Minutes of fourth APRA Committee Meeting, 19 June 2014, 8pm at Cross Street Centre.
1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Geoff Dyson, Robert Pankhurst, Andrew Yaras, Gillian Field, John Hedges, Justin Douglas, Beth Hall. Apologies: Michael Ormiston, Martin Treasure.
2. Minutes for meeting of 19 March 2014 were agreed and signed.
3. Matters arising.
(2) Reduced Minutes for all previous meetings are now on the website.
(5) Website up and running, thanks to dedication of Catherine Soave – several compliments had been received. The first Newsletter had also been appreciated (Martin had offered to produce the next one, which was enthusiastically agreed).
(7) Responses from three candidates to our pre-election questionnaire had been circulated. Edgar Hill had been elected as the third Verulam Ward councillor. Nationwide House was now largely complete and the 14 flats had been marketed – 13 of them ‘with parking’ (the three spare ‘visitor’ spaces behind 22-30 College Street having been allocated as well).
Attempts had been made (two phone messages, a letter and an enquiry to the office) to contact the Clerk of the Works at the Cathedral about the collapsing wall on the upper part of Abbey Mill Lane, but without acknowledgement. A further attempt, would be copied to the Cathedral administrator.
4. The Spotted Bull
The owner’s appeal against the enforcement order on the side and new rear extensions has been switched to settlement by a hearing under the Planning Inspectorate – no date has yet been set. APRA’s comments in support of the Council’s actions had already been sent, but there was now the possibility of asking to speak at the hearing – this was agreed on, with Peter, Robert and Geoff to consult further on how to prepare for this. Purchase of a relevant high-resolution air photo was approved. Objections had been made to the outstanding planning applications for paving etc. but these were unlikely to be determined before the appeal. Cllr. Simon Grover had confirmed that a change to the licence would also be required for operation in the unauthorised extension and that this would also not happen until the appeal was settled.
5. School Coaches
HCC had not yet set up a new Safety Audit for a TRO enforcing extended use of coach bays in Romeland Hill. County Cllr Walkington would keep us informed of developments. It was thought that a welcoming message to the new Head of St Albans School, including an invitation to exchange views, would be appropriate once the regime had changed.
6. Street Reps
The list was complete except for Holywell Hill (Ian Smith had offered). A meeting to convey what we would like reps to do should be set up as soon as possible (early July) – Peter offered the use of his garden at a date to be decided.
7. Peter had inspected Abbey Mill Lane footways with a Highways engineer and Sandy Walkington. There were problems caused by tree roots, especially at the lower end, and some repairs could only be made using tarmac (or similar). It would be better if the self-seeded sycamores and elders were dug up and replaced. The cathedral authorities were responsible and had been contacted by Sandy – an approach should also be made by APRA (Peter, Robert and Geoff to consult).
8. No further progress had been made on car parking issues – the next meeting of the CPWP would be on 8 July but neither Gillian nor Justin would be available.
Brick pavers had been re-set in Lower Dagnall Street outside Nationwide House.
9. Progress was being made on plans to re-vamp the seating area outside Centre 33 and Jude Dyson continued in contact with Ann Austin (SADC): plants would be provided and funds should be available but required an official request from APRA. Geoff would find out what form this should take – such an application to the Community Grants Fund was unanimously agreed and we should ask for Jude to be co-opted.
10. No one had come forward to help Beth with the social activity despite the Newsletter request. Peter again offered the use of his garden for a party and early September might be a good time. Some APRA funds could subsidise this, but a small charge for drinks might be made (non-members would be asked to pay their subscription).
11. A recently reported overflow of a sewer in College Place was noted, but it appeared that Thames Water had now accepted responsibility for action. We would keep in touch with residents on progress.
The Royal British Legion (Mitchell Hall) had requested that APRA circulate a leaflet about setting up a Women’s branch for them – we agreed to send this out by e-mail.
12. Committee would inform Robert of their individual availability for a next meeting in the last three weeks of September (e.g., 18th or 25th), when plans for the first AGM would be laid.
The meeting ended at 9.20 pm.