London Road Area LAT Meeting – Minutes 7/7/15 –
1. Welcome apologies and introductions
Present: Philip Wells (Chair), Alan Brigginshaw (Stanley Road), Phil Brady, Mark Woolford, Wendy Taylor, Emma Sheridan , Lucy Dunleavy (Vice-Chair), Ayanna Knight, Tony Firmin, Mike Everett, Terry Reed, Eve Jacobs-Bannm, Tora Colwill, Richard Baraball, Bob Chilton, Simon Bannister, Mike Hedgethorne, Ruth Muinde (=18)
Apologies: Cathy Reeves (vice Chair), Christina Bennet (Stanley Road), Hilary Forrester, Chris Sevinck and Elspeth Broady ,Angie Bonnel, Amanda Healey (St Barts), Louisa Greenbaum & Pete West – meeting in Portslade, Tim Read and Jonathan Ridley (Comunity Safety Casework), Charles Dudley (UOS),
“One of our caseworkers is working with a young person who has historically committed acts of anti-social behaviour and hate incidents around London Road and The Level. The number of reported incidents has dropped this year although the Community Safety Partnership will give consideration to issuing a Criminal Behaviour Order warning should it continue to receive reports of their involvement in further anti-social behaviour and/or hate incidents. Please encourage people to report any incidents to Sussex Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
Sandy Crowhurst (NLCA), Andy Winter (resident and BHT), Mohammed Azaduzzaman
Mohammed wants us to know – One voice event – Sun 26/7 Community event invite (see website)
Wendy Taylor – Deputy Director, Cranstoun drug and alcohol service
Mike Everett – Study Group i.e. the college/school near Jury’s Inn.
Mark Woolford – Private sector housing, University of Sussex.
Emma Sheridan and Phil Brady – Local council planning consultants.
- Minutes from previous meeting approved
- There will be no LAT meeting in August.
- September/Oct/Nov timetable discussed in general.
- Dates to be fixed for AGM and Open Evening after summer break
- Usual pattern will likely remain of meeting first Tuesday of each month.
2. Policing and Licensing –
Philip got back in touch with Chief Inspector Gareth Davis who gave the LAT his absolute support and said his staff will find a way of making it a priority to attend the meetings.
Philip got back in touch with Brian McCarthy also, who is keen to work together with the LAT re. PCSO attendance and so will ask PCSOs for details of their timetables to make this possible. He will meet with Phil to chat through workable dates. It was asked how flexible the meetings could be in terms of dates.
It was noted that having a fixed day is positive for regular attendance – numbers have been going down recently, with the last two meetings less well attended than in the past. It was suggested that the consequences of changing the day and time of LAT meetings could be serious as people would then not be able to plan their schedule so effectively.
It seems the police know their diary a year or more in advance so Phil suggested that – if it meant that we got a PCSO attending the meeting – it would be worth it even if a few of the Tuesday we met on a different Tuesday of the month. However, it was noted that we wouldn’t want to present an open option of dates to the police, that any change of date would be shared in advance, and that the overall preference is for the meeting to continue on the first Tuesday of each month.
- Lucy Dunleavy reminded the group to make use of the new notice board which is on the front wall of the Duke of York’s on the left hand side.
- A LAT chairs meeting has been arranged and will take place on 2-4pm 23rd July at Friends Centre in Ship Street.
2.b Policing Priorities
- It was agreed to keep the priorities the same.
- Richard mentioned that in the greenway there’s someone camping.
In response Simon Bannister and others mentioned that there could be a degree of flexibility towards people sleeping rough/social drinking in the locale in proportion to the nuisance caused – that we could perhaps be a bit more sympathetic towards them. Talking about the encampments around St Peters/ by Jurys Inn/York Place. It was noted that there is a spectrum of need – that some ‘choose’ to sleep rough, for instance because they have dogs.
A desire was voiced to nuance the actions towards rough sleepers and sleep drinking – but it was suggested that the management of public spaces in this area is already quite nuanced and that it depends on location what response is taken by the council. They look at tolerance levels of behaviours, there is not just the same treatment all over.
- The suggestion of taking benches away (around Francis St) so that people don’t congregate there was noted.
Council have a working agreement with ‘enforcement agencies’ of different kinds.
Francis St and the Level are areas where people have raised their issues
2.c Drug and Alcohol Agency
Wendy (Pavilions) introduced herself and the work of her agency.
What they do involves:
– Work with a lot of vulnerable and sometimes intimidating people, working closely with rough sleepers team.
– They help support people to access housing and use a joined up approach which means working with other services
Wendy noted that not everyone on the streets is homeless
11 St George’s place used to be where the needle exchange was held; now it’s on Ditchling Road/Viaduct Road juntion (CRi continue to use 11 St Georges Place for their services).
There was a general sense from those in attendance that there are more people on the streets sleeping rough – which Wendy affirmed.
A question was raised about ‘partnerships’ between charities supporting rough sleepers and those with drug and alcohol misuses problems – the potential issue of passing the buck was raised.
Wendy said that local council deal with drug litter and Pavillons give out needle bins – but local authorities fund and make decisions on a local level.
Any issues that LAT want to take to the ‘Drug Litter Meeting Group’, let Wendy know.
It was suggested that when the squatters in Barclays Bank were evicted, there was an increase in people on the street. Wendy was asked whether her rough sleepers’ team is aware of new rough sleepers – she said they are.
