Agenda and minutes
Venue: St George's Methodist Church, Millfield Lane
Contact: Michael Hawtin
Your chance to meet:
1.1 Residents were able to talk with: Councillor Richard Cregan and Roger Pierce; Michael Hawtin, Mora Scaife and Toby Knight from the Neighbourhood Management Unit; Angus Young from Street Environment Services; Clair Merrifield from Parks & Open Spaces; Inspector Alisdair Dey, PC Danny Barrow and two PCSOs from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team; Kathryn Robinson and Ian Taylor from Housing Services and John Brierley from St Nicholas’ Fields.
1.2 Police were giving away free timer switches and energy saving light bulbs as part of the Light Up, Lock Up campaign.
7.30pm Main Meeting - Introduction and Minutes
2.1 Michael Hawtin introduced himself as the new Neighbourhood Management Officer for the ward.
2.2 The minutes of the last ward committee meeting were agreed and signed.
Safer Neighbourhoods Team
The Safer Neighbourhood Team will talk to you about their priorities and give you an update on their activities.
3.1 PC Danny Barrow presented an update on the Hull Road Safer Neighbourhood Team and their recent activities. The following points were made:
3.2 The team structure is changing, with two new PCSOs having recently joined and another two due to join next month.
3.3 Crime in general is down 15% in the first six months of this year. Auto crime is down 70% compared to last year.
3.4 Cycle theft is currently being targeted by the police, owing to a recent spate of thefts in the area.
3.5 Police are also publicising their ‘Light Up, Lock Up’ campaign. If residents are out of their houses in the evening over the darker months, they are encouraged to leave some lights on and to ensure that the property is secure. Statistically, dark houses are more likely to be burgled between 4pm and 9pm than those with lights left on. To help achieve this, there are free timer switches and energy saving light bulbs available from the police.
3.6 Please stop and talk to officers from your Safer Neighbourhood Team when you see them out and about, and let them know if there is anywhere you would like them to patrol. Their number is 0845 60 60 247.
Residents had the following comments and questions:
Q Has the team cut the number of PCSOs? None have been seen around Badger Hill lately.
A Badger Hill is patrolled at least twice a week. They run surgeries with the kids in the school and then go out around the shops.
Q There has been a problem with cyclists around Tang Hall Lane not putting their lights on in the dark. Sometimes they have their headphones on and are oblivious to the pedestrians around them.
A An operation that was run last year caught many cyclists in the area who were not using their lights in the evening; students and other residents too. These operations cannot be run incessantly as they are very time consuming, but police are warning and educating these cyclists when they see them.
Q Cars have been parking around Yarborough Way corner. It’s dangerous.
A Parking offences have been decriminalised, and unless there is an obstruction to the footpath or a junction then the matter is for Parking Services. We will go and take a look at the area.
Q There are also cars with ‘For Sale’ signs left parked outside other people’s houses for weeks at a time.
A Again, the police can only deal with obstructions. Parking Services should be contacted for any other problems.
Cllr Pierce added that it is an offence only if someone has two ‘For Sale’ cars parked closer than 60 metres together.
Q Who deals with cyclists going up one-way streets the wrong way? There is a problem with this on Simon Street.
A The police will look at that.
3.7 Cllr Pierce added that a police office has recently been opened in the ward, meaning that there is less travelling back and forth ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Friends of Hull Road Park
Clair Merrifield, Ranger, Parks and Open Spaces will tell the meeting about benefits of setting up a ‘Friends of Hull Road Park’ and about the fitness trail.
4.1 Cllr Pierce encouraged residents to become involved in the ‘Grime Squad’ team that cleans-up Hull Road Park on Thursdays. Anybody interested in helping out should contact Angus Young on 551551.
4.2 Clair Merrifield, Parks & Open Spaces, spoke about the establishment of a Friends of Hull Road Park group. The following points were made:
4.3 A ‘Friends of…’ group works with the Parks & Open Spaces team on a specific park with the aim of making it a better place for all to use; improving its appearance, safety etc.
4.4 Some of the reasons why somebody might want to be involved are: meeting new people in the area, making a positive contribution and helping to tackle vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
4.5 One of the largest benefits of being a Friend of Hull Road Park is the funding that the group would be able to get. The Parks & Open Spaces team, as a council department, are limited in what kinds of grants they can apply for, but a ‘Friends of’ group is able to get funding from numerous sources; including the ward committee.
4.6 ‘Friends of’ also have a say in the organisation of public events in the park, and are able to improve their skills by going on some of the courses that are freely available.
4.7 Parks & Open Spaces assist these groups by providing support, advice and tools, where required.
4.9 On a different topic, the ward committee funded fitness trail for the aprk is due to be installed by Christmas.
Residents had the following questions and comments:
Q Has the fitness trail equipment been chosen?
