Minutes of seventh APRA Committee Meeting, 2 January 2015, 8pm at The Lower Red Lion, Fishpool Street.
1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Geoff Dyson, Robert Pankhurst, John Hedges, Gillian Field, Andrew Yaras, Mick Railes (Heritage Close), Mollie Kennedy (Bowes Lyon Mews). Apologies: Justin Douglas, Beth Hall, Brigitte Paupy, Michael Ormiston, Ian Smith, Mike Hall, Margy Stone, Alan Shenton, Edgar Hill.
2. Minutes of the last meeting were approved and signed.
3. Matters arising – there were none not covered elsewhere. The absence of APRA Street Reps was noted: the two local street association representatives were welcomed and thanked for coming.
School buses. SADC terms of reference to the HCC Safety Audit of Romeland had effectively ignored the recommendations of SACTAF group and ourselves – the watered-down version did not treat serious safety aspects and was clearly designed to ease legitimization of the dual-use parking bays for bus waiting/loading. Last week the CPWP agreed to this and new signage and enforcement should be in place in July. Sandy Walkington was still trying to find funds for an independent audit, but SADC were clearly not going to take further action, so it was up to us to challenge their failure to address the safety issue via the press, local radio (and Ombudsman), also trying to bring it to the notice of the pupils’ parents. Committee agreed and John would prepare the next step [JH]
Spotted Bull/Brickyard. The Planning Inspector had upheld Mr Hanning’s appeal and the extended pub was fully legalised and licensed. It was not being operated in accordance with assurances to neighbours and the Licensing sub-committees (viz., no heavy-beat music, reduced music levels 30 minutes before end of licensing hours, and close management control of a ‘sophisticated’ clientele). We are keeping a log of complaints (several already) and would complain about the SADC’s failure to protect residents interests and the undemocratic duplication of licensing and planning committee members [RP]
Romeland water leak. SADC (Richard Shwe) had organised on-site meetings with Affinity who had now taken responsibility for tracing and dealing with water spillage on a short time-scale (preliminary work had already carried out near No 2, George Street). Edgar Hill was actively on the case.
Roads and pavements. Nor further progress had been made on road or pavement repairs but gutters and drains had been cleared recently (albeit not in Abbey Mill Lane). Poor quality workmanship was a matter of concern, e.g., the recent appalling yellow-lining in Market Place.
5. New issues:
Application for a late-night (10pm) off-licence application at 3 George Street – if the owner of the flat above objected, we would support [RP].
Bus Users Forum. There did not seem to be much interest from members but we should stay involved in the next meeting in March [RP].
Car parking survey. A somewhat disappointing response, but grossly underestimated since SADC’s had sent numerous questionnaires that did not correspond to the number of residential households. John Charlton had indicated that he would nevertheless recommend extending Zone B controlled hours and sharing of bays at the top end of Abbey Mill Lane. This would come up at the CPWP in March[GF].
6. APRA Membership. Paid-up membership is down to 71 from 126 last year (and 10 are new, so the renewal rate is les than 50%) – hopefully due to forgetfulness rather than disinterest.
7. Role of Street Reps. We need personal door-step work by Street Reps to raise APRA’s profile. Geoff and Robert would prepare a request and list of objectives to each one [GD, RP]
8. Summary of achievements in 2013/14. Much effort had gone into establishing APRA and running our main campaigns on School Buses and The Spotted Bull/Brickyard, but with limited success. Keeping SADC to account for the Conservation Area was still a necessary and valid course.
9. Second Newsletter. We should aim to produce this before Easter. Ideas and contributions are needed within the next two weeks [Everyone] and Peter would help to assemble [PD, RP]
10. AOB. We should prepare to seek the views of candidates for SADC in the May 7 election, as before. Mollie Kennedy raised the problem of rubbish blocking the pavement outside the new residential conversions in Verulam Road, often for the entire weekend – she would supply photos and Justin should be asked to take it up with SADC [JD].
11. Next meeting. Early April, up to 15th [RP]
The meeting close at 9.15 pm