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Minutes of the 17 January 2006 Community Meeting

1.Minutes of meeting on 15.11.05 approved.

2.Consideration of the Constitution.

Introduction: CMPCA needs to adopt Constitution to apply for charitable status. Community Matters produces a standard model Constitution, agreed with the Charities Commission – this makes for an easy passage to obtaining charitable status. This was more cumbersome than anticipated. Small changes had been made since last version e-mailed out – just to clarify our geographical area. We are also required to have a Management Committee and the current Steering Committee (formed to get the Association off the ground) needs to be confirmed in office until the AGM in April, when all positions will be elected. The Steering Committee will work with the Acting Officers until April. The constitution provides for up to ten committee members in addition to the Acting Officers – Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary – plus co-opted members, not to exceed three.

Debate: Clause 18(a) - Regarding quorums: it was agreed that the quorum should be one half rather than one third of Management Committee members, so that too few people cannot make decisions. (Number of Committee Members is eleven at present.).

Clause 9 - Regarding Management Committee: Honorary Officers elected annually, but no such provision regarding Management Committee, so people could theoretically stay on indefinitely. In fact people can remain on Committee, but not in same office for more than four years – could rotate to another position. Where there is no post, they could be reelected as often as they liked. Concern expressed at possibility of too few people meeting as and when they like and making decisions on behalf of the Association. However, it was agreed that, judging from the experience of other groups, a greater risk was the lack of people willing to serve on the Committee.

Clause 22 – Regarding alterations to the Constitution: this was amended to: ‘Any alteration shall require the consideration and approval of both…’

3. Peter Freeman put forward the motion: ‘That the constitution proposed for the Clifton Montpelier Powis Community Alliance, incorporating any additions and amendments agreed by this community meeting, be adopted. The meeting agreed to so adopt the Constitution.

4. The Steering Committee introduced themselves

Corinne Attwood (Acting Chair), Philippa Sankey (Acting Secretary), Adam Jones (Acting Treasurer / Acting Vice-Chair), Ian Bunday (not present), Peter Freeman, Jenny Riddington, John Riddington, Ann Smith, Graham Towers, Paul Vitalis, and Nick von Tunzelmann. The Steering Committee was confirmed in office until the inaugural General Meeting of the Alliance to be held in April 2006.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Approx. £2,000 in the bank – not including outstanding Xmas newsletter printing costs, after which there will still be funds remaining. The Xmas party broke even. We would be looking for a Treasurer from April.

6. Update on Planning Issues + Royal Alexandra Hospital re-development

We had just learnt that the Trust - through London-based firm Malcolm Judd and Partners - was selling the Coach House (minimum price £125,000) ahead of the rest of the site because their financial position had deteriorated still further; Judd were also the experts hired by the Trust to devise the marketing strategy for the whole site. There were a number of interested prospective purchasers, including MCHA, which had also put in a Planning Application (dated 22nd December) for changing the use to a community hall, and for making alterations. Bids to be in within next two weeks, funds to be found by beginning of March. On 20th February 2006 Cllr Roy Pennington would convene a public meeting at the Girls' High School, Montpelier Rd with representatives of the Trust, Judd and Partners, the Council, the Primary Care Trust. This would be first opportunity for the public to find out about the Trust’s plans and the response of other stakeholders. A Steering Group convened by Cllr Roy Pennington, with reps from CMPCA (PF and GT), MCHA, Powis Square Community Association, West Hill Community Association, and Wykeham Terrace would meet twice before the 20/2 public meeting to sort out the agenda and issues for discussion at the meeting, including plans for the Trust or their successors to look after the site after the Trust vacates at the beginning of next year. Peter Freeman and Graham Towers reported on the SG’s RAH site visit the previous Wednesday and the need to identify important buildings to be retained for future development. If possible, the Trust would like a clear site, but we don't want that. Need to identify priorities – main building on corner of Clifton Hill & Dyke Road is key building – original building, very good architectural quality, and could be successfully converted to either housing or community use, or combination of both. Also large open green space in front – very important community open space if it could be retained. Roger Dowty (Construction and Design Policy Manager) did say originally that the Council would favour keeping the main building and front gardens, but unfortunately things have moved on since then and they may no longer want to. Need to be mindful about retaining trees on the site, including the car park. Trees on the main site supposed to have individual tree preservation orders (however Council has denied this), but we don't know about the car park. Question about whether hospital can take any interesting internal items from the old hospital and transfer to their new building, eg stained glass windows, old fireplaces, old design features etc. Items of sentimental value, but which could be preserved and made use of if the building is kept and converted. Construction work will affect the area – noise etc.

