Meeting of the London Road Area Local Action Team on
Tuesday 3 July 2012, 6.30pm, at Calvary Church
1. Welcome, apologies & introductions
Present: Philip Wells, Charlotte Overton-Hart, John Holden, Alan Buck, PC
Elaine Welsh, PCSO Nic Harrison, PCSO Sharon Birt, George Middlehurst, Rob Dawson, Tony Firmin, Mike Hedgethorne, Andy Silsby, Bob and Sylvia Chilton, Sandy Crowhurst, Bob Curtis, Edward White, Billy Doyle, Karen Ashdown, Phyllis Dawes, Jean, Councillor Ian Davey, Simon Bannister, Angie Bonnel.
Apologies: Amanda Healey, Andy Winter, Jake Woollard, Barry Hughes, Liam Manville, Liliana Murari.
2. Minutes of previous meeting – taken as a fair record of events
3. Matters arising, ongoing and updates
a. Updates on developments
Andy Silsby: funding has been allocated to the London Road area: the project has been joint commissioned, and is a 21 month project. The priority is to engage with the social housing in the area, and especially with people who would not ordinarily engage with the local community. Andy is contactable at email@example.com for any addition information.
b. Planters and the London Road Station Partnership
All the plants have gone in to the planters and there is a rota for watering.
c. Alcohol licensing for Somerfield – the hearing is due
Sandy Crowhurst: will be representing London Road LAT at the hearing on
Monday 9th July. The police have removed their objections: PC Elaine Welsh will look into this
d. City-wide parking review – new on-street parking charges
Ian Davey: on the signage for car parking, there is scope for both adding helpful signage and also removing unhelpful, cluttery signage. A parking map has just been finalised, with information about tariffs across the city. Key strategic routes are well signed, but there is scope for improvement more locally. The EU has just refused an extension to improvement on air quality in the UK, which means there may be fines which need to be paid, and perhaps by Brighton & Hove City Council.
John Holden: the parking is prohibitively expensive and is turning custom away.
e. Portas Bid
Rob Dawson: Mary Portas was commissioned to find out why so many high
street are failing. Portas suggested 28 points for improvement. High vacancy rate areas would be more likely to receive funding. The London Road area has a higher than national average vacancy rate. A bid has been put together to make creative use of vacant shops and revitalise the high street. A video has been submitted to government.
The video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqOHtrUazfY
The video had to show a balance of good work being done and work needed in the area. There could be the scope for more creative events in the area including window dressing training in order to bring out the creative and competitive spirit in the local area. The council is happy to match fund some of the project. We should hear this summer, around late August.
f. Reimbursement received from Linda Beanlands for LAT room hire
g. Update on Blockbusters freehold enquiry
Item being held over until September.
4. Police Issues
PCSO Sharon Birt: in response to a letter sent into The Argus titled “This place is no longer safe for families”, it would be helpful to call the police rather than writing into the paper, to report any begging, street drinking and dogs which are perceived to be aggressive. The dogs are not aggressive, nor are the drinkers. The section 27 has been issued, which ensures that drinkers do not return to an area for up to 12 hours.
Karen Ashdown: suggests we write a letter to The Argus thanking the police for their efforts.
Edward White: was attacked a couple of weeks ago, was punched in the face by a drunk. The emphasis should not be that there are no issues, but that it is being addressed.
PC Elaine Welsh: there is no reason for people to be long-term homeless. It is difficult to house people who have dogs.
a. Review of our three possible policing priorities for this month.
- York Place/St Peter’s Place/street drinking/anti-social behaviour – as previous month
- Shop-lifting – as previous month
- Prevention of intimidating behaviour on London Road – NEW this month
PC Elaine Welsh: the section 27 has been extended for the London Road area to 48 hours.
b. Police stats (from May and June 2012)
c. Update on policing resources for London Road
Philip Wells sent a letter to Gareth Davies to express support for the police in the London Road area, and expressed concern that resources may be taken away from the area, where it is much needed.
d. Operation Otter (Lib Dem Conference) and Operation Jester (action days) Operation Otter is a huge policing operation, although it has been downscaled this year. More police come to the area. The conference is around 16th September for 2 weeks.
