Meeting Minutes February 2012

Meeting of the London Road Area Local Action Team
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 18.30pm, at Calvary Church

Draft Minutes

1. Welcome, apologies & introductions
Introductions
PCSO Sharon – PCSO for London Road and New England quarter.
PCSO Nicola Harrison – PCSO for Level and Triangle.
George Middlehurst – Substance Misuse Groups.
Jesse Wilde – Service Manager for Equinox. Concerned with reducing street drinking in St Peters and North Laine. Relevant information emailed to PW, asks everyone to examine before next LAT meeting.
Phone: 01273 773 933 Email: jesse.wilde@equinoxcare.org.uk
Address: Equinox Brighton, Community Base, 113 Queens Rd, Brighton, BN1 3XG
Tim Read – Community Safety Team Caseworker. Joint council and police team dealing with antisocial behaviour and hate behaviour. First time here – intend to have one of team here every LAT. Aware of concerns about the Level, hoping to make links etc. Also interested in new community
space at the Level, and any kind of community safety issues.
Andy WinterBrighton Housing Trust, also a local resident. In charge of converted shipping containers project. Planning application has gone in, information is online – reference number is BH2013/00245, associated developer is QED. Open evening next month for anyone who wants to
come – PW to circulate details later. Application open for consultation till mid-March. Since last LAT meeting one change has been made to the plan – rather than three stories at the front there will be two – other six units moved to rear. Still same number of units. Keen to answer concerns of
residents in Argyle Road who had bad experiences with drug treatment centre which was there previously. Also interested in government consultation on minimum alcohol price – he is supportive of a minimum price per unit, asks others to visit the website and support it.
Ian Davy – Ward Councillor
Simon Hickmott – Transport Planning Officer.
Email: Simon.Hickmott@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Tel: 01273 290498
Vicky WakefieldYour Warm Home project – fuel poverty.
The Your Warm Home project in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council is identifying 60 people living in cold homes, who could do with some help reducing their energy bills. The project will provide FREE measures to make homes warmer and more comfortable to live in. Available to private tenants and home owners. Support available for: older people, those with disabilities or long-term health issues, families on low incomes. Energy café will be held on 23rd Feb; venue to be circulated through email list – somewhere on London Road) info@communitiesmatter.org.uk
Tracy Bennett – Lewes Road resident.
Tim Bennet – Lewes Road resident. Here because of Katy Bourne, concerned with her comments about the travelling community.
Tony Fermin – Kingsbury Road resident.
Mike Hedgethorne – Kingsbury Road resident.
Karen Ashdown Kingsbury Road resident.
Phyllis Dawes – Kingsbury Road resident.
Jean Harris-Boyd – Kingsbury Road resident.
Rob DawsonPortas Bid. City Council, supporting new and existing businesses.
Katy BournePolice and Crime Commissioner for Sussex. Here to see about needs and concerns.
Lorinda Holness – University of Sussex, involvement with Co-op building, and student liaison
Maria Wells – Shaftesbury Road resident
Daphne and Mark DuBoissiere – Warleigh Road.
Sylvia and Bob Chiltern – Viaduct Road
Richard Barraball – Stroudley Road
Sandy Crowhurst – North Laine Community Association.
Simon Bannister – City Council, Planning and Public Protection Projects Team.
Philip Wells – Resident and Chair
Katharine Crompton – works in the area
Ben Alltimes – Resident and Community Chaplain
Apologies
John Holden – John’s camping
Councillor Pete West
Amanda Healey – St. Barts School
Ann Townsend and Bob Curtis – London Road Traders Association
Andy Keeffe – University of Brighton, housing.
Louise Turner (Gallery Indeed)
Barry Hughes (Sylvan Halls)
2.a Minutes of previous meeting circulated 6/12/12. Amendment: George Middlehurst had sent apologies
2.b Date of next meetings:
19th March (Philip Wells to chair)
2nd April – Ian Davey to chair, Simon Bannister to help.
Thoughts on possible promotional news letter as in previous years – (held over)
Finance report (Mike) – balance = £244.65
3. Matters arising, ongoing and updates

