Elder Place/ Providence Place streetscene open meeting – 20th June 17.30 for 18.00 at Emporium, London Road
Welcome: Philip Wells (Chair London Road Area LAT)
At the December 2012 London Road Area Local Action Team meeting (LAT) a local trader brought up the matter of Elder Place graffiti tagging and general poor presentation. Since then mini-LAT meetings have been held Jan, Feb, March,April,May to discuss the issue and possible solutions. We thought about Policing, maintenance, cleaning and greening, improving lighting, use of existing space e.g. for Open market
Now it’s time to get a larger group together to try and work for improvements. We think it needs a partnership of all concerned – police, traders, residents, school children, Council, City Clean etc. Notes of previous meetings are on http://www.londonroadlat.wordpress.com/Elder Place
We went round the room and introduced ourselves.
P.Wells, Graham Richer Sounds (later arrival), Rob Dawson (Economic Development – Council) Paula Goncalves (Planning – Council ), Alanagh Raikes (Landlord – London Road), Inspector Gareth Davies (Neighbourhood Policing Team), Christina+Kate “Street Diner” Brighthelm Gardens, Sharon Birt (NPT), Jim McCandlish (City Clean), Simon Bannister (Council – Planning and Public Protection Team), Councillor Ian Davey (St Peters and North Laine).
Several other people had expressed interest and intention of attending the meeting. Apologies from Jim Mayor and Donna Close
2. Introductory talks
Background to the initiative: Simon Bannister – Council Planning and Public Protection Team. Simon’s work includes making better use of spaces that people think are unpleasant and unsafe. P.W. Expressed thanks to Simon for all his work on this project so far.
This area used to be simply for access and a way through to somewhere else. Now there is housing springing up, and some businesses are looking to use the space at the rear for trade. It is a pedestrian route up to the station and New England Quarter There are new residents in NEQ, and will be 1000 students (351 at Co-op). Although we are used to thinking of Elder Place etc in a certain way there is room for new thinking and new uses.
There is a “graffiti/art” debate, scope for trees/planting, and street trading (n.b. Open market is oversubscribed)
Paula Goncalves – “Change is possible and actually happening”
Paula gave a laptop presentation outlining the project in Providence Place Gardens “Lively Cities”
- using surveys and trialling to work out what worked and what did not
- via Architect’s radical ideas
- the uses of the area were transformed in a very short time, and people tended to enjoy and make use of the space without special prompting. Street community people were still present, but tended to be a more manageable and less noticeable feature.
Rob Dawson – Economic regeneration and Portas Pilot
- Portas pilot scheme figure-head= Mary Portas + government money £83,000
- interest in promoting retail e.g. by public art etc. etc.
- conscious of day-time/night-time economy
- crime reduction was part of the bid: could perhaps be channelled into “London Road Ambassadors” = friendly + security
- Joe Nicholls has been appointed as Town Team Co-ordinator from 1st July
- there has been lots of interest in the Open market
Donna Close – sent apologies and written comments.
Part 2 – Ideas and discussion (18:40)
Christina and Kate expressed considerable interest in setting up a street market e.g. with hot food. This sparked considerable discussion. Was there enough space? Would this block big delivery lorries? Would people come? How could it enhance the area rather than compete with existing trade? Although the questions were asked – several people were very positive about the answers.
** action/focalpoint: Street Market: Simon and Rob to liaise with Christina and Kate to see how this could be done, and whether there were any significant obstacles (e.g. licensing)
Greening – a comparison with Asda in Marina was made. There an uninviting space was made green by raised beds using railway sleepers + hardy low level planting.
Cleaning + Graffiti
- possibilities of a tailor-made local scheme involving City Clean
- finance – could there be a source of financing for materials, via traders?
- ‘proceeds of crime’ fund and Dulux fund were mentioned
** action/focal point: bespoke Graffiti management – this was felt to be best dealt with via door-to-door contact, since none of the interested parties had managed to attend this meeting
Graffiti and Richer sounds
Graham mentioned their efforts to deal with walls to the south and west were still unresolved
** action/focal point: to discuss with Simon B.
** action/focal point: Paula suggested that the large wall at the top of York Hill would be a key location for something visually interesting and attractive for pedestrians to use as an East/West pedestrian route. Can this be passed to Alan Buck for possible consideration at least for ideas?