We at the LAT are working with the council to persuade people to not give money to beggars, many of whom are not rough sleepers. Included is the response from Inspector McCarthy regarding anti social behaviour.


Sorry for not getting back sooner but I have been off work due to sickness. I will speak to the street community team about this matter but can assure you we are doing a lot of work it the area to combat drug dealing and ASB. With regards to homelessness we take a multi-agency approach working with partners to provide support and accommodation if possible. Obviously due to the high number of homeless in the city and many not having links to the city we are limited on what we can do.

Regards Brian

ASB on St James street.

This is a petition started by Diva last February. Horribly they where broken into a few days ago.



To whom it may concern,
My name is Bengu Sait and I’m the owner of Diva Espresso and Sandwich bar on 94 St. James’s Street.


This is a letter with the backing of 22 traders on St Jamess St and adjacent streets who have faced similar problems.  There have been a number of recent incidents in the vicinity of St Jamess St which are causing concern for the safety of both the persons and property of traders and their staff on the Street.. We highlight a number of concerns with both rough sleepers and anti-social behaviour on the street, which seems to be ignored by both the council and the police.

1. Drunk/ drugged rough sleepers are on the increase on St. James’s St, some of whom are aggressive, beg, steal, and try to push their way into the cafe to use the loo, bang on my shop front window and shouting racist remarks. This is particularly bad at opening up time in the mornings. This is causing serious worry for the safety of traders and their staff.

2. Business is down, People are too scared to walk on our street at certain times of the day ie opening times.

3. Penalty warning signs re drinking alcohol are too high on the lampposts, They should be at eye level. There is little sign of enforcement by the police or council officials.

4. Little sign of Police or Environmental officers patrolling our street. We need a presence from these bodies ASAP. Several calls to 101 have resulted in no follow up by the police.

5. Witnesses have spotted drug dealing being carried out at night in my entrance as it’s not in view of the Police CCTV.

6. Response service from Police has not been quick enough or non-existent on numerous occasions.

7. There are insufficient Security Police cameras on our street. Assault and burglary are happening more frequently, not to mention my shop had an attempted burglary a few months ago where the door window was broken. Although the police identified the culprit, no action was taken.

8. Traders are anxious and wary of coming into work.

9. There are no dog waste bins/ Penalty signs for dog fouling on our street. Experiencing constant battles with irresponsible and rude dog owners who allow their dogs to urinate on my Menu-Board or directly outside my shop front on the pavement. Dog mess is often left and I’m the one who has to clean it up.

We are all trying our very best to keep afloat with our businesses but are faced with these issues which now seem to be spiralling out of control.  We feel helpless and angry at the authorities for not doing more when clearly they know there are serious problems on our street which need immediate attention before serious injury. St Jamess St should be a thriving hub for the Kemptown community, but instead is being allowed to decline with official attention/resources being placed/spent elsewhere in the city.
Diva Espresso Bar, DVD shop, 88 Barbers, Glaze hair salon, Daily catch,Gilded Cage, Bona Foodie, Cafe bella, Tallboy tattoo, Italian Restaurant, Dean’s,Vape,Hospital friends, Quickfix, D&D meats, Leman tea room, Morris & Jaques Cafe, Bone Idol, Chilli Noodle


Minutes of Meeting From Latest AGM.



17th MAY 2017


Roger Rolfe (acting Chair)

