LAT minutes 1 October 2013

London Road Area Local Action Team Minutes

Tuesday 1 October / 18:15 for 18:30 at Calvary Church, Viaduct Road

1. Welcome, apologies & introductions

Apologies: Charlotte Overton-Hart, Tim Read, Jean Calder, Ian Davy, Karen Ashdown, Rob Dawson, Sandy Crowhurst(North Laine Community Association), Bob Curtis, Andy Winter. By email: PCSOs Sharon Birt, Nic Harrison

Present: Philip Wells, Katharine Crompton, Richard Barraball, Simon Bannister (community safety), Charlie Rallings (elder place graffiti), Joe Nichols (Town Team Manager), Ernie Burke, Anne Townsend, Eve Chamberlain, Chris Gull (Emporium), John Holden, Tony Firmin, Mike Hedgthorne, Daphne de Boissiere, Mark de Boissiere, James Murphy (CRI), Eve Jacobs DRARA, Elspeth Brodie DRARA & London Road Station Project, Scott Crossley (Equinox), Cat Macbeth, Donna Lynsdale, Joe Mulcrone(Cat and Mouse Theatre), Meg Belcher – (Cat and Mouse Theatre), Joe Giddings – (Gang of Six architecture collective), Tom Perrigo (Brighton hove city council), Andy Clemence (City College), Colin Henderson (City College), Ivan Pope (Workshop – 26 Elder place), Colin Orr – (Duke of York’s), Ben Alltimes (Calvary Community Chaplain), Wahid Ibrahim (B & W Stores), B. Khayal also of B&W stores) Steve Cain (Watkins Jones construction manager), Kara Ward. Cllr Pete West (late arrival)

PW comment:

– We hope to welcome licence holders from off-licence premises. LAT members will be aware that this meeting has been active to counteract and minimise the problems caused to Street Drinkers and by Street drinkers by their consumption of high strength alcohol. The target of our activity has been alcohol harm – and not individual businesses or licence holders … so I have been round and invited a number of licence holders this evening, and I believe that their presence is a positive part of this on-going process … so I hope that the meeting will be welcoming as traders opt in to the things we are doing at the LAT.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting taken as a fair record of events.

3. Policing matters

Review of our three possible policing priorities for this month. Last month’s were:

  • Street drinking/anti-social behaviour/drug use in York Place

  • Shop-lifting

  • Prevention of intimidating behaviour on London Road and interaction with children.

Discussion on the problem of street drinkers having moved up the road towards Preston road, query as to possible refocus on Preston Road (Joe Nichols). Equinox aware of the problems. Simon Bannister comments on helpfulness of recent improvements to the south side of St Peters’ Church. Closely split vote on whether to alter #1 to Preston Road: PW suggests contacting PCSOs for their views, all agree.

  1. Portas Pilot – update from Joe Nichols

Main project has been town centre Liaison Officers, who have finished a 4 week trial which is now to be extended for another 4 weeks. They support traders who have been suffering from theft etc. More data gathering needed both from members of public and from traders. Officers have reports many sightings and incidents and some arrests. Anne Townsend comments that officers are trying not to work at the same time as police – greater coverage intended to generate feeling of safety.

Portas Pilot also has ongoing marketing and re-branding in hand , also website development. Discussion as to Christmas light art installations using Arts Council money. Watkin-Jones has agreed to use their scaffolding for festive Christmas lights – thanked in advance for public-spiritedness.

5. Initiative to remove high strength alcohol

(N.B. the LAT has received information from the police licensing unit that B&W Stores have lodged an appeal against licence revocation.)

A number of partners have been involved in this initiative – police, trading voice (via Portas) – whereby traders voluntarily remove high strength alcohol ( “HSA” i.e. >6% beer, cider, lager) from sale and from stock. B&W have set a good example in this by voluntarily making this a licensing condition.

PW comments that he invited Expla, Mini-mart , International food and wine, Londis (Clyde Road), B&W.

