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Minutes 2016-February 8th
Written by Pat Marsh   
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 20:50

Minutes of the Committee Meeting of The Wincheap Society at 7.30pm on Monday, 8th February, 2016 at 94 Wincheap

Present: John Osborne (Chairman), Gillian Bull, Sarah Walter, Joe Passey, Pat Marsh

1. Apologies for absence: Eddie Peake, Dave Wilson, James Wilford

2. Minutes of the last Meeting 11th January, 2016

The minutes were signed as a correct account.

3. Matters Arising

i. Cycling / CCTV

Joe will have his own cctv turned on 24/7 and we will edit recordings to show cyclists on the pavement. The problem is worst in the evenings when it is dark and cyclists have no lights.

Action: Joe

Pat informed the new PCSO Aaron about the problem of cycling on pavements and gave him Sarah's phone number to arrange a time to come and monitor the situation.

ii. Club Chemistry – meeting with management

We are arranging a meeting with the owner, Cllr Louise Jones. Sarah will ask James to get in touch with her and ask her to the next committee meeting, which will be scheduled to enable maximum committee attendance.

Action: Sarah, James

iii. Student Impact Review – Conference at the Westgate Hall

The Conference took place this afternoon and Pat attended from the Wincheap Society. It was introduced by Velia Coffey, Chair of the Student Community Working Group. She explained that the reason for the Conference was to develop a shared understanding amongst all community groups of the impact of students and higher and further education institutions in the Canterbury District. The aim was to identify what different community groups want from the Student Impact Review currently being carried out, and collectively understand where those outcomes are shared and where they are different. For each Review Theme (economic, social, physical and cultural/leisure) we wanted to identify:

What assumptions and perceptions should be tested as part of the Review

What other information the theme groups will need to work effectively.

The two guest speakers, Prof. Phil Hubbard from UoK and Prof. Darren Smith from Loughborough University, have done research on the issues and presented that research. It showed what is happening in other university towns and cities, the regulatory approaches being adopted, such as encouraging purpose-built developments, limiting HMOs and promoting more cohesive communities. It emerged that Canterbury is typical of what is happening elsewhere, but different in that the A4D is only being brought into force at the end of this month. Other towns and cities with the same problems have implemented such measures much earlier than Canterbury.

The first groupwork exercise was intended to shape the Review and focussed on what we would like to be different in five years’ time as a result of the Review. All groups prioritised more mixed, balanced sustainable communities as a priority, with students moving to purpose-built accommodation and HMOs being brought back into use as family homes. It was pointed out, however, that this de-studentification involved “de-conversion” of HMOs, which is difficult and expensive to achieve, especially if facilities for families, such as local schools, have been closed. The other consequence can be that groups other than students move into the HMOs, such as migrant workers or asylum seekers, again thwarting the goal of having more mixed and balanced communities.

In the second group exercise Pat was allocated to the group focussing on the social theme. They prioritised changing the demographics of communities where there are many student residents and returning some of the old community spirit. They thought ASB was a significant feature of having many student HMOs because of the different lifestyle students have and their lack of feeling part of the community and thus keeping their properties clean and tidy, putting bins back behind their properties after collection, etc. However, students do a great deal of volunteering in community projects, of which most of us are unaware. Traffic and parking in Canterbury were our next concern. It was thought that the extension of residents’ parking schemes might be the best way to address this problem as it is difficult and unfair for the universities to forbid students to bring their cars to Canterbury. They didn’t feel that having so many students had really affected the goods and services available in the area, except that pubs have closed down as they no longer have local clientele and night clubs have opened, where long-term residents don’t go.

Pat has put her name down to take part in meetings on the social theme in the future. There will be another conference like this one to look at solutions in May/June and the final report will be published in July.

Some facts and figures which emerged from the Conference:

Wincheap ward is not officially studentified as it has only 9% student residents (771 of 8,797 residents). It would need 15% to be classified as studentified. However, it was admitted that the Martyrs Field area in particular has a preponderance of student HMOs. St Stephen’s. Westgate, Northgate and Barton all have higher percentages of students than we do in our ward.

There are currently 31,464 students in Canterbury from the three universities. 18,000 full- and part-time students live in the city in term-time including, those who live with their parents. The number renting is actually declining – more are living at home than in the past.

iv. Revised Draft Local Plan representation

John circulated this by email. It was submitted before the deadline. We should also be focussing on the plan for a slip road off the slip road from the A2 at Thanington Park, which is against highways planning law. The same scenario was not allowed at the South Canterbury development. Sarah will prepare and circulate a letter to KCC Highways about this.

