London Road Local Action Team meeting 26th January 2021

Improving Providence Place

1. Welcome – introductions

Simon Bannister- BHCC, Judi and Peter Lynn, Philip Wells – Chair, Mike Hedgethorne and Tony Firmin (St Bartholomew’s governor), Colin Brace- property owner near Providence place, Catherine Clement- NLCA and Stanley Road, Lucy Dunleavy- Stanley road and vice chair, Pete West- Ward Councillor, Katie Blood- Head Teacher of St Bartholomew’s school, Alan Buck- City regeneration and programme manger for the New England project, Cathy Woodwood- Colin Brace colleague, James Watts – Railway Hotels, Nick Hibberd- Economy, Environment and Culture services at BHCC, Sandy Crowhurst- NL community association- planning and licensing, Simon Hemelright- Hove, interest in tagging issue, David Atherton- development 5-8 London road, Suresh and Meytlah, Daniel Lyons- property management, Father Ben Eadon- St Bartholomew’s and St Bartholomew’s school governor, James Creevy – development 5-8 London road, Adrian Hill- Stanley road, Chandrakant Mehta- NWH BAME CP, Lucy Jeffries – Open market community company, Sarah Lewis – resident and journalist, Sue Shanks- Ward Councillor – BHCC

Apologies: Andy Keeffe- University of Brighton

2. Main item – discussion of Providence Place/ Elder Place – including views of “Providence Place Steering Group”

  • The historical context of Providence Place is that there have always issues in the area. (Tagging, graffiti, drug taking and dealing etc)
  • Local residents have agreed to set up a sub-group under the umbrella of the LAT, to focus on the issues in and around the area, in a holistic way. Including traffic flow, air quality, removing tagging and drugs etc. The end goal is to make sure that the area gets the regeneration it deserves and that residents and visitors want to spend time in the area, as it is a corridor to the North Laine.
  • They have called it the “Providence Place Steering Group” they had their first meeting last week. Map here.
  • Residents want to get the strategy correct and feel there is no rush to do it incorrectly but the businesses they have spoken with are not happy, so the group is willing to hear from the businesses to see what their option is on moving forward, and that communication is key to success.
  • Lucy Jeffries enquired whether Open market traders could be part of the steering group.
  • Councilor West stated that the Funding Project management is critical to having a joined up approach. So the Council needs to spend the right amount of money in right correct areas to get this right. He stated also that there is a need for urgency as the work on the development in starting and we do not want to be left behind or forgotten, when it comes to funding.
  • James Watts gave a presentation on the improvement strategy that is needed in Providence Place. Below are the slides that were presented to the LAT. (slides version click here)
  • The strategy that was put forward is a top down strategy that identifies the area as a commercial hot spot. The strategy needs to be coordinated with all residents and council behind it to make it a community approach. The areas USP is its heritage and this needs to be kept alive.
  • Air quality could push the issue up the agenda, as it is particularly bad around Preston Circus, including the safety element in the area, which is always an issue and should be included in the strategy and the plan.
  • Nick Hibberd BHCC responded to the strategy by saying that the council is aware of the issues in the area and that he is committed to looking at the strategy and the investments that are needed. Nick did express caution at the level of expectation as the council are stretched and challenged due to the COVID-19 situation, but expressed willingness to engage positively with the aims expressed.
  • Nick added that the Longley estate development will help add investment to the area which should be included in the strategy along with other investment and money (section 106 etc)
  • He also said that instead of the top down approach, it would be best to have a bottom up approach, as this will allow the community to get more involvement. He agreed that this needed initiative from the Council.
  • He will come back to the LAT with a timetable and an outline of strategy at the next meeting. March 9th 2021, after having had a discussion with Alan Buck and the other departments in the council.

There was general discussion around the various points.

  • Action Point and outcome Nick Hibberd to come up with a timetable and bring to next meeting and to meet with Councilor Pete West and Philip Wells a few days or a week before March 9th.

3. Minutes and date of next meeting  – March 9th

  • Minutes from last meeting approved

4. Policing – etc- save until the next meeting

5. AOB (if any)

  • Simon Banister gave an update on the Oxford court public protection order. There is going to be a new consultation and a new gate and lock. This is happening on Friday 29th January. Agreed that there will be more details on the LAT website.

Meeting closed around 19:45