London Road Area L.A.T Minutes- 01.9.15
1. Welcome, apologies and Introductions
Apologies: Ruth Muinde, Lucy Dunleavy (Vice-Chair), Marie-Louise Maeder (Town Team), Francis Clarke-Lowes (NCLA), Cathy Reeves, Christina Bennett, Hilary Forrester, Angie Bonnel, Amanda Healey (St Barts), Tim Reed, Charles Dudley (represented by Laura King)
Present: Philip Wells (Chair), Sandy Crowhurst, Elspeth Broady (DRARA and LRSP), Chris Sevinck (DRARA), Alan Brigginshaw, Tora Colwill, Richard Baraball, Sharon Birt (Police), Nicola Harrisson (Police), Andy Keeffe (University of Brighton Housing), Bob Chilton, Mike Hedgethorne, Tony Firmin, Andy Winter (BHT), Penny Worley (Older People’s Council), Jonathan Ridley (Community Safety Casework), Simon Bannister
Introductions: Lindsay Debach (note-taker), Laura King (Sussex University Community Engagement Coordinator)
=19, the meeting was held in the – smaller – Gates Room
- Minutes from 7/7/15 were accidentally omitted – Simon Bannister later proposed a change in wording about the benches in Francis Street – amended by Chair
- Jonathan Ridley (Community Safe Casework) passed out leaflets on ‘Prevent’
-Jonathan said we can all keep eyes and ears out for suspicion behaviours,
conversations. To do with “Extremism”
-trying to flag up these behaviours so people can be changed and protected
- Discussion of ‘hate crime’ in general, distinction between combating anti-social behaviour and having freedom of speech
2. Policing and Licensing
A) please note that after discussion with Insp Brian Mcarthy a PCSO presence will happen up to Feb 2016 without any change of usual dates. For the rest of the year 3 minor date changes would be required see post on the website
–Sharon and Nicola in attendance
B) discussion of any issues regarding Level (see adverse Argus report), and Pride (if any)
-Sharon (Police) not a lot from pride; Nic said the usual (drunkenness, drugs, rowdiness) but haven’t had anything terribly violent
-Chris says from the Ditchling Rise resident’s association point of view, said that the behaviour on Ditchling rise, around station was appalling (things getting broken, using public loos) during the day
-Sharon says it’s important to remember that people who do cleanup are billed. Maybe some areas where there is a bottleneck of public toilet-going should be reported back
-Andy W. : number of traders who are closing is a concern on London Road ( asked does Pride actually generate trade?)
-Sharon says she tells shopkeepers to put someone at the door and prohibit passers-by from using the toilets. Says shopkeepers will be taken advantage of if they open as normal
-Jonathan says he’s happy to take it back to the Council Community service
– Tora from Dukes said they made £300 by charging a £1 a go (for charity) until late afternoon when the prohibited toilet use
-Elspeth said they had PCSO coming round at least twice a day; might need some sort of marshalling at London road Station; don’t want to work against the initial spirit of pride. Have discussed porta-loos with the PCSO
-Argus referred to the level as ‘Downtown Beirut’
-Sharon (police) says that the newspaper dramatize the situation and Nic says the stats don’t reflect that description
-Andy W. explains the headlines are written in Southampton by sub-editors who don’t grasp what life in Brighton is like
-Phil asked if there are any other concerns we should be flagging up about the Level
-Nic says during interviews with civilians on the level they’ve got a mixed opinion; some say it’s fine, other report frequent use of drugs
-Sharon Explained they’ve had drugs dog there and didn’t find anything, though did have a few arrests with class A drugs
-Sharon urged people to report something back immediately if they see something (not the week after, etc.)
-Tony: cycling on pavements is becoming more frequent on London road and Viaduct road. Do people get fined?
-Sharon: used to hand out fines but can’t now; not an offence to cycle on a footpath. Also, government doesn’t want to start fining people because they don’t feel safe on the roads; took away the ability to do fixed penalty notices. Unless the person is being completely reckless, PCSO can’t really do much
It was agreed to keep policing priorities as at present
3. Plans for next few months
-P.W: it would be good to form plans for the next few months (October, November, December, February) including an AGM to re-elect officers (at least a Chair and Vice-Chair(s), Treasurer, Secretary and to receive a report on the past year’s operation. Vice-Chair Cathy Reeves has stepped down as from August, Vice Chair Lucy Dunleavy is still willing to serve at the moment but herself has many work and family commitments.
-Phil has spoken spoken to Chris Gilbert (developer in NE Quarter), as a possible guest speaker for a November Soiree event.
-Phil: hopes that we have a vice-chair by then if we have the AGM in October
-Phil noted due to work commitments, he will be away the first two weeks of November
-Andy W.: suggested delaying the November meeting (event) until Phil is back-suggested the 17th of November.