A Yes. Voting took place at the summer ward committee event and the equipment chosen was based on the results of that. The equipment is quite high-up – not for children – and includes some 50m markers and sit-up and pull-up bars.
Q The park closes quite early, so it’s not possible to use after work.
A The park is supposed to open from 8am and close at dusk. This will mean that it is open longer in the summer but closes quite early in the winter. It is probably best not to go running in the dark anyway.
Q I would like to see a cycle path added to the footpath that runs between Melrosegate and Millfield Lane.
A Cllr Pierce pointed out that a path has to be at least 2 metres wide to allow use by cyclists as well as pedestrians. The path running alongside the beck is being looked at for possibly being widened to allow this.
Q Some seating on the path between Melrosegate and Millfield Lane would be appreciated.
Choice Based Lettings
Ian Taylor, Housing and Adult Social Services, will tell the meeting about the Choice Based Lettings scheme.
5.1 Ian Taylor, Housing Services, spoke about Choice Based Lettings. The following points were made:
5.2 This is a new method for letting, replacing the old by mid-summer 2010.
5.3 It is done in partnership with housing associations in all districts of North Yorkshire; one source of lettings to be used by all residents of North Yorkshire.
5.4 The general idea is that available properties are advertised and that tenants will ‘bid’ with expressions of interest.
5.5 Advertising will be done on the internet and throughout all participating offices, with paper copies for those who require them.
5.6 The reasoning behind it is that it provides a range of practical advantages over the existing method, such as there being one single source of information and the possibility for people living in one part of the county to look for lettings in another part. The government wants all property lettings to be done in this way by the end of 2010.
5.7 There were no questions.
If you have made a scheme suggestion that is included on this years ballot, come along to the meeting to make sure that people have the information they need to make an informed decision.
6.1 Cllr Pierce explained that Hull Road Ward Committee receives an annual budget in the region of £26,000. Local Improvement Schemes are suggested and voted on by residents, and grants will be given to those best supported (thought not always the full amount requested).
6.2 Those who were attending the meeting to speak on behalf of one of the suggested schemes were invited to do so:
Scheme 25 Mary Bradford pointed to the churned up lawn at the front of the church; caused by cars using it for parking. This leads to people treading mud through the church when they come inside. At one point, the church made the car park for church use only, but this had no effect. The alternative is to tarmac the area.
Q I can see the sense in this, but am opposed to anything that would see an increase in car use. Would this happen?
A No, because cars park there already.
Cllr Cregan suggested that Highways should look at repairing the footpath at the front of the church too.
Scheme 2 Cllr Pierce spoke about the ward’s annual funding for the installation of bollards where they are required in the ward. The most commonly used bollards are wooden – costing about £100 each.
Steve Hedges, a resident who put forward a suggestion for some bollards in the ward, spoke on his request for extra bollards at Matmer House. Cars have been pulling onto the pavement at speed and have twice almost hit a child. Due consideration should be given to shop owners and to access to the cycle path, but it would be a good idea for the safety of pedestrians.
Q This would be a good idea. There is a car park behind the shops for shoppers to use.
Q Where would you want the bollards positioned?
A Close to the road. The existing bollards are on the property of Matmer House.
Cllr Cregan pointed out that it would be the Highways department who would assess the area and decide where bollards should best be positioned. This scheme is not proposing exactly where bollards should be placed at this point; only that there should be a fund to provide them.
Scheme 7 John Cossham, clerk to the Hull Road Planning Panel until April, introduced Vicky Gladders; the panel’s new clerk. Based on last year’s expenditures, the panel will only be requiring £200, rather than the £300 listed. The panel meets once every three weeks at Tang Hall Community Centre, and the funding is used for room hire.
Cllr Pierce explained that the panel are consultees on any planning applications in the ward. Local knowledge of the area for which the plans are concerned is invaluable, and the views expressed are reported in the applications which then go to the decision makers. The panel is recognised by the ward committee and these expenses are a necessity. Other residents are encouraged to attend their meetings.
Schemes 3 & 13 John Brierley from Friends of St ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Have Your Say
This is your opportunity to raise any local issues or concerns for discussion with your ward councillors.
7.1 Residents were invited to raise any issues that were not discussed on the meeting’s agenda.
Q Cllr Pierce spoke on behalf of a resident who was concerned about the small park area at the back of Tuke Avenue. The footpath is overgrown and his guide dog loses the trail.
Q What is the plan for the rock climbing boulders in Hull Road Park (scheme 11)?
A This was a nice idea, but we have since learned that a boulder park installed in Rawcliffe cost around £80,000. When the climbing wall visited the park it was enjoyed by many, and it is possible that the money might be used to fund its hiring for some other events.
7.2 Cllr Pierce thanked everybody for coming and closed the meeting.