Stapleton Road Working Group Notes of Meeting 6.30pm Monday 14th November 2011 Easton Community Centre Present (P) Apologies (A) Absent (Ab) Members 19th Sep 10th Oct Cllr. Margaret Hickman (LH) A A Cllr. Brenda Hugill (LH) P A Cllr. Faruk Choudhury (Easton) P P Cllr. John Kiely (Easton) A Ab Traders / Businesses Abdul Malik (Vice Chair) P P Clare Mobley Ab Ab Sonny Richards (Chair SR Traders Assn) P Ab Velita Burnett P Ab Mel Gardener Ab Ab Errol Ballin Ab Ab Lorraine Spence Ab Ab Mo Omer / / Organisations on SR not traders Andy Thomas, Kensington Baptist Church P P Residents of Stapleton Road / streets in the immediate area David Fell, Resident Ab P Anna Searle, Resident P A Pat Usherwood, Resident (Chair) P P Baljinder Bhopal, Resident P P Alythe Morgan / / Residents on the NP Mike Pickering, Resident (NP) P A Dominic Murphy, Resident (NP) Ab Ab Joyce Clarke, Resident (NP) Ab Ab Alex Milne, Resident (NP) P P Organisations Rick Palmer, BCC P A David Deakin Chris Regan, Avon & Somerset Police P Observers / others attending Michelle Meredith, African Caribbean Chamber of Commerce P Ab Mohammed Matan / / Abdi Barud (Somali Resource Centre) / / Tamsin Norman / / Officers / advisers in attendance Penny Germon, Nhd. Manager P P Richard Orna, Note Taker P P Stacy Yelland, Nhd. Communications P P James McAninch, Avon & Somerset Police P / Jason Thorne / / 1
14th Nov P A A Ab P Ab P Ab Ab Ab Ab P P P A P P P P P Ab P Nick Carter
P P P P P P P P P P
1. Welcome and Introductions At 6.30pm Pat Usherwood welcomes all to the meeting and introductions are made. 2. Current Issues â€“ Open Forum Street Lighting Street lighting is being blocked by trees that need cutting back, in the area around the Wild Goose where trees have overgrown, is discussed. It is requested that it be determined whether there is a preservation order preventing these trees from being cut back. ACTION: Arrange for trees to be cut back â€“ Nick Carter Street Cleaning The issue of street cleaning is raised, with particular mention to Felix Road, Chaplin and Walton Streets, but also other side streets. Concern is shared that focus on Stapleton Road itself is detracting from the levels of effort on surrounding streets. There are reports that street cleaning is not taking place anywhere near as regularly or as effectively as it is meant to be. There is a build-up of rubbish, with students from the City Academy visiting Subway contributing significantly to this. There is call for more and more effective bins to be put in place. It is asked that this is fed back to the officers responsible for cleansing in this area, as well as liaising with the new waste contractors, May Gurney. A) AGREED Nick Carter to give this feedback to the officer(s) responsible and report back to the Working Group on progress. Spitting A resident reported that someone spit on their car on Felix Road and that spitting generally is a problem. There is discussion about the spitting issue impacting across the whole of the Stapleton Road community and the suggested causes. Spitting is an issue that affects everyone and all kinds of people do it. Any suggestion that it is just one community is wrong. Some of the people who chew khat spit out the chewed khat and this is a particular issue for Stapleton Road because there is a concentration of people chewing khat. It is suggested that this could be addressed by communicating with the Somali Forum and with elders in the Somali community. Educating people that this, along with other littering, is not an acceptable behaviour is generally agreed to be a positive course of action. Using the Working Group contacts to communicate this message to schools and as much of the community as possible is agreed. The problems around enforcing littering legislation are also highlighted and discussed. B) AGREED All to use their contacts and available communications channels to spread the message that spitting is not accepted on Stapleton Road. C) AGREED Pat, Abdul, Mohammed and Abdi to meet to discuss the options available to tackle the spitting issue further.