-the PCSO also said they could be there during this time
-It was decided to do the AGM on the 6th of October, and then a “Celebration of London Road” Open Evening on the 17th of November, and hold a regular meeting in December
-Tony said we need to get a leaflet out and having more time to do that would be good
-Phil said he still needs to get back to Chris Gilbert; Lindsay to work on publicity
-Mike said we need to have on the Agenda for the October meeting, the newsletter; What’s going to go in it? And how are we going to get them delivered to letterboxes
-Phil invited volunteers and Tony did so, asked Tony to give an estimate of how many needed to be produced
-Simon announced that there is no Local Action Team Budget with the council
-Simon said they’re looking at the possibility of pairing up with other LATS to put a bid in for funding as individual LATS are too small to constitute a grant application, but a joint bid could go to the council or the PCC
[end of notes taken by Lindsay, beginning of notes taken by Elspeth]
4. Viaduct Road
Follow-up on meeting in January with Matt Guest re. painting up frontages: so far no reply from Matt.
BHCC Highways Department have promised to come back to assess the situation, but so far no specific date has been set.
Viaduct Road seems to have got worse in terms of gardens and frontages, though traffic speeds have been reduced. Following earlier intervention, the property managed by Pavilion has been tidied up.
Laura King, University of Sussex Accommodation Office: she will write to any UoS students in Viaduct Road.
Rubbish in front gardens was clearly a problem and wheelie bins not removed from the pavement after rubbish collection are a hazard. Also rubbish is sometimes placed on the road not in wheelie bins.
She suggested that BHCC might try to set up SMS-text messaging to provide reminders about rubbish/recycling collection days: this had been done successfully in Oxford. She stated that the UoS is trying to improve communication to students with leaflets and briefings about community awareness and being a good neighbour. They had visited letting agents for Viaduct Road and given them the community awareness leaflets to hand on to UoS students.
Andrew Keeffe University of Brighton Accommodation Office. He has contacted all letting agents in Viaduct Road to remind them of their HMO responsibilities. He is happy to do this again and to try to identify properties where there are problems.
Simon Bannister noted that BHCC is testing a new refuse app. Further, the temporary ‘planters’ in Viaduct Road have indicated that there is sufficient space for on-street shared bins and recycling collection.
- Valley Gardens
Richard B. suggested that the Valley Gardens project may result in traffic bottle necks on London Road.
Philip W. reported that the scheme is not supposed to have any adverse traffic impact but he has asked for an informal discussion with Valley Gardens project manager and would like to see the evidence for this. The Valley Gardens project is currently being reviewed by BHCC and there has been an extension on the deadline for spending the funds allocated. The final decision is likely to be made in October.
It was suggested that the LAT invite the Valley Gardens project manager and/or Gill Mitchell.
5. Planning issues
Further work (installation of windows) had been noted in the ground floor of the Co-op building, but there was no further information about this.
6. Updates and Matters arising
a. Brighton Greenway: Richard B. had asked whether anything was being done about overgrown shrubbery blocking the pathway. Simon B. had pointed out that Friends of Brighton Greenway, a volunteer group, had been set up and were organising action days to cut back overgrowth. Elspeth B. , Secretary of Friends of Brighton Greenway, confirmed that this was planned for Friday 11th with a Community picnic on 13th September and Richard – and anybody else – would be very welcome to come along.
Richard also enquired about the policies of the Black and Minority Ethnic Centre in New England quarter and after discussion it was agreed to make contact with a representative and invite them along.
London Terrace: Roz Lopez had recently featured in an Argus article suggesting that she was now the only non-student living in the area. As she was not present, it was not clear how the meeting could take the issue forward. Andy W. noted that ‘studentification’ of an area was of concern and that BHCC had a commitment to monitor the proportion of HMOs in certain areas. It was agreed that licencing as an HMO ought not to take place in such a way as to saturate an area with student houses.
b. Stone circle: Philip W. brought this recent public realm project on London Road and area by The Brighton School to the attention of the meeting: https://www.facebook.com/brightonsch Twitter: @brightonsch Andy Winter advised the meeting he was writing an “opinion piece” for the Argus critiquing the project.
c. Providence Place: it looked like the physical work had been completed but it didn’t appear to be ‘finished’. Simon B. would check on the status of the work.
d.London Road Businesses: nothing to report
e. DRARA: nothing to report
Adjustment to previous minutes: Simon B. pointed out that the removal of benches in Francis Street was in response to the wishes of the residents (Barrows Residents Association), not a BHCC initiative.
f. Francis Street – ongoing
h. AOB: Councillors: it was noted that no Councillors had attended the meeting. Philip W. agreed to contact Councillors.
The meeting closed at around 20.10