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Minutes of the 20 February 2007 Community Meeting
1. Police report
No police present.
2. St Nicholas Church Gardens: Issues, Concerns and Opportunities (with Simon Bannister, Council’s Environment Improvement Team, and Ann Baldridge, B & H Food Partnership)
Simon Bannister explained that since the Garden of Rest became a closed cemetery, the Council had taken over certain aspects of the management of all three green spaces attached to St Nicholas, such as litter clearance and grass cutting. They were also responsible for upkeep of tombs and monuments and were working with the PCC and Church House on hit list of what needs doing; the conservation team was also involved with the 12 listed structures; as the oldest building in the city, the church was of course also listed and a vital part of the city’s fabric.
The Environment Improvement Team was particularly concerned with issues of public safety and identifying areas affected by anti-social behaviour. They wanted to work with the community looking at things like surveillance: many complaints about youth disorder and vandalism on these sites; the GoR was used by drug users, drunks and dog walkers, none of whom should be there. . There would be another public meeting in the church in the last week of March with various service providers such as City Parks and neighbourhood police team present to try and form an action team about how people can become involved and turn particularly the GoR into a better used area.
Ann Baldridge explained that the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership was a not-for-profit organisation of 170 members ‘promoting a sustainable, healthy, local food system for all’. Over the next three years the B & HFP would be working on a ‘food strategy in action’ with the Primary Care Trust. The idea of a 1940s’ themed allotment was inspired by Glasgow’s Botanic Garden. The GoR was chosen because it was an underused space, easily accessed by the city’s children (number of local schools) and community groups. Looking to complement the natural flow of the park and biodiversity would be a feature. The space would be used in a positive way, inspiring residents and those who use the park anyway to grow their own food. The show allotment would be maintained by a paid part-time garden worker but there would be opportunities for volunteering; and Pick and Cook sessions with children.
Response: The interest of the Council and the B & H Partnership was welcomed as an opportunity to renew and enhance the Garden of Rest – an extremely valuable but under-used city centre green space likely to be all the more valuable with the housing development planned for the RAH main site.
The main issues raised in discussion were
3. Minutes of previous meeting
These were approved.
4. Update from Management Committee
Issues raised are minuted under items 5 and 7 below
5. Update on RAH re-development
As regards the car-park site, there are now TPOs on 3 trees and Fishersgate were waiting to see if they are diseased before submitting a planning application. The Steering Group had met under Cllr Pennington’s chairmanship and asked him to write to i) Wimpey to re-invite them to meet the community (it is understood that they have appointed agents to represent them and are conducting a survey); ii) to the PCT re the surgery and the petition and iii) to the Council Planners to strengthen the Planning Advice Note to make it more compulsory. Replies awaited.
6. Treasurer’s report
Currently approximately £2500 in the Bank and a steady inflow of advertising revenue for the newsletter, thanks to Philippa Sankey, Corinne Attwood and the team. End of year financial statements almost completed and would be examined by street rep John Warmington.
The EGM to discuss the constitution was postponed, as the meeting was not quorate. Parking signs: Cllr Pennington reported on the local concern about the number of new parking signs and the proliferation of street furniture; CMPCA members had organised a petition from 100 households which would go to the next Environment Committee and the CAG was discussing this morning. The CMPCA Chair had also written re the size and number of new signs. There were confused signals from Westminster about the legal necessity for the signs, and the best way forward might be to go for exemption as a Conservation Area. On the secondary schools’ admissions issue one further vote was to happen.
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