Sticker : Unstuck

Many thanks to all who came out for the Hanover Street Focus action day on Friday. Residents joined council staff litter picking, weeding and removing old posters, stickers and cable ties.

Of all of the tasks undertaken, stickers can be real bind. Easy to put on, hard to get off, they quickly degrade leaving lamp posts, and other items looking shabby and street signs illegible. Before the day we fretted a bit about the best way to tackle this, and were told that the magic ingredient was WD40 (or similar), so – armed with a tin of squirty stuff, a scraper and a scouring cloth we set forth down Southover. It is still a bit of a chore, and is hard to get perfect results, but this method is fairly easy and quick.

Here is a step by step Sticker Unsticker photo guide:

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The Level : Project Update March 2012

(A Guest Post by Linda Anglin who manages the Council Parks Projects Team)

The Level Project Update March 2012

Start of the Delivery Phase: I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring sunshine. Since our last update announcing the fantastic news that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ bid was successful, we have been busy getting the project team in place and ready to start the delivery phase of the project. I’m happy therefore to welcome onto the project team Gill Thompson and Claire Morgan. Gill will be making sure the Capital Works programme is delivered as planned and Claire, who starts on 16 April, will be working with local residents and community groups to deliver the Activity Plan actions.

We have also completed the tender process for the Lead Landscape Architect and I’m pleased to report that Land Use Consultants will continue working with us to complete this final stage of the project. They have commenced the next stage of the design process, which is drawing up detailed specification drawings which are needed for the construction tender.

The timetable for the capital works is as follows:

  • Detailed specification February 2012 to April 2012
  • Preparation of tender documents May 2012 to June 2012
  • Issue construction tender End of June 2012
  • Evaluate and appoint successful contractor September 2012
  • Build Phase October 2012 to June 2013

We won’t have an agreed build programme until the contractors have been appointed. However, due to the extent of work and to ensure safety on-site during construction, it’s likely that the south end will be closed for the majority of the time which is why we are scheduling the work to be carried out over the winter season. I’ll be able to give a more detailed build plan in the Autumn once the build contractors have been appointed.

Playground

A design concept is being prepared for the new playground and we will be holding consultation exhibitions on The Level in March and April to get feedback from children and their parents/guardians. The consultation exhibition dates are at the end of this newsletter.

 Skatepark

Work has commenced on the design for the new skatepark, and we will be holding consultation exhibitions at the same time as the Playgrounds ones noted above. I’ve attached a separate update for the skatepark project which includes more details.

Dogs welcome areas

Concerns about dogs not under control and dog mess and having dog free areas were issues raised by residents during the consultation. However, it is recognised that responsible dog walkers provide a valuable service by providing year round natural surveillance in the park, especially during dark mornings and evenings. While it is intended that all grass areas in the south end and the fountain area are completely dog free, dog owners have expressed an interest in allowing dogs on leads on the paths which lead through the south end. We could run a short pilot to see if this would work but it would need the support and help from dog owners to help us promote and enforce this. If this is something you would like to help with, please let us know. We will also be getting people’s views on this at the consultation exhibitions being held for the playground and skatepark.

Digital Story Telling Project

In May, Fiona will be launching the digital story telling project to invite anyone with an interest in The Level’s history to get involved with this exciting project. We believe that this will bring further depth and context to the more recent history of the park; by engaging volunteers to assist with the research and collection of materials about The Levels unique history the information will be more accessible to the local community. Our primary interest is with the heritage of the Level, the 1930’s design and the historic community use of The Level both in centuries past and decade by decade in more recent times. We will be exploring the following themes through further research and digital story telling techniques, e.g. sound and video recording, photographs, documents and oral history.

  • The playground and the use of The Level for play and recreation
  • Community Celebrations and regular events
  • WW2
  • Peace and Protest
  • Prohibitionists rallies and the underworld of the park
  • The skatepark and skatepark competitions

If you are interested in volunteering you will be asked to attend a number of training sessions; these will provide training on how to use local research facilities, how to establish a system of recording the archives that have been examined and how to collate and catalogue materials. You will be given the opportunity to choose a theme that is of interest to research further your self. Volunteers will meet as a group regularly to talk about what they have found, how their findings fit within The Level history timeline and discuss the best way to interpret the findings. Let us know if you are interested; contact details are at end of this update letter.

