Meeting Minutes – Hanover and Elm Grove LAT 17th June 2013
Actions are shown in bold.
Present (as recorded on attendance list): Chris Taylor (Chaired the meeting), Hannah Booth (Secretary), Mark Woolford (Sussex Uni. Housing Assistant), David Gibson (Green Party Councillor), Simon Bannister (B&H Council), PCSOs Dawn Kitson & Janine Redman, Charlie Doidge, John & Sally Holmes, Christopher Tucker, Ann Howard, Christian Pepper, Patricia Smith, Andrew Smith, Angela Sains, Ollie & Faye Mills, Wilf Nicholls.
Apologies: Neil Hawke (Islingword Place), Pam & Steve Chapman, Claudia Lester.
No other official absence apologies reported.
- Minutes and matters arising:
PCSOs reinforced that offenders can and do get prosecuted for ‘tagging’ and reminded the meeting that if any graffiti is seen, to report it immediately – advice also given to take a photo of the offending area before it may be painted over by yourself or others.
No major items of graffiti had been reported since the last meeting although Dawn Kitson did report that there had been some graffiti (a ‘bout’ during a short period) on houses.
The issue of what is to be done regarding the current ‘trial’ bins in Washington and Coleman Streets was again discussed at some length.
Discussion centred on the issues of ongoing, highly evident fly-tipping (particularly at weekends, when students move out of HMOs and also by builders and other trades-people, and at other key times of year).
Local residents reported to the meeting having had conversations with building tradesmen who “happily” volunteered information regarding their ‘dumping’ of materials (including toxic materials and asbestos etc.) due to the fact that the communal bins made it easier to dump rather than go to the tip or take waste away themselves. Some residents, who previously felt that the communal bins were a positive solution to refuse collection in Hanover, have now changed their minds (not just during the problematic times of the CityClean strike) due to fly-tipping and ‘dumping’ in particular.
Next-steps were considered at length:
Further consultation(s)? Inviting representatives from CityClean to the HEGLAT meetings? Locks on existing communal bins? Street-by-street decision-making? Changes to collection times/days? Consultation(s) regarding improved green waste collection, including food-waste? Improved advertising of and use of existing schemes (Magpie, Shabitat, and the Car Club etc.)? Better ‘policing’ of fly-tipping and gathering evidence of repeat offenders?
Actions suggested are as follows:
- Chris Taylor (Chair) said that he would e-mail CityClean about garden waste collection and potential seasonal compromises.
- Mark Woolford (Sussex Uni.) said that he would look further into issues with fly-tipping and excess waste being produced/dumped by students and could suggest putting more information into their student ‘packs’ and improve regular updates to info. regarding local services and where to take household items (particularly at certain times of year/end of terms).
- Accommodation Issues:
Mark Woolford spoke on behalf of Sussex University, giving positive examples of more cases of prosecution being heard in the past 3-4 months (and students fined, £50 per offender) for repeat offences of noise, local disruption and so on.
Chris Taylor read out a list of registered HMOs on Coleman St. And raised the fact that there are still many HMO applications/registrations to be processed before a more complete and ‘true’ list is available.
Cllr. Bill Randall reminded the meeting of the licensing scheme being relatively new; there have been over 300+ applications, 200 of which have been processed and others are due to be processed in the near future. There are also plans for new-build accommodation, and Article 4 is in. The council therefore now does have more ‘power’ to look into complaints and concerns.
Simon Bannister discussed the issues from the Queens’ Park LAT of ‘party houses’ where properties are rented for holiday purposes to stag- and hen-dos etc. – if anyone in the HEGLAT notices these ‘party houses’ appearing in our area he requested that we also share the information with QPLAT. Bill Randall also asked that he be directly informed and reminded the meeting of his contact details. He also reminded the meeting of information on the B&H Council website which has lists of HMOs and licensing.
Chris reminded the meeting of the suggestions from the previous HEGLAT regarding improved identification of property management:
(sic. “It was suggested by several people (with agreement from Richard, Andy, Dan) that plaques could be fixed subtly to all HMO-style residencies stating which Letting Agency/Uni. etc. owns the properties – consensus of opinion by all was that action should (and will) be taken by representatives at the meeting to ensure that ALL Lettings Agencies, landlords, Universities etc. enforce tenancy agreements more closely, enforce Section 51 notices and eviction warnings, fix plaques to properties showing who they are owned/run by, change Agency policies accordingly and improve inter-agency and University communication”). It was hoped that Dan Lyons would be able to attend future meetings and update on these suggestions.
Chris Taylor also reported that he had set up a meeting with Dan Lyons to discuss these points, and Mark Woolford also confirmed that he had sent a letter to superiors at the Sussex Uni. regarding the idea of individual property bins being fixed to properties and for students to sign a ‘Code of Conduct’ when they move into properties.
- Police report:
Dawn Kitson: After briefly discussing graffiti on homes and reminding people to take photos and let them know of problems as soon as possible, the meeting was also reminded to contact the PCSOs if they became aware of the aforementioned ‘party houses’. It was noted that there had been less noise from students/HMOs recently in both Hanover and Elm Grove.
Janine Redman reported on Elm Grove matters; there are still problems at the Allotments – issues are being dealt with and a Street Surgery’ was to be held the following Saturday, handing out padlocks and giving advice etc.
Some discussion was then generated regarding the issues of parking and speeding in the area (see A.O.B. below); Janine suggested that a ‘Day of Action’ could be organised during which speed-traps could be set on particular streets and opinions could be gathered from residents in a survey or such like.
The question of parking was again raised; Bill Randall talked about various actions that could be approached as well as problems with pavement parking and parking by builders, AMEX and Gatwick workers, individuals selling cars etc., potentially introducing more white and yellow lines, private acts, the Albion Hill permit parking consultation not being re-balloted until 2015, the possibility of introducing one-way-streets into Hanover.
General discussion then drew to a close with agreement being made from those present to action a survey of residents regarding parking issues and numbers of cars per household, and to suggest that permanent residents’ vehicles could display a ‘Glastonbury’ style sticker to mark them out as belonging to residents rather than visitors. Is was agreed that a street-by-street survey allowing for proper discussions with residents was preferable to a paper/postal survey.
- Date of next meeting:
It was agreed to hold the next meeting on Monday 5thAugust 2013, 7:00pm at The Southover.
PCSO contact details: Janine.Redman@sussex.PNN.Police.uk
Mark Woolford: M.A.Woolford@sussex.ac.uk
Richard Roalfe: R.A.Roalfe@brighton.ac.uk
Phoenix Halls – 01273 230949
To report anti social driving go to: http://www.operationcrackdown.org
To keep in touch with issues discussed at the HEGLAT please visit the website: https://heglat.wordpress.com/