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East Gosforth Ward Sub-Committee
9 May 2005
(7.00 pm – 9.05 pm)

Present:

Councillor:              Cookson (In the Chair)

Councillor’s:            Arnold and Slesenger

In Attendance:
A McKinnon               - Community Co-ordinator, Newcastle City Council
D Long                   - Democratic Services, Newcastle City Council
T Jarman                 - Neighbourhood Services, Newcastle City Council
D Roberts                - Neighbourhood Services, Newcastle City Council
S Tye                    - Local Resident
D Kirkup                 - Local Resident
PC A Berry               - Northumbria Police
J Lobley                 - Local Resident
B Gibson                 - Local Resident
R Fender                 - Gosforth Garden Village Residents Association
T Bone                   - Office of J Cousins MP
J Grice                  - Gosforth Residents Association
G Graham                 - Local Resident
A McDonald               - High West Jesmond Residents Association
S Moore                  - Local Resident
P Rigsby                 - Newcastle Community Green Festival



47.      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

         Apologies for absence were received from Inspector Ward, F Hill, P Hancock, A
         Gillard and J Ruddick.

48.      MATTERS OF LOCAL CONCERN

         (A)    General Issues

         (i)    Fence in Albury Road/Ilford Road – NEXUS.

         A resident reported that NEXUS had erected an industrial style fence along
         Albury Road/Ilford Road in October 2004. She felt this had been inappropriate in
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a conservation area and had pursued NEXUS to erect a more appropriate fence.
Unfortunately in carrying out these remedial works NEXUS had destroyed 900ft of
shrubbery and had subsequently refused to compensate to an adequate amount
to reinstate the shrubbery. An offer of £200 towards restoration had been offered
which was not acceptable. They had also suggested that the residents should
approach the City Council to ask for a grant. The resident felt that neither of
these options from NEXUS was suitable and it was unreasonable for either local
people or the City Council to contribute towards this restoration work as the
problem had been caused by NEXUS, who were already a public funded body.
She queried the powers that the City Council had to require NEXUS to
reinstate/pay compensation.

The resident then highlighted the nature of the work which was extensive and
would require all existing stumps to be removed and concrete etc. to be removed.
During the discussion, a member commented that the actual cost of replacement
should be ascertained. The Chair commented that if this fence had been in the
conservation area, there would have been more ground for pursuing NEXUS. It
was also highlighted that whilst NEXUS had agreed to replace the fence, this
work had not yet been carried out.

L Bray then commented that this was council owned land i.e. it was land on the
highway and they had placed their fence along the boundary of the council land
and NEXUS land. The issue would be raised through the Ward Stewardship, but
as it was likely that the spring planting season had now been missed, it was
hoped to have the position resolved before autumn, so that new planting could
then be included.

The Chairman suggested that the types of replacement trees to be planted should
be examined and if possible elder trees included. The problem should also be
addressed in a holistic manner and if possible potholes etc. in the roadway should
be repaired at the same time.

              RESOLVED – That the position be noted and that Liz Bray be
              requested to pursue this matter in a holistic manner with other
              Officers and NEXUS.

(ii)    St Nicholas Road

A resident thanked the City Council and its contractors for making good damage
that had been caused at St Nicholas Road.

(iii)   Meeting with Representatives from Barratt Homes

A resident queried the outcome of a meeting that the leader of the Council had
with representatives from Barratts approximately 6 months ago. In response
Councillor Arnold confirmed that he had met representatives from Barratts, but
their scheme was now complete. He had made a number of points to Barratts
about the disturbance to local residents. Barratts felt that they had completed the
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scheme successfully. The City Council felt that the area had not been left in an
acceptable state and had required the company to carryout remedial works.

(B)    Police Issues

Local residents made a number of points as follows:-

(i)    Damage to Vehicles

PC Berry gave details of a number of incidents of damage to vehicles in the
vicinity of South Gosforth Metro Station

Another resident referred to an incident on Station Road/Audley Road where 20
cars had been damaged on one night. He queried whether there were any
measurers that could be taken, including the closure of the lower entrance to the
Park at night. In response, PC Berry commented that this could not be closed as
it was a public right of way.