  • Co-op planning application BH2012/02675 was approved 12/12/12 – building proper will commence after 3 month judicial review period has elapsed.
  • Update on car parking: new rates came into force 1/2/13: on-street = £2.00 up to one hour, £4 up to 2 hours. – Mike queried how people will know about price changes. Rob Dawson happy tocommunicate info in connection with Portas Pilot via – twitter? LAT website? ID has issued press release.
  • Level update – an introductory “support group” meeting was held 31/1/13.
  • Simon Bannister – Home Energy project [£10,000?]. Selected entrants can have homes assessed from nothing, rather than for £150 . Contact people via website, who energy-audit houses etc, then provide report and recommendations. Money available for 10 properties to be improved,the caveat being that you have to open your home to the public at certain times.
  • Rob Dawson – Portas Pilot update – Town team meeting just after Christmas, for local partners and businesses, planning marketing and projects. Very positive – Looking to get a chair voted in late February. Vantage point – local estate agent marketing area. Creative industries taking space on short-term flexible leases. Town team coordinator to liaise with businesses in order to market the London Road area. A job description is currently being worked up, would be two days a week, working from the Business Forum Centre. – Consultation event in March – local residents and businesses wanted to come along, to discuss how area should develop. Event tomorrow about unlocking empty space. ‘Dressed for success’ successful – 37 shops across city were given expert advice on window dressing. Big PR drive, 9/10 popularity rating. 6 of those from London road. 2 shops won prizes – ONCA and Badlands Guitar Shop. A window-dressing competition is being planned.
  • Philip Wells reported on mayor’s reception for LAT chairs 19/12/12, and LAT chairs’ meeting 22/1/13. Discussion of possibility for involvement of local school children. St Bartholomew’s positive about this.

4. Policing matters & licensing
Review of our three possible policing priorities for this month. Last month’s were:

  • Street drinking/anti-social behaviour with a special focus on York Place.
  • Shop-lifting – as previous month.
  • Prevention of intimidating behaviour on London Road with a special focus on York Place.

PCSO Sharon: a question had been raised about squatting

  • Squatting in non-residential property is a civil, not criminal matter, police can’t intervene. Squatters can only be evicted if owners of the property take the matter to court. Police can’t do much about noise.
  • In the case of fighting and brawling, police can be called if it is on the street.
  • Empty properties on London Road currently include: Lighting shop, British Heart Foundation, Citygate, Blockbusters. Police have powers over residential but not business property.

Discussion:

  • RB asked if possible to invite squatter representative to discuss problems eg lack of housing.
  • MH/PW queried our effectiveness to deal with this – beyond power of LAT to solve housing problems.
  • TB commented that squatting is not in itself illegal, rather the problem is the associated behaviour. PW agrees, citing comments made by person who wrote in e.g. noise, dog fouling.
  • PCSO Sharon comments that no-one knows who owns Blockbusters. Tim Read will find out about building/property ownership.
  • RD comments that purpose of Portas pilot is to use premises effectively, thus meaning there are no empty properties to squat in.
  • ID comments that property owner themselves must apply to courts for eviction.
  • SB comments that squatting is well established in Brighton – there is even a squatting community centre. He is interested in opportunity to talk with them.
  • Communityconferencing model. TR will research community conferencing. JW comments that street drinkers in Hove weren’t keen on sitting in rooms and facing confrontation. SB will find out about community conferencing.
  • PCSO Sharon – comments re ongoing York place Brighton Arts Club art studio problem. Street drinkers not around so much currently due to the cold, but problem not solved.
  • SB comments that owner of currently-empty property next door to Matthew Henry’s art gallery is going through planning process, has plans to alter building front – timescale unclear. But this is the owner’s planned way forward. Noted that Valley Gardens project (below) includes provision for widening the pavement, removing railings in York Place, and changing the pattern of traffic flow.
  • Consensus that policing priorities should stay the same.
  • ID asks about road collisions. PCSO Sharon remarks they are random, not criminal. Discussion of yesterday’s gun incident yesterday, not too serious though road was blockedoff.
  • PCSO Sharon – burglaries have got worse, but this is due to a limited number of individual people doing lots of criminal activity on a daily basis. This morning 13 people in custody.

