ITEM 02 Minutes 12 September 2007 by J6357U



                   Wednesday 12 September 2007
PRESENT: Councillor Malcolm Graham (C)-        Gateshead Council
         Councillor Jim Turnbull  -            Gateshead Council
         Councillor Robin Stanaway-            Gateshead Council
         Sheila Johnston          -            Development & Enterprise,
                                               Gateshead Council
           John Usher                  -       Nexus
           Jon Mallen Beadle           -       The Gateshead Housing Company
           Steve Graham                -       Connexions
           Hugh Kelly                  -       Gateshead Community Network
           Fiona Snowball              -       Police East Team
           Doreen Dabrowski            -       Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
           John Sparkes                -       Bridging NewcastleGateshead
           Ged Donovan                 -       Thomas Hepburn School
           Chris Ord                   -       Learning and Skills Council
           Bob Campion                 -       Learning & Children, Gateshead Council

           Colin Huntington            -       Local Environmental Services,
                                               Gateshead Council
           Anne-Marie Forster          -       Gateshead Council
           Gillian Warnes              -       Legal & Corporate Services, Gateshead


           Councillor David Bollands   -       East Area Support Member
           Councillor David Napier     -       Felling Ward Member
           Councillor Paul McNally     -       Felling Ward Member
           Councillor Linda Green      -       Wardley and Leam Lane Ward Member
           Councillor Stuart Green     -       Wardley and Leam Lane Ward Member
           Councillor Tom Graham       -       Windy Nook and Whitehills Ward Member
           Councillor Doreen Boyes     -       Pelaw and Heworth Ward Member
           Ken Kemp                    -       NEXUS
           Phil Southall               -       Go North East
           Anne Purvis                 -       Empower Gateshead
           Ian Stevenson               -       Gateshead Council
           David Shimmin               -       Gateshead Council
           A Anderson                  -       Local Resident
           M Burnett                  -       Local Resident
           E Alexander                -       Local Resident
           Jean Taylor                -       Local Resident
           Lily Axford                -       Local Resident
           J Lamb                     -       Local Resident
           Isabel Waters              -       Local Resident
           T Turnbull                 -       Local Resident
           E Moor                     -       Local Resident
           C Morley                   -       Local Resident
           P Snowball                 -       Local Resident
           D Davidson                 -       Local Resident
           A Sawyer                   -       Local Resident
           R Sawyer                   -       Local Resident
           A Bertdrell                -       Local Resident
           A Green                    -       Local Resident
           E Green                    -       Local Resident
           K Boyle                    -       Local Resident
           M Mulligan                 -       Local Resident
           G Cordingley               -       Local Resident
           R Cordingley               -       Local Resident
           D Ward                     -       Local Resident
           S Parker                   -       Local Resident
           B Smith                    -       Local Resident
           J Brown                    -       Local Resident
           J Thompson                 -       Local Resident
           F Tillbrook                -       Local Resident
           T Graham                   -       Local Resident
           W Hurst                    -       Local Resident
           J Gilmour                  -       Local Resident
           M Allan                    -       Local Resident
           J Munday                   -       Local Resident
           Tom Wood                   -       Local Resident
           M Kennedy                  -       Local Resident
           M Bray                     -       Local Resident
           E McDonald                 -       Local Resident


     Apologies for absence were received from Steve Bramwell, Alma Lang, Esther
     Ward, Steve Stokoe and Andrew Harland.


     The minutes of the last meeting held on 11 July 2007 were agreed as a correct


     The Forum were informed that Hugh Kelly of Gateshead Community Network and
     John Sparkes of Bridging NewcastleGateshead had been nominated for the
     position of Vice-Chair of the Forum.

     An appointment would be made at the next meeting of the Forum.


     The Forum had previously received a report on the development of neighbourhood
     plans and agreed to receive regular updates on progress towards putting plans in
     place in all neighbourhoods in the East area.

     Details of the proposed neighbourhood clusters and the timetable for developing
     the plans were set out as follows:

        Pelaw – September to November 2007
        Windy Nook and Staneway – October to December 2007
        North Felling (part, Old Fold and Nest), Sunderland Road North, Sunderland
         Road South, Baltic (part, St James Village) – January 2008 to May 2008
        Central Felling, High Felling, Falla Park – June 2008 to August 2008
        Wardley East and West – September 2008 to November 2008
        Bill Quay – December 2008 to February 2009
        North Felling (part, Felling House, Brandling and Stoneygate) – March 2009 to
         May 2009
        Leam Lane Central, Leam Lane East, Leam Lane West, High Heworth – June
         2009 to August 2009

     The plans will be developed by talking to people who live in the area and listening
     to the issues which they raise.

