be seamless.
Roger thanked Unite, and particularly Louise, for the welcome we have been given by Rushford Court.
4. The minutes of the March meeting:
a) Matters arising: as agreed at the previous meeting, Ann Evans had written to Cllr Richard Ormerod about the removal of seating from the North Road, but had received no reply; she had also raised the issue with Cllr Liz Brown, who shared our recollection that we had asked for seating to be retained or reinstated.
b) There was discussion of the minuting of issues regarding parking in Briardene. It was agreed that the minutes recorded what had been said at the meeting, but felt that the absence of context might render this misleading.
c) With this caveat, the minutes were approved as a correct record.
5. New / renewed Public Space Protection Order
The County Council is conducting a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Durham City which bans the drinking of alcohol in public spaces. They are considering extending the Order to to make aggressive begging in the City an offence, and the Police are enthusiastically supporting this.
The meeting was generally supportive of the alcohol order, particularly since this was not being applied with a heavy hand. But although members were aware of begging in the streets, no-one had encountered anything they would describe as 'aggressive'. A greater problem was the door-to-door begging which is thinly disguised as sales.
Apparently Sedgefield has a PSPO which is used to prevent young people congregating; it was suggested that something similar could be used in Durham to break up large and noisy groups returning from night clubs in the small hours.
Roger would write to the Council summarising our responses.
6. Reports from Councillors
No reports had been received from either County or Parish Councillors.
7. Date of next meeting
The next meeting would take place on Thursday 5th May 2022; it would be decided nearer that date, in the light of the levels of Covid in the community, whether to hold it in person or online.