This is my partial and no doubt biassed impressions of the meeting of the Local Action Team on 11th March — there will be official minutes later. The topics covered included refuse collection; parking and bicycles; studentification; and policing. The probable date for the next meeting is Thursday 27th May.
I joined the meeting just as one of the CityClean managers was explaining that we should all be keeping our binvelopes and recycling boxes indoors. If you really haven’t anywhere else but the street for them to go, do make sure they impact as little as possible on other people. All binvelopes should be folded, and CityClean (01273 292929) will provide nets to cover boxes if you need them.Â The reason there’s only one street bin in central Hanover is that our pavements are so narrow, so please think about other people before you attach your bike to the nearest lamppost. If it causes an obstruction, the council may have to remove it. I have a strong impression from CityClean officers that they are genuinely keen to listen to anyone and work with anyone who can help them to do their job better.
CPZ and parking your bike
If approved by the council’s Cabinet, public consultation on the Controlled Parking Zone will start this year. Meanwhile, the council’s cycling officers have identified 5 feasible cycle-parking bays in Hanover streets, mainly by recovering unnecessary yellow-lined spaces. Anyone able to provide specific information about numbers of cycles, cycle parking pressure points, or potential locations for more bays is encouraged to contact Abby Hone on 01273 293813. The Community Association has a reserve fund to support sustainable travel, and we will be prepared to commit some of this to cycle parking facilities on top of whatever the council will do.
Martin Reid (the council’s head of Housing Strategy) gave a presentation on the Student Housing Strategy. The strategy seems to be principally to encourage the building of more halls for first-year students, and to try to ‘mitigate’ the effects of the increase in shared rented housing in areas like Hanover. There were many people in the meeting who have endured a progressive deterioration in their living conditions as the number of student houses has increased around them. Their disappointment was only too apparent as it became clear that the strategy will have little effect in Hanover because most houses are too small to be controlled by the houses in multiple occupation (HMO) legislation. Martin admitted that it is very unlikely that any student houses will return to being family accommodation, as the rent a landlord can collect from several tenants is so much greater than from one family for the whole property.
So in the face of a likely growth in the number of students living in Hanover, the only relevant part of the strategy is a commitment from the universities to do what they can to moderate the behaviour of students.
There were questions about the possible location, design and management of any new student halls, as the experience of people living near the Phoenix halls has been very unpleasant. A promise was made to try to get someone from the Phoenix management to come to the next meeting.
The Police Community Safety Officers followed up on issues raised at the previous LAT meeting in October. They are planning local enforcement days on the 20mph speed limit (but they can’t do anything about speeding skateboarders!) and on noise nuisance. There is evidence of drug dealing and recent car crime, and they asked for everyone to continue to pass on whatever information they have so that a profile can be built up to guide effective action.
And finally, the Friends of the Pepperpot encouraged everyone to look at their web site and support them — www.pepperpot.info