Reports from the Annual General Meeting 2016

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 28 November 2016

Alma St: Charles C, Hilary B, Lesley A, Debby H, David J, Patricia D, Alison L, John E, Kate H, Barbara D,
Willes Rd: Jeff B, Diana B, Jean H, Adam L, Michele L, Belinda L, Matthew H, Oudine G, Ruthie F, Sarah H, Kate G, Federica B, David P, Jonathan B, Don H, Sarah M, Dot G, Chrissie T, Mike S, Dee S
Cathcart St: Kate V
Raglan St: Paul S, John N, Harriet C, Mary H
Ryland Rd: Anne H, Sophie H, Gail N, Martin P
Brinsmead: Chris C, Liz de K, Isabelle de M
Inkerman Rd: Helen H, Nick W, John C-D
Grafton Rd: Thomas L, Rob C
Councillors: Meric Apak

Apologies: Cllr.Jenny Headlam-Wells, Robert, John + Poppy, Julia + James, Graeme

Minutes of the previous AGM.
Adoption of them proposed by John and seconded by Jeff. Agreed unanimously.

Election of officers:
John took the chair of the meeting to deal with this matter. There were no new nominations and each of the officers has agreed to stand again.

Chair: Debby. Proposed by Hilary and seconded by Jeff. Agreed unanimously.

Secretary: David. Proposed by Don and seconded by Belinda. Agreed unanimously.

Treasurer: Paul. Proposed by Hilary, seconded by Diana. Agreed unanimously.

Chair’s report:

  • Company limited by guarantee. Debby explained the significance and purpose of this – to protect the officers from unlimited personal liability. Although we have insurance, this was an anxiety. It does mean that we have to pay corporation tax on any profits and put in a tax return. Procedurally we are continuing with two committee meetings a year.

  • Planning: Spring Place. Debby explained the nature of the proposed development and said that feedback from members has been divided so IARA is not able to have a mandated voice. Individuals can comment. A picture of the proposal with some information was available on a wall poster.

  • Traffic: Debby explained that the work on Anglers Lane seems to be running over and seems to be more extended than originally proposed. The impact on traffic has been peaceful for those on Anglers Lane or houses near it but we are concerned that there could be an impact on other roads and we would like to work towards a solution which is satisfactory for everybody.

    The question of a left turn at the end of Prince of Wales Road was raised and Debby told the meeting that this had been something which we have been raising on a regular basis for the last 20+ years and was still being pursued.

  • Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum: IARA representatives on the KTNF Committee had contributed a lot of work to producing the Neighbourhood Plan which had now been accepted and has to be considered by the Council on relevant issues.

  • Play Street . Isabelle explained that this has been running this very successfully for some time now and it has apparently inspired other Play streets in Camden.

    Volunteers are always needed to ensure safety.

  • Pizza Express A question was raised about the Pizza Express building and Paul informed the meeting that the development is under way and will take about18 months. The developers have a good reputation in West London and will be looking for cinema firms to take the cinema space later.

Treasurer’s report

Paul presented the accounts and explain them. He also mentioned that there is still money in the gardening fund available for the purchase of materials or equipment.

Acceptance of the accounts: proposed by Anne, seconded by Diana. Carried unanimously.

Sub groups:

  • Street fair: Debby reminded people that Diana had been the organiser of this for some years followed by Paul more recently.

The organisation requires 12 to 15 people but that this year it has dwindled to 4 to six people attending planning meetings.

It is proposed that we will call a meeting in the new year to see if one is possible for 2017.

Nine people in the room raised their hands to show interest.

The Fair usually takes place in the summer, just before the school holidays.

  • Local Safer Neighbourhoods Police Panel. John reported on this and explained it. He told us that it meets two monthly and raises issues that have been put forward by local people who are seen as the eyes and ears of the panel.

As reported in the Camden New Journal, Camden and Islington are merging and will have one Borough Commander but we are having an extra officer on the beat in this area.

It is very rare that feedback is received. This feedback does not only need to be prompted by a forthcoming meeting and all emails sent to IARA will be forwarded to the relevant officers and they can be anonymized. Any regular antisocial behaviour should be noted and a diary kept.

We were informed that a bicycle recently locked to a street railing was stolen because the railings were cut through.

