Gardens & wildlife

RHS Minutes 2014-11-11

Minutes of RHS meeting 11th November 2014 @ Sandy’s, 47 Round Hill Crescent

Present were Sandy, Annie, Ted, Barbara, Kate, Jan, Bonnie and Andrew Keeffe from Brighton University - apologies from Boo, Cath and Cllr Pete West.

Annie ran through the Minutes of the committee meeting on 10th October 2014 and we agreed them.

We agreed to alter the next meeting date to Wednesday 10th December, at Jan’s place.

Andrew Keeffe, the University of Brighton Community Liaison and Housing Advice Officer told us about his job.

He has two roles, and the first he described was related to building links between the city and the university. To this end he told us that we might be able to tap into a supply of student volunteers to help us with community events such as Playsafe and community clean-ups. He mentioned Beverley Thomas Hancock at the Uni who runs the student volunteering service.

Andrew’s second function is to address issues arising from students living in the community – many of these relate to the work of letting agents. Andrew noted that absolutely anyone can set up as a letting agent, there are no professional qualifications and no compulsory codes of conduct.

Then there is the student-resident conflict, busiest at the beginning of each year. To help he really needs to know if they are his students, the letting agents name also helps. He works closely with his number in Sussex Uni.

He suggests that neighbours respond quickly and calmly to an issue, trying to encourage understanding and reasonable behaviour. Jan mentioned her approach, to introduce herself to the new occupants as soon as they arrive, to offer help, loans of equipment that might be lacking, and advice on refuse and recycling.

But if all that fails then Andrew is there to help. Noise is a Local Authority issue but, as Andrew noted, Environmental Health staff are being lost as Government funding is cut, and the process of keeping a noise diary can be very offputting, and may be the wrong solution when a very loud and late party is going on. 23000 students at Brighton Uni, and probable plans to grow.

Seasonal singing: Ted has created a new songbook, Cath has offered a table and Kate her kitchen, Rob will get stuff for refreshments and prep it. Start at bottom Catcreep at 6pm. We have Simon Scardanelli, Andrew Partington and Bela providing music and Barbara will accept buckets on Monday 15th Dec which she will decorate. The route will be up RHC, up Ashdown and Rich Rd and Princes Crescent to finish up Belton Rd before turning and returning to the refreshments. Someone is doing posters for the telegraph posts.

Spring clean-up date will be set at next meeting

Jan and Barbara ran through options for a greening plan for the spring – Round Hill in Bloom looks good. Also details of an adopt a tree, to plant up around the base, will go in next Reporter, along with a ‘Plant up a bucket’ idea for kids. Halloween Playsafe was a great success with 40 or so kids and pumpkins and a doughnuts on string eating challenge. Next year’s dates will be in next Reporter, with report on halloween.

We listed many items for the December Reporter, which we hope to have out before December to get more Advent Window volunteers to come forward. It went to Maslens on 19th Nov.

Bonnie reported a purse theft on 16th October from a woman in Wakefield Rd, a burglary at one of the properties which make up the old Queen Victoria pub and a bike theft in D’Aubigny Rd as well as kids throwing stones at Richmond House.

We discussed the possible location for one or more Round Hill community noticeboards

Barbara invited us to a tree dressing event at hers between 3 and 9pm on Saturday 6th December.

Rob Stephenson 22nd November 2014

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