3. Updated Communications and PR Plan Stacy Yelland gives an overview of the updates to the Plan, including the slots that have been arranged with Ujima and BCFM to promote the Neighbourhood Forums and, potentially, the Working Group. All are encouraged to get in contact with Stacy if they wish to get involved with this. There is also work due to take place to promote the Working Group to traders along Stapleton Road by increasing face-to-face contact. Another aim will be to promote Fridays at the Mill, to help engage local young people and communicate issues such as spitting and littering. 4. Notes of the Last Meeting The notes are agreed as accurate and correct. 5. Action Plan Update 5.1 Bristol City Council In Rick Palmerâ€™s absence, Nick Carter from Safer Bristol gives an overview of the updated Action Plan and the progress of the various actions in progress. Enforcement Khat - With regards enforcement, there is working ongoing to target the suppliers of Khat (who do not have a licence to trade) and other linked offences. Illegal car sales - The roadwork on Stapleton Road/St Marks Rd has had a positive impact on the illegal sale of cars and there has been no obvious displacement yet. Reports are given of cars being sold opposite the petrol station on Easton Road. It is proposed to use stickers that are difficult to remove should the problem return. Parking Enforcement - The new Traffic Regulation Orders for the bus route on Stapleton Road will have a strong bearing on the parking issues in the area. There will be more to feedback about this at the next meeting. Sonny said that provision had to be made for traders to load and unload. Environmental Deep Clean Feedback is asked for following the deep clean of Stapleton Road, which was a key action from the Plan. Michelle reported two issues: a) Some shop fronts had been left dirty having been sprayed with debris from the pavement. b) cement between some of the paving slabs has come away allowing dirt to accumulate and also creating a trip hazard. The Neighbourhood Engagement Team from May Gurney will be working with the local community to tackle issues to do with street cleanliness and waste management going forwards. Economic Business Rate Valuations Nick introduces Jason Thorne, who explains that the Valuations Office is awaiting further evidence relating to property rental to respond to the appeals against business rates. At the moment, it seems unlikely that the valuations will be altered. Jason encourages traders to complete the rental return form to supply the Valuations Office with this information. Concern is raised about a request for this information received by a trader, threatening a ÂŁ100 fine if the form is not returned within the specified time. A question is also raised 3
about the level of rates payable for multiple units within a business centre on St Gabriels Rd. Jason encourages any queries to be discussed with him following the meeting. 5.2 Avon and Somerset Police Chris Regan gives an overview of the ongoing work by the police to tackle the issues in the Action Plan. There has been a positive improvement in the crime figures for the area during October. Over 1000 hours of additional police patrolling have resulted from Operation Bowler. There have been 154 stop and searches, 56 arrests, seven warrants executed, and one vice operation involving 12 arrests. Squatters have been cleared from a property on Tudor Road and an RSPCA led raid on a property on Walton Street has resulted in arrests. There has been continued license enforcement work, including drug swabbing of surfaces in licensed premises. There has been some reported displacement of criminal activity, but Chris reinforces that Operation Bowler is flexible, and as such is equipped to deal with this. All are encouraged to provide information to the police as quickly as possible, particularly regarding drug dealing due to the predictable migration of local criminals after short periods of activity in any given location. The implementation of Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the area will improved coordinated efforts to tackle issues such a this and Chris reports that there has been positive work here. A pilot scheme to encourage people to register and scan their electronic equipment is under way. All are encouraged to get in touch if they are interested. Anything with a serial number can be scanned. There is further information and the opportunity to register items at www.immobilise.com. 6. Retail Development Post There is discussion about this potential appointment. Representatives from the Traders’ Association share some views but are not in a position to make a decision on behalf of the Association. Jason offers to attend a meeting to assist. D) AGREED Sonny and Michelle to meet with other representatives of Traders’ Association to be able to feed back a decision to Pat and Penny by Wednesday 16th November. 7. Current Work Update Walkabouts Penny Germon reminded the meeting about the ‘walkabouts’ taking place once a month at alternating ends of Stapleton Road. All can get in touch with Penny to get further information about these. Window Boxes 100 window boxes for residents on Lansdown, Villiers Rd, Walton St. and part of Felix have been provided through the NP Clean and Green money. Around 60 window boxes were created last Tuesday by residents, giving a really positive improvement to the environment. News sheet 4
The Stapleton Road News Sheet has been published and additional copies are circulated. All are encouraged to contact Stacy if they have any comments or suggestions about this. Francois Jenson will be continuing his work on the side streets in the coming period. 8. Traders’ Association Update Michelle reported that the Traders Association has now been formed and had elected officers. Following the discussion about the Retail Development post, no further report is given. 9. Proposed Stapleton Road Community Fund Penny gives an overview of the proposal for a fund that can be applied to for money to improve Stapleton Road. There is discussion about the pros and cons of this method of managing the proposed budget. It is proposed that instead of inviting applications, the Working Group should use the money to facilitate the completion of the Action Plan. This proposal is seconded and then agreed by all. E) AGREED The Community Fund will be used by the Working Group to complete agreed top priority actions from the Stapleton Road Action Plan. 10. Carols Update Andy circulates a poster for the upcoming carols event, which is on Friday 16 th December starting at 6.30pm in Rawnsley Park, with drinks and mince pies at Kensington Baptist Church at 7.30pm. 11. Any Other Business Penny proposes meetings should continue to be on a Monday, there are no objections. The dates will be circulated as soon as possible. Pat Usherwood is congratulated for receiving a ‘thank you’ award (organised by Easton & Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management) for her work as Chair of the Stapleton Road Working Group. It is shared that the involvement of all communities is essential if we are to resolve the problems on Stapleton Road. Having representatives from the Somali community is greatly valued and something that is hoped will continue going forward. 12. Meeting Close Pat Usherwood thanks everyone for attending and closes the meeting at 8.30pm. The next meeting will be 5th December.