Donna Lynsdale (Trading Standards) reports:

Joint project – licensing, Equinox, police. Appreciates concern that problem may be moved across the city. London Road has been recently been sorted out, now focus shifting to Preston Road. All London Road premises have voluntarily agree to stop selling HSA – most have been happy to stop and have not noticed drop in profits, in part because they are now attracting more community members. Project to be branded ‘sensible on strength’ with window labels soon to be available for participating outlets. 66 premises across the city have voluntarily stopped selling HSA, more set to follow.

Cat Mcbeth comments:

HSA has a massive negative impact on health of street drinkers who are also part of the community. This project is reliant on public providing them with intelligence. Also about premises that are selling any alcohol to drunk people which is actually a police matter. When intelligence is provided by the community it is helpful to have enough detail to follow the matter through.

Discussion: Query as to resistance – one visit took 2 hours of convincing! Query re big supermarket selling HSA, also spirits – in fact big supermarkets generally do not sell HSA, and spirits are too expensive. PW comments that if all off-licenses stop its easier for all. Simon Bannister mention new off-licence on Southover Street. Equinox comments that they have seen street drinkers struggling to obtain alcohol thus more likely to seek treatment. Cllr West queries possible roll of honour, which is already in existence. Query as to reports of late night deliveries by men in white vans? Cat comments that duty evasion is strictly speaking a matter outside their remit. Need intel.

Members of the public are encouraged to give specific intelligence to the non-emergency police number (101), or email

[Post meeting details appended:

To report an incident or complaint:  08454 040506

Business Advice Line:  01273 292523]

6. City College planning application – presentation and Q & A

The architect for the project Andy Clemence presented a Power Point sequence. [This will be posted on the LAT website and members are encouraged to look at the information there.]

Planning application deadline is in 6 weeks time.

Introduction: It is dealt with as a multi-purpose site – including street improvements etc.

  • Key views were shown, with cognizance of appearance when approaching from the south (i.e. North Laine)

  • It was originally going to be 500 student units, now going to be 442, which makes the building lower.

  • Artist’s impressions show that St Bartholomew’s will be more visible

  • There will be more outward-looking building façades, especially when approached from the south – not just facing a wall. Activity will be seen. Lots of glazing.

  • Lower levels will be more commercial e.g. haircutting etc.

  • In the newly created open spaces bad behaviours should be reduced.

Various questions were posed including: what about the approaches from London Road (i.e. from North and East)?

It was also observed that we had previously had an entire meeting to deal with the Co-op planning application.

Meeting resolved to carry the item over to the next time and make it a (or the) major agenda item. It would be helpful if informed questions could be posed ahead of time.

  1. Elder Place – update on plan to deal with graffiti

Simon Bannister introduces Charley Rallings who is spearheading an arts-led response to the graffiti problem. She is an Art graduate who is trying to start a mural company – brightonthinkbig.

  • Some existing graffiti is dark and depressing, while some are bright and attractive pieces. Brighton has some beautiful murals already.

  • Want people to feel comfortable – could incorporate parts of local history etc. ? Bright colours and natural themes.

  • Area could be divided into different zones.

  • Murals can cover damage, make spaces seem larger, and involve communities and businesses – also code of respect for existing attractive murals could be invoked.

  • Could be imagery or verbal (e.g., space for poetry)

Her Power point presentation is available on the London Road website – please refer for fuller details.

8. Matters arising, ongoing and updates

a) Co-op redevelopment – the demolition phase is nearly complete and the steel frame is being erected. Simon Cowell will be replaced by Steve Cain.

b) London Road Traders Association – nothing additional to report.

c) The Level (should be opening June14th) – some reports of problems around late night (and early morning) skating noise.

d) Oxford Street – letter yet to be written about the traffic lights.

e) Open Market – hopefully opening before Christmas (2013)

9. AOB. Any other items, please notify Chair at before the meeting.

Dates of next meetings: 29 October (no meeting in November) 3 December

Follow London Road LAT on Twitter: @LondonRoadLAT

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