Communities of The Level

We said last time that we would be getting in touch with local community groups to start discussing how they wanted to be involved in the project. This has been delayed while we get the Activity Project Officer in place and we hope to get back to you by the end of April.

Art Installation in the centre of the north lawns

A brief has now been prepared to recruit an artist to work with us. This will be used to invite expressions of interest. Representatives from a few of the local community groups will be invited to sit on the decision panel. As part of the brief, we would be asking the successful artist to work with the local community to design the art installation. More details will be available in May.

 Dates for Your Diary

Bluebell Planting with the Rangers: Wednesday 28 March 3.30 to 5 pm

Gloves and tools supplied and accompanied children welcome. Meet at the crossroads in the north half of The Level. For more information, please contact the Park Rangers on 01273 292929 or email Cityparks@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Consultation Exhibitions on The Level for the skatepark and playground:

Saturday 31 March, Tuesday 3 April and Monday 16 April:

  • 11 am to 2 pm
  • 11 am to 1 pm
  • 3 pm to 6 pm

Contact Us:

Find out more information by logging on to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/thelevel Email us at parksprojects@brighton-hove.gov.uk with any ideas and suggestions. If you do not have access to the internet, we are happy to send you information by post. Please write to us at Brighton & Hove City Council, Parks Projects Team,Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA or call us on 01273 292929.

The Level Skatepark Project Update March 2012

The Project & Project Team: The City Parks Project Team working with Sports Development and the Brighton & Hove Skateparks Association (BHSA) are leading on the skatepark project, which is an important aspect of the larger Restoration Project for The Level. The fact that the two schemes have now over-lapped in timescale is completely coincidental, however it is hoped that potential investors will gain renewed confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund investment and the knowledge that the rest of the parks regeneration is shortly to commence.

Freestyle Skateparks will be designing and building the new skatepark. They were appointed in December 2011 following a competitive tender process. A BHSA representative was included in the evaluation panel for this process.

Lewes & Co Planning South East Limited have been appointed to help prepare the planning application for the new skatepark. They will ensure that the appropriate consultation is undertaken and that any issues raised are addressed at the earliest possible opportunity during the design process.

To ensure its integration into the rest of the park, the Landscape Architects for the Restoration Project, Land Use Consultants, will also work closely with Freestyle to ensure appropriate boundary treatment and landscaping.

Commitment by the council

Approval for the Master Plan for the whole park was granted in the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Cabinet Members Meeting on the 5th July 2011. This confirmed the location of the new skatepark and committed £150,000 towards the new skatepark, made up of £97,000 S106 developer’s contributions and £53,000 from council budget. The new skatepark will be around 1400m² and it is estimated to cost around £350,000. We will be aiming to raise the additional funding required through grants and sponsorship.

Design Process

Freestyle has had a number of meetings with the BHSA to discuss initial design ideas in order to develop a design which best meets the requirements of skaters and BMXers and provides for all levels of experience. They have also been working with LUC on the boundaries, landscaping, etc to ensure a thorough and cohesive design is presented for consultation by the BHSA. All the feedback received from local residents and other park users during the consultation and engagement undertaken last year for the whole park has being taken into account when designing the new skatepark. The proposed design will be consulted on between 31 March and 25 April and you can view the designs and give your feedback in the following ways:

Consultation Exhibitions on The Level: Come along to meet the design team, view the design and complete a questionnaire:

  • Saturday 31 March 11 am to 2 pm
  • Tuesday 3 April 11 am to 1 pm (near the Playbus)
  • Monday 16 April 3 pm to 6 pm

Consultation Portal: Log on to http://consult.brighton-hove.gov.uk/portal to view the design and complete a questionnaire on line.

Web Site: The design will also be available to view on the council website www.brightonhove.gov.uk/thelevel and BHSA website www.bhsa.org.