PC Berry then gave details of problems that had been caused at Northumberland
Wife Life Trust site and there had been incidents of graffiti and damage around
the Ward and there may be links between these people and those causing the
damage to cars. The police had applied for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in
relation to some of these people.

Another resident then referred to rowdy behaviour at Ilford Road Metro Station
and that he would e-mail the Police Officer with further details of times, dates etc.
It was also highlighted that there had been some problems experienced at the
Little Moor Allotments.

PC Berry then went on to illustrate a number of other problems in the area.
These included:-

          Burglaries of garden tools etc from garages/garden sheds were
           prevalent at this time of the year.

          The theft of alloy wheels from cars parked throughout the area had
           become a problem. The targeted makes included Audi, BMW and Ford
           Focus.

The Chairman then referred to some glass damage in the play area at the
children’s park and requested the police to monitor this situation. A resident
referred to youths playing football on the newly surfaced tennis courts and
causing damage. PC Berry stated that the Community Beat Managers would
monitor disorder in the park, particularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
evenings.
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(C)     Planning Issues

(i).    Consultation

        A representative from South Gosforth Residents Association commented
        that they were not being consulted as a matter of course on planning
        applications. Upon querying this matter with the Planning Directorate they
        had been informed that Residents Associations were not always consulted
        as they were sometimes short lived. On this point a member commented
        that that was not acceptable and he would take up the matter. The
        Chairman commented that Residents Association should be formally
        consulted as a matter of course and this should be the policy of the
        Planning Officers. He requested that this issue be taken up with the Head
        of Planning Division.

(D)     Traffic/Parking Issues

(i)     Traffic Lights Near South Gosforth Roundabout

A resident referred to problems that were occurring at traffic lights near South
Gosforth roundabouts, where cars had been driving through red traffic lights. The
Residents Association had suggested that part of the problem was because the
junction was so complicated and they felt that a feasibility study should be carried
out to try to address the problem. Highways Engineers had agreed to carry out
this feasibility study and this was welcomed by the Residents Association.

A member suggested that Traffic Engineers studying potential problems that may
occur did not also have the local knowledge of how traffic patterns developed.
Examples of two recent accidents were quoted one included a child being
knocked down. It was suggested that the Traffic Engineers need to examine the
circumstances relating to accidents to see if adjustments could be made to
improve the road network in that area.

(ii)    High West Jesmond

A resident commented that residents in the High West Jesmond area wanted
traffic calming/speed controls and a possible play street introduced in the High
West Jesmond area. She queried how likely that could be. In response, the
Chair commented that this could be examined as part of the Neighbourhood
Stewards report.

(iii)   Station Road/The Grove/Hedley House

The Chair reported that Traffic Engineers were examining the area for a traffic
schemes to be funded through the section 106 Agreement. He was concerned
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that the schemes did not only help the 500 extra vehicles that were now in the
Gosforth area following these developments, but that the agreement funding
should also help with extra pedestrian measurers. Schemes were being
examined to widen pavements and make the area more pedestrian friendly.
Schemes at Ilford Road, South Gosforth Station and Windsor Terrace area were
being examined. These schemes would be examined then promoted to the local
community.

(iv)   Rectory Terrace/The Grove – Bus Stop

A resident queried who to contact regarding the re-siting of the bus stop as he felt
it was in a dangerous location. Motorists had to gamble on traffic coming in the
opposite direction, when passing a bus at this bus stop. Ward Councillors were
aware of this problem and were pushing for clear panels to be installed so that it
would be easier to see.

