RHUL Runnymede Consultative Minutes Nov 2021

16/12/2021

Royal Holloway & Runnymede Consultative Group

MINUTES

Tuesday 2 November 2021 Meeting via Microsoft Teams

Royal Holloway: Mike Berry (CHAIR/Director of Estates), Marie Ennis (Chief Marketing Officer), Helen Groenendaal (Head of Wellbeing, Academic Services), Sarah Ixer-Pitfield (Head of Public Relations and Media).

Royal Holloway Students’ Union: Max Ross (Joint Chief Executive Officer)

Councillors: Cllr Isabel Mullens, Cllr Japneet Sohi, Cllr Sian Williams

Mayor of Runnymede: Cllr Elaine Gill

Environmental Health: Aileen Baker

Residents’ Associations: Chris Fisher (ERA), Christine Welsh (EGVRA)

Neighbourhood Watch: Stephen Hodgkinson

Surrey Police: Inspector James Wyatt, Sergeant Ian Nash

APOLOGIES:

Chamber of Commerce: Mark Adams
Cllr Marisa Heath
Cllr Alan Alderson

1. Welcome & introductions
    The group welcomed Sergeant Ian Nash and Cllr Sian Williams to the meeting.

2. Minutes and actions from the previous meeting

Chris Fisher registered his disappointment that the minutes of the last meeting were not a verbatim record. It was confirmed that key points and the related actions only are recorded.

With regards to the actions from the last meeting in June, as Cllr Heath was not in attendance, the action for her to send further details of the Surrey climate change strategy to the group will be carried over to the next meeting.

The list of roads that students are most concerned about re street lighting accompany these minutes in appendix A. Information detailing garden upkeep and bin collections is here.

All other actions were completed, with Helen Groenendaal and Christine Welsh to discuss the resident’s complaint outside of the meeting.

3. Update on Covid-19

Mike Berry updated the group on the latest reported case numbers of Covid-19 at Royal Holloway, of which there are currently 13 reported cases. Reported cases of transmission are manageable and there is a high rate of vaccine uptake across the university community. Students have returned to in-person teaching, with the exception of large lectures which are taking place online or in hybrid mode.

Cllr Mullens recognised the university’s positive management of the pandemic for the community. 

4. Updates on areas of mutual interest 

  • RBC: Cllr Sohi updated that the council will be running parking surveys in the local area in the next few weeks. The council are continuing to look into street lighting and parking on local roads.

    Cllr Williams stated there have been issues with transient noise as well as noise outside of houses, in particular on Milton Road. She confirmed that she has also spoken with students who are concerned about rubbish bin collection in the area. 
     
  • EGVRA:
    Christine Welsh asked about the Royal Holloway complaints procedure and the number of times an individual must complain about a property before it is dealt with at a senior level. Helen Groenendaal confirmed that all complaints are dealt with on a case by case basis and there is no set number. Christine Welsh referenced a recent case which Helen Groenendaal agreed to discuss further outside of the meeting.

    There has been an issue with The Packhorse and noise affecting residents in Chestnut Drive. Max Ross confirmed that sound via speakers is permitted until 9.30pm. 
     
  • ACTION: Max to follow up with The Packhorse manager and he will also ask the new manager to introduce himself to Chestnut Drive residents.

    The lighting of the Englefield Green Christmas tree will take place on 4 December.
    ACTION: Sarah Ixer-Pitfield to pass contact details for the Choir to see if they want to sing around the tree as has been historically the case.
     
  • Egham Residents’ Association:
    Chris Fisher referenced the meeting held by Ben Spencer MP on 30 September and notes that the university has updated its complaints procedures. However, he believes anti-social behaviour in the area is getting worse, referencing that a local resident who has been woken by a noisy party has been told by passing students to expect this as a resident in a university town. Mike Berry confirmed this is not the view of the university. Helen Groenendaal stated this is not the university’s expectation of its students and its expectation of being a good neighbour is regularly communicated to students. She confirmed that the group identified by Chris Fisher were spoken to and advised that their behaviour is not acceptable. The team will also aim to include reference to this in the 2022 Be A Good Neighbour guide to make it clear this is not an appropriate view.

    Stephen Hodgkinson welcomed Royal Holloway’s update to the complaints procedure but would like to see communications around the procedures improved. 

    Helen Groenendaal confirmed that the university’s update report provided to forum members at this meeting is more detailed and the university is also including more detail in emails to complainants and are happy to take feedback from residents on this. The university is unable to provide full explicit outcomes but all reports are recorded and reported back to this forum.
     
  • RBC Environmental Health: Aileen Baker confirmed that it has been a very positive start to the term from the perspective of her team. There have been 19 noise complaints, 16 visits and only one household where action has been taken. Cllr Mullens shared her appreciation that the Environmental Health team has been out and about in the local community with the Police.
     