The police helicopter has occasionally caused complaints because of the noise but we were told that in 90% of case, using infrared cameras, they catch the criminal.

Recent statistics show that stealing phones and iPads from cafes are very prevalent.

Any other business:

Magnet site. Debby explained the history of this, the record of Hallmark, developers, the public enquiry where we opposed the planning application but were overruled.

The traffic management plan is most unsatisfactory and would propose partial closing of Cathcart Street and re-routing traffic. The French school is very affected. A working group is being set up by the developer. Volunteers were invited and Jonathan from Willes Road volunteered, along with Judith from Holmes Road . Kate will ask people in Cathcart St.

At present there are only three places on the working group for local people but we will ask for an increase of that.

Jean raised the question of a deposit being paid against a possible damage to trees, the garden and the cobblestones.

Beardsmore gallery: The owner is applying to convert to flats claiming it is not economic as a shop although it is known that at least one person has attempted to obtain a retail lease. Comments required by 15 December.

Flapjacks: Sarah explained the value of this social enterprise cafe which is open 9.00 until 3.30 but not at weekends. It is very traditional, cheap, has terrific Wi-Fi. It has very good cakes, some of which she had brought to the meeting. There is wall space for display of local art. It is a charitable enterprise run by the Camden Society who also have a plant hospital and a plant sitting facility based at Mill Lane.

Vegbox. Martin mentioned the veg box scheme locally which collects from Flapjacks and stocks organic vegetables grown within 25 miles from London.

Next door project. Debby explained that we have been contacted by this organisation which appears to be community-based but overlaps with the work that IARA and Streetbank do and in fact is funded by organisations that aim to target local advertising to subscribers.

Open evening/open day 18 December.

Debby explained that Jean’s granddaughter had been disappointed about there being no Alma Street Fair and wanted there to be some community event this Christmas, possibly on Christmas Eve.

Debby said that many people would be away on Christmas Eve and it had been thought better to schedule it for Sunday 18 December and explained that it could involve people being at home and having neighbours in. Jean suggested people putting a table out, with refreshments or with book offers / exchange etc.

Harriet mentioned her experience of a book exchange in another community. Others pointed out that there is one at Kentish Town West Station but it is rather inconspicuous and it certainly needs support.

Phone box Discussion regarding the abandoned telephone box on Prince of Wales Road and various potential uses for it. Sarah has in fact done a lot of work on this and found that the options are limited, difficult and expensive. It is a listed building and apparently would cost £15,000 to move or to be relocated anywhere. However, this may be changing and she will follow it up.

Street Trees Discussion about street trees, and attention was drawn to the poster that had been put up showing Camden responding positively to requests.

Street trees in Wilkin St have been vandalised and need guards. Meric said that he would raise this with officers.

The meeting ended at about 8.15 and the social event started.


IARA AGM 2016 – report from the Chair and Secretary

Meetings and company status
The committee has met 4 times during the year and we have held one General Meeting, as well as this AGM. At our January committee meeting the main topic was applying for IARA to become a Company Limited by Guarantee, in order to protect the officers from being personally liable for any claims against IARA. This was approved at the General Meeting on 9 May 2016. Since then, the committee has met twice more, in August and October. Minutes are available by request.

About 30 people attended the May meeting, where we also had a bar and a chance to have some social time. One of our councillors, Meric Apak, attended plus our Dedicated Ward Officer PC Clare Hallifax from the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Policing Team, who talked about her role and answered questions about some local concerns.

Planning and licensing
Standing policy is that IARA does not comment on individual, domestic planning applications but where we are notified of an application we try to ensure that affected people are aware of it and have a chance to comment. When there is a significant commercial development we have consulted members for their views and, if there is a consensus, we comment – as well as encouraging individual members to do so. Recent examples of this include:

  • Nandos. Following objections to some aspects of their application Nandos amended their plan to remove a proposal for corrugated steel cladding from the Anglers Lane side.

  • Spring Place. There has been relatively low interest in these plans for a 6 storey building on the Addison Lee site, and feedback has been mixed so IARA has not commented, although we have attended presentations and given our personal feedback to the developer. See display board.

  • Carpetright 152-156 Kentish Town Road. IARA voiced members’ objections to the proposed height of the building. The plans have been reduced by one storey.

