LAT Minutes March 2013

1. Welcome, apologies & introductions: Chair reminds meeting that voting is limited to residents, traders, workers, elected representatives and
mandated representatives of community groups in the area. All others are welcome, but asked not tounduly influence the course of the meeting.
Apologies: Vice-Chair Charlotte Overton-Hart,Sandy Crowhurst, Rob Dawson, Amanda Healey, Jesse Wilde (Equinox – working with Alcohol misusers) supplied the attached report that he presented last time, Silvia Chiltern, Daphne De Boissiere, Anne Townsend, John Holden (John’s Camping), George Middlehurst, PCSO Sharon Birt, PCSO Nic Harrison
(Ben Alltimes – by email), Lorinda Holness -University of Sussex
Introductions: Alan Buck – Council Planning Officer, Jim Mayor – Planning and Public Realm Council Officer, Donna Close – Council officer, Arts and projects manager. Engaged in mapping cultural and arts projects
across the city., Sam Bryant– Community Rail Officer, line between Seaford and Brighton, Andy Winter – Chief Executive of Brighton Housing Trust – shipping containers project “Richardson’s Yard”, Karen Ashdown – trustee of St Bartholomew’s Primary School, Sue Power – local resident, interested in shipping containers project, Jonathan Ridley Partnership Community Safety Team – interest in ASB, hate incidents, Rob Chiltern – resident, Louise Turner – Gallery Indeed. Here on behalf of Ros Lopez, Elspeth Broady, London Road Station Partnership. DRARA, Councillor Pete West. Particular interest in Biosphere Consultation,  Lucy Dunleavy, Mark de Boissiere, Councillor Ian Davey, Jim Grozier – resident of Springfield Road. Has been involved in another “Another London Road” team, Richard Barraball – resident of Gladstone house. Friends centre ,Vera Zakharov – ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ Outreach Coordinator, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. Part of University of Brighton Food Co-op. Interested in community composting, reducing food waste. Tony Firmin – resident,
Bob Curtis – Federation of Small Businesses. Joe Higgins – undergrad student doing research for undergrad dissertation on London Road on topic of gentrification. Mike Hedgethorne – resident Simon Bannister – Council
2.a Minutes of previous meeting Accepted.
2.b Date of next meeting: After some discussion, decision to return to normal schedule on May 7 th and continue with June 4th, July
2nd, etc. Later in the meeting a special session on Valley Gardens was pencilled in April 23rd, Jim Mayor.
3. . Use of Section 106 monies from Co-op redevelopment
Council Officer Alan Buck comments on section 106 monies from Co-op Redevelopment:

  • certain constraints on its use – has to benefit wider area within legally and financially constrained parameters
  • can be used for public art – creative uses, enhancing environment. Also Open spaces.
  • could be used most effectively if different funding areas of money are coordinated to be used together in the most efficient way.

Council Officer Donna Close comments on recent variety in London Road Area of projects and initiatives:

  • money coming through
    • LivelyCities project in Providence Place gardens,
    • Portas Pilot [£83k- ed.]
    • Level development,
    • Block J development (involving new hotel, piazza, etc),
    • Co-op redevelopment,
    • Open Market,
    • concern over Elder place streetscene.
    • also private initiatives and developments – eg theatre space in London Road Methodist Church, ONCA, Once Inch Badge (music promoters).
  • City council officers are engaged in mapping these out; getting a coherent picture of all thethings that are going on.
  • Some are more short-term and some long-term and thus there might be opportunity toinfluence funding direction.
  • Wants to ensure efficiency and avoid duplication of effort.

Alan Buck presentation on Anne Street Area Common Room project which took place in October 2012:

2 week temporary project.

  • Involved picnic tables, temporary terracing, etc.
  • City College involved in construction
  • Highly successful – lots of positive feedback from local residents.
  • Some negative feedback concerned disappearance of disabled parking bays for the duration of the project, which would be reconsidered in the case of future permanent arrangements.
  • Could be repeated made permanent and, perhaps extended into Elder Place?
  • Such schemes would benefit whole London Road area by making it a more pleasant place, thus encouraging people to stay around while visiting. This would also benefit local businesses.

Peter West and Alan Buck comment that a total of £420,000 is available is available for open space projects, but this is comprised of various subtotals which much be allocated under various headings and is not simply a lump sum. Cllr West suggest that some Section 106 money can be used for Elder Place.
Comment by Bob Curtis on poor lighting in Baker Street
Elspeth Broady expresses interest in potential walking trail focussing on railway history; Sam Bryant andVera Zakharov offer help in providing relevant information. Chair reported that the following suggestions had been made as desirable improvements:

  • seating on London Road
  • facilities for residents of Kingsbury Road / London terrace area in consideration of the inconvenience they experience during works
  • history of level e.g. political rallying point
  • history of London Road area i.e. railway history
  • Green way – interpretative signage (Jim Grozier)
  • Green way – Jenny Lind Sculpture/Installation
  • elder place / providence place/ york hill streetscape

Agenda item brought forward from 5 (iv)
Vera Zakharov presents her area of interest:

  • Food waste reduction, especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged people who often waste a lot especially when living in shared accommodation where meals are not shared.
    Past and potential projects include free workshops on:

    • food waste reduction
    • cookery
    • community cafes
    • healthy eating.
  • Inquires about local interest in a buying group, which might also be a nexus for getting in touch with disadvantaged people and avoiding packaging waste.
  • Shared houses with several people not eating together create the most food waste.

