27th June 2011 - meeting minutes

Photo:Community Base, Queen's Road

Community Base, Queen's Road

Our Green Councillors answered residents' questions

By Lyn Turpin, NLCA Secretary

Welcome to all, particularly new members. 20 attended. Apologies from Francis Clark-Lowes, Christine Clark-Lowes, Teji Dhaliwal, Carlie Goldsmith, Geoffrey Mead, Glynis Simpson, Roy Skam, Bruce Smith.

Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the May 2011 meeting were approved.

Summer fête report

In Teji’s absence, Peter Crowhurst reported back on the recent (18 June) summer fête. He thanked Teji, who initiated and led the project, the organising committee and all the helpers on the day for their hard work. Over £510 was raised at the fête (with expenses covered by a Council grant and sponsorship from Parsons Son & Basley). Infinity Foods and Trafalgar Wines were also thanked for their good deals on items purchased for prizes.

As a community event, the fête was less successful – although free, the City College car park and foyer was not central enough to the North Laine and attracted mainly passing trade rather than local residents. The poor weather also meant that attractions such as the bouncy castle and music stage had to be abandoned. And the effort put into the day was probably disproportionate to its outcomes.

It was also disappointing that the Council had not invited the NLCA (or NLTA) to participate in the ‘People’s Day’ which was scheduled for the same day and taking place largely in the North Laine. It was suggested that Ben Duncan (councillor) and David Murray (strategic director of communities, BHCC) would be appropriate contacts for further communication on the issue.

It was agreed that other ways of bringing the North Laine community together would be sought and that bric-a-brac has had its day. 

Forthcoming social events

Comedy evening

Tim Curran reported that a fund-raising stand-up comedy evening at Komedia, featuring local amateurs, was being planned for the autumn (probably October). Tickets were likely to be £3.00, with Komedia keeping the bar-takings.

Tea party at the Pavilion Gardens Café

Once again, David Sewell is inviting NLCA members to have tea at the café on Sunday 4 September, 3pm - 5pm. As it is the café’s 70th anniversary year, David hoped to be able to put on some children’s entertainment in the second hour (to avoid clashing with band music). The Chair offered to contribute NLCA funds if necessary.

Pub quiz

It was agreed that this could be considered for Spring 2012.

Theatre

The next outing of the Theatre Group was on 30 June to see That Face by Polly Stenham. It was noted that Peter Crowhurst now had to pre-pay for tickets. 

The NLCA on Twitter

In the absence of Carlie Goldsmith, this item was deferred till the next meeting. 

Environment

Planning

Nothing to report.

Licensing

Sandy Crowhurst reported that –

• a result was expected from the Sainsbury’s hearing early July;

• a licence for the Farm Café had been approved but did not include late nights;

• the application by the Prince George for an extra hour at weekends had been refused;

• a hearing is expected regarding a licence for the proposed restaurant in Thorne’s Foods, Upper Gardner Street.

How to donate to the NLCA

Peter Crowhurst gave a short demonstration of how to make an online donation to the NLCA via Charity Choice and reported that there had already been a donation of £100. 

Our Green Councillors and residents' questions

The three Green councillors first described some of their current responsibilities – Ian Davey (Deputy Leader of Council, transport), Pete West (environment and sustainability) and Lizzie Deane (Chair of Licensing Committee) and then spoke on the issues identified by the NLCA.

1. CIZ (Cumulative Impact Zone): Lizzie Deane reported on a current consultation exercise to extend the CIZ into Special Stress Areas (SSAs) which would mean tighter controls on future licensing applications. The North Laine is already a SSA and a new one is being proposed for the London Road area. She urged members to continue to submit complaints about late night noise – they do not go unnoticed.

2. 20mph limit in North Laine: Ian Davey reported that the Party was aiming for a 20mph speed limit across the city centre by next year. The move to 20mph needs both community buy-in and greater enforcement. They are also looking at 30mph and 40mph anomalies in the city (eg Lewes Road and London Road).

3. Cycle misuse: Ian explained that he had asked council officers to look at the north/south impermeability of the North Laine for cyclists. He also wants to see stronger enforcement of rules and better education for cyclists.

4. Open Market: Ian explained that the delays to the redevelopment of the Open Market were caused by the reluctance of some stallholders to relinquish their long-term leases.

5. Co-op building: Pete West reported that the current plans were for the demolition of the existing building and its replacement by a new building with ground floor retail units and c.420 student accommodation units (for Sussex University) above. Objections to this plan include the loss of retail space in the London Road, concerns about late night noise, and the unsuitability of Baker Street as the main entrance for deliveries.

6. Pedestrianisation of Pelham Street: Ian reassured members that this proposal (from City College students) was still at a very early stage and that he had urged the college to do more research, talk to local traders and residents, consider the financial implications, access to Pelham Square, etc.

7. Waste policy: the Green policy was to move to a zero-waste situation. Plans included a funded trial on food waste composting next year; the introduction of communal recycling bins instead of black boxes; and a move to 70% recycled waste. 

Any Other Business

Friends of the Brighton History Centre: Ninka Willcock alerted members to a meeting of this new, independent group on Friday 22 July at 11am in the Education Pavilion at Brighton Museum which will include discussion with decision-makers about what is proposed for The Keep at Falmer.

South & South East in Bloom: Judging will take place on 6 July and the city centre route includes Pelham Square and Kensington Place. The latter is also entered in the Council’s ‘City in Bloom’ competition.

The Runner: Jackie Fuller reported that there was an urgent need for someone to take responsibility for attracting new advertisers for The Runner. David Sewell suggested making a pitch directly to NLTA members at their July meeting.

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