Meeting Minutes September 2013

Minutes of the Hanover and Elm Grove LAT meeting of 30th September 2013

Present (as recorded on attendance list): Chris Taylor (Chaired the meeting), Hannah Booth (Secretary), Liz Wakefield (B&H Councillor), Simon Bannister (B&H Council, Community Projects), Bill Randall (Councillor), PCSO Dawn Kitson & PC Leatham (Sussex Police NPT), Steve Reeves (Reeves Town & Council Planning), Patricia Smith, Andrew Smith (Hanover Terrace), Christina Pepper (Washington St.), Brian Ravenett (Beaufort Terrace), Charlie Doidge (Lincoln St.), Ivor Fried (Carlyle St.), Julie & Phillip Darnbrough (Ewart St.), Nick Barnett (Arnold St.), Gill Perkins, Gillian Fleming (Hanover Street), Lisa Murray, David Gibson, Simon White, Wilf Nicholls, Fi Nicholls, Ian Macintyre, Colin Chadwick (QPLAT), Sonia Hogg, Charlie Heather, Jill Harbord, Alex Potter, Steve Phipps, Jon Simmons (Elm Grove) and Brian Witten (Bonchurch Rd.)

Apologies: Mark Woolford (Sussex Uni. Housing Assistant), Emma Daniel (Councillor), Angela Sains, Julia Pilgrim (Hanover Terrace), John & Sally Holmes (Hanover Terrace), Claudia Lester and Pam & Steve Chapman

No other official absence apologies reported.

 1.      Minutes and matters arising:  

Garden/Green waste collection: In reference to last month’s minutes, Bill Randall confirmed that proposals are in but no follow-up/report received as yet.

Communal Bins: Bill opened discussion on by passing on apologies from CityClean who are currently undergoing changes and, amongst other problems, sent out recent flyers stating the wrong days for changed refuse and recycling collections; he can help to clear up any confusion if people require confirmation or information.

Bill also reported that CityClean themselves have stated that they have received no negative reports regarding the existing communal bins in Washington & Coleman Streets.  Suggestions at the last meeting of action for more collections per week – especially for communal bins in all areas of the city (3 weekly collections) – are part of the considerations but there are no reports on any proposals yet.

Charlie Doidge stated that she would be happy to help in any future surveys or proposals conducted by HEGLAT regarding the bins and also parking; there is also feeling from Washington St. (mentioned by Christina Pepper) that initial surveys were fair for many residents (70% in favour of communal bins); further discussion on potential surveys TBC.

Graffiti: It was confirmed that Damien Mamura (local CityClean manager) is the main contact for dealing with issues of graffiti.

1     Parking and proposed Elm Grove CPZ

The great majority of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the imminent introduction of CPZ and parking restriction proposals, affecting Elm Grove itself and therefore potentially affecting the wider area of HEGLAT residents.

Steve Reeves (Town & Council Planning) had been invited to speak on the subject of how to approach alternative proposals for the area, not just regarding the Elm Grove proposals – of which the meeting had only just heard about – but also with regards to ongoing discussion, concern and LAT survey proposals for the Hanover area (see previous minutes for details of suggestions discussed).

Chris Taylor had put together some ideas for potential survey points (see Chris or Hannah for details) which prompted discussion and raised additional points to consider including what is considered to be a stable or permanent resident, issues of city-wide parking, students, Amex, costs of permits and administration.

Steve Reeves talked about previous surveys having been conducted in local and city-wide areas, all of which can be viewed online; these reports also list costs.  Steve can e-mail the meeting a summary of costs and previous CPZ planning details.

How the council spends income from CPZs was hotly debated; Steve discussed monies being spent on bus-routes and reduced fares as well as some community funded projects, although it was pointed out that residents’ opinions are not properly taken into account and there is a bigger, city-wide problem in addition to the local HEGLAT area.

Lots of discussion lent towards the fact that parking is an issue city-wide and only by revisiting city-wide aspects of parking would things resolve locally.  There was much impassioned discussion from all attendees around different aspects of parking and effects on different areas, city-wide issues, comparisons to how the city ‘worked’ in the past, cycling, reduction of cars, changes to the timing of parking limits (i.e. no more ‘8 to 8’ restrictions) and how much revenue would be paid back into the community.  Steve Reeves stated that a “soft-touch” approach in presenting alternatives to the council “wouldn’t work” and that the council were unlikely to reduce or alter the ‘8 to 8’ restrictions “due to loss of revenue”.  Steve Bannister and Bill Randall both agreed in favour of a survey of some sort for our local area, gaining necessary statistics and improving the “soft-touch” approach by looking at proposals in a different way.  Liz Wakefield spoke about people’s feelings and views echoing those which have been raised in the past, regarding both issues of parking and refuse; she considered a local survey option to be positive, carefully choosing questions for such a survey, taking into account student vehicles, ensuring the council doesn’t “over-sell” CPZ permits per space (as in Hove), consulting with Amex about their proposed travel-planning scheme for workers – this final point in particular being considered an action point for the meeting.

