Minutes of the Hanover and Elm Grove Local Action Team (LAT) held on Monday 21st May 2012 at the Hanover, Queens Road.
Present: Cllr Liz Wakefield (Chair), Cllr Matt Follett, Damien Marmura (Cityclean), Kerry Dowling (Link), Christopher Tucker (University of Sussex), Andy Keefe (University of Brighton), Neil Hawke, Brian Ravenett, John Woolerton, Christina Pepper, Simon Bannister and Tony Baker (Environment Improvements).
Apologies: Cllr Bill Randall, Kevin Mannall.
1. Matters arising from the previous meeting
Matt reported that there has been another Transport meeting to further develop thinking on the Elm Grove parking issue and once he has met with the Chair of the Transport Committee, he will call another transport meeting.
Liz invited Andy Keefe to comment on the information provided by the Universities to students. He listed a lot of information they receive to enable them to live properly in communities. Damien added that Cityclean provide information also, including emails. Liz concluded by saying that residents of HMO’s (not just students) do not have any excuses not to know what is required of them. Simon reported that the final consultation on HMO’s is now live and after 28th May the council is also asking for comments on the City Plan which includes policies on student housing and HMO’s.
2. Street cleaning and communal bins
Damien reported the good news that following the reduced service over the last few months, Cityclean are now managing to provide Hanover with their own dedicated barrow boys again. One is already here and the other will be recruited in June. He hopes to start the consultation about communal bins across the whole of Hanover in September. Residents will be asked to if they want communal bins in their street and receive a map showing where the bins would be placed. Damien would like the letter to residents to come jointly from the LAT and from Cityclean. He also hopes that on-street recycling bins will be provided in 2013. Residents generally welcomed these proposals.
3. Health watchdog
Kerry explained that she works for the Brighton & Hove health watchdog, currently called Link and went on to encourage people to contact them if they have a problem with any public funded health service in the City. She gave examples of their work such as investigation into the new system of direct payments for care and inspections of care homes. In future they may be able to help people take complaints through the system. She will put an article on the LAT’s blog-site https://heglat.wordpress.com/
4. Street Focus
Tony described the progress to-date: residents helped to carry out a street audit flagging up the location of graffiti, broken pavers, problems with refuse being left out etc. This data was then sorted and sent to the relevant service provider. They have responded and they have removed/painted over almost all of the graffiti and the worst of the broken pavers have been replaced.
There was also a community clean up event: a small number of residents carried out a number of tasks, which the street cleaning staff have not found time for over recent months. Residents joined council staff in scraping stickers off signs and posts, cutting off cable ties, removing some of the weeds which grow between pavers and picking up some of the mess left by refuse bags being torn apart by seagulls. Tony explained that, the reason for carrying out clean up events is to do some of the tasks that Cityclean do not always have time to do but also to make the point that members of the community care about people messing up their streets. Some people think they can soil the streets and this is not a problem because someone is paid to clean up after them, but this is to miss the point about how much such services cost and the length of time everyone has to suffer filthy streets before the cleaners arrive.
Tony promoted the drop-in event coming up on Tuesday 29th May, which will show people how to plant up window boxes and will help people make their own vertical planter out of a pallet. Matt thanked Tony on behalf of the meeting for this project.
Brian pointed out that, if communal bins are introduced to all streets, binvelopes and bins will disappear making more space for planters. Christina said that the pavements would be clearer as people move their bikes into the street racks being installed. Liz pointed out that people worry that abandoned bikes might take up room on these racks, but she said that the council will remove bikes if they are abandoned, so people should report this. Neil said that we should replicate the street audit by looking for small unoccupied patches of land and sowing wild flowers on them. Liz raised the issue of public use of space at Beaufort Terrace and Cobden Road. Simon said a certificate of lawfulness was needed before Southern Water would allow official public use of this land. Action: Liz will investigate.
5. Any other business
Christina recommended the HASL (Hanover Action for Sustainable Living) meeting which is to be held on Wednesday 27th June at 7.15 at the Hanover pub. The meeting is open to anyone living in Hanover and will explore new ideas which people bring to that meeting.
6. Date of next meetings: (all at the Hanover at 7pm)
- Monday 23 July
- Monday 17th September and
- Monday 19th November.
For further information please visit the lat site: https://heglat.wordpress.com/