May 2016 meeting minutes

Photo:Brighthelm Centre, the location for NLCA meetings

Brighthelm Centre, the location for NLCA meetings

By Adrian Carlton-Oatley

Minutes of a North Laine Community Association meeting held on 17th May 2016



Seventeen members attended. Apologies were received from Louis Blache, Henry Bruce, Christine Clark-Lowes, Kevin Daly, Jackie Fuller, Peter Fuller, Ann Johnson, Suzie Lloyd, Geoff Mead, Tim Read, Cllr P West.



The Minutes were approved. The Secretary reported that the response of the Council to our enquiry about the 1998 Bye-law appeared to misunderstand it as referring only to Buskers and agreed to pursue the matter further.



As everything he wanted to say would be covered subsequently in the agenda, the Chair said he had nothing to report.



In the absence of the Treasurer, this was deferred until the next meeting.



Plans had been made for the Summer Picnic to take place in Pelham Square on Sunday, 11th September. It was envisaged that this would be a family tea-time event, from 2.30 until 5.30. It was noted that alcohol is prohibited in Pelham Square.

The Big Lunch was set to take place on 5th June in Tidy St, though no other street had as yet made firm plans to participate. All would be welcome in Tidy Street.



It was reported that all PCSOs were being made redundant on 3rd July because the job description of the PCSO has been changed so much that it is now recognised as a different job. A proportion of the current PCSOs have applied for the new PCSO job, with most of the others leaving on 3rd July and a small number remaining until 4th December.

The withdrawal of Police and Council support of LATs on the grounds of tightened budgets meant that LATs were very much on their own. It was agreed that it was very desirable to establish firmer links with other LATs for support and the interchange of ideas.



The Diplock's Yard appeal had been dismissed by a government inspector because the development would badly affect people living in Queens Gardens.

It was reported that there was an application at 41 Bond Street for further changes to the previous approved application (Change of Use of first and second floors from retail to hostel) to include the installation of rooms in the basement.  A letter was sent to Planning objecting to over-development.

 Barry Leigh pointed out that Article 4 planning requirements only applied to where the proposed development is to the front of a property. If the application is for the rear of a property which does not face a street the requirements are subject to general planning rules for a Conservation Area where certain changes are permitted  under a General Development Order.  Plans still need to be submitted to ensure that they are compliant with planning law and for building control.




It had emerged since the last meeting that, contrary to the decision of the Licensing Committee, the Council in full session had decided to include café-bars within the licensing matrix, thus opening the way to an increase of alcohol outlets in the Cumulative Impact Zone. Councillor Lizzie Deane agreed that this was a disappointment, but there would be an opportunity to review the matter in a year's time.

The new Chair of the Licensing Committee was Jackie O'Quinn. It was agreed that it was in our interest to make contact with Cllr O'Quinn as soon as possible and perhaps invite her to a meeting to hear our concerns. This was referred to the Environment Sub-committee.

It was reported that Silo had been refused its application for off-sales. There was an application in from Curryleaf, a small outlet on Brighton Station. It was agreed that as British Transport Police are extremely vigilant there was no need for us to comment on this application.



Parking: Julia Wilde was putting together a response to the Council's comments on the issues we had raised. One suggestion made was that residents' parking spaces should be increased so that visitors had no choice but to use the car parks; another that the Council negotiated a special overnight rate in the car parks for residents. The Environmental Sub-committee would continue to consider the matter.


Graffiti on Post Office building: Chris Hayes has seen two people at the PO who both undertook to contact their superiors, but no response has emerged at a higher level. He had now contacted BHCC via their website to report fresh graffiti on the Frederick Gardens side. It appears impossible to make progress until we can find out who is of sufficient authority at the Post Office to do more than agree that it is a mess. The matter was referred to the Environmental Sub-committee meeting next week.



The Secretary reported back from the sub-committee meeting held on 16th March 2016: Jackie Fuller had announced her intention to stand down as Editor. As there was currently no advertising negotiator, there was a strong possibility of advertising revenue falling off, though the situation at present was healthy. Nevertheless, the general disinclination of businesses to pay for print rather than on-line advertising meant that we could not count on the Runner being a source of revenue or even paying its own way.

It was suggested that rather than having one editor responsible for producing the whole edition, small groups should take responsibility for individual pages or sections, with a editorial committee to oversee progress and pull the whole thing together. The aim is to spread the load and avoid one person having to take the whole thing on their shoulders. It was important to involve local people with appropriate skills. Collecting content was not a problem, but it would be necessary to build up a team for sub-editing, proofreading, layout and so on.



Allotment: People were encouraged to visit the allotment and to join in. It was a beautiful space, as much for enjoyment as hard work. It was hoped to keep it going in memory of Paley O'Connor, who had worked so hard on it. The meeting voted its thanks to Julia Wilde for taking on the task of co-ordinator.


The North Laine Book: The book is now two weeks away from final completion. As it had not been possible to guarantee completion in time for the planned book launch in June, it has been felt better to postpone this until September 15th (a day different from the regular meeting). The publisher has yet to determine the price, but it is hoped that this will be in the region of £12.99 subject to the amount of colour printing involved.



In the light of the postponement of the Book Launch, the June meeting would take place at the normal time, 7.45pm, on Tuesday 21st June. Peter Crowhurst would be making a presentation of the contents of the North Laine Book.



The advertised talk did not take place due to a malfunction of the speaker’s electronic diary, for which she has subsequently offered her sincere apologies.


The meeting ended at 9.30pm.


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