Notes of LAT meeting on 7th October 2014
1. Apologies and welcome
– Tony Firmin, Cllrs West, Davey,Deane, Amanda Healey, Andy WInter, PCSOs Sharon and Nic, Karen Ashdown, Elspeth and Chris from Ditching Rise Residents Association, Sandy Crowhurst (North Laine Community Association), Emma (Stanley Road), Scott Crossley (Equinox), Jan Rooney (Substance Misuse Services), Chris Drew + Steve (Open Market)
[Omission: John Holden sent a message of thanks for his farewell card]
Philip Wells Chair
Cathy Reeves Notes and Vice Chair
Lucy Dunleavy Vice Chair
Martin West Abacus Student Acommodation
Richard Barraball Liaison between LAT and Community Safety Forum
Simon Bannister Brighton & Hove City Council
Residents: Mrs Brenda Kennard, Sylvia and Robert Chilton, Penny King and Robyn Harris
Andrew Breary One Brighton
Roz Scott Trainee Journalist
Julia Fox St Peter’s Place Medical Centre
James Watts Developer of Providence Place
Eve Jacobs DRARA
Chris Demetriou Pavilion Properties Lettings Agency
Joss Goodwin Pavilion Properties Lettings Agency
Damien Marmura City Clean division of Brighton & Hove City Council.
Mike Hedgethorne (Treasurer)
= 20 names
2. Minutes of last meeting 2/9/14 were accepted
Chairman Philip Wells moved the item about Viaduct Road to the top of the agenda to reflect the number of Viaduct Road residents present at the meeting.
Agenda Item 4: Viaduct Road Improvements
Cathy Reeves advised all the Lettings Agents with boards up in Viaduct Road (9 in total) were invited to tonight‘s meeting but only Pavilion Properties provided representation.
Viaduct Road residents complained
some households leave rubbish bags, bins, recycling bins and recycling boxes out in their gardens or on pavements continually, and don’t take them back in after collection rounds. Complaints unsorted recycling is left behind (as it’s unsorted) and rubbish bags not collected.
Residents agreed “it’s never been as bad as it was this summer,” “it’s a health hazard;” “people don’t care: the lettings agents don’t care; landlords don’t care,” “you can’t get past the wheelie bins without having to step out in to the road, it’s dangerous.”
Simon Bannister confirmed he is liaising with City Clean and enforcement representatives. Since the last meeting Simon has twice walked along Viaduct Road trying to identify individual properties to work with as to sorting and putting out rubbish/recycling on the right day.
Damien Marmura said that in July 2014 City Clean knocked on doors in Beaconsfield and Viaduct Roads and discussed responsibilities for keeping pavements free of rubbish and recycling, with occupiers. Enforcement notices could not be issued due to industrial action by City Clean. By order of central government City Clean no longer has power to issue £75 penalty notices.
Meantime City Clean is to letter drop, visit and discuss responsibilities of households including along Viaduct Road on 5 November 2014.
Chris Demetriou (Pavilion Properties) said students present a problem at the beginning of the (academic) year, get the hang of it, and then leave at the end of the year and the problem restarts all over again.
Robyn: “Don’t blame all students. We didn’t know to take recycling bins away. We weren’t given any information by lettings agents.”
Chris Demetriou commented that rubbish breeds rubbish. He suggested that better information from the Lettings Agents as to rubbish, recycling, responsibilities etc., when students first move, in should be made clear at the outset of their lets.
Andrew (One Brighton) said “I managed 174 residential properties in one development. We need to create an event to educate people how to manage their rubbish.”
Damian suggested complaints should be rung in to City Clean on 01273 292929. Damien noted specific comments about [2 houses]
James Watts: Suggested university accommodation officers should attend as properties are being let to place conditions upon tenants as to responsibilities around rubbish and recycling. Lettings Agents can make it condition of tenancy agreements that rules are adhered to or face fines/eviction.
Damian: Students are more frightened of universities than of Lettings Agents.
Philip Wells: If City Clean and Lettings Agents could work together it would make a big difference.
Chris Demetriou: An email needs to be sent by the universities or Lettings Agents need to see tenants face-to-face.
Brenda Kennard revealed she had been mocked and told in person to ‘go away’ by one lettings agency after complaining about the rubbish nuisance created by a neighbouring property. The letting agent had said “are you the policeman for Viaduct Road”
Someone said the Lettings Agents industry body should be made aware of incidents like that. “That sort of attitude gives Lettings Agents as a whole a bad name.”
Cathy Reeves reported that none of the Lettings Agents she invited to attend, were on the list of members advertised on the industry body ARLA website. But James Watt and Chris Demetreo responded that there are other industry bodies Lettings Agents could belong to.
Agreed Damian Marmura to attend LAT meeting (2nd December [N.B. this date is likely to change to 9/12/14] ) to give feedback following leaflet drop and visits on 5 November. Philip Wells to write to Planning and Enforcement. Viaduct Road is to remain on the next agenda for action.
[After meeting note from Pavilion Properties:
Please see below the email which has been sent this morning to all of our tenants who are currently living on Viaduct Road.
Dear Tenants of Viaduct Road,
It has been brought to our attention that the appearance of Viaduct Road in general seems to be deteriorating. Therefore, we would like to provide you with a helpful link below with information and advice on how to manage waste and recycling correctly and efficiently. Also you will be able to confirm collection dates for the area.
