Minutes of Meeting 7th December 2015

[All Actions to be taken from the meeting are shown throughout in bold]

Present (as recorded on attendance list):

Chris Taylor (Chair); Gill Perkins (Temp Secretary); Rob Bishop (RB); Andrew & Patricia Smith (PS); Brian Ravenett (BR); Andrew Carslake (AC); John Pomeroy (JP); Paul Norman (HASL) (PN); Richard Johnson (BHCC) (RJ); Cllr David Gibson (DG); Cllr Tracey Hill (TH); Patrick Warner (B&H Buses) (PW); Tony Drics (TD); Laura King (Sussex University) (LK); Carol Beards; Gaye Hughes;

N.B. attendees who do not ‘sign’ the attendance list are not recorded.

1. Welcome:

The Chair invited all attendees to the meeting.

Apologies:

Cllr Dick Page, Dave Hearn.

2. Minutes and matters arising:

Attendees accepted the minutes of 5th October without objection.

Matters Arising;

  • Chair had contacted Charles Dudley re number of students living in university accommodation but he had not received a reply.
  • Nobody has downloaded the “Welcome to our Street” letter from the website.
  • There is an attempt to establish a forum between residents and students as per point no.7
  • Motion re buses (8) has been passed to the council. RJ was told about it and had phone conversation with CT as well. TD spoke to Councillor Gill Mitchell about it and she said it was top of their list of priorities because of the hill. Council is aware.

3. Paul Norman from HASL

HASL had an opening workshop where they discussed LAT type issues on transport, HMOs and recycling etc and are going to produce a two, five and ten year action plan. Issues discussed – 1. Living Wage employers to advertise that fact. 2. CPZ consultation to include trees and greener streets with some streets to be car-free. 3. Waste and recycling issues with no money and cuts to CityClean budget. Are we still able to keep individual bins over communal? University should help students to recycle.

HASL have two students working with them and aim to get more people involved with what’s going to happen and how we can help ourselves. More green spaces wanted. JP said that recycling boxes are part of the problem. LK said there is now an SMS text message system in place to tell students when their days are and if they change. CityClean can be contacted if residents want their own leaflets for their own streets and JP said he photocopied his own leaflet and distributed to four student houses. PS said Hanover Terrace is 40% students so much bigger problem there. Landlords to take more responsibility. DG worth checking to see if HMO licensing system had made things any better.

Action: DG to chase up notices to be stuck to lids of recycling boxes from CityClean.

4. Richard Johnson (BHCC bus services) and Patrick Warner (B&H Buses)

RJ said he is now the only person left in Bus Services at the council. Council picks up where buses aren’t profitable and they tender to bus companies to provide the services every four years. Prior to that services are reviewed and that is almost complete but has been kept open to allow for opinions from this LAT meeting. There is less money so council is approaching bus companies to see if they can take on more routes commercially rather than being subsidised. Also looking to universities to fund some routes which happens in other areas. So far there are no specific cuts but council will have to look at tender prices to see what can happen next. Council aware of community value of routes in Hanover & Elm Grove.

Council couldn’t afford to get bus 21 and 18 bus stops improved yet.

PW said they are the biggest commercial concern in B&H. Last year council made savings by passing these onto B&H buses. This year they will have to make tough decisions on what to take in particularly with proposed investment in new buses. AC said it was a fine bus service and PW said that frequent services produces more customers which can help fund other routes.

PN said that Southampton Uni subsidises routes so surely that could be done with routes in Brighton. PW said that 25 is operated commercially and profitably and is needed to fund less profitable routes. RJ said that there is a possibility of university funding a route from Falmer to Woodingdean. Could grow the route network without the council funding it. LK suggested that students in Southampton pay higher accomm costs to help fund this. Chair said that some landlords and letting agents have been encouraging householders in Woodingdean to seell up to provide more houses for HMOs for students. DG said the university did used to subsidise the route from Woodingdean to Falmer.

37b bus service – last meeting was vociferous with regard to this service. RJ said it was performing bette than it used to and hopefully it won’t be cut but he can’t say for certain. AC suggested running it on a Sunday and it would be even better.

BR said commercial companies cherry pick the best routes and since the 81 had gone the numbers on the 37b had increased. PW said that the company recieves 50% of a full fare under the pensioners bus pass scheme. He also said that 25% of services are low profit or loss and 75% make money and other companies could try to compete on other profitable routes. RJ said that universities could help with other routes eg Portslade to Hollingbury. The council want to improve links but currently cannot because of funding.

BR – time signs do not always come up and aren’t always correct. RJ said email him if problems are noticed. Compass buses are going to be added to these signs. PW said there have been problems with the new GPS system.

RJ info@brighton-hove.gov.uk or info@buses.co.uk

RB – are more information signs going to be expanded to more bus stops. RJ said only if funding allows. People can use the Bus App.

AC showed a yellow card available from B&H Buses for the Helping Hand Scheme (help for people getting on and off buses).

 5. Written Police Reports please find attached and on HEGLAT website.

6. AOB – a) Brading Rd problem. Charles Dudley is aware of this and it has been addressed. LK said there are three addresses in Brading Rd – two are being co-operative and one isn’t. At a meeting with Edward Bulger from Environmental Services the 7 female residents promised a written apology to residents and no more parties. He suspended the Notice of Anticipatory Breach unless anything else happened. There had been an assault on a resident and police, landlord and universities had all been notified. One house is still not playing ball and the Uni is going to follow this carefully. This is a different problem to the one brought up at the last LAT meeting. LK suggested writing an email to all houses with students in the road telling them what had happened and saying it shouldn’t happen again. It was suggested that a proper written letter would have more effect than an email (easily deleted) and Sussex Uni should liaise with Brighton Uni. LK sais they need as much info as possible in order to be able to take any action and guarantee they won’t pass on residents details to students. PS said it wasn’t just parties – it was on-going living, late nights etc.

LK said the student base at 91 Lewes Rd is now open and they have given Living in the Community leaflets to letting agents for distribution. Chair told residents to make use of the student hub and that he had spoken to the Sussex Uni Chancellor, Michael Farthing, at the launch if the hub and he had said that he wants to build more student acomm at Falmer as they’ve got masses of room. JP said he felt patronised by CD at the last meeting.

b) DG talked about alcohol licence extension at the Lewes Rd Co-op. By a show of hands the meeting voted for DG to object to this on behalf of the LAT.

c) Parking Survey – there is now a formal timeline which will be posted on the HEGLAT website. DG said it is in the council’s budget now so it shouldn’t slip.

d) One resident commented that the Motor Rewind shop on Islingword Rd was being converted to housing (two flats). It was understood that it has been bought by an HMO landlord who may be looking to use it as an HMO. Have they applied for an HMO licence? Could DG look into this?

e) Councillor Tracey Hill is looking to call a meeting in early February of LAT representatives in Article 4 wards to compare notes on HMOs and look at what is working and what’s not. She will explain what the council can and can’t do as the council is stretched particularly in Planning. Resident associations can do more as they can raise issues. Adrian Darby said there was no-one left in planning to do anything. TH agreed that planning application and enforcement is very short staffed but you should still report things. TH said you can send letters of objection and learn from what steps other people have taken. Provisional date for meeting to be either Jan 27th or February 3rd. Volunteers needed.

LK – students have been asked to “Rate your Landlord” via the Sussex Uni website.

7. Date of next meeting. Monday 1st February 2016