     RESOLVED -          That the proposed neighbourhood clusters and timetable for
                         developing the neighbourhood plans be agreed.


     Ken Kemp of Nexus and Phil Southall of Go North East made presentations to the
     Forum on developments in bus services and the role of the Quality Bus

     Buses are seen as important to address national and local problems such as
     congestion, regeneration and social inclusion, however, patronage has dropped by
     30% over the last ten years. This has led to a smaller network with poorer service
     frequency, a focus on core routes only and an increase in fares.

     There are various options to move forward with public transport strategy and
     legislative changes in the draft Local Transport Bill should lower the barriers to
     Quality Contracts, making them a more viable option and will also address some
     competition issues to allow more sensible co-operation between bus operators. A
     Quality Contract can deliver a stable, integrated network with improved reliability
     but at an additional cost. A local Quality Partnership can potentially have an
     influence on network design, offer full consultation with local people, have stable
     fares linked to the cost of the business and have an oversight of patronage and
     revenue data via the Partnership Board. However, there may be difficulties around
     competition law and having more than one operator in an area.

     A Partnership will be established in the East area of Gateshead between the
     Council, Nexus and Go North East and will be the first of its kind in Tyne and Wear.
     It is hoped that this partnership can offer all of the benefits previously described
     and it is aimed to have it fully established by January 2008.

     In the future Nexus will continue to lobby for greater determination of local delivery,
     work on all options with the emphasis on partnership working in East Gateshead
     and will make bids for major schemes to improve bus journey times and develop
     park and ride schemes.

     Go North East have made an investment of £50m to provide 100% accessible
     buses within Gateshead and in partnership with Nexus now have 100% of all buses
     with CCTV. 50 new vehicles have also been purchased which have new technology
     and are more environmentally friendly. The bus company have previously worked
     in partnership to deliver initiatives such as the loop service and believe that the new
     partnership in East Gateshead will give stability to the public transport service and
     transparency in relation to costs. Go North East believe that the partnership in East
     Gateshead is an important opportunity to demonstrate creative and collaborative
     thinking and value for money to the public purse.

     Members of the public in attendance at the meeting raised the following issues with
     regard to transport in the East area:

        Routes of buses not taking in the streets where there is the most demand;
        Consultation with residents on changes to bus services;
        Securing existing bus services in the area such as the 68;
        Lack of public transport in the evening;
        Social need for public transport.

     It was suggested that a specific meeting could be held with local residents to
     discuss the bus services and the partnership being established in East Gateshead.
     Nexus would liaise with Empower Gateshead and the Gateshead Community
     Network to set up this meeting.

     RESOLVED -           That the information be noted and a further meeting arranged
                          to discuss transport issues in the local area.


     Inspector Fiona Snowball gave a presentation to the Forum on the aims and work
     done as part of Operation Goldfinch.

     Operation Goldfinch is a two week multi-agency operation which looks at
     enforcement and community engagement in a specified area. The operation is an
     extension of the problem solving model and aims to identify crime, anti-social
     behaviour, and environmental and other issues through positive engagement with
     the local community. It is intended for the operation to have an immediate impact
     and also to identify issues which can feed into the development of a neighbourhood

     Operation Goldfinch is led by the Police and the Council’s neighbourhood
     management team and also involves Local Environmental Services, The
     Gateshead Housing Company, the Fire Service and Arson Task Force, local
     schools and the local community. In the East area, Operation Goldfinches have
     been carried out at the Nest Estate, Fewster Square and Pelaw, with mini
     operations at Brandling, Old Fold and Stoneygate.

     Operation Goldfinch had taken place in Fewster Square last year with aims of
     communicating with all sectors of the community and particularly engaging with the
     business community, assessing young people’s service provision, discussing the
     feasibility of a CCTV system for Fewster Square and looking at aesthetic
     improvements in the area. A number of achievements were made immediately as a
     result of Goldfinch including the creation of a business forum and clean ups of
     Fewster Square and Oliver Henderson Park. In the year following the operation
     there have been a number of actions including targeted work from Police and
     wardens, improvements in traffic calming and Fixed Penalty Notices issued for dog
     fouling. There has also been a feedback presentation and newsletter distributed in
     the area.