5. “Ten minute topic” : Richard Barraball. Are we missing an opportunity?
As we have seen in our meetings there is little positive use in ‘moving on’ those who congregate outside our local shops and community spaces when they can so easily return if positive alternatives are unavailable. I think it is a missed opportunity to use some of our empty property as Community
Kitchens and activity centres.
A continuing recession may provide more empty space that if funding and intentions were willing could be used both as training in catering skills to produce nutritious meals that might be eaten on the premises or taken home
If child care skills could also be taught without loss of benefits (for those in part time work or unemployed) then such skills (NVQs or equivalent) could enhance employability plus self esteem while developing safe places such as St George’s Crypt in George Street.The Friends Centre, Isetta Square, has a dedicated empty space earmarked as a community cafe that remains dormant. It is too small in itself, but is a potential part of a neighbourhood network.
We need to learn from other places of excellency and adapt these examples to our locality so helping to make this bit of London Road special.
The expansion of City College might also provide a community resource for training and skill sharing.

Discussion:
RD positive about food-related ideas, also community cooking classes. Mentions acommunity group which has funding to do classes etc, suggests cooperation.
Karen mentions food clubs with cheap food for children before and after school. Clubs for allotments, gardening etc. anyone who can do cookery lessons would be welcome to come and teach.
TR mentions city team which did work, community composting schemes etc. Also Brighton and Hove Food Partnership – will email PW with address.
PW supportive of RB’s comments thanked him for his contribution to the meeting.
RB comments on positive use of energy of vulnerable people.

6. Simon Bannister – Mini-LAT 8/1/13
Graffiti project – Elder place/Providence Place: report back – further meeting 8/1/18 10.00.

Cityclean, police, traders and Councillor West putting together ideas about improving Elder Place. Currently getting a picture of what goes on there. Another meeting coming up on the 8th. Questions about where is the line between art and criminal damage?
ID concurs that Elder Place has massive potential but is somewhat stuck at the moment. Lighting? Uncertainty about what is or is not lacking.
SB – people don’t want to use carpark because they will have to walk through grotty area.
Karen comments on route across Elder Place to station being grubby, and flyposting is returning SB will contact CityClean.
Also plugs LAT website – place for minutes, agendas, etc. everyone welcome to join in.
http://www.londonroadlat.wordpress.com
Unbeautiful trees outside co-op have been made more beautiful, at least around their bases.
Deep clean on pavements – were done but then a week later things looked just the same. Need to make longterm improvements plans.
PW commented for the PCC on need for everyone to work together as many of these issues are connected.
7. Upcoming – and neighbouring
Former Co-op – £100,000 section 106 money – art/creative input to London Road? Cllr Hawtree and Kate Brocklebank + others are planning to attend the next meeting to explain the process.

Simon Hickmott updates on Lewes Road Transport Scheme. His team have been: knocking on doors, distributing leaflets etc.

  • Improving realtime bus info.
  • Building better crossings.
  • Improving cycle lanes.
  • Consulting on Lewes road corridor. Nearly 4000 conversations.
  • Improving cycle storage.
  • Distributing and collecting travel diaries. Eco-driver training – saving fuel.
  • More walking means more health, saving the NHS money.

RB asks about recharging powerpoints for mobility vehicles. Karen says school is interested in such projects.

Valley Gardens scheme – N.B. this is “traffic neutral” as regards London Road. The information from the Officer concerned (contra. Argus) is that the scheme is designed to be traffic neutral in terms of amount of vehicles in the scheme and the flow in and out of the scheme.
Comments:

  • Query as to whether scheme will be traffic neutral, ID says he thinks it would be.
  • it will be useful to hear directly from Jim Mayor
  • PW comments it will affect York Place in terms of community safety.

London Road – public realm scheme – hold over to March (as above)
KB reassures regarding the “firearm incident” of 3rd Feb that there wasn’t actually a functioning
firearm at all.

8. A.O.B. Any other items, please notify Chair at philipwells@btinternet.com before the meeting.
London Road LAT is now on Twitter follow us at: https://twitter.com/LondonRoadLAT,
website: https://londonroadlat.wordpress.com

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