By post: If you are not able to attend any of the exhibitions or you do not have access to the internet, we are happy to send you information by post. Please write to us at Brighton & Hove City Council, Parks Projects Team, Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA or call us on 01273 292929

Planning & Funding

After the consultation period has been completed and the design has been finalised, a Planning Application will be prepared and submitted to the Planning Authority. This will be around May this year and will take between 8 to 12 weeks before a decision is made. Planning permission will be sought for the full 1400m² skatepark. Following that, grant funding bids will be prepared and submitted. This is likely to include bids for sponsorship from business as well as bids to funding bodies such as Veolia and Sport England. We cannot confirm exactly which grants we will be going for as it will depend on whether or not we have any success with business sponsorship and also what grants are available at the time. We are applying for planning permission before we make any applications as some funding bodies require this to be done before they would consider grant applications.It is expected that the outcome of any bids will be known by the end of the year.

Building the new skatepark

Work on the new skatepark will commence in the New Year 2013. Whether we are able to build the whole skatepark in one phase or whether it needs to be built in two or more phases will depend on what additional funding we manage to secure. The exact timescale for the build is dependent on this and so cannot be confirmed at this point.

Indicative Timetable

2012

  • Jan to Apr Design and Consultation Phase
  • May Submit Planning Application
  • July Decision on Planning Application
  • July onwards Submit bids for funding
  • December Decision on funding bids

2013

  • Jan to May Build Phase

Please note these dates are provisional and may change.

Hanover Street Focus

Following requests from Hanover residents via the Local Action Team, we are planning to hold a couple of events to improve the look of Hanover Streets. Most individual residents keep their flats and houses looking good. But – despite the best efforts of the council street cleansing team – the streets can let the area down. Graffiti; grass growing between paving slabs; stickers and cable ties on lamp posts; benches looking uninviting and unclean. So this is what we suggest: a low-cost makeover.

Step One: a group of residents meet up at the Hanover Community Association on Thursday March 1st at 2pm to 3pm and carry out street audits – simple things that could be done to improve each street such as new flowers in the planter in Ewart Street and a coat or two of wood preserver on the bench at the end of Beaumont Terrace.

Step Two: we contact the various services: Cityclean, the graffiti officer, highways enforcement etc and we get them all to concentrate their resources for a day on Hanover. And if residents want to help out on that day we shall provide litter-pickers and brooms and anything else we can muster which would be of use.  If anyone is interested, we could help you find ways to raise money to plant trees, create window boxes and add some street art. And you never know – the publicity which will come of this may convince some of the people who let the area down, to begin to respect their neighbours and their streets a little more.

Do let us know if you are interested in coming along on March 1st for an hour. Help make Hanover a better place to live.   

Tony Baker  – tony.baker@brighton-hove.gov.uk  01273 293926

News From The Patch

Patch News Update supplied by the Friends of William Clarke Park

PATCH NEWS
 WINTER 2011
from Friends of William Clarke Park
Activity & Wildlife Day

Sunday 5th February 1.00 – 4.00pm : Come and join in some practical tasks to prepare the Patch for the year ahead. Our Wildlife Group will be clearing the pond, planting wild flower seeds, tidying shrub beds and making bird boxes – ALL WELCOME We will also be moving the remaining railway sleepers and fixing them into position around the tarmac area, now that the new fence is complete. Also a chance for a general tidy up.  Some work will take place in the morning from 10am in case you fancy helping out earlier.  Plus a game of ‘PLACE THE BOX’ at 1pm … a cosultation on where best to locate our proposed 20x8ft storage container for our tools and events kit including a walk around suggest sites.                     There are several options:
a) by the pond near the Elm Grove School fence
b) next to the Picton Street entrance
c) in the lower glade area next to Old Viaduct Court
Wherever the container goes we want to make it as discreet as possible, decorated with paint and plants.
We hope you can join us for all or part of the afternoon.

New Fence : The Veolia Traust has funded a new fence to prevent balls going over into neighbouring Old Viaduct Court flats for older people on Hartington Road.  The barrier will ease tensions which have existed for many years resulting form people going into the grounds to retrieve wayward footballs. Veolia contributed £4,320 toward £4,520 cost. The fence is made from netting and is designed to be unobtrusive on the eye and quiet when struck by a ball.

Love Your Patch  – Fence opening event + games galore!