General discussion of problems of disposing of waste, recycling, composting etc. Vera was asked to send in a few paragraphs of information – follow this link to view : Food-Notes for London Road LAT meeting 2013-03-19
Point held over from discussion on item 3.
General discussion of problems with Co-op redevelopment:

  • Comment on noise, vibrations from bulldozers, lack of general courtesy on part of construction companies – scaffolding unlicensed, work done on Sunday without any advice or consideration etc.
  • Alan Buck comments that council can only intervene if the construction companies is in breach of plans.
  • Andy Winter suggests contact details of enforcement manager be circulated with minutes: Aiden.thatcher@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • Philip Wells proposes that relevant representative from the Developer (Watkin-Jones) should be present at next LAT, seeing as development was supposed to be ‘exemplary. ’ CEMP protocols for future building work will have been sorted out by then and should be adhered to.

4. Policing matters and licensing
General discussion on squatting:
Squatters currently at CityGate church site, Blockbusters, British Heart Foundation. The Lighting shop 77/76 London Road had been vacated very recently.
Complaints about noise etc.

  • Residents not in practice bothered so much by squatting as attendant anti-social behaviour.
  • Reiteration that squatting in empty commercial property not in itself illegal – owners have to take action themselves.
  • Richard B. comments on how rough sleepers need a regular shelter, perhaps a vacant shop could be used? – Andy Winter: three emergency shelters have been run over the winter, but that it is important to have appropriate facilities – such shelters need proper planning and management with skilled and resourced staff – otherwise can attract anti-social behaviour. Funding can only be obtained if weather is below freezing for three nights in a month.
  • Discussion of making contact with Cowley Club, which advises squatters. Agreement that Philip Wells should, as LAT representative, make contact with the Cowley Club for next LAT meeting.

Police statistics Feb 2013:

LR & YP Anti-Social Behaviour (drinkers, street noise) 31, Burglary 1
Criminal damage 6, Medical (drugs/drinking) 4, Road Traffic Collision 8, Suspicious 23, Theft (of which 14 were shopliftings) 29, Violence (assault, fighting, robbery, domestics) 19, Police Activity (warrants/arrests etc) 12
Policing priorities reviewed. Unchanged apart from removal of focus on York Place:

  • Street drinking/anti-social behaviour
  • Shop-lifting.
  • Prevention of intimidating behaviour on London Road.

5. Matters arising, ongoing and updates
I. Richardson’s Yard- planning application
Andy Winter presents:

  • Closing date for comments fast approaching.Inhabitants of project not actually a planning matter, but Andy is aware of concerns.
  • People living there will be handpicked
  • Project set for 5 years.
  • Andy very keen to establish this as a viable form of temporary housing.

By show of hands LAT shows general support for project, to be expressed to planning authority by letter – suggestion from Richard Barraball that images of projected project should be placed on nearby walls so residents could see. (Would this be weatherproof?)

II. Jim Grozier: ‘Another London Road’ group was started to oppose proposed and now abandoned Tesco – now have spare monies – would like to use it for improvement of London Road. Could subsidise trees/bike hoops/planters?
6. Elder place Streetscene Project
Simon Bannister:
three intensive meetings have been held with a view to a large co-ordinated effort to improve Elder/York/Providence Place + car park environment, on 25th January, 8th February, 15th March

  • Currently Elder Place seen mostly as useful service area.
  • Lots of ugly graffiti.
  • Could be part of larger public realm improvement.
  • Currently worst presented street in Brighton – a hole in all the regeneration work going on – has the effect of hindering the development of London Road – also the hampers the amenity of the car park. around it. Changing area – new student housing etc etc.
  • Possibility of making it greener?
  • Documenting It http://www.londonroadlat.wordpress.com

Would meeting like to be involved? Any suggestions welcome. Partnership and a combined approach is needed: policing, maintenance, positive input into the streetscene e.g. greenery, looking cared for

7. Large development plans

  • Discussion had taken place on this item earlier in the agenda via Donna Close etc. Jim Mayor presents on London Road public realm scheme:
  • London Road has poor visual and pedestrian links with other places e.g. North Laine, but already has a lot going for it.
  • Flags up danger of raising expectations too much re money.
  • Problem that some of the problems with London Road are intangible.
  • More specific problems such as limited seating can be solved, Improve connections, crossings?
  • People should be encouraged to keep doing the things they are doing.

PW – 23rd april pencilled in for him to give Valley Gardens presentation. Would be good to do one re LR.
Jim agrees – would be good to have lots of people all coming together and having an opportunity to give ideas, input, suggestion PW – thanks, idea could be finetuned. – see further announcements

8. A.O.B.
Bob Curtis comments that parking price reduction has meant an increase in business, but that London road car park prices are not commensurate with amounts of time people spend there. Also flags up free admission, Soul by the Sea Passion Play running Friday 29, Sat 30, Sun 31 April at 14.00.
Sam flags up family friendly walks for young children in Lewes, also user group for people who have had bad experiences on buses.

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