(v)    Traffic Lights in Hedley House/The Grove Area

The Chair advised that the Hedley House scheme included two sets of traffic
lights and these had received some adverse comments. Local residents were not
in favour of traffic lights on Station Road as they felt it was not the answer to the
problems. There was a general problem of traffic lights/sight lines that needed to
be examined for a solution. It was suggested that the problem of the bus stop at
Rectory Terrace/The Grove (detailed in minute (iv) above) should be linked to the
problem relating to traffic lights in the area, to see if an overall solution to the
vision/sight problems could be found.

(vi)   Dangerous Parking at The Grove

A resident referred to dangerous parking at the corner of The Grove that
occurred, on a regular basis. He queried whether this could be restricted even if
as a temporary measure until a comprehensive scheme was introduced into the
area. In response the Chair commented that if a car was parked dangerously
then it should be dealt with by the police. He suggested that when the problem
occurred, a complaint should be made to the police. On this point, residents
reiterated that this was happening on a regular basis and they had thought that
restricted parking would be introduced in the area, however there was a short
term problem, which was affecting the long term solution for the extra demand for
parking when the new flats were built. On the point the Chairman commented
that there was no short-term solution at the moment other then a prosecution for
dangerous parking. Also there was not a consensus from local residents as from
a recent survey, only 53% were in favour of such measurers and 46% were
against. Meetings with local residents had been ongoing, however if only a minor
amendment was suggested to the proposals that had already been discussed
then this would not improve the general consensus of local residents. It was
highlighted that if residents had a problem with an issue of dangerous parking,
then the police should be advised as the police could then decide if an offence
was being committed.
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49   WARD ISSUES MONITORING REPORT

     Submitted: Report of the Environmental Ward Steward (previously circulated and
     copy attached to Official Minutes).

     T Jarman introduced the report and highlighted the progress on issues since the
     last meeting. He also gave details of the restructuring of Neighbourhood
     Services, which now meant that some of his roles/responsibilities had changed.
     In the future he would be dealing with investment and Dave Roberts would be the
     new Neighbourhood Response Manager, whose duties would also include the
     Rapid Response Team. In future, the Monitoring Report would be referred to as
     the Priority Plan and would contain a mix of issues that residents have raised.
     This would be the last time the Monitoring Report was in its current format. All
     issues in the Monitoring Report would go into the Priority Plan as
     long/medium/short term issues and all live issues would be included. The new
     contact details for Dave Roberts were included in the report.

     A number of comments on the report were then made as follows:-

        Reference 3 – Pavements across the Ward. A resident commented that the
         budget for the three year Priority Plan should not be put towards the Crosby
         Homes solution. In response T Jarman clarified that this was a completely
         separate issue. Any monies received from Crosby Homes was in addition to
         the Highways budget. The Chairman also commented that if a dangerous
         piece of road was found, it would be fixed through the Rapid Repair Team if
         possible.

        Reference 23 – Dene Terrace. T Jarman highlighted that residents of Dene
         Terrace had received a letter relating to a number of service issues on the
         back lane. There had been no responses to this letter. The Chairman
         suggested that the issue be taken up with Parks and Open Spaces Team and
         it should be suggested that in future, maintenance works should come out of
         the mainline Parks and Open Spaces budget not the Ward Committee budget.

        Reference 20 – Wheelie Bins – a resident queried the situation in the report
         related to obstructed pavements. It was highlighted there was a grammatical
         error in the report, which was corrected.

        Reference 33 – Public Convenience in Gosforth High Street – a resident
         commented that no progress has been made on restoring these facilities. The
         problem had been discussed for years. In response the Chairman outlined
         the problems that had been encountered, in that as soon as a site had been
         identified, local residents close to the identified site had objected. Therefore a
         suitable site was still being sought. It was hoped that the Gosforth Shopping
         Centre would be refurbished and have later opening hours, which would go
         some way towards solving the problem. The public convenience issue was
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         also a problem throughout the City Centre as well as Gosforth.

                   RESOLVED – That the report be noted and it be noted that in
                   future a report on the Priority Plan would be submitted by D
                   Roberts.

50   EAST GOSFORTH – OUTSTANDING SCHEMES (APRIL 2005)

     Submitted: Report of the Neighbourhood Response Manager (copy attached to
     Official Minutes).