Tony Knott, Chichester Place

Fiona Shackley, George Street

Garry Jackson, George Street

Chris Stephens, Margaret Street

Andrew Woolwich, Devonshire Place

Mercedes Burleigh, Lower Rock Gardens

John O’Connor, Lower Rock Gardens

Vern Collins, Lavender Street

Benji Bebbington, Hampshire Court

Clare Monica

Lee Rolfe

Graham Constantu, St James’s Street

Julie Crust, Upper Rock Gardens

Mario Rodrigues, New Steine Mansions

Judith Burns, Upper St James’s Street

Trevor Long, Upper St James’s Street

Melanie Rose-Fyne, St James’s Place

Janine Jackson, Upper Rock Gardens

Matt Easteal, Brighton & Hove City Council

Peter Howey, Charlotte Street

Diets Verschuren, St James’s House

M. Coles, High Street

Veryon Young, Atlingworth Street

Barry Kingston, Hampshire Court

T. Scobie, Madeira Place

Janie Thomas, Charles Street

Midge Elvin, Steine Gardens

Alicia Franchi, George Street

Bengu Sait, St. James’s Street

Gary Jackman, St James’s Street

David Spafford, Ardingly Court

Kay McLeish, Chichester Place

Tim Anscombe, Dorset Gardens

Jose Da Silva, Dorset Gardens

David Griffin, High Street

Ed Williams, St James’s Mews

Ali Reeves, Upper Rock Gardens

Gay Phillips, Devomshire Place

Gary Clarke, Upper Rock Gardens

Sharman Dunn, Dorset Gardens

Vicky Fletcher, Dorset Gardens

Jayne Babby, Pride

Hannah Brain, Pride

Tim Barclay, Purezza

Roberto Cantu, St James’s Street

Paul Esslemont, St James’s Street

C. West, New Steine Mansions

Karen Barford, ward councillor

Dan Chapman, ward councillor

Adrian Morris, ward councillor

Claire Noonan, councillor

Mark Elsworth, Upper Rock Gardens (minutes)


Item 1 – Chair’s report.

Roger Rolfe, as acting chair, opened the meeting.  This had been a difficult year for the LAT, with the departure of two chairs: Jeremy Ogden and David Roberts were thanked for their work with the LAT.

Roger welcomed the ward councillors to the meeting, along with Jayne Babb from Pride and Matt Easteal for the council.  Roger stressed that we need new people to work with and on the LAT and ran through some of the achievements of the past year, which he acknowledged had been limited.  It was to be hoped, however, that this meeting would generate sufficient interest for more people to get involved and to make a difference to the area.

Item 2 – Treasurer’s report.

Fiona Shackley spoke to this item, and advised that the balance for the year is £1,668.19.  Fiona is stepping down from the treasurer role and was thanked for her hard work.

There was a brief discussion about security funding for Dorset Gardens, and Matt Easteal confirmed that the funding was not specifically for lighting.

Item 3 – Election of officers.

At this point Roger handed over to Mark Elsworth.  Mark explained that the officers of the committee have to stand down and explained briefly what the roles were for the relevant posts – chair, treasurer, secretary and communications officer.  People were asked to nominate themselves or others and the nominees were asked to say a little about why they are suited to the post; in the event that more than one person stood for a position there would be a show of hands vote.

Chair: Diets Verschuren put herself forward for this post; she was proposed by Veryon Young and seconded by Sharman Dunn and, in the absence of any other candidates, became chair.

Secretary: Mark Elsworth was proposed by David Spafford, seconded by Roger Rolfe and remains secretary.

Treasurer: Roberto Cantu and David Spafford put themselves forward for the role.  They briefly outlined their experience and then the meeting voted, 13 in favour of Roberto and 17 for David, so David becomes treasurer.

Communications: Sharman Dunn put herself forward and was proposed by Gay Phillips and seconded by Mercedes Burleigh and takes on the role.

The following put themselves forward for membership of the committee:

Chris Stephens

Mercedes Burleigh

Gay Phillips

Benji Bebbington

Tony Knott

Veryon Young

Vern Collins

Melanie Rose-Fyne

Roger Rolfe

Roberto Cantu

Janie Thomas.


Item 4 – Discussion with councillors

A number of topics were raised and ward councillors fed back on planning and licencing issues.  Adrian circulated guidance on planning issues, as well as party houses: questions were asked about making objections to planning and licencing issues along with related topics about actions within a conservation area.  Examples were given to Adrian who promised to feedback on them.


Item 4 – Homelessness

Cllr Claire Noonan, who has portfolio responsibility for homelessness, spoke to this issue. She discussed the background to the homelessness/rough sleeper situation and reminded the meeting of the lack of available housing nationally and locally.  She spoke also about the strategies that are being developed locally to tackle the issue as well as investment that has been made in providing services; work has taken place in conjunction with St. Mungo’s.

Questions were taken and the following topics were raised:

* Begging

* Substance and alcohol abuse

* Concerns re personal safety

* The impact on local businesses of begging etc

* General cleanliness in the area

* The ‘London initiative’ of publicising the negative effect of giving money to beggars

* Anti social behaviour.

Councillors advised that action has been, and is being, taken with regard to begging.  Residents were asked to report issues as and when they occurred and to report issues to the police.  Adrian undertook to work with shopkeepers/businesses in St James’s Street and to work with them to develop and promote information about the problems caused by begging, while Claire said that she will work with ward councillors and to support them in addressing the issues raised.


Item 5 – Pride.

Jayne Babb, from Pride, spoke about the street party which takes place in the weekend of Pride.

Jayne works closely with the local venues and advised the meeting of relevant road closures in and around St James’s Street.  During the weekend Jayne is based at the Methodist church in Dorset Gardens and will be on site throughout the weekend.

Jayne will be holding a residents meeting on 1st June at Dorset Gardens Methodist church and is happy to meet with residents groups.


The meeting closed at 9 p.m.