MINUTES of the Hanover & Elm Grove LAT
6th June 2016 at 7pm
[All Actions to be taken from the meeting are shown throughout in bold]
Present (as recorded on attendance list):
Chris Taylor (Chair); David Hearn (Secretary) Gill Perkins; Chris & Della Roberts; Brian Weaver; Lucy Walker; Clare Peace; Richard De-Warrenne Waller; Maji Bensliman; Cllr David Gibson; Pam & Steve Chapman; Ian McIntyre; Andrew Smith; Patricia Smith; Brian Ravenett; Annette Bell; Nick Adams; Gillian Fleming; Brian Jones; Rob Bishop; Angela Sains; James Hewland; S Goddard.
N.B. attendees who do not ‘sign’ the attendance list are not recorded.
The Chair invited all attendees to the meeting and for those new to the group to introduce themselves.
Cllr. Dick Page and Cllr. Emma Daniel sent their apologies.
2. Minutes and matters arising:
Attendees accepted the minutes of 4th April 2016 pointing out the typo at Point 2 which should read 4th February 2016 and not 2015.
Matters Arising: None
3. Police Report
PCSOs Flo Woods and Janine Redman (JR) offered their apologies. The Chair confirmed that the police had had some recent success with a series of arrests made for street dealing of drugs. Residents living close to the twitten between Hanover Street and Hanover Terrace reported a marked improvement in recent weeks.
One resident requested further advice be provided on the best way to report so called “drugs cars” that are often seen parked on streets or outside party houses. Earlier information received from the PCSO’s indicated that where suspicious activity was thought to be taking place, residents should obtain the car registration number and report the matter using the 101 number.
Alternatively incidences of anti-social driving or abandoned vehicles can be reported on line using the reporting template on the Operation Crackdown website www.operationcrackdown.org provided by Sussex Police.
The Chair confirmed that he would obtain further information from the PCSO team to help clarify the reporting process.
Residents interested in learning more about the performance of Sussex Police can find further information on the Watch Live website including webcasts of meetings between the Police Commissioner and the Police Constable https://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/webcasting/
4. Guest Speaker – Magpie Recycling
A number of calls to City Clean to send a representative to the meeting had failed. The Chair had invited a representative from Magpie Recycling to address the meeting but unfortunately that person also failed to attend.
In the absence of the speakers, the Chair opened the floor to comments from residents. The following points were raised:
- Magpie Recycling service – For those interested in improving their approach to recycling, Magpie’s weekly recycling collection service costs £1.00 per week. The service accepts all forms of plastics, tetra paks, batteries and bulbs. Residents using the service report high satisfaction levels. Information can be found here magpie.coop.
Cllr Gibson noted that whilst the Council resorts to incinerating much of its unsorted recycled material, Magpie sort and recycle a higher amount of material that it collects.
- Food Waste – the composting service previously available at the Hanover Community Centre had been discontinued. Trustees who operated the scheme at the HCA offered the following advice. Those seeking to provide a compositing service either directly with neighbours or through initiatives like B&H Food Partnership http://bhfood.org.uk/compost-in-the-community, should ensure that effective monitoring and control arrangements are in place in order to meet all legal and waste transfer obligations.
- City Clean’s performance on collection appeared to be improving with few residents reporting few problems with missed bins and missed collection days.
- Resident Behaviour – there was a general feeling from those present at the meeting that the current situation could be improved by educating residents on refuse and recycling a little more. Suggestions included – distribution of city clean leaflets; the identification and reporting of problem properties; collection day notices on lamp posts; re-instatement of wheelie bins and a reassessment of arrangements for communal bins at Washington and Coleman Street.
- Communal Bins – a general discussion took place on the pros and cons of communal bins with one resident recounting the incidents of disruption to their life caused by the extended and uncontrolled use of the communal bin area directly outside their house on Washington Street. The resident was in regular contact with Council officers to try and resolve a number of issues including noise, fly tipping and commercial waste vehicles all operating outside his front windows.
Cllr Gibson noted that local ward Councillors were aware of the issues raised by the resident and proposed that where communal bins are proposed in future, a double lock should be introduced so that as well as general residents considering proposals, those living by communal bins should also have say as to whether they would be happy to have them located outside their properties.