  • Basements. We signed up to join CRAAC (Camden Residents Action Committee) as, although there have been few applications to develop basements in the Inkerman Area, there are real concerns about their impact. Since then, and following pressure from a group of residents of Quadrant Grove, Camden is bringing in an Article 4 Direction which will bring most basement developments in line with normal planning policy, rather than automatically having permitted development status.

Traffic Management
Some streets are particularly troubled by traffic (Holmes Road and Anglers Lane especially). We try to look for solutions that do not have an impact on other streets, which is always complex.

  • Anglers Lane. We have had site meetings with Council officers and councillors in an attempt to find a solution to rat running up Anglers Lane. We are waiting for Camden to get back to us as they had agreed to do further feasibility studies on whether and how a left turn from Prince of Wales Road to Kentish Town Road could be created (something we have been asking for over literally decades). The recent temporary closure has been very popular with residents who suffer noise, vibration and danger from the traffic and we are asking residents to monitor the situation as the work progresses north- wards.

  • Bartholomew Area. We (and many others) objected to proposals for traffic calming the other side of Kentish Town Road, which could have resulted on greater pressure on our area. Camden have dropped the main proposals.

  • We’ve had some success in reducing the length of time coaches are allowed to park in Willes Road, both near CFBL and outside the Baths. Camden has agreed to limit this to ½ hour, which will prevent coaches using the area as an all-day coach park. We have also got one coach parking bay removed from Cathcart Street, where it had been placed right outside a home.

  • Building works traffic. See below re the Magnet site. We will also ask Camden to insist on commercial traffic using the correct northbound route (Castlehaven and Castle Roads) when they are looking at traffic management proposals for developers.

Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum and the Neighbourhood Plan
Several IARA members were elected on to the KTNF committee and worked hard to contribute to the Neighbourhood Plan, which has now been formally adopted. They were involved in a number of public consultation events and on follow up work to identify what are the key issues for local people.

Trees and gardens
We have had quite good liaison with the council, with some new and replacement trees as a result. See display board. There have also been some good days for communal planting and tidying up.

IARA SUBGROUPS keep busy, and what follows are some of their activities:

  • Independent Elders of IARA
    The Elders have met 6 times this year, and discussed a wide range of issues, from support for older people in our community to planning and traffic. Average attendance is about 12. We have some lively conversations over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and everyone is welcome. We plan to run some (life) story telling workshops in 2017, and other ideas include a possible visit to the Houses of Parliament and meals out. In the past we have invited outside speakers and are happy to follow up any suggestions.

  • Alma Street Fair
    After 9 quite hectic years, 2016 became the year when there were not enough IARA members involved to make the fair (or even a much smaller event) happen. See display board for a fuller account. We will arrange a meeting in January or February to decide what might happen next year.

    CFBL (The French School)
    Don, Adam and Jean continue to represent IARA on the CFBL/IARA Liaison Committee. The current live issue is the imminent development of the Magnet Site, due to start in January and take up to 2 years. This will have a major impact on our area and we are in touch with Camden about a proposed traffic management plan. We will also be represented on a Working Group to discuss and monitor the plan. If you have a particular interest in this please let us know.

  • Play Street
    Ryland Road has hosted a Play afternoon on the last Sunday of nearly every month. It is very successful – and, again, it really does need people to volunteer to steward the event to make sure traffic is excluded and the children are kept safe. Get in touch if you can help.

  • Police Liaison
    John and Paul continue to attend the Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhood Panel Meetings and are very happy to take forward any local issues that concern our neighbourhood. They also encourage people to let our Dedicated Ward Officer PC Clare Hallifax know if there are issues she should know about, or to ask for help and advice from her if there are concerns.

And finally … Website
We update the website fairly regularly, and as well as recent news you will find useful links and local history.


IARA Financial Statement 1 January to 31 December 2016

(Provisional as of 28th November 2016)


Balance b/f from 2015 8364.02

Meeting collections 31.30

Donation Jenny 40.00





2015 AGM 632.30

May 2016 meeting 100.00

Print & Copying 56.00

Company Incorporation 131.98

Gardening 64.75

Website 70.00



Balance c/f (loss) 7380.29



Bank account balance  7258.54

Cash float  121.73

Total cash 7380.29