Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of IARA

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of IARA for 2022

held 23 January 2023 at The Grafton


Alma St: Hilary B, Debby H, David J, Jeremy B,  Patricia D, Jane H, James D, Daniel O,
Lesley A, Andrea P,
Willes Rd:  Don H, Belinda L, Julia F, Gary L, David P, Sarah H, Regis, Sarah M, Anderson I, Sarah I, Rosemary W, Charles L, John T
Raglan St: Paul S, John N, Mary H, Harriet C, Robert L, Gregory M

Ryland Rd: Trisha M, Martin P

Brinsmead: Liz De K, Chris C, Jonathan F
Inkerman Rd: Rafe B. Rikke N. Anne B

Grafton Rd: Chris H, Mallory T, David C, Gordon Y

Holmes Road: Judith L
Cathcart St:  Simon S
Anglers Lane: Susan P, Irenee S

Apologies:, Helen H, Jonathan B, Alison L, John, James H, Vivienne M, Dee S, Mike S, Rebecca S, Gail N, Jon C, Dilip L, Ian M, Cllrs. Headlam-Wells and Apak

Minutes of the AGM 19.1.22
Minutes of the previous AGM, held on 19 January 2022, referring to 2021, were circulated in printed form as well as being available online. Adoption of them proposed by Robert, seconded by Daniel. Approved unanimously.

Election of officers
John, acting as Returning Officer, explained that there were no nominations for anybody else, and that the current officers are prepared to continue. Debby was approved as chair with Robert proposing and Sarah C seconding. David was approved as secretary with Rafe proposing and Sarah M seconding. Paul was approved as treasurer with Martin proposing and Judith seconding.  All elected unanimously.

Chair’s report
Debby outlined the main issues from the report, which was circulated in printed form as well as available online.

Treasurer’s report
This was introduced by Paul and a printed copy was available. A query was raised about the reserves that we have, and Paul explained that these are necessary to cover unexpected costs, including potential legal costs in planning matters and Debby added that the Alma Street Fair requires an input of several thousands of pounds paid upfront, and if the event was cancelled or highly compromised by weather or another reason, the Association would stand to lose a lot of money

Report backs

– Police liaison

John reported on the meetings of the Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, which have now started again with a new Sergeant, although there are vacancies in the team. He reported that our area is seen as a relatively low crime area although the issues raised are always antisocial behaviour and drug dealing. The Ingestre and Peckwater Estates have high levels of crime, including moped theft.

He encouraged anyone who has witnessed crime or has concerns to report them through IARA, so they can be fed back to the police.

– Green issues
Rafe reported on SustainIara and explained that there are 13 members on its WhatsApp group. It has met twice and is about what can we do to improve resilience and reduce our impact on climate and this involves sharing knowledge – for example, about solar panels, retrofitting homes, as well as green issues like parklets and rain gardens. There are four or five houses which have already taken quite significant measures and we hope to have an open house session in the summer. There is also a discussion about community car sharing and cargo bikes.

David explained that the tree and gardening group focuses more on preserving the existing trees in the area. It involves watering during the summer and it’s now expanding to become a resource for anyone with a garden or a window box, sharing, ideas, tools, seeds, cuttings, etc. That WhatsApp group has 24 members.

– Local History
David explained that last year we had no meetings, but we have now had a meeting and there is increased interest with 27 members of the group.

Some people have done complete histories of their own houses, using the Census records and other publicly available records.

Ryland Road has been pretty fully covered. Vivienne is planning to do the same with a stretch of Willes.

This group is also planning an open evening when we might set up laptops and people can come and ask for information about their homes or their streets, and members of the group might present their own research findings.

Alma St fair
Debby explained that Jonathan was the chief organiser of the last three Fairs but he’s not able to take on another one. There will be a meeting on Monday which will discuss whether we have enough energy and volunteers for a Fair this year.  If that is going to happen, we need as many people as possible to help at the planning stage and to coordinate the work.

Liz  talked about the West Kentish Town Estate where the council proposes a huge increase in density with large buildings, coming right up to the side of Grafton Road pavement and removing trees and open space. Only 3% will be council housing, and there will be 15 years of traffic during construction.

There is a group of local residents and organisations who are coming together to ask for better plans.  Further information about this will be circulated.

Martin commented that it’s a difficult issue because there is a demand for housing and the current flats were system built and are in a terrible condition but this density is inappropriate.

There was discussion about the fact that Murphy’s Yard site is currently quiet, but there are plans on the way. We had a meeting recently about Regis Road where the council hope to have an integrated planning approach, although in fact there are 15 separate land owners.

Judith mentioned that the Camden Local Plan is up for revision and we are pressurising them to have changes. KTNF are also looking at possible revisions their Neighbourhood plan and there is an AGM on 7 February 2022.

Debby explained that there is quite a wide degree of disagreement about the current changes and plans, so IARA  cannot comment as a body, but everyone is strongly encouraged to respond to the consultation document which is available.

Judith commented that she lives on Holmes Rd and that she now has four hours quiet a day, but not the remaining hours, which are actually more intense because of the closure of Anglers Lane and Grafton Road, and the only real answer is less traffic.

Any other business
David mentioned the hope that we could develop some community action around health issues and commented that we have yoga teachers and therapists in the area, and also that there have been examples of people announcing a planned walk, which others have joined, and this is something that we might grow in the spring.

He also mentioned the possibility that a greater degree of social conscience might be explored during the coming year and referred to the fact that Gary is extremely well-connected with such initiatives as food banks and street kitchens.

The meeting was then concluded, and everybody enjoyed the food.