Minutes of 6th APRA Committee Meeting, 15 December 2014, 8pm at Mitchell Hall, 85 Verulam Rd.
1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Geoff Dyson, Robert Pankhurst, Andrew Yaras, John Hedges. Apologies: Justin Douglas. Gillian Field.
2. Minutes for meeting of 2 October 2014 were agreed and signed.
3. Matters Arising. Action points would be noted in future Minutes [RP]
4. Committee membership. Committee would continue below strength and co-opt only on the basis of needed expertise.
School Coaches [JH]. Recent events included the first meeting of the Combined RA with the new Head and Deputy Head, who had emphasized that nothing could be done that affected the business needs of the School. John had written twice to the SADC Chief Executive pointing out the inadequacy of the Safety Audit on the basis of which the Council was intending to proceed with formal adoption of the south side of Romeland Hill as a restricted ‘coach waiting’ area – this was insufficient for what was in fact a bus stop. The brief for the Safety Audit had been requested, but no reply had yet been received. APRA would continue to press for a full traffic survey and safety assessment, preferably by an independent authority.
The Spotted Bull/Brickyard [RP]. The second licensing hearing (18 November) overturned the previous decision, and a decision was still awaited from the Enforcement Appeal hearing (2 December). At both the owner had significant legal representation and the support of the St Albans Chamber of Commerce; their arguments were heavily based on the supposed benefit to the city from a viable and attractive entertainment venue. The Brickyard was now operating Wednesday–Sunday. Noise had not yet been a major problem, except that music with a heavy beat was being played at weekends, despite previous assurances that this would not be the case. The situation when the weather improved to allow use of the rear patio would need careful monitoring.
Romeland water leak [GD]. Having supposedly been fixed, this started up again last week after heavy rain, and is now thought to be due to a drain that was broken when the bin base was installed and had not been repaired. SADC have called the work teams back. Copies of letters from John Rae to SADC CE were noted.
6. APRA membership. Although figures for renewed and new subscriptions were not yet processed, it was clear that many members had still not renewed. Street Reps should be asked to chase, and we would invite them all to a joint meeting in early February [RP]. A new (or revitalised) issue (e.g., car parking) would help to raise enthusiasm.
7. The Police-sponsored Drive-Safe scheme was discussed, but it was not thought advisable to encourage members to expose themselves to potential danger.
8. There was a need for another printed Newsletter. A request for help by those organizing the Carnival could be highlighted as well as updates on local issues. Other ideas might be gathered from the Street Reps in February and the Newsletter produced soon afterwards [ALL].
9. Jude Dyson’s plan to plant the walled area on the corner of George St and Spicer St had been costed at £1500–1700 and had first claim on the Verulam Ward budget for community projects.
10. Ticketing of residents parked on double yellow lines on Sundays (e.g., Temperance Street) was discussed. Pressure might be reduced should the CPWP decide to extend controlled parking in Zone B, but we could not ignore the law.
11. The meeting closed at 9.30 pm