     T Jarman introduced the report and highlighted the progress and issues since the
     last meeting. A number of comments were made as follows:-

        Scheme 8886 – Albury Road – a resident queried how long it would be before
         any progress would be made to install safety measurers to assist the crossing
         of the road to the Metro. In response, T Jarman highlighted that the initial
         stage would be to put information on the database. There were a number of
         stages to go through before this scheme came to fruition. The Chairman
         highlighted that a broad consultation exercise would be carried out if a
         satisfactory scheme could be progressed.

        Scheme 8661 – Station Road – following a residents question relating to the
         fencing near the takeaway shop, T Jarman explained that YHN owned the
         land in question.

51   NEIGHBOURHOOD SERVICES – LOCALISED WORKING

     Submitted: Report of the Ward Co-ordinator Neighbourhood Services (copy
     attached to Official Minutes).

     D Roberts, the new Neighbourhood Response Manager gave a presentation on
     the localised working arrangements that were being adopted by Neighbourhood
     Services (copy of presentation attached to Official Minutes).

     During the ensuing discussion, a range of questions were asked by both
     members and residents, including the following:-

        A resident queried if the scheme was involved with schools. In response D
         Roberts advised there was a Tidy Schools Group with which Officers had
         been liaising for a number of years. This Group engaged children positively
         and some examples of the proactive work was given. If residents had a
         problem with a particular school, then if this was drawn to his attention he
         would liaise with that school. Members commented that they welcomed this
         new initiative.

        A resident then referred to problems of holes being dug for lampposts as part
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         of the new lighting scheme and the posts not being erected, but the holes
         remaining in situ causing a problem for pedestrians/local residents etc. This
         had been a particular problem in Beechwood Avenue for over 3 weeks. In
         response, Officers highlighted there had been a problem with the contractor
         who was working with NEDL, the supplier. The Chair commented that the
         holes in Beechwood Avenue had now been filled and others would be filled in
         the near future. The Ward Councillors were trying to resolve this problem. On
         this point another resident referred to Briarwood Avenue, where there were
         still holes.

        A member commented that if the holes could not be filled within 24 hours,
         then the City Council may step in. NEDL were outside of the control of the
         City Council, but he regarded this as a failure of the agreement with SEC, the
         contractor for the replacement lighting scheme. Another resident commented
         that in some places where the holes had been filled in, the safety barriers
         were still in place which still inconvenienced local residents. The Chairman
         commented that some of the barriers had been removed and that the
         contractors were being pursued on a number of schemes.

52   GRANT APPLICATION – NEWCASTLE GREEN FESTIVAL

     The Committee considered a grant application for the annual Green Festival in
     Leazes Park that was organised by the Newcastle Green Festival, (copy attached
     to Official Minutes).

     It was highlighted that this was a family event and had year round implications.
     Anyone interested in the event could contact Phil Rigsby.

                    RESOLVED - That a grant of £384.62 be approved.

53   STREET TREES TRAFFIC ISSUES – EAST GOSFORTH WARD

     Submitted: Report of the Head of Planning and Transportation and General
     Manager Street Services (copy attached to Official Minutes).

     Liz Bray attended the meeting and gave a slide presentation on Street Trees in
     Gosforth (copy of slides attached to Official Minutes).

     Following the presentation, both members and residents raised a number of
     points including the following:-

        A member queried the work of the Enforcement Team in Planning and
         Transportation in relation to Street trees. He undertook to take this up with the
         Head of Planning and Transportation.

        A resident referred to the situation in West Avenue where people did not park
         on the verge very often, because they were usually issued with a parking
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         ticket. Liz Bray highlighted that in several places, it was made more difficult to
         park on the verge by raising the kerb.

