Chairs report 2016-2017

London Road Area Local Action Team (LAT)

Chair’s report 6th December 2016-14th November 2017

Meetings and attendance 2016-2017

2016

2017

January

17

15

February

17

16 – Speaker Cllr Tracey Hill on HMOs

March

17

13

April

21+2

21 – with Tracy Phipps

May

18

18 – Main Speaker – Sam Rouse- air quality and health

June

15

??

July

17

15

September

11

??

October

17

11

November

history meeting – Geoffrey Mead (?30)

t.b.c

During 2017 we have maintained a pace of one meeting per month – which is considerably more than many LATs. Our average attendance is 15.6 – which is also good for a voluntary organisation. The website is updated each month – which is good going. There is a need for time, energy and persistence to keep projects going.

Because of financial cutbacks the support from the Council is less, and support from the Police is a lot less. But communities’ expressions of care are even more needed now than ever.

Features of the past year

1. Neighbourhood Policing: The days of PCSO attendance are gone. We have not had a police officer in attendance at our meetings since July 2016 . Though we still have a good rapport with the local Inspector, contact with the local team has been much more difficult and fragmentary at best.

Various residents have flagged up frustration with the 101 phone system. There does not seem to be a suitable system for recording multiple incidents, and apparently concerns do not seem to get communicated adequately to the local Policing Team.

References to LATs have been removed from the Police website. We are no longer in a privileged position in policing policy. However successes have been achieved – see below.

2. The continuing saga of Viaduct Road.

In November 2015 it still seemed possible to get some response from the Council enforcement department regarding the appearance of Viaduct Road, but this has waned. Efforts to transform the traffic calming scheme into the communal bin scheme been approved by Council Committee and have promised something, but so far delivered nothing.

3. The Mayor: Cllr Pete West was honoured as Mayor for one year up to May 2017.

4. Licensing: we have monitored various licensing applications. Currently International Food and Wine is high up on the list.

5. The London Road Town Team has continued to work for a much-needed Business Improvement District (BID). There was an initiative centred round the cafe in Circus Parade, but it has proved difficult to keep up the momentum.

6. HMO issues have been of concern in particular locations e.g. Winchester Street, Beaconsfield Road

7. Begging and Rough Sleepers – continues to be noticeable, but it is a feature across the whole of central Brighton.

8. Rise of drug-dealing and associated behaviour.

We are very grateful to the team from Equinox who have attended regularly and responded promptly to concerns expressed.

This issue has been flagged up in

Providence Place – with successful intervention from Community Safety Team

Brunswick Row – keenness from local business but outcome unknown

Winchester Street – good outcome via PCSOs without so much involvement of local Inspector

The Level – we are told that this is a matter for attention, CCTV is intended to be installed. This is an overlap with the Level Communities Forum

Oxford Street – residents approached the police and LAT in August. In consultation with Cllr West and P.W. Simon Bannister formed a plan to obtain permissions for gating “Bat and Ball Alley”

We have been concerned by violent incidents. Machete, at least 2 stabbings in London Road– apparently drug-related. Someone with firearms.

9. Donation to funds – a generous gift from an ex-resident was received in the sum of £250

10. Newsletter – this was mooted as far back as January and has taken until now to produce.

11. Social Media: Twitter – has continued with a following of 1927 followers at time of writing. The website continues to maintain a “London Road” presence in cyber space. The website is updated each month.

12. LAT Chairs Forum meetings. The cross-city LAT Chairs forum is held four times per year and is attended by PW, who has sometimes volunteered to chair that group. It affords (a) an insight into the varied role of different LATs, many of whom are more concerned with purely residential matters (e.g. combatting loneliness). (b) a way of moving items up the agenda for the attention of Police and Community Safety Team.

Thanks: to those who have helped in every way – to Lucy Dunleavy (Vice-Chair), Lindsay Debach & Corinne Lamb (minutes), Mike Hedgethorne (Treasurer), to Cllrs Pete West and Lousia Greenbaum for their support. Also to Calvary Church Trustees for kindly waiving fees for use of the rooms.

Thanks to all who have attended or even supported from a distance.

Philip Wells 11/11/17

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