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Minutes of the 21 March 2006 Community Meeting

1. Presentation by representatives of City Car Club.

The costs of owning a car were contrasted with the savings and convenience of using the Car Club. City Car Club estimates that for every car they put on the streets, 5 – 8 are removed. Their car stands do not impinge on scarce parking: they are constructed from yellow lines or two bays are made into three. City Car Club is the only Club contracted by B & H City Council (they receive no subsidy) and they try and ensure public access to car stands in car-free developments. They are piloting lpg/dual fuel/electric alternatives to petrol. If anyone is interested in joining the City Car Club, please contact us, as they will be entitled to special deals: tel. 07816 403099, or e-mail:

2. Talk by Sgt. Laurence Cartwright and Sgt. Christ Thompson on local policing and the role of the PCSOs (see also website and March 2006 Newsletter)

New venture – community policing, solving community-based problems at local level with other local agencies. Bridge between different agencies, to work together to solve community problems, not traditional policing problems. Neighbourhood Watch Schemes another way for residents to communicate with police.

PCSOs have no power of arrest but can make citizen's arrests – evolving role. Majority of police interactions do not involve power of arrest or any other powers – this is part of reason for moving to PCSOs. Mixed team works together to make arrests if need be. High visibility – and they do make plenty of arrests. Since PCSOs training must be very similar to that of PCs, why not pay that bit extra and have full PCs? This is political minefield –past policing moved away from street policing – more investigative rather than frontline footpatrol, that public wants, so PCSOs introduced; Sgt Cartwright supports their introduction.

Re Dyke Road cemetery (west side) – Would it help if lighting were installed? Might be a problem for residents whose bedrooms face the cemetery. Should it be locked all the time? It can feel unsafe in the daytime now: even if people just feel uneasy about something, without a concrete reason, they should inform the police. Sgt Cartwright reported that they had reached an impasse with the Council: the Council will provide police or residents with keys to lock it up at night but claim their staff are not trained to clear cemetery and that this is a policing matter. PCSOs could do this but difficult organisationally and would rather put pressure on Council to continue with their traditional role with regard to parks etc. Raising this issue with Jonathon Fortune Head of Public Safety and Environmental Services.

It was agreed that residents would like it to be locked at night, and felt that pressure must be put on Council to continue with this traditional responsibility to the public and that CMPCA should write letter to Mr Fortune urging the Council’s to return to traditional role of locking cemetery.

3. Minutes of 17th January meeting approved.

No matters arising (apart from cemetery issue – para 2 above).

4. Update from Steering Committee

5. Update on RAH site by Peter Freeman, followed by general discussion.

Coach House – contracts have been exchanged but Hospital Trust will not say with whom – will become public after completion, end of March/early April. Car Park site currently being marketed. Powis Villas – three listed buildings to be sold in the summer.

Hospital Site – testing for quality of soil on site over next ten days – results will affect timing of sale. Recently aerial photographs taken of site for brochure –c opies available from Judd and Partners– will try to obtain copies for newsletter. Could sale of car park site be used to improve primary care facilities in the area? Victoria Road surgery keen to move as premises cramped, and no disabled access; would like to be able to offer more services. Discussing with PCT possibility of new Primary Care Centre on car park site. West Hill residents also have interest in accessible PC facilities as Queen's Road surgery moving to The Level. NHS marketing sites with the aim of reducing Hospital Trust deficit, as Lee Soden mentioned at February meeting. Could local political reps make representations to PCT, and would the latter have financial capacity to act? What should we do as an organisation? Make it clear that we would like to see better PC facilities in the area? Victoria Road surgery’s annual patients' satisfaction survey– very positive with regard to medical treatment, but much less satisfaction re accommodation. Whether Council could make this a condition of development depends on who buys the site – at that point conditions can start to be put in place. One area of uncertainty is what form the community use should take, and should it involve at least part of the main building? If we could establish a preferred community use, we could press the Council to include this in the Planning Guidance. First priority: doctors' surgery facilities; second: community use of main site. Would the best way to deal with this be through the Steering Group? It would be good to have a wider discussion – the more support for a particular idea, the more likely we are to get it.

The MCHA survey identified health care as a top priority, however, survey results show health care facilities preferred instead of commercial use. As sites being marketed separately case can still be made for community use on the main site. Summary: there are two issues:

  1. Primary care within the area;
  2. Community use for the main site.

It was agreed that when the Steering Group meets in May, community use on the main site should be first item on the agenda. Send ideas via CMPCA website or CMPCA address to Graham Towers or Peter Freeman (CMPCA reps on Steering Group).

Action: CMPCA to write to local political reps making known our preference for Primary Care facilities on the car park site. Send out a Planning Brief to all residents with e-mail address.

6. Graffiti action plan.

Tony Davenport (standing in for Paul Vitalis) demonstrated a private company’s Graffiti Busting Kit (good for paintwork, but not brickwork or render). Graffiti-proof paint and graffiti-resistant coating are also available. Some Councils, eg Derby, will clean graffiti off both public and private property, but not our Council, although it cleans designated 'hot spots' – eg south end of Dyke Road and two year old graffiti has recently been removed from wall of St. MMCC. We could deal with it ourselves – hold a 'Graffiti Busting Day' in June – identify areas, clean graffiti off, and monitor it in future? Good idea to photograph graffiti before removal, and show to Council. Advisable to obtain the permission of property owners to remove graffiti. Cllr Roy Pennington promised his support in seeking funding from the Council. Action: ·anyone interested in helping with 'Graffiti Busting Day' to give their names to Tony Davenport – Flat 3, 3 Vernon Terrace.; ·Cllr Roy Pennington to seek funding or graffiti kits free of charge from the Council.

7. AGM on 25 April.

Key speaker – Jane McMorrow, Brighton Festival Director. Elections for Officers and Management Committee – nominations now open, to be in by 10th April – send to Acting Chair c/o 21 Clifton Hill, Brighton BN1 3DJ. Officer Job Descriptions obtainable from Acting Chair ( Procedure: Chair to be elected first, and will then run meeting. Officers will be elected next, then the Management Committee. Street Reps to be approved.

8. A.O.B.

Central Brighton Parking Review –will not go to Environment Committee at least until May– petitions to be presented then. No decisions or changes as yet. Delay partly because questions raised about consultation process. Cllr RP said that Councillors would meet with the consultants and inform them what they had found out, and give their opinions on the matter. The AGM will be held on Tuesday 25th April 2006, at the St. Mary Magdalen Community Centre on Upper North Street, commencing at 7.30 pm.