London Road Area Local Action Team Minutes – Tuesday 3 September 2013
1. Welcome, apologies & introductions: Apologies: Amanda Healy, Colin Henderson (City College), Ann Townsend, Bob Curtis, Chris & Elspeth Broady, PCSO Nic Harrison, Lorinda Holness (University of Sussex), Ollie from Moksha, Kate and Christina (Street Diner), Simon Cowell, Sylvia Chilton, Jean Calder, Mohammed Asaduzzaman.
Present: Philip Wells, Charlotte Overton-Hart, Joe Nichols, Ruth and Amy Anslow, Sandy Crowhurst, Eve Chamberlain, Barbara Pyper, Tony Firmin, Mike Hedgthorne, Scott Crossley, Jesse Wilde, PCSO Sharon Birt, Mark and Daphne de Boissiere, Katharine Crompton, Richard Barraball, John Holden, Bob Chilton, Phyllis Dawes, Jean Boyd, Ian Davey, Ernie Burke, Kara Ward, Peter McDonald, Ivan Pope, Emma Lacey, Andy Winter, Jan Rooney, Ben Alltimes, Andrew Breary.
Emma Lacey at Safety Net: have been speaking to children about personal safety techniques. What worries them, and what they think adults can be doing to improve the area. Graffiti, street drinking and low level crime have in some areas been identified by young people and addressed by adults for an improvement in the community. In the London Road area children as young as ten have been approached by people selling drugs, or adults asking the young people to buy alcohol on their behalf. Safety Net also acts as a deterrent, helping young people to make positive choices. Some LATs have been reluctant to hear the views of young people, but all views of LAT members are very welcome. Have seen a thousand children since January. All feedback on the project welcome.
More information can be found at http://www.safety-net.org.uk/.
Ian Davey: would welcome the input of children in Providence Place.
Ivan Pope: will be running kids’ workshops and would love to collaborate in some way.
2. Minutes of previous meeting taken as a fair record of events.
3. Policing matters
Ernie Burke: further to calling for a license review of B&W street drinkers are still in the area, but not in the same numbers as before, and fewer are congregating right outside B&W.
Andy Winter: there is still a problem, called the police yesterday as there was a disturbance in the area. The problem is ongoing. Not sure the removal of the railings outside St Peter’s is a help.
PCSO Sharon Birt: agrees with both points. The street drinkers have not disappeared, and it may be that they taking an extra journey to elsewhere to return to their usual drinking spot around the York Place area. There are more calls around Norfolk Square and Regency Square. International Food and Wine on London Road may be a new spot for purchasing alcohol.
Jesse Wilde: agrees with points made, perhaps slightly quieter overall. The Level is quiet at the moment. Two of the main street drinkers are housed and not drinking. Will visit International Food & Wine with trading standards. Delighted with B&W license outcome. Will be part of The Level Community Forum. The struggle carries on, but the work that has been done with the LAT and especially with Philip Wells is to be commended and is a template for the city.
Scott Crossley: keep up the momentum with reporting. Call in to anti-social calls to 101 or 999 if there is an emergency.
Emma Lacey: concerned that children as young as eight and nine have been approached about alcohol and drugs.
Our three possible policing priorities for this month have been set as:
- Street drinking/anti-social behaviour/drug use in York Place
- Prevention of intimidating behaviour on London Road and particularly interaction with children
4. Portas Pilot
Joe Nichols: there are five main objectives of the Portas Project.
Crime Reduction – encouraging traders to implement a zero tolerance approach to petty crime, and there is going to be a trial of Town Centre Liaison Officers (wearing blue high-vis jackets). They have the same rights as security guards. Same security company as used in the centre of Brighton. They will be here to make the community feel safer.
Sharon Birt: positive about collaboration with the Town Centre Liaison Officers. The scheme has been very successful in the centre of Brighton.
Richard Barraball: concerned about the different layers of security around, possibly perceived as excessive.
Mike Hedgethorne: welcomes the scheme.
Ian Davey: their presence in the city has softened.
Emma Lacey: are they a good person for children to approach if they have a query, and would they have a good attitude to listen to young people?
Joe Nichols: absolutely.
Retail Training – have partnered up with City College and Metamorphosis – looking to up-skill shop workers.