  • Egham Chamber of Commerce: A report is provided in appendix B.
  • Surrey Police:
    Inspector Wyatt ran through a presentation (see appendix C) with the group outlining crime statistics in the local area, noting that the ASB figures also represented people breaking Covid-19 regulations – outlining the many different types of ASB including vehicle nuisance.

    Following a full review of process, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Surrey Police, Environmental Health and Royal Holloway around data sharing and an agreed escalation process. Mike Berry noted that ASB is a borough wide issues and a joined up approach is beneficial to all.

    Inspector Wyatt is waiting on results of a survey on violence against women and girls. The Police are promoting the use of Street Safe to encourage people to report areas where they don’t feel safe. Cllr Mullens asked about ASB hotspot locations which Inspector Wyatt confirmed are spread across both Englefield Green and Egham, including The Crescent, Spring Rise and Nightingale Shott.

    Inspector Wyatt confirmed he will update on data sharing progress at these meetings and would like feedback from the forum. Christine Welsh and Chris Fisher raised that there is some confusion over which organisation residents should report issues of noise nuisance to. It is confirmed the Environmental Health should receive reports regarding noise from a property and the Police if it is a disturbance in the road/transient noise.

    Cllr Williams is preparing a useful document about how to report incidents of ASB which will be shared with forum members

    ACTION: Cllr Williams to share ‘how to report incidents’ sheet with forum member
     
  • Royal Holloway – Estate development: 
    Mike Berry advised that significant improvement had been made to the university’s access roads and paths. Covers have also been erected outside the Boilerhouse café area.
     
  • Royal Holloway – Student Wellbeing and Volunteering:

    A report is provided in appendix D

    Helen Groenendaal updated that the Be a Good Neighbour guide (see appendix E) will be going online from next year based on feedback from the forum group, directly from residents and via visits to student households. She confirmed that a new member of the Student Wellbeing team is reviewing the university’s complaints procedure. Helen Groenendaal also noted that there is no limit to the number of complaints the university can receive regarding one household. The evidence base of complaints supports her team to take action. Helen Groenendaal highlighted the transparency in the data provided in the attached report, which includes information about complaints received by the university broken down into much further detail than previously. 

    ACTION: Helen Groenendaal to review whether the categories of issue can be broken down between Egham and Englefield Green for future reports 

    It was also noted that the subscription rates to the university’s ‘Community Matters’ online newsletter had increased. Forum attendees are asked to continue to encourage members/ stakeholders to sign up to receive the newsletter.

    Action: Cllr Mullens to send contact details to Sarah Ixer-Pitfield for the secretary of ERA to ensure Community Matters is circulated to them.
     
  • Royal Holloway Students’ Union:

    Max Ross updated that SU venues are capped at 80% capacity and are ensuring students supply negative lateral flow tests as a condition of entry. They have also modified security measures over a two to three week period to help ensure female safety. 

    He advised that the SU will be putting on Summer Balls in June 2022. There will be one for current students on Thursday 2 June and one for alumni who missed out in the previous two years on Saturday 4 June. On Friday 3 June there will be a community event which will be free for the local community. More details will be available in 2022.
     

5. Local community drop-in sessions
It was discussed that following low attendance at the most recent on campus session, despite local advertising, these sessions would revert back to telephone appointments. The next local community drop-in session is scheduled for 5-6pm on 15 February 2022 and will be advertised on the Royal Holloway website and social channels as well as in Community Matters. Individuals can arrange a telephone appointment where they can speak to a representative about any concerns in relation to the university’s activities by emailing community@royalholloway.ac.uk

6. Proposed date of next Royal Holloway and Runnymede Consultative forum meeting: early March via MS Teams. Date to be confirmed. It was noted that there a number of councillor and resident association meetings around this time.

ACTIONS LIST

  Action Owner
1 Cllr Heath to send further details of the Surrey climate change strategy to the group. Marisa Heath (action carried over)
2 Max Ross to follow up regarding noise issues with The Packhorse manager and he will also ask the manager to introduce himself to Chestnut Drive residents. Max Ross 
3 The lighting of the Englefield Green Christmas tree will take place on 4 December. Sarah Ixer-Pitfield to pass contact details for the Choir to Christine Welsh so she can see if they want to sing around the tree. Sarah IxerPitfield
4 Cllr Williams to share ‘how to report incidents’ sheet with forum members Cllr Williams
5 Cllr Mullens to send contact details to Sarah Ixer-Pitfield for the secretary of ERA to ensure Community Matters is circulated to them.  Cllr Mullens
6 Helen Groenendaal to review whether the categories of issue can be broken down between Egham and Englefield Green for future reports  Cllr Mullens

 

Please click on the link below in order to see the full minutes and Appendices.



RHUL Runnymede Consultative Minutes Nov 2021.pdf

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