Bill raised the point (in consideration of Steve Reeves’ comments about spending of revenue on bus-related issues) that buses are in fact privatised (under the Conservatives) and the council no longer has any relations to the bus companies in Brighton & Hove.  David Gibson echoed other comments that this clearly isn’t an easy’ problem to solve but we can still act as a community and consider our next steps: getting together a ‘working party’, drawing up questionnaire(s) accordingly and acquiring as much statistical data as possible to present to the council in the future.

Steve Reeves drew discussion towards a close by reminding the meeting that not all people’s views will be able to be reflected in decisions; the principle of council consultation is to gain views but there are no guarantees; the council does require raw data and a “decent survey” in order to consider an alternative type of CPZ tailored for the local area.  For any further details regarding discussion at the meeting and points raised by Steve Reeves or others present, please see Hannah directly.

Actions agreed were as follows: 

  • Chris Taylor to organise a working party as soon as possible (names taken at the end of the meeting – see Hannah for more details if required).
  • Working Party to meet at an agreed time/date to begin survey proposals.
  • Bill Randall & Liz Wakefield to find out what “soft-touch” options could be pursued positively.
  • Steve Reeves to put together information for the meeting and working party regarding legalisation and ideas for a survey.
  • Chris Taylor to action informing all residents on Elm Grove of the recent developments in proposals and enforcement of a new CPZ/fines scheme.
  • Chris Taylor and the attendees of the HEGLAT to put forward an agreed indicative motion/statement (drawn up in the meeting during discussion) which will be relayed by Bill Randall to the council at the meeting on Wednesday 2nd October to stop proposals moving forward, if possible.

 3.      Accommodation Issues:

Bill Randall has followed up actions agreed at the last meeting on detailing planning laws and HMO guidelines, Licensing & Registration legalities (Article 4) etc.  City-wide across 5 wards two-thirds of known HMOs have applied for licensing and are being processed; Bill appealed to local residents to inform the council of any unregistered HMOs in the area.  The council will be conducting an official appeal for people to come forward with information of any potentially unregistered HMO including ‘party houses’.

Some discussion was begun (Wilf Nicholls) regarding past concerns and actions/proposals seeming to have been “brushed over” by the council; there is a decline of family interest/stability in housing in the area compared to time past and so on – matters for further discussion and continued pressure to be applied to the council to make changes/listen to residents (agreed by Bill Randall and Chris Taylor).

4.      Police report:

PCSO Dawn and PC Leatham presented the issue of Scamming to the meeting.  There has been a sharp rise is cases of scamming (by post), particularly targeting the elderly and infirm or bereaved – Dawn had visited 8 targeted houses in Hanover just that day (30th Sept.).  A request was made to the attendees of the meeting to be vigilant, check on neighbours and watch out for anything suspicious etc. and to contact police immediately if receiving such postal scams.  Information booklets were available at the meeting for distribution (Hannah Booth to distribute some booklets to local places such as the Health Centre, Fanny’s Deli, Archer’s Butchers, Islingword Rd. Post Office and so on).  The Home Office itself has set up a Police operation (Op. Jessica) to deal with scamming; B&H local police have their own initiative as part of this national operation (Op. Signature).

5.      A.O.B.:

Bill Randall discussed the issues of complaints about vandalism and fires (burnt motorbike) in the Hartington Road area and reiterated that if anything is seen or heard the police as well as the council should be contacted immediately.  Colin Chadwick praised the police for their quick, effective response to issues of late.

Other Actions agreed:

  • Simon Bannister said that he would be updating the official contact list on the HEGLAT website, adding details of the PCSOs, University Accommodation Officers, Graffiti Officer, transport and parking wardens, and noise patrol officers and so on.
  • Bill Randall and Simon Bannister agreed to look into a potential issue brought up by Christina Pepper of alcohol licensing for a shop on a corner of Southover Street and Washington Street.
  • Wilf Nicholls and others discussed concerns about the planning permission and proposed development for the ‘Piano Warehouse’; Liz Wakefield agreed to look into one resident’s particular issue of light being blocked from his property.
  • Simon Bannister will look into the possibility of developing a “neighbourhood plan” for the area affected by the ‘Piano Warehouse’ development, and similarly the issue of the development of the London Unity pub on Islingword Road/Hanover Terrace.

Recycling issues were also raised again, pertaining to the incorrect information flyers issued by CityClean (previously mentioned here in point 1 regarding refuse collection and communal bins) and the repercussions of more problems with refuse collection.  Bill Randall & Liz Wakefield are both involved with dealing with this matter and agree it is an outrage

6.      Date of next meeting:

It was agreed to hold the next meeting on Monday 2nd December 2013, 7:00pm at The Hanover. 

PCSO contact details:                        Janine.Redman@sussex.PNN.Police.uk                                                Dawn.Kitson@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/

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