It has not yet been announced who has won the bid to take over the contract for the rough sleepers team
It was noted that in place of the Barclays building, on the corner of Preston Road and New England Rd will be a free work space of early stage business start-ups named ‘3 Space’
4. (taken out of order) Mike Everett from Study Group, Bellyby’s College:
Mike joined Study Group in February. It is a private education provider which specialises in educating international students – with UK and Europe HQ. They employ over 500 people worldwide.
Bellybys College in Brighton welcomes 700-900 students at any given time; houses 350; head office has around 200 staff members; they offer pre-study courses for several hundred at the University of Sussex.
The building proposal (which Mike showed on A3 printouts) is a plan to expand their current facilities to accommodate more international pupils. There is a desire to build a combined office space with some study space and accommodation for young pupils. The building proposal complies with local planning regulations regarding height of building. Re. planning permission there has been a slight issue with building ‘usage’.
Mike spoke of Study Group’s desire to get involved more in the community and continue to be a responsible local employer. They are interested in working closely with universities.
The college is very diverse – with students from over 70 nationalities in attendance
While the pre-planning committee has already convened, there will be a planning committee meeting to discuss these matters later.
It was clarified that this is not student accommodation – as it will be for people under 18. Youngest students will be aged 13/14, thus curfews in place and there will be residential workers to keep an eye on them and deal with issues.
This proposal was welcomed by the LAT but it was noted that a bigger overview was required for the New England quarter regarding language schools and student facilities. Buxtons was mentioned, which was also meant to be a “residential school” for young people on track to enter UK universities.
The meeting was generally supportive of the project.
3. Viaduct Road improvements
Chair said that a letter had been written to Cllr Gill Mitchell advising her of the context and history of this project.
Emma Sheridan and Phil Brady – principal transport planner/road safety planners handed out maps of proposals for permanent improvements to London Road.
She noted that the money would be coming out of the 20mph budget as the outcome sought to reduce speed of transport
The temporary measure (planters) has worked thus far – reducing transport speeds at some points by 10-15mph.
Challenge of what measures will ‘fit’ was flagged up.
She and Phil Brady presented 3 options suggested by the council – that are within budget and will fit on the road. They wanted to know what the preferred option is for them to take back and discuss/adapt further.
- Formalising what’s there now – creation of chicane. Put in curbed chicane. Raised curb with something on it. [This would reduce Viaduct Rd to one lane during the build and should take 8-12 weeks].
- Reducing road space by putting in cycle lane up the road from fire station. Aware of people – concern about putting a contra-flow cycle lane. Wouldn’t be changing footways. Option of surface colour/armadillos. [Armadillos are raised bumps which are intended to safeguard and distinguish cycle areas from car areas]
- White lining scheme – putting in a central hatched area.
Other options looked at – no space for 2m regulation pedestrian island in the middle of the street. 2M is needed to accommodate (say) a parent+ child’s buggy.
Comments made on the plans – drivers not being able to see cyclists. No curb guidance. Cyclists going to be squeezed.
A protected cycle lane was proposed – but suggested that this would offer low level protection.
The problem of speed bumps was mentioned – it being a strategic route for fire brigade/ambulances
Reducing lane width generally reduce driver speed.
Monitoring traffic : data will be collected over an entire week 24/7 to get a balanced understanding of the road speeds – as in the evening when traffic is less, people drive much faster.
There was a concern voiced about the build up of traffic on Beaconsfield and New England roads as a result of a new measure in place.
Emma noted that there are 100 speed counters in central Brighton monitoring the issue.
There was a reminder that initially raised by LAT as an issue about rubbish, and wheely bins on Viaduct Road, rather then traffic speed.
Emma mentioned the potential of having communal bins instead of flower pots along the road – this was one of the reasons why they looked at the chicane option. The hope is that, with the funding, they’d be able to afford to implement a measure that could deal with both the speed and the rubbish issue.
The council are looking into intelligent road systems – catching particularly tourists early and bringing them down Dyke Road instead of down to Preston Circus. Looking at traffic directionality across the city is on their long-term agenda.
In regard to knock-on effects on traffic flows – evidence shows that In an urban area with high traffic flows – same amount of traffic can get through, it just does so in a calmer way, with less acceleration and braking.
Emma and Phil Brady clarified that the measures to be put in place will not just be about speed management but also improving the public realm, making the street a nice place to live; which hoped to include finding a way of dealing with the rubbish issue.
The council hopes to work with Cityclean to see where they could put in communal bins – possibility the corner of Shaftebury Road could be used for this.
This is the 1st in an ongoing discussion on optimum interventions for Viaduct road.
It was decided by the LAT that Option 1 was preferable so Emma and Phil will feed this back and work on this option to present again at a later date.
5. Update and matters arisings:
a. Ann Street and Oxford Street – Crossing difficult and dangerous – feedback from officer was that they planned to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians. The diagram for this will be up on the LAT website. They are waiting contractors’ feedback on this but it should be finished in the next 2 weeks. Delays in construction on Ann Street were partly due to funding having to be diverted to more urgent (re)construction matters.
b. ‘40 stones’ – A copy of the art project pamphlet was handed out and will be uploaded into the website.
e. Phil was unable to attend the Ditchling Rise AGM.
f. Francis Street – Not been signed off by contractors yet. Trial removal of benches there will occur.
Any ideas as to where the Council could put spare benches?
A request was shared with the representatives from Sussex/Brighton University accommodation that students be clearly informed about when to put bins out. Reps will continue to remind them. [Managing waste is an ongoing issue in this context as often many student residents live in one place and often only have access to one small bin – proposed that they contact cityclean to get another.]
g. The Open Day at The Level park was very well supported, with roughly 15k attendees through the day. Hanover Residents Association complained about being near the portable toilets, however.
The meeting ended at around 20.10