Working with City Clean – there will be a jet wash in October. Not only the pavement, but also shop fronts can be grimy
Re-Branding the London Road Area – people don’t come to the area – this is the main issue.
P.Wells – do LAT members have contributions to make about branding?
Emma Lacey: children could make a contribution.
Mike Hedgethorne and Tony Firmin: needs to have London Road in the title.
Art Events: have put together an art action group with Duke of Yorks and The Phoenix. Looking at doing some sort of Christmas light exhibition. This would be funded by White Night legacy funding. Looking at doing a lot of smaller events and hoping to collaborate with the open market once it re-opens.
Richard Barraball: would be great to have an annual London Road event like other parts of Brighton.
Tony Firmin: car parking has come up a lot: any chance that high on-street parking charges could be addressed within the scope of the Portas Pilot?
Joe Nichols: parking was not one of the 28 points identified, but is happy to support traders if they identify they would value particular help with this issue.
The meeting was very supportive of Joe and his work
5. Matters arising, ongoing and updates.
a) Licensing and B&W Stores, York Place – Philip Wells: the licence was revoked on 06/06/13. The LAT asked for a review of the licence. 24 representations were made from residents, traders, etc. A big thank you to everyone who made a representation to the panel. A tremendous effort by a lot of people. During the consultation Philip visited Mr Ibrahim to assure him that there was no bad feeling. In an informal meeting Mr Ibrahim agreed to take high strength alcohol off the shelves. After representations on the day of the review it became clear that a large number of warnings had been given (and apparently ignored), so the panel felt the only action which would guarantee compliance was a revocation of the licence. There is now a period of 21 days during which time the licence holder can appeal. No appeal has yet been made.
Ian Davey: the key thing was the police evidence. There have been a lot of “yellow cards” over the years, with “wilful mismanagement”. It was clear during the review that the only clearly effective outcome would be the revocation of the licence. Hopefully it will be a clear message to future cases.
b) Co-op redevelopment – Peter McDonald: lots of work going on at the moment, and a lot of deep excavation which can’t been seen at street level. 5-6 October are likely to be days that Baker Street is closed. Demolition will be complete in a couple of weeks. May be able to put some safety lights on the crane for Christmas. Any concerns people are welcome to pop in to 44-5 Baker Street – the next meeting is on 19 September.
Mike Hedgethorne: the right meeting date needs to be put on the flyer.
Tony Firmin: the post box has been sealed up. Peter: will investigate
c) The Level – positive feedback from the LAT – Philip Wells to write a letter.
PCSO Sharon Birt: PCSOs busy on The Level.
d) Elder Place – possibility of the Street Diner currently in the gardens of the Brighthelm Centre on Friday and Saturday. No update on graffiti.
e) Oxford Street – brief report of meeting 20/08/13 – Philip Wells: the issues were itemized. The signage is problematic and and ineffective for various reasons. The green timing period is not done on a response to traffic. A review of the lights could beasked for.
Mike Hedgethorne: the eastern end by The Bat and Ball is far more dangerous.
Richard Barraball: there is a restriction for cars in the street, and the signage is poor.
Philip Wells: this was certainly mentioned and the points were made at the meeting. Feedback about London Road car park was asked for.
John Holden: uses London Road car park. It’s easy to use, it’s well-lit and it is reasonably priced. Has been telling customers about it for years. It is a good car park, but it’s not easy to find. There could be signage or more stickers on the parking meters to say there is cheaper parking close by.
f) Open Market – may open around November.
6. City College planning application – carried over until October.
hiSbe – hopes to open late September. More information here: http://www.hisbe.co.uk/
Ernie Burke: a question about licensing on York Place – one down from York Place Studios – applying for a licence until 1am on a week night and 3am. (Not Meat Liquor ).
Sandy Crowhurst: residents can now make recommendations for a variation on a licence (since 2011). The LAT should object to the variation.
Philip Wells: will make a letter on behalf of the LAT to object to the variation.
Andy Winter: 36 shipping containers will arrive mid October, and the first residents from mid November. The artist who did the James Brown mural in the North Laine will be doing the artwork on the side.
Richard: idea to have the agenda on the OHP.
Dates of next meetings: 1 October and 29 October (no meeting in November).