Action: Sarah

v. 34 Simmonds Road KCA / Lingo Lingo

The premises are no longer rented to KCA but to Addaction (drug and alcohol treatment charity) and the Lingo Lingo unit is teaching English as a second language. There appears to be someone living there as Sarah sees lights coming on and off at night, although change of use hasn't been applied for. Sarah will call Cllr Nick Eden-Green and ask him to investigate.

The rumour about a man being watched by security because he might act children in the area turned out to be false.

Action: Sarah

4. Highways Works

John has written to KCC about the outstanding issues.

5. Archive Film Shows

We have received information from CCCU about upcoming screenings on Saturday afternoons.

6. Obituaries - Deaths recorded since our last meeting

Alan Rickman, English actor and director, known for a wide variety of stage and film roles; Glenn Frey, American singer, songwriter, producer and actor, best known as a founding member of the rock band The Eagles; Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Worsley, British explorer and British Army officer, part of the successful 2009 expedition that retraced Ernest Shackleton's footsteps in the Antarctic, who died on the brink of becoming the first man to cross the Antarctic unaided; Lord Cecil Parkinson, Tory grandee, who served in a variety of posts in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets; Sheila Sim, Lady Attenborough, English film and theatre actor, widow of the actor and director Richard Attenborough; Yvonne Partridge, Canterbury Lloyds Bank Manager who died aged 64; Rod McKuen, American singer-songwriter, musician and poet (Love’s Been Good to Me); Sir Terry Wogan,  Irish radio and television broadcaster famed for his wry wit, who worked for the BBC in the United Kingdom for most of his career; Frank Finlay, English stage, film and television actor, Oscar-nominated for his supporting role as Iago in Olivier's 1965 film of Shakespeare’s Othello; Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, the sixth man on the Moon, who believed aliens came on a peace mission to Earth during the Cold War to stop a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR; Maurice White, American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader, founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire; Peter Powell, kite maker, who created the steerable kite in the 1970s; Paul Kantner, American guitarist, singer and songwriter, known for co-founding Jefferson Airplane, a leading psychedelic rock band of the counterculture era, and its more commercial spin-off band Jefferson Starship; Dale Griffin, English drummer and founding member of 1970s rock band Mott the Hoople; Arthur Binnie, Scottish journalist, who found fame as a young reporter on The Arbroath Herald after a tip-off led him to Arbroath Abbey on 11th April 1951, where he found the Stone of Scone (also called the Stone of Destiny) on the altar, which had been stolen from under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students on Christmas Day 1950; Colin Vearncombe, known by his stage name Black, English singer-songwriter (Wonderful Life).

7. Any other business

Beryl Solley of 35, York Rd has been having serious problems with the tenants at No. 37. They are packers for Newmafruit and often play loud music at all hours of the day and night, do the vacuum cleaning at midnight and have rows which have developed into fights. Beryl has felt intimidated and very upset and has had many sleepless nights. She asked for Pat’s help and Pat reported the incidents to the Council and the police. Both were in touch as a result and our PCSO Aaron visited her and talked to the tenants of No.37. Beryl also got in touch with the landlord as Pat advised. The tenants are now very quiet and she is much relieved. We are hoping this is the end of the matter.

CHDF (Canterbury Heritage Design Forum, formerly Canterbury Conservation Advisory Committee) made two representations about planning applications on Dover Street and the former Kingdom Hall in Oaten Place. As neither is in our area, we will not be making representations ourselves.

Pat will put Nick Eden-Green on the circulation list for our minutes as he always offers to help us.

Action: Pat

Pat reported that the Street Marshals Scheme seems to be having some good results in terms of reductions in ASB. Police records from Oct/Nov 2014 compared with Oct/Nov 2015 show 20 fewer incidents; neighbour disputes and nuisance/rowdy gatherings are much reduced. The police have had 30% fewer calls between 7pm and 5am and residents’ concern for their welfare has halved. There has been a drop of almost 20% in crime, especially criminal damage at night. The reductions in the Wincheap area have been greater than in St Stephen’s.

The street marshals report a good relationship with students. There is a big problem with students not using the underpasses in the city, however, and this causes concern as they are walking in the road in the early hours, especially after Club Chemistry closes. Cctv has now been installed in all the underpasses, so there is a hope the students may start using them as advised.

WinSoc Quiz Night: Joe will book a Friday evening in May (13th or 20th) at the Jubilee Hall

Action: Joe

WinSoc AGM: John will contact Paul Bennett with a view to having him as a speaker for a June AGM.

Friends of St Mildred's Church have a bingo evening on Saturday 2oth February at 7.30pm in the Worthgate Scout Hut in aid of the Church

Headway Quiz Night is on Friday 12th February, 7pm-10pm, at Headway House at K&C Hospital

8. Date of next Meeting

This will be in mid-April and arranged with Cllr Louise Jones so she can speak to us before the committee meeting.