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Minutes of the 18 October 2005 Community Meeting

1. Talk by Richard Bennett, Head of Highways Management Group – infrastructure, plans, and proposals; and Charles Field, Traffic Management Engineer – signing and improvements to parking, who has been working for J.P. Consultants for a year and a half on the Parking Review.

RB and CF talked about the Central Brighton Parking Review and traffic management, and then answered questions.

The proposed changes are intended to simplify a system which as it stands is confusing for residents and visitors alike, and to reduce the waiting lists for residents' parking permits. Currently 1.6 permits are issued for every Residents' Parking Bay – the aim is to reduce this to 1.3 per bay. It is claimed that the changes are not revenue-driven, but 'revenue-neutral'.

Charles Field said that all the proposals are still 'up for grabs'. The first phase of consultation ends on 31/10/05, so residents should return the completed questionnaires with their views to the Council by that date. Then all the comments will be put together and a final report will be produced early next year, to get permission to proceed with this scheme or a similar one. Then a Traffic Order will be produced, with three weeks  allowed for comments, then a further report, which residents will be able to view, then the final decision. There will be a Council meeting in January which residents can attend, although they won't be allowed to speak. 

The main points in the Parking Review, as emphasised by RB & CF:

Positive approval was given by residents for:

A number of concerns about the review and the current parking situation were expressed and agreed by those present:

Other suggestions for improving the situation for residents:

The general feeling was that the changes would result in a worse parking situation. Charles Field suggested that a petition be sent in to the Council – feedback from residents is essential.

It was decided therefore to formulate a general CMPCA policy and letter to the Council on the issue, and to organise street by street petitions in addition, with voluntary help of Street Reps and/or concerned residents. Cllr Pennington advised that petitions should not be too simple - give reasons and rationales; main point is about changing zones. (One resident disagreed –  said that for a petition to have any impact, there must be straightforward demands, and as many signatures as possible.)

Cllr Pennington informed us of the meeting on the Parking Review for Brighton Central South on 27/10 in Bedford Square, which we were welcome to attend.

2. Minutes of last meeting on 13.9.05.

Minutes approved. Constitution – looking to get a draft constitution out for the next meeting and in the newsletter coming out in early December for approval. We are hoping to bring the AGM forward to January from April.

3. Treasurer's Report

 4. Planning Issues

Royal Alexandra Hospital: we wrote on 17.10.05 to the Head of the Trust that owns the RAH site, to ask about their plans for the site. By the time of our next meeting on 15/11, we hope to have a reply, which we will share with the meeting. We are trying to get information about their plans because at the moment there is only speculation. We have written to English Heritage to ask them to look into listing the main building.

5. Newsletter - response from residents and advertisers has been very positive. Local items wanted - contributions, articles, letters etc., especially for Xmas Issue (coming out early December – deadline is 24th October, or possibly slightly later if absolutely necessary). Send in by e-mail preferably.

6. Social Events – Xmas Social Gathering following Mike Jones' talk on 13th December at St. MMCC – offers of help welcomed.

7. Fundraising – could we get Council help – is there any assistance available for organisations such as this? Cllr Pennington advised looking at Council website for information, but we need to have the Constitution ready.

Any more Volunteers to be Street Reps – we still have vacancies for the following streets:

Borough Street, Crown Street, Montpelier Road, Montpelier Terrace, Montpelier Villas, Montpelier Road, Vernon Terrace, Vine Place, Regent Hill.

8. A.O.B.

MacDonald's on the corner of Dean Street and Western Road is applying for extension to opening hours. Residents are getting up a petition in opposition – 100% response. Hearing is on Friday 21/10. 

Redevelopment of Queen's Square Ice Rink – Michael Fisher is organising opposition.

Suggestion that former glass shop on Powis Road might be converted to sex shop, but Council has not received an application. It would go through the Licensing Committee, which Cllr Pennington sits on, and he knew nothing about it, but will keep an ear out.