Tue 14 Feb Noon – 3pm

An opening event will take place on Valentine’s Day as part of a ‘Love Your Patch!’ games day supported by Groundwork and their Cadbury Spots v Stripes games programme. Rounds  of  volley ball. basket ball and football will test out the effectiveness of the partition

Transforming our Patch

Britvic has awarded £5,000 to support restoration of the grass across the Patch as part of a national programme called, appropriately enough, ‘Transform Your Patch’.  
The plan will involve rotorvating 1,000 square metres, importing dozens of tons of topsoil and then leveling and turfing.  
We hope to have the work completed in good time for the summer and especially for school  sports days in this Olympic year. Three schools use the patch – Elm Grove, St Martin’s and  Fairlight – with a total of 1,000 children. The quality of the grass has deteriorated over many years becoming patchy, rocky and uneven, posing a risk as well as a bit of an eyesore. We will announce further details soon and hope that volunteers as well as  will be able to help out.
The  Council’s City Parks team and the charity Groundwork will also suppoirt the work.
PatchFest 2012 + Spring in the Patch Planning Meeting Thursday 23rd February 7.30pm  at The Pub With No Name, Southover St (tbc)
Help us make our 8th PatchFest community festival (on Sat 7th July, 1-9pm) be as fantastic as ever.  We need to divi up a load of tasks and agree what ingredients we want mixed into this year’s event.
We also need to make plans for Spring in the Patch on Sunday 15th April (yes Marathon day – we know), 1-5pm
All welcome

Ice Station Hanover

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….  This time last year we were firmly in the grip of the white stuff, with several prolonged snowfalls over the winter season. The extra days off school/work, sledging in Queens Park and seeing our streets transformed onto a winter wonderland was fantastic… however, people do need to get about and some can manage better than others. The virtual lack of any level ground up here increases difficulty. There is a real chance of residents facing injury and hardship as a result of harsh winter weather.

The council does what it can, and has improved its response a lot over the past couple of years – investing in new 4X4 gritters, drafting in parks staff and traffic wardens to help out, increasing the amount of grit available in bins and at drop off points and looking at priorities so that the most benefit for the most people can be achieved with its limited resources. (more about the council severe weather response here)

There is a limit though to what the council can do if the whole city has heavy snowfall over several days – there are so many places to reach and so many people needed to keep roads and footways clear that properly treating every part of the city would be impossible, and this year the council have been talking to residents and community groups to see what we can do to help in our neighbourhoods.

Ice Station Pepperpot

This winter, volunteers from the Friends of the Pepperpot have agreed to hold some snow shovels in the Tower. If we get heavy snow, members who live close by will open up the Tower and make them available to any local resident who wants to help out.  As well as being a well known local landmark, the Pepperpot is also close to the bus stop on Queens Park Road and the local chemist, post office and doctors surgery on Islingword Road; all areas we would like to see kept clear of snow and ice so that anyone who needs to use them will find it easier.

Q&A

Q: Is it legal?  A: In recent years there has been some confusion about legal responsibilities and liability issues for residents helping to clear snow in the streets. The DirectGov snow and Ice Clearing Page says:

“Don’t be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. …. it’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.”

Q: Who will be responsible for the shovels? The FoPP Volunteers have simply agreed to unlock the Tower and make shovels available. They are not responsible for what people do with them – that is up to the individuals who take part.

Q: What time will it be open? During heavy snow, volunteers will unlock the Tower as soon as they are able and will close it when they have to go… Hopefully shovels will be available as they are needed, but as this depends entirely on the goodwill of locals, flexibility and consideration are essential.

Q: Will there be training? The council has produced guidance information for volunteers clearing snow and this will be made available for volunteers to read. Aside from this, volunteers remain responsible for their own actions and will need to make their own judgements on how best to carry out clearance activities.