     The Operation Goldfinch in the Pelaw area was currently ongoing and things were
     progressing well. Pelaw had been chosen as a location for Goldfinch due to hidden
     criminality in the area, issues around the metro station and line, limited community
     consultation and engagement to date and a need for partners to build up a
     knowledge base of the neighbourhood. Residential surveys had been carried out at
     1200 houses and 68 businesses has also bee surveyed. A large number of
     responses had been received and many of these were favourable but problems
     such as young people congregating on estates, disturbances from local pubs, sales
     of alcohol to children and safety on the metro were raised. Following the completion
     of the operation, the surveys, and environmental assessments done by young
     people will be analysed and a neighbourhood plan developed to improve the area
     and services.

     It was highlighted that Operation Goldfinch did not include the Bill Quay area but
     there were problems in Bill Quay Park which borders Pelaw. The riverside path was
     also raised as an issue for both Pelaw and Bill Quay but it was reported that work
     was going to take place to improve the path.

     It was queried if all metro trains had cameras in the carriages for the driver to
     observe if passengers were causing a disturbance. It was stated that cameras were
     on metro trains but the driver would not always be able to monitor what was
     happening. Passengers were advised to use the Help Point once they had got off
     the train and report what they had seen on the train.

     RESOLVED -          That the presentation be noted.


     Karen Anderson of Bridging NewcastleGateshead and Stuart Timmiss of
     Gateshead Council made a presentation to the Forum on housing market renewal
     and the regeneration frameworks drawn up for areas within the pathfinder area.

     Bridging NewcastleGateshead (BNG) was established as one of nine housing
     market renewal pathfinders across the country. The organisation is independent
from the Council and has representatives from One North East, English
Partnerships and the Housing Corporation. The objectives of BNG are:

   To have an overall role for each area, fit with the city region and regional
    strategies, i.e. strategic alignment
   Target markets to be held and attracted
   Timing and the varying rate of change
   Key investment needed
   Complementary programmes: skills, jobs, respect and social cohesion and
    support to help people through disruption

NewcastleGateshead has a number of advantages which include being the regional
capital, having an advanced manufacturing sector, distinctive urban assets, a
thriving arts and culture scene and huge links with the rest of the region. It is felt
that housing is the key to successful regeneration but it must include good design
and be sustainable. Market renewal through BNG has a whole place approach
which looks at the following issues:

   Degraded environment in places
   Green space that doesn’t always appeal or function well
   Social problems – undermine the community – Respect agenda
   Improving educational achievement and training for employment
   Connectivity between neighbourhoods to the centre
   Perceptions of the area.

Within Gateshead the BNG areas are Pelaw, Heworth, Felling, the town centre,
Deckham, Saltwell, Bensham, Dunston and Teams which take in 77,000 properties.
The key schemes in the Gateshead East area include a neighbourhood plan for
Felling, new homes at Sunderland Road, assistance with BoKlok scheme,
assistance with demolition at Sunderland Road and Felling, site assembly at
Freight depot and support for private rented sector accreditation and housing.

BNG will submit a business plan to the government in November to apply for
funding until 2018.

The Council is committed to investing money in the BNG areas as it believes that a
strong housing market will attract population into the area. Within the East area,
plans are looking at the physical environment and also the infrastructure of the
area. Where the Council has acquired property, it is intended that new housing will
be sustainable, affordable and suitable for families. It was highlighted that new
housing would be built on Sunderland Road and the freight depot site in North
Felling. Work was also taking place in the Brandling area to remove unpopular and
unattractive maisonettes. Any work carried out has been done so with the support
of neighbourhood management and consultation with local people about plans for
areas and although there has been a lot of clearance there has also been a great
deal of investment in the area too.

It was noted that attracting new people and retaining the existing population was
very important and it was queried if there was any likelihood of bringing back a ferry
service across the Tyne from Bill Quay. It was acknowledged that people did not
always live close to their place of employment and there was currently a study

      being undertaken on the wider Tyne and Wear area - the ‘city region’ – and
      transport and accessibility was a major issue within this. Any new transport
      developments had to sit within a wider regional framework.

      RESOLVED -          That the presentations be noted.


      The Area Forum Work Programme was presented to the Forum. Attention was
      drawn to the secondary school education review which the Forum would be
      consulted on at its next meeting. The Thomas Hepburn School Council were going
      to be approached to get further details on the issue they had raised about play

      It was suggested that unemployment was an issue which should become part of
      the work programme, particularly as there was going to be European Social Fund
      money available to address worklessness and adaptation of the workforce. It was
      also proposed that a time-limited task group could be established to look at this

      RESOLVED -          That the Work Programme and comments made be noted.



      It was reported that there had been a slight delay to the work on Felling metro
      station footbridge. The site compound was complete and the works would be
      completed by March 2008.


      The next meeting of the East Area Forum will be held on Tuesday 16 October
      2007 at 4.00pm.


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