If you could also adhere to the following points it would me much appreciated –
All bins and recycling boxes must be stored neatly on the front patio area ( NOT ON THE PAVEMENT ) during non-collection times and used correctly using the guidelines set by City Clean.
- Please refrain from leaving bin bags loose at the front of the property, if you need extra wheelie bins or boxes these can be ordered using the City Clean website – link above.
- After collections please make sure you retrieve bins and boxes from the pavement as quick as possible.
- Please report any repeat offenders to directly to City Clean so that further action can be taken.
We hope that this email and helpful information can help to improve the area.
3. Police and Licensing
Review of policing priorities … retain as from last month
The neighbourhood policing inspector is to be invited to the next LAT meeting to advise on priorities and provide updates on our area.
Simon Bannister asked about the impact of the city centre’s new Dispersal Order. He explained the order allows police to expel individuals or groups from the city centre as a way of preventing or breaking up trouble. “Is there a knock-on effect? Is it affecting the London Road area?”
Providence Place planning application: James Watt provided an overhead projection of photographs as to how the redevelopment of the former Harlequins club will look, if planning permission is granted. He advised the planning application was submitted on 25 September with a decision due on 19th November. If granted building would start on 4 January, finishing July-September 2015. Licensing: James assured the meeting the development is not going a ‘party house’. It is for private hire only. “You cannot walk in off the street and have a drink at the bar.” The alcohol licence, if granted, would be to 12am weekdays and 2am at weekends. No use of outside terraces after 11pm. Conditions are legally enforced. Only a Major Variation to the licensing application would change future licensing arrangements (if the building/business were to be sold/change ownership).
James reiterated the building, dubbed ‘Beatnik Warehouse’ will be used for conferences, weddings and private dining. It will have three commercial grade kitchens, 10 en-suite bedrooms, 18 toilets on 4 floors and a Michelin star chef brought in for special events.
He also plans to exert pressure on adjacent building owners to remove graffiti, helping to raise the tone of the neighbourhood generally. Some concern expressed about the name ‘Beatnik Warehouse’ alluding to a party/hang-out venue. James to re-evaluate title.
Philip Wells suggested we wait and see if an application to open a bar in the area is submitted before discussing further. Proposed from the floor that if application happens we invite a spokesperson from Wetherspoons to tell us about it.
Philip Wells advised a planning application is underway to turn it in to accommodation. The Save the Rosehill Tavern action group is objecting and ‘now is the time to object if you want to’.
5. Updates and News
London Road improvements: reported there are plans to clear the pavement area and tidy up all the bicycle racks outside the Duke of Yorks cinema. Philip Wells thanked Eve for the work involved in making the planters outside the Duke of Yorks cinema, look beautiful.
Philip Wells had been advised by Rev. Martin Poole “we are waiting to hear from the Parks department about a meeting to discuss gardening.”
London Road Traders update: nothing new on Community Interest Company (CIC)
DRARA: nothing extra
Community Safety Forum:
Richard kindly brought a summary which is appended here:
1a, A new Anti Social Behavior act to be replaced by Civil Injunction wef October 20th 2014. Existing 19 powers reduced to 7 the main one being Community Trigger & remedy apparently to give victims a voice. Conviction will be on ‘balance of probability’.
1b, Other aspects include Dispersal Powers and Community Protection Notice both on the authority of a Police Inspector. A Public Space Protection Area will lapse after 3 years meant to deal with nuisance issues such as dog fouling & alcohol drinking.
1c, Closure Powers: lapsing after 24 hours not requiring a court order mainly to restrict access to domestic premises. There still remain offences of ABH and GBH based of court admissible evidence. However there is provision to escalate the threshold if relatively ‘minor’ offences reoccur more than 3 times. ‘Low level’ harassment can still ‘grind one down’ so not minor for the target group / individual.
4, The last half of this meeting involved presentations from different ethnic interest [partnership] groups with a theme that the best education is attendance at each other’s events such as international food events as part of People’s Days or local weekend festivals / carnivals held in local parks or squares or venues such as the dog walking area at the Level.
Portas Scheme: Has now come to an end. There are plans to form a Community Interest group to continue the work of the Town Centre Liaison Officers.
Level Forum: Nothing to report.
Former Co-op building (Abacus House):
Martin West (Abacus Student Accommodation) advised the first students moved in on 5 September. There are 300 bed spaces? 95% of the residents are post-graduate students with a few undergraduates. They are largely international students (about 250) with 50 British.
Simon Bannister asked what is being done about cars as he didn’t want students parking their cars where it was free, eg. up in the Hanover area.
Martin responded there is a car park for staff only in the Abacus House area but students had been told not to bring cars as there was no student or free parking in the area. London Terrace is to be resurfaced where containers had been standing during construction. Unlike City College there is no free shuttle bus between campuses.
Martin is to email dates for the local community to visit / tour the building.
Providence Place Gardens: Looks good with paving now largely completed.
Katy Bourne (Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner) to be invited to next meeting.
Simon Bannister reported BHCC is looking at the area outside the front of the Duke of Yorks cinema and ways of remodelling that part of Stanley Road to improve its appearance. This is another achievement via the LAT.
The group thanked Simon Bannister for his work on following up Stanley Road issues and formally closed the meeting.
The next London Road LAT will be held on Tuesday 4th November 2014 in the Calvary Church hall, Viaduct Road, at 6.15 for a 6.30pm start. An agenda will be available to print off at www.londonroadlat.wordpress.com from Thursday 30th October.