Chair’s report 2013-2014

Chair’s report June 29th 2013 –May 29thth 2014

1. History

London Road Area LAT has been running 5 ½ years.

Following publicity in Sept 2008 the first LAT meeting was held 10th December 2008. Meetings were held most months in the subsequent year. During 2009 a constitution was agreed, Chair and Vice-Chair elected, and a pattern of meetings was established i.e. first Tuesday of the month 6.30pm in the Gates Room of Calvary Church, Viaduct Road.

The area covered is East to the Level, North and West to the railway line, and south to St Peter’s church.

2. During the period July 2013 – end of May 2014

The past 12 months have been ones of mounting progress and development in London Road.

This is the combination of a number of factors:

  • the cumulative effects of small changes and the exercise of caring attention to the area e.g. in policing, signage, building relationships

  • the fruition of Council projects (e.g. the Level, Providence Place pilot, and Valley Gardens in train),

  • the injection of cash and incentive via the Portas Pilot project,

  • the introduction of Town Centre Liaison officers (via Portas)

  • the progress of building projects (e.g. Co-op),

  • the sense that London Road is ripe for creative investment (e.g. HisBe, Emporium, Alcamp Lounge),

  • patient work on Elder Place issues as initiated via the LAT

  • initiatives on alcohol supply and disincentives to street drinking

to name but a few.

These are not to be credited to the LAT alone – but the LAT has been a significant part in encouraging, facilitating or even initiating several.

Anecdotally – the the manager of one cafe said words to this effect in September 2013: “we don’t usually do so much business on a Saturday, but one Saturday in August was our best ever and from then on it’s just got better and better”

a. Summary:

  • Meetings have continued in the established pattern, with breaks for New Year and summer holiday plus special focus meetings e.g. Elder Place (graffiti), Oxford Street, Stanley Road etc.

  • New members have attended during the year such that the June 2013 meeting had to transfer to a larger room. The attendances have been as follows: July 36,[ August 20 in Gates room] Sept 31,Oct 35,Oct#231,Dec 26,Feb 31,March 21,April 21,May 31

  • Our main policing priorities have been – intimidating behaviour and shoplifting in London Road, challenging street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour on Level, and around York Place areas. Plus tackling Graffitti and flytipping in Stanley Road.

We express our gratitude to Simon Bannister, Cllr Ian Davey, our PCSO’s Sharon and Nic for their hard work and support. Appreciation is due to all LAT members who have attended faithfully and the various Council Officers and special guests who have attended from time to time.

The office-holders for this period have been Chair: Philip Wells, and Vice Chair: Charlotte Overton-Hart till January 2014 and John Holden till June 2014, Treasurer: Mike Hedgethorne.

Thanks to Katharine Crompton for doing the minutes in recent months. Many thanks to these for their valuable contributions!

b. Month by month

In 2013

March 2013 – initiative to deal direct with Concorde_2 over flyposting.

– Richardson’s Yard approved 30/4/13

-May 2013 Ernie Burke presents impassioned request for help in York Place

July 2013 – decision taken to seek action on York Place alcohol problems. Lcommunity -led licensing review was undertaken. This was a big project!

The Level opens in stages.

August 20th 2013 – special meeting focussing on Oxford Street – recommending rationalised traffic regulations, plus traffic island installed on Ditchling Road junction

August 2013– B&W stores licence removed – appeal lodged.

September 2013– results of initiative with local children’s. Discuss Portas “re-branding” of London Road – demolition of Co-op nearly completed

October 2013 – “Sensible on Strength” proceeding – local off-licence holders were invited to the meetings + Cat McBeth. Presentation on City College planning applications. Charlie Rallings presents on plans for murals in Elder Place.

October/November 2013 meeting – chasing up “Sensible on strength” – Licensing application for “AlCampo Lounge” – follow-up presentation on City College

December 2013 – small business Saturday 7th Dec – London Road installations via Portas

Oxford Street traffic changes taking account of LAT concerns.First residents have moved into Richardson’s Yard.

Stanley Road residents request action on graffiti and fly-tipping etc.

January 2014 – mini-meeting re. Stanley Road held in Duke of Yorks

February 2014– final resolution of B&W licence. License restored following an apology from proprietors and various significant conditions

March 2014 – Viaduct Road raised as issue. Portas London Road website is up and running. Still monitoring alcohol and street-drinking.

April 2014 – presentation on future plans for City College

May 2014 – presentation by Jim Mayor on Valley Gardens and London Road possibilities

– “The Barrows” are now being inhabited.

3. Media and social media

In addition the website was launched January 2013 and has been added to and refined – and has recorded 5566 views to date.

The twitter account was signed up by Charlotte in August 2013 and has now tweeted 1484 tweets and has 531 followers.

In order to stop personal emails being blacklisted as sources of spam a mailchimp account was started in Feb 2014 for mailouts to 224 subscribers.

4. Other meetings:

LAT has been represented at:

– Providence Place Forum

– Valley Gardens consultations

– LAT Chairs meetings (daytime)

– City College consultation (early evenings)

– Planning Committee (during 2012)

– Licensing Committee(daytime)

– Reedeming our Communities meetings (early evening)

– the chair also has represents the LAT on the Portas Town Team (early evening, fortnightly)

+ many and various personal visits and networking occasions

Philip Wells

2nd June 2014

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