Meeting Minutes July 2011

Hanover & Elm Grove Local Action Team

Minutes of meeting July 2011

Present: Cllr Liz Wakefield, Claudia (Hanover Terrace NW), Wilf (EGRAG) , Brian Ravenett, Connie, Dermot, Mark Woolford (Sussex University)  Dean Spiers, Kevin Mannall (University of Brighton), Damien Marmura (Cityclean) Chris from the Greys, PCSO Dawn Kitson, Simon Bannister (BHCC) Cllr Matt Follett

Apologies: Cllr Bill Randall, Anna Hunter, Julia Pilgrim, Tony Baker

1.         Cityclean – Damien Marmura

Following problems caused by Binvelopes left on the streets, Damien is planning a 3 month trial of communal bins on three Hanover Streets.

  • Bins will be smaller than the city centre com bins – 1100ltr
  • Streets will probably have 4 bins located close to the corners at each end. Care will be taken to locate them away from house frontages where possible
  • Bins will be fixed in place and locked to a post.
  • Lids will only open far enough for rubbish bags to be put in them – not larger items.
  • There will be 2 collections per week
  • If the trial is successful CityClean will look to extending it to other streets.
  • If the majority of residents prefer Binvelopes, the street will be able to keep them.
  • Elderly or disabled residents who have difficulty taking waste to the bins can apply for assisted collection

Damien circulated pictures from Argyle Street where this approach has been successfully implemented. For the Hanover trial, the streets under consideration so far are Coleman Street and Washington Street, with one other to be identified.

The trial proposed by Damien was well received by the meeting.

Other questions and comments to Damien:

Resident mentioned that Lewisham Council have developed a smartphone App www.lovecleanstreets.org which can be used to send images of problems directly to the council and recommended it as a helpful service. Damien also pointed to the different social media routes to reach CityClean –  http://twitter.com/recyclingrefuse   http://www.facebook.com/recyclingandrefuse

Resident from Coleman Street noted that they had considered serving a Litter Abatement Order on the Council to try to use enforcement powers to receive a better service. Damien commented that although they were welcome to take this action, it would be unlikely to result in a change of service via enforcement as Coleman Street was classed as a ‘medium intensity’ street which was cleaned weekly and this happens currently.

Can a bin be placed next to the bench on the Southover/Newhaven corner? Damien will investigate

On resident reported a settee dumped in the Hollow this morning & it had been removed buy this afternoon – thanks Cityclean for prompt action.

On the Elm Grove side – is the street sweeping co-ordinated with the refuse collection? Street cleansing and refuse collections are hard to co-ordinate as a dustcart will cover 25 streets per day whilst a road sweeper will cover 5 streets per day.

Can refuse staff pick up rubbish which they spill? Refuse staff should clean up any mess they make on the route, and any which they cannot clear up should be reported to the street cleansing team for action. This is a part of their job and there should be no reason for this not happening.

Coleman Street residents felt that this was not happening in their street and were advised to contact Damien with details. (see below)

Can street cleansing be mechanised to make it more efficient? Some machines are being trailed in the city centre but are not used in Hanover.

Damien is happy for residents to contact him directly: Damian.marmura@brighton-hove.gov.uk   01273 294467

2.         Matters arising from last meeting

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s): There is a list on the council website which is managed by the Private Rental Section. Cllr Follett recently walked around the area looking at HMO’s and is awaiting an officer report looking at possible changes to HMO regulations.

Comments from resident: It appears that the number of student houses in the area is increasing, though the council reports that the number of HMO’s is going down. It may be that current HMO’s are not reapplying (they are required to reapply after 5 years which for many is about now)

What are the criteria for non renewal of a licence? – Noise, disturbance?

Is enforcement of HMO’s efficient?

Could Martin Reed (BHCC Housing) be invited to a future meeting to discuss this in more detail?

Student housing issues

Comments from residents:

Very worried about domination of the area by student housing & want to create a balanced neighbourhood.

Regular and long term residents are moving out because of student neighbours, with their houses going to absentee landlords and this is very bad for the local economy.

One resident questioned whether student landlords could be compelled to pay council tax as students are exempt from it, however, it was noted that central government compensates for student council tax by direct grant to councils already.

Land next to the Geese: Enforcement action has been initiated but nothing yet has happened to improve the site – is there an update? Update will be provided for next meeting.

Hanover Day: Wet wasn’t it!

3.         Police Update

Very few calls to the area recently, with the local issues being vehicle crime and burglary. One resident thanked the police for a great response to a reported vehicle crime at Elm Grove.

4.         Students in the Community Sub group

The Students in the Community sub group was set up by Cllr Wrighton to look at particular issues around the student halls on Southover Street. It has been a successful and positive group, however, recognising that a more strategic approach is required to properly address these issues it has been recommended that the group should broaden out to include a wider range of participants, and should increase its area to cover the other main student areas along the Lewes Road corridor.

Comments:

There were concerns that the issues around Phoenix Hall would be lost or diluted, however it was recognised that a bigger group, more representative of the City as a whole would be able to achieve more and with less repetition and overlap.

The meeting agreed to extend the role and remit of the group as proposed. This will mean that it will no longer be a HEGLAT subgroup, but Cllr Follett will continue his involvement and HEGLAT will continue to contribute to the initiative.

5.         Transport Sub Group

The last Transport Sub Group was attended by Cllr Davey who outlined his approach as the new Cabinet member for Transport & the Public Realm. The group also discussed parking enforcement at Elm Grove and Lewes Road, provision for cyclists and cycle parking and local public transport. The minutes of this group have been posted on the HEGLAT website www.heglat.wordpress.com

The next meeting of this group will be September 29th.

6.         Other business

Website: A website for the LAT has been set up: www.heglat.wordpress.com This is currently edited by the Environment Improvement Team who are using it as a trial to inform the proposed overhaul of the www.safeinthecity.info site which details LAT activities. Any comments regarding the site please email simon.bannister@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Future meetings:  Requested topics for discussion at the next/future meetings included; soundscaping/noise reduction and small businesses and local shops.

7.         Next meeting

The next meeting of the LAT will be on Monday September 26th  7.30pm at the Hanover Public House

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