The resident requested if a copy of the original communal bin consultation could be made available.
The Chair thanked those present for their comments and agreed to continue to make attempts to contact City Clean so that a representative may attend the next HEGLAT meeting.
5. Parking Consultation Update
The Chair notified the meeting that Councillors and Council Officers were due to meet on Tuesday 7th June to discuss the results of the initial consultation. No details had so far been released but information would be made available on the HEG LAT website as soon as it was released by the Council. Councillors are set to discuss the findings and next steps at the Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee on 28 June and it was anticipated that representatives from the HEG LAT could attend.
A follow up meeting of the HEG LAT Parking Sub group had been arranged for 14th June at 8pm in the Southover Pub.
- Piano Warehouse Planning Application Bonchurch Road. The Chair reported that he had received information that a new planning application had been made for the site to create living space for 23 persons. An earlier application for dwellings to house 16 persons had been withdrawn as it was not economically viable. Local objections with the application included concerns with over development of the site and blight to neighbouring properties and the Patch. When asked 18 attendees voted in favour of the Chair lodging a collective response to object to the application on behalf of HEG LAT residents.
- The Casserole Club. Dick Page provided information to the Chair on a new food initiative to be launched in June in conjunction with the B&H Food Partnership. The national project connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a home cooked meal with isolated neighbours living close by. Further details can be found here https://www.casseroleclub.com
- University of Sussex – New contacts welcomed – The Chair welcome Lucy Walker and Clare Peace to the meeting. Lucy provided information on the services of the University’s new Local Community and Student Information point operated at 91 Lewes Road. Lucy’s work areas included providing advice for students on tenancy agreements and private sector renting and working as the community liaison officer, Clare’s work area was helping to find accommodation for students looking to live with families in the area. Clare and Lucy can be contacted via the Lewes Road office which operates Monday- Friday 10am-4pm.
Those present noted the pro active approach taken by UoS in setting up the information point but queried the approach of U of Brighton which had so far appeared more difficult to engage. The Chair agreed to continue in his attempts to contact U of B representatives to discuss how the community and the university could better work together.
Re: building effective relationships – it was agreed that Lucy and members of the HCA should meet to discuss possibilities to develop opportunities for further student volunteering and community related projects in the HEG LAT area.
- Alcohol Licence The Apple Cart Lewes Road – The Chair reported information received from Cllr Dick Page that an application for an alcohol licence had been granted to the Apple Cart, bringing the number of approved licences to 11 in the area. Objections to the licence had included concerns with over saturation but the Licensing Committee had approved the application subject to certain conditions being met. Residents with any particular feedback about the subsequent performance of the licence holder are encouraged to advise the Council in due course.
- Planning Application former GAK Warehouse Gladstone Place. Cllr D Gibson informed the meeting of a proposed change of use for the building to create a mix of student and residential accommodation. A working group of residents had reviewed the proposals and considered that on balance the proposal provided significantly more student units than residential ones and that on this basis they were prepared to object to the application. Cllr Gibson requested that HEG LAT vote in favour of supporting the views expressed by the Gladstone Place working group. On a show of hands 21 residents present at the meeting voted to agree with the views of the Gladstone Place working group. The Chair agreed to lodge an objection to the application on behalf of HEG LAT residents.
- HMO Working Group – Chris and Della Roberts (HEGLAT representatives) outlined work to date of the HMO Working Group. An information flowchart had been created to enable residents to search, check and report suspect houses operating without valid HMO licences. In addition once found standard template letters had been produced to send to lettings agents. Details of the information and templates had been posted on the HEGLAT website.
The meeting was also informed of the high number of local properties found to be listed for rent on the AIRBnB website. The Chair acknowledged the findings and hoped that a similar approach being adopted by the Council to Party House and Holiday rentals could be applied to AIRBnB properties.
- Hanover Community Centre – 40 Year Anniversary – Community Fun Day Sunday 3 July. Post meeting details of the community fun day event planned to mark the 40th anniversary of the Hanover Community Centre.
Meeting ended at 8.40pm
Date of next meeting: Monday 12 September 2016.