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Minutes of the 21 November 2006 Community Meeting

1. Police report

PC Thompson talked of efforts being made by the police in particular areas of concern: Hampton Place - street drinkers; Powis Square – drug dealing; St Nicholas churchyard – vandalism and graffiti. A resident raised concerns about the gardens behind Upper North Street; PC Thompson was still optimistic that the gates would be locked again at night. The last two months had seen a reduction in violent crime and officers were now mainly concerned with youth disorder between 6pm and 2am.

2. Andy Winter, Chief Executive, Brighton Housing Trust

Andy Winter, who has worked for BHT since 1985 started with the well known description of Brighton & Hove, ‘the place to be’ which he called an ‘ideopolis’, the whole economy based on an idea catering for tourists, academe, the arts. The reality is that in the UK the city has the highest proportion of drug related deaths, the highest number of houses in multiple occupation, the highest proportion (20%) of privately rented accommodation. People can’t afford to live here. The BHT wants to make Brighton a better place for all. The Trust, founded in 1968, is one of the largest employers in the city, has a turnover of £8m and is dedicated to addressing homelessness and the associated problems in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne. To do this it provides supported housing, including Phase One in Oriental Place, non residential facilities, the First Base Day Centre in Montpelier Place, legal advice services and immigration legal advice services both employing independent solicitors. The day centre sees 100 -150 people a day and the aim is to help them overcome their problems, reconstruct their lives and get basic skills through a scheme run with City College. All the facilities have to be well managed so that there is no adverse impact on neighbours and residents were urged to hold BHT to account. Comments from the floor praised the work of the Trust; more information is available through a new newsletter and the web site: www.bht.org.uk. Members were urged to support the Charity rather than giving to beggars.

3. Minutes of previous meeting

These were approved.

4. Update from Management Committee

The application for charitable status had been rejected and the committee is looking at the possibility of an appeal and at the implications of not being a charity. Small amendments to the constitution were also being considered and would be put to the community meeting in the New Year.
Sue Paskins reported that the working group on secondary schools’ admissions is looking at whether the catchment boundary should be Dyke Road or the railway line. There will be a 6 week consultation period. Already there is strong opposition from some quarters to the new proposals.

5. Treasurer’s report

The bank statement showed credit of £1800 before the printing of the newsletter.

6. Parking Review

The original plan has been reinstated with the only modification a commitment to monitor the changes.

7. Update on Royal Alex site

No confirmation as yet on the buyer of the site but it is thought Council is still urging the preferred bidder to include primary health care facilities.

8. AOB

Tickets available for the concert and party in St Nicholas’ church at 7.30 on December12th. Newsletter due out in the week beginning 4 December. Freezing conditions of the hall noted and suggested we refuse to pay for the hall hire.

31 attended

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