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Minutes of the 18 September 2007 Community Meeting

1. Police report

PC James Marter and PCSO Sarah Lovett attended from the Regency Neighbourhood Team. PC Marter reported that the team had a new sergeant and 4 PCs. A form was circulated for those who wished to provide their email addresses for PC Marter to update them on local crime developments. There was a dramatic crime reduction in Regency – the leading district in Sussex, because, James thought, the team was a full complement and ‘embedded’. Burglaries, drug use and street drinking were still an issue. Sarah mentioned a recent initiative to tackle rough sleepers in St Nicholas Garden of Rest: they’ve been targeting them at 7am and this seems to have had a slight effect. Still no movement from the council on locking the gate and the police cannot do it either. Currently their hours finish at midnight - a shift system might be introduced, but still no possibility of the police locking up. She thought a volunteer residents’ group was being formed.

2. Parking survey

Council officials were not willing to attend the meeting because cross zone survey not complete and the two councillors had been unable to attend. It was hoped to arrange a meeting at the end of the monf landfill quota exceeded) and reduce the cost of collection; they were looking at food waste collection too. Persuading more people to recycle was a problem and more education needed (letters through doors?) to limit waste. Street cleansing: recently reviewed and new managers in place – hoped that improvements had resulted. Deep cleansing service can be offered: streets closed for 2 hours and weeding, graffiti tackled; did any streets require this? Re fly-tipping a 6 person enforcement team with mobile CCTV can be deployed at night with good results. Public’s evidence can also be used for prosecutions. Ring or email and fly-tipping will be removed in 24 hours. The problem of abandoned waste around the Montpelier Crescent recycling point and the need to screen the bins was raised and TM agreed to produce a design for a driftwood fence and consult the area. Concern was expressed about rubbish from Western Road fast food outlets blowing up the side streets and the need to keep this waste contained. Keeping the peace: new licensing act gives the police much more power – can now (and do) close premises. Many more are ejected before violence erupts, fixed penalty notices are used and while violent crime offences have risen as a result, major incidents have dropped. Re licensed premises causing concern (such as the recently extended license to 2.30 am at the weekends at the Temple Bar), residents were urged to feedback to PCSO Lovett and Cllr Sven Rufus and keep a log of incidents. What can be done about general noise levels of people leaving pubs and take-aways 1am 4am in the morning now 4 or 5 nights a week? Not breaking the law but very noisy? No solution to this one apart from signs at venue exits including take aways.

3. Minutes of 20 March meeting were approved.

4. Update from Management Committee

CMPCA to register concerns about the planning application for Mitre House (BH2007/02072). Also involved in Parking Review (to be subject of 19 Sept meeting).

5. Update on RAH re-development

Peter Freeman reported on the recent meeting of the Steering Group and the suggested public meeting because of the inadequacy of the Wimpey consultation process. Some discussion of the value of a public meeting and whether the results would be taken seriously, but meeting agreed meeting should be called (second half of July).

6. Treasurer’s report

The newsletter continued to generate a small surplus, and while there was a degree of financial risk with the Festival, the overall financial situation was secure and insurance in place.

7. AOB

Some discussion of need to develop proposals for 106 money from the Wimpey development for which improvements to the St Nicholas green spaces would be a good contender.

33 attended