        The Chairman referred to the land at the corner of Windsor Terrace which was
         often spoilt by taxi’s parking on that land. He suggested a scheme be
         examined for planting trees in that area. In response L Bray commented that
         there was a balance as some people wanted more trees others wanted to
         park cars and others wanted to ensure that houses were not damaged by
         trees. There was a need to consult widely on any scheme involving trees
         because of the variance of views.

        With regard to the proposed establishment of a Street Trees Working Group,
         the Chairman suggested that details of this proposal be circulated to local
         residents groups and they be requested to nominate representatives onto this
         Working Group.

        A resident referred to the commemorative Plant a Tree Scheme and
         commented that whilst some people wanted to plant a tree somewhere, they
         often did not have enough room in their own garden to plant a tree. She
         suggested a suitable place for trees to be planted was required. The
         Chairman suggested that the Officers should examine this suggestion. It was
         also suggested that a web page and contact point be developed.

                    RESOLVED – That:-

                    i.    L Bray be thanked for her presentation.

                    ii.   The establishment of a Street Trees Working Group be
                          supported and L Bray be requested to liaise with the Ward
                          Co-ordinator, to request local resident groups to become
                          involved with the Working Group.

54   GOSFORTH AND NORTH NEWCASTLE POLICE TEAM PROFILE,
     STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN

     In the absences of Inspector Ward, consideration of this item was deferred.

55   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     Submitted: Financial Statements for July 2004 to March 2005 and April 2005 to
     March 2006 (copy attached to Official Minutes).

                    RESOLVED – That the report be received.
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56   MINUTES

     The minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2005 were approved as a correct
     record and signed by the Chair.

     Arising therefrom:-

     1.     Traffic Hazard – Alwinton Terrace/Church Road

     Minute number 37 (2) refers.

     The Committee were advised that the Ward Co-ordinator had spoken to R
     Harding a Traffic Engineer who felt that Alwinton Terrace did not warrant a speed
     survey. The situation relating to Northern Rock would be monitored and the
     Alwinton Terrace/Church Road area may be eligible for a residents parking
     scheme.

     Arising therefrom a resident queried whether the Northern Rock parking scheme
     was yet complete. In response, a member gave details of the next phase of
     development at Northern Rock which meant there would be further development,
     increased parking and further parking schemes yet to be arranged. Another
     resident queried whether Northern Rock could offer reduced fares on public
     transport as an incentive to their staff. In response, the Chair highlighted that
     Northern Rock had employed a Green Travel Officer who had arranged for a
     series of measures to try to reduce staff reliance on cars, including cycle and
     public transport incentives. It was suggested that this scheme may require more
     “sticks” then “carrots”.

     A resident then raised the problem of parking at Gosforth Library, particularly for
     elderly persons. She felt that this car park was being dominated by staff from
     Northern Rock and suggested a large notice be placed in the car park or other
     solutions be examined. In response, the Chairman highlighted that the Library
     was situated in West Gosforth Ward and that Committee was looking at the
     problem. It was suggested that this Committees concern about the elderly not
     being able to use this car park be remitted to West Gosforth Ward Sub-
     Committee.

                   RESOLVED – That West Gosforth Ward Sub-Committee be
                   requested to examine the problem at the Library car park.

     2      DEVELOPMENTS ABOVE METRO LINES

     A resident queried this information. In response a member commented that there
     was no need for residents in the Gosforth area to be concerned as the request for
     development above the Metro line had been in a location close to the City Centre,
     for the University of Northumbria in a deep Metro cutting.
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57     INFORMATION EXCHANGE

       The following items were available on request from the Community Co-ordinator:

       1.     Newcastle CVS Funding Bulletin April 2005

       2.     Newcastle CVS Training Calendar April – July 2005

       3.     Elders Council of Newcastle Newsletter April 2005

       4.     Disability North Forthcoming Training and Events 2005-06

       5.     Funders Fayre Tuesday, 5 July 2005

58.    DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

       The next meeting of the Committee be held on Monday, 4 July 2005 at 7.00 pm at
       Gosforth Residents Association Community Centre, Christon Road, Gosforth.

Min: 008716

								
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