Operation Jester had one person in custody after shop-lifting and an assault. Jester dilutes the concentration of street drinkers, and creates a disruption to the patterns of street drinking.
5. Draft city plan consultation and student lets / HMOs consultation:
Alan Buck (see attachments)
Alan Buck (speaking on behalf of Liz Hobden): presented the Brighton & Hove Draft City Plan, Part One (which is primarily strategic in nature and as suchdoesn’t go into too much detail), which supports and includes the London Road Master Plan. The key aspect to be aware of is that there will be efforts to maintain and promote shopping areas, and also to build offices in the area which will further develop the use of the local shops as well as bringing employment to the area.
Philip Wells and Edward White: emphasised the value of the document in terms of guiding the nature of future projects.
Edward White: there seems to be little guidance in terms of encouraging family housing, as opposed to say bedsits, or student housing.
Sandy Crowhurst: some of the housing has already been completed (to be
included as part of the quota stated in the Draft City Plan). HMOs in the same document: two strands to the student housing policy. There
is not enough purpose built student housing. One element of the plan is to
identify areas for purpose built student housing. Areas which have been
identified for possible development include: Pelham Street, Varley Halls, Circus Street and the east side of the University of Sussex. Each of the sites has good transport connections.
A new type of policy: a new type of use class which identified HMOs – which are traditionally larger units – have been identified around Brighton. The new policy is attempting to prevent too high a concentration of HMOs in an area. Article 4 Directions relate to certain planning rights may be applied to areas with a high student population whereby a property would need planning permission tobecome a HMO.
6. Environmental Improvement & Highways
a. Street Focus feedback – any updates/improvements made
Simon Bannister: “the biggest category of concern noted in the audits was
flyposting, stickers and cable ties. Sarah Leach has moved to a different role, and flyposting has been taken on by another officer. Action had been initiated totake one club to court, but this was dropped in favour of a caution. A second prosecution is pending and generally fly posting has reduced in the city. Introduction of cable-tie safari for Monday 16 July; hunting down cable-ties and removing them from lampposts, railings or wherever and if time allows to tackle stickers also. All welcome.
Another significant category was graffiti. The graffiti team continue to work in the area, albeit without Sarah. A prominent location which was highlighted in the audit was the hoarding around Ransoms. There is some talk about this being used in connection with the LICI project, but this is not yet certain.
b. Request for pavement deep clean
The third issue with some immediate action is around weeds and dirty
pavements. Cityclean report that the chewing gum machine is not currently
available, but have agreed to carry out a deep clean/jet wash of the streets. The jet washing – which removed most gum – needs to take place before 7.30am. City clean have asked which streets are most in need of attention. I would suggest that the main London Road shopping area could benefit from a jet wash, and the streets around Rosehill and Kingsbury might be good contenders for a deep clean/weed removal. If any residents would like to put forward otherareas for consideration, please let me know.”
Edward White: confirmed that deep cleaning a stretch was what was in mind. Simon Bannister: confirmed a deep clean of a certain stretch from Cheapside toAnn Street would be possible.
c. LICI/Providence Gardens update
Alan Buck: a winner will be announced soon.
Karen Ashdown: the school will be re-roofing. The project will take about fourmonths.
7. Co-operative Redevelopment – a new public consultation is planned
Calvary church hall has been booked for 23-24 July for a consultation.
It is understood that the façade is being retained and also the massing has been improved.
8. A.O.B (any other items, please notify Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
before the meeting)
An addition to the June 2012 minutes from George Middlehurst: most of the
drinkers are known to Substance Misuse Service and CRI and workers are
trying to engage with them to make changes to their alcohol and drug use.
Date of next meetings: No meeting in August. 4th September 2012