Ditchling Rise and Area Residents Association
Minutes of meeting held on Tuesday, 18th October 2011
at 147 Ditchling Rise
Present: Angie Meaden Bonnell (Treasurer), Elspeth Broady (Joint Secretary), Daphne de Boissière, Mark de Boissière, Madeleine Cary, Sylvia ?, Diane Harris, Mike Jones (Cllr., Preston Park, Gr) Trudy McGuigan (Vice Chair), Bonnie Scovell (PCSO), Shirley May (Joint Secretary), Chris Sevink (Chair). Yolande Sheppard-Walters, Mary Stevens,
Ian Davey (Cllr., St Peter’s NL, Gr), Lizzy Deane (Cllr., St Peter’s NL, Gr), Jim Grozier, Amy Kennedy (Cllr., Preston Park, Gr), Leo Littman (Cllr., Preston Park, Gr), Pete West (Cllr., St Peter’s NL, Gr)
2. Minutes of previous meeting: agreed.
3. Matters arising
re. 7 Postal Services. Elspeth reported that individual residents can go to the Royal Mail website > Personal Customers > reporting problems with delivery and or commenting specifically on Royal Mail staff. If individuals’ specific problems are not dealt with, then a collective issue could be raised by DRARA.
4. Planning issues
Chris circulated a draft letter to Gillian Marston, BHCC Head of City Infrastructure, cc’d to Gerard Cormack, Planning Enforcement, clarifying DRARA’s concerns over non-enforcement of planning regulations in relation to the Scaffolding Yard, Springfield Rd. He stressed the letter should not be ‘complaining’ but rather highlight issues which seem to be indicative of BHCC’s non-strategic and haphazard approach to planning in our area. Chris felt this was in part because there was no ‘neighbourhood plan’ for our area to direct planning decisions and protection/enhancement of open spaces.
This further linked to the lack of clarity from BHCC and elsewhere on what a ‘neighbourhood’ should be, what kind of development framework should exist for neighbourhoods and for principled participation in planning and development by residents and local groups. BHCC had trialled a neighbourhood forum some years back in Brunswick but there seemed to be no updated information on this.
It was agreed that Chris should send the letter.
Mary volunteered to send on details about policies/pledges on protecting green infrastructure:
p.19 on encouraging local food growing and habitat encouragement
- http://brightonhovelabour.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Labour-Brighton-Hove-Manifesto-2011.pdf -p.27 increase no of allotments
5. Neighbourhood Forums
Linked to the previous discussion under 4, Elspeth had e-mailed BHCC community team, to ask how an area became a ‘Neighbourhood’, as listed on http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1212034, but had had no reply.
Mike suggested that DRARA contact Cllr. Ben Duncan, Cabinet Member for Communities, with a special interest in community involvement and neighbourhood forums.
Action: Elspeth to follow up BHCC query and invite Cllr. Duncan to a forthcoming meeting.
6. Street Party debrief
Madeleine showed her short video sequence of the Street Party: many thanks to Madeleine for this and for organising the event. Despite concerns about the weather, the 11th September Street Party in Shaftesbury Place had been a great success. Madeleine highlighted the following issues for any future Street Parties:
a) dealing with the Council had been particularly onerous this year, and had required a lot of time; it was vital to stress that the Street Party was not a commercial venture.
b) despite leafletting both the main DRARA area and the streets between Clyde Road and Stanley Road, and around 50 posters, some residents thought the Street Party was for Ditchling Rise only – need to clarify this in future.
c) it had worked very well for children, but clear physical barriers were needed to block off the street to ensure safety, and perhaps a more clearly defined area for children with activities.
d) music: it was felt that loud, amplified music was not desirable, but the acoustic ensemble worked well this time.
e) there needed to be activities/stalls/things to look at to encourage people to ‘browse’ down to the Party, and to make it easier for people to mingle/talk to each other
7. Future events
A Christmas event was mooted, again using Shaftesbury Place as a focus, perhaps festive singing with mulled wine, chestnuts and mince-pices?
Action: Diane to raise this with Philip Wells who had organised carol singing in Shaftesbury Place. Elspeth to raise the idea of using the station terraces/and or waiting room with Southern.
Ideas for the AGM (likely to be end of January): focus on ‘Localism’, ‘Community involvement’ and invite Amy Kennedy to lead discussion (Amy had agreed to talk about localism at a DRARA meeting).
8. Community Safety
Bonnie reported that arrangements for match days seemed to be working well and residents agreed. It was noted that bike theft was a particular problem in our area, but it was difficult to identify any specific solutions to this.
9. London Road Station Partnership
The gardens had been open during the Street Party, with lots of interest: now 17 ‘partners’ were signed up. The LRSP had submitted an application for £600 to BHCC’s Environmental Sustainability Grants/Hedgecock Bequest scheme to support the development of small scale community composting. Southern Railway had continued to be supportive, as was Harvest (BH Food Partnership).
LRSP blog: http://londonrdstationpartnership.wordpress.com/
10. Treasurer’s report
Angie reported that DRARA funds were still in the region of £90.
11.1 Street cleanliness and dog etiquette
Ty Jefferies had e-mailed to complain about dog owners dumping dog mess in bags at the bottom of trees in the street, rather than using the bins available at the bottom and top of the street.
Action: Elspeth to make some laminated notices for the street, (see the window poster campaign against dog mess in Kingsbury Road) asking dog owners to deposit plastic bags of dog mess in the bins.
11.2 Digital switchover
Madeleine outlined the Digital switchover campaign for which she was a volunteer and asked all to refer to her anybody who might be eligible for help in making the switchover to digital TV on 7./3/12.
Mark raised concern that an extension of the CPZ to Springfield Road might mean an increase in parking in the DRARA area as this was nearer to shops etc. It was suggested that any concerns should be raised when consultation about any changes to CPZ took place.
11.4 Open Market
Yolande mentioned that traders in the Open Market were sadly having to close, given the re-development of the Open Market. Chris explained that there had been extensive consultations on the re-development of the Open Market. (More details were presented at the London Road Local Action Team Open Meeting 1st November 2011).
12. Date of next meeting: Wednesday 23rd November 2011, 7.30pm 147 Ditchling Rise