2022 AGM papers: Chair’s report, Agenda and Financial Statement.

Report from the Chair and Secretary to the IARA AGM 2022 (taking place on 23 January 2023)

Communication

Increasingly, IARA activity this year has been through the WhatsApp Groups.  The main group now has over 160 members and is extremely active – with offers of things to give away, requests for help, local information, and discussion about important local issues.  Out of this has sprung a number of subgroups – history, green issues, theatre, dogs (for their owners!).

Aside from that, we’ve tried to keep people updated through emails to nearly 400 people. While some of these have now left the area but still want to be in touch, the majority are people living in the 12 streets of the Inkerman Area.

There have been some open meetings during the year.  Dilip organized one for the Queen’s Jubilee, which was a great success, and using this as an idea we followed it up with a General Meeting outside in Raglan Street where people came together to eat, drink and socialize.

Apart from this, a lot goes on behind the scenes, whether it’s through correspondence with individual members and outside bodies or attending meetings – of which more below.

Planning and major developments

We are notified of all planning applications that may affect the area.  Where these come from individual private homes we do our best to notify near neighbours but do not comment as an association.

Where they come from private or public organisations we seek local views and, where there is general agreement we comment – and in some cases campaign.  The most striking example of this was the application to develop the Murphy’s Yard site where IARA was one of a number of organisations putting forward powerful objections to the scheme as it stood.  After over 1000 objections appeared on Camden’s website the developer withdrew the application – and we await details of the next proposal and consultation.

More recently, and following the position agreed at last year’s AGM, we have joined other local organisations to object to a number of aspects of the proposals for the redevelopment of the West Kentish Town Estate.  This isjust outside the Inkerman Area but would affect many of our residents, especially to the west and south of the area.

Discussions are also starting about the potential for redevelopment of the Regis Road Industrial Estate, and we are pleased that, along with representatives of the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, we were invited to a meeting to give our preliminary views about the future of that Estate.

On a positive note, we were also shown round the semi-derelict building (formerly the Law Centre and CAB) at 2 Prince of Wales Road, and told about exciting plans for the future of the building for community use.  Watch this space!

Traffic Issues – mainly Anglers Lane, Raglan Street and Holmes Road – have taken up a fair amount of time.  A preliminary consultation on the future of the schemes is currently live and we encourage everyone to send in their views.  We are aware that there is no consensus on this issue, so we will not comment from IARA.

Schools Liaison
We’ve tried to improve relations with the two schools that lie within the Inkerman Area.  The opening of the school gate into Inkerman Road, triggered by Covid, led to some problems with neighbours and we have attended two meetings with senior staff at the school which we hope have improved relationships.  We have also met with the new Chief Financial Officer at CFBL and hope to build on that.

Green Issues

There are two WhatsApp groups looking at issues related to green issues.  SustainIARA is concerned about the wider impact of environmental issues and what we can do to improve resilience. The Trees and Gardens group is actively greening the area by watering newly planted trees, making gardens at the base of the street trees and helping to improve the open areas of the Raglan Estate, as well as being a forum for our private gardening efforts. We have also submitted an application, initiated by Judith, for some funding to improve planting and seating in the area at the front of the Police Station.

Local history

The group didn’t manage to meet in 2022, but is getting going again early in 2023.

Playstreet
Sadly, no-one has come forward to keep this going since the incredibly dynamic Isabelle and her family moved back to France.  As far as we are aware, we still have permission to close Ryland Road on the last Sunday of each month and it would be wonderful to see it revived.

Independent Elders of IARA

We only managed four meetings in 2022, but they were useful and fun.  We talked about a wide range of local issues, and swapped recommendations for ways to stay well and cheerful.  We meet in The Grafton around midday for coffee or sometimes wine – no age limit and always nice to see new faces.

Street Fair

The first Alma Street Fair for 3 years proved to be a great success.  We are very fortunate to have had such a skilled leader in the person of Jonathan, to whom we owe huge thanks.

Thanks are also due to everyone who worked hard, both in the planning and on the day, to the raffle prize donors and to everyone from outside IARA who contributed music, performances, the Parade, and those who took on some of the volunteering roles.  Also to Two Tribes, the local beer company who donated their time and all their profit. 

We have a tight deadline for deciding whether the fair can happen in 2023 – which will depend entirely on how many people get involved to take on the many tasks involved in putting it on.

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Agenda

  1. Welcome and apologies
  2. Minutes of the AGM 19.1.22
  • Election of officers
  • Chair’s report
  • Treasurer’s report

6.  Report backs

  • Police Liaison – John
  • Green issues – Rafe and David
  • Local History – David

  •  Alma Street Fair
  •  Planning
  •  Traffic

10. Any other business

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Financial Statement