Q: Can I use the shovels to clear my own path? We hope to be able to focus on public areas like those mentioned above, but if there are shovels available then nearby residents wishing  to use them at their own properties  are welcome to do so (remembering of course to return the shovels afterwards…)

Q: How can I find out more? If you have any questions now, please use the comments box below (please state if you don’t want you question to be published) If we do get heavy snow and this service opens, check back on this website. We also expect to be updating from the @heglat Twitter feed, using the hashtags #bhsnow and #hanover

Click the following link to download the full council guidance A simple how to guide for snow clearing for Volunteers

And here is a short version, just dealing with the practical aspects of snow clearance: Short Snow Guide

September meeting in brief – pt 1 parking on Elm Grove

Pretty much everyone would agree that arrangements like this (left) are a problem. You get a lot of this on Elm Grove where pavement parking is common. Enforcement powers exist on those stretches covered by double yellow lines, but this has not been carried out in recent years and at the moment – in parking terms – anything goes. Following concerns around the level of accidents and complaints about restricted access for residents and pedestrians, the council recently came up with a plan; namely that from October 3rd, those parking on the pavement where double yelow lines were in place would be issued a fixed penalty notice.

A number of residents were unkeen on this solution, which made the September LAT meeting busier than usual as this chance was taken to raise the issue with ward councillors. Because of concerns identified via the Elm Grove Residents Action Group the ward councillors had come armed with a potential compromise; to delay any enforcement action for a three month period to give time for further discussions with the local community and hopefully to arrive at an alternative approach for challenging illegal, dangerous and antisocial parking.

This outcome seemed broadly supported, although one resident who regularly faces problems getting into her home because of badly parked vehicles was unhappy about the delay. A mix of views was expressed, with the majority seeming in agreement that the worst examples of bad parking and pavement driving should be tackled, but that some form of better managed pavement parking would be neccesary to meet local parking needs. This was not unanimous, with some residents feeling that all pavement parking should cease in line with the highway code and existing legal powers.

The next steps: after he has confirmed that it is OK to put back the enforcement date Cllr Follett will put together a working group comprised of local residents, with specialist input from councill officers, police etc… and including comment from special interest groups such as disability organisations, cycling groups, and the school.

A sign up sheet was circulated at the meeting and quite a few residents volunteered to take part in the working group. Anyone who wasn’t at the meeting who would like to be involved should contact Cllr Follett – matt.follett@brighton-hove.gov.uk to find out more.

As more information becomes available about this process, it will be posted on this site.

The remainder of the meeting included a discussion of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) and a brief summary of this will be posted next. Both of these topics, and other issues covered at the meeting will be included in the full minutes, to be published in due course.

What’s going on at the Pepperpot? – A Message From FoPP

Dear all,

The long awaited restoration of the Pepperpot Tower started earlier this year, however you may have noticed that not much has been happening in recent weeks.

Why is this? The good news is that in doing the restoration we found out that the Pepperpot includes ‘Rangers’ stone which was one of the first types of concrete ever used, rather like a lime concrete. This adds even more to the historical significance of the tower.

The bad news is that as a result of finding this out the council had to make sure that the planned works were appropriate and also would preserve and not damage the rangers stone. This, combined with discovering that some of the Pepperpot’s restoration work that needed to be done was more extensive than first expected, has meant that the project has been delayed and  the likely completion date is now October. 

As the funds that were set aside for the restoration works were limited this also sadly means that the tower won’t be fully restored when the scaffolding comes down but we certainly hope it will be a big improvement on how it looked before! The next stage for the group will be to seek outside funding so the tower can be fully restored to its former glory.

We also decided at our last meeting that, following the restoration of the Pepperpot, we would really like to seek a possible future use for the building. This means that, as well as seeking funding for the potential full restoration of the outside, there would need to be a fully costed plan for the inside of the folly.

We have achieved a lot so far, thanks to our volunteers and supporters but it’s important that we continue to build on this. We’ve written below skills would particularly help us to proceed to the next stage of our project.

We need people with skills in: Architecture, Fundraising and Book-keeping / accountancy. We would also like to aim to be more proactive with our fundraising and media profile so it would be great if anyone were willing to help with maintaining the website. If you have experience and / or skills in these areas (or know anyone who does) please let us know. Of course if you want to volunteer your time and skills in any other way we would be very grateful.

The Friends of the Pepperpot hold regular meetings – usually at Workshops for the Imagination on Islingword Street. Please check our Facebook pages for more information.

Thanks and Best wishes

Rachel Fryer
Chair of Friends of the Pepperpot