7. Newsletter Items (especially for March Festival Issue)

We are looking for items for next issue, which will focus on the Brighton Festival and will contain a Festival supplement.

8. Presentation from PCSO Rebecca Scoons on new Specialist Neighbourhood Policing Teams (official start date 1 April)

Apologies from Sergeant Laurence Cartwright, who was unavoidably detained. For the first time, PCSOs will be working in small Specialist Neighbourhood Policing Teams together with police officers to provide a variety of policing responses to community problems. Police Community Support Officer Rebecca Scoons was part of a team of nine looking after this area: Inspector Nev(ille) Kemp, Sergeant Laurence Cartwright, PCs: William Thomas, Daniel Jewell, Chris Thompson, PCSOs: Rebecca Scoons, Sarah Lovett, Sharon Birt, James Benthall, Karen Orford, Clare Doughty. There are five different Teams. Regency Team is the largest, covering all the CMPCA area and extending south to the seafront (from the Peace Statue to Palace Pier) and east to the Old Steine and North Street. The role of PCSOs is to support the policing of communities by providing high visibility foot patrols and dealing with low-level crime and disorder. They are intended to complement existing policing and to fill the gap created by the ever-increasing investigative roles of police constables. The majority of situations to which police officers are called are resolved without recourse to the range of powers available to police officers, therefore PCSOs are deployed to resolve community problems in the first instance. When it becomes clear that a problem requires the use of police powers then the whole team will work together to effect a solution. Friday and Saturday nights are peak times for policing demand, much of it in response to alcoholrelated disorder around West Street. However these evenings aren't the peak time for, say, burglaries. For that reason, the Specialist Neighbourhood Teams work a flexible shift pattern that can meet different demands from 999 calls. One of the aims of the Specialist Neighbourhood Policing project is for all residents to know one of the officers responsible for policing their area, and how to contact them - by mobile phone/ email/ voicemail. Police would like to know residents' preferred option. When to dial 999. in emergencies only: if there is immediate danger to life or limb, if a crime is in progress, if there is significant benefit in the police arriving within a few minutes. Otherwise call 0845 6070999. In answer to questions, PCSO Scoons acknowledged that Boundary Passage (on the edge of our area) was a problem area for drug-dealing and drinking known to the police and they were trying to address these.

It was also established that the cemetery gates opposite St. Nicholas Church on Dyke Rd are no longer locked at night, and there are problems of people climbing over the back wall into residents' gardens (however, it is easy to climb over the wall into the cemetery regardless of locking the gates). The Council said they were cutting costs by not locking it at night (however, the playground area opposite is locked – possibly by residents?). It is not just a matter of locking the gates – you have to clear the cemetery first.

Action: The Council should be pressured into locking it up.

9. The next CMPCA meeting

To note that there will not be a CMPCA meeting in Feb. Instead there will be a special public meeting to discuss the future of the Royal Alexandra Hospital site. It will be chaired by Cllr Roy Pennington, and held in conjunction with the MCHA, PSCA, WHCA, and Wykeham Terrace. To start at 7.30 pm on 20th February 2006, and will be held in the Girls' School, Montpelier Road.

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