John Nicholson from Raglan Street has been attending the Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhoods meetings for IARA and this is his recent report:
??I attended the first meeting of the safer neighbourhoods for Kentish Town last week, as did Dominic and one other person I recognised called John who put himself forward as Chair.??
??The question of electing a chair was an interesting issue as I felt there was some pressure on us to elect a chair. However Dominic and I and a number of others felt we did not really know the candidates (3 people put themselves forward) well enough to vote so opted to defer the election. In the interests of moving forward however we elected an interim chair from the 3 at the end of the meeting to enable the police to move things forward. The interim chair is called Cathy Delaney.??
??Many residents reps from different areas were there as well as Deidre Krymer and the newly elected councillor, Ralph Scott.??
??The main, and somewhat long winded, focus of the evening was asking each person what they saw as the first issues for the team to look at to cover the period up to February. The police wanted to identify 3 key themes there and then so I was not in a position to represent IARA as such as there was clearly no chance to check this back. For the future we will probably need to find a way of either anticipating issues to be taken or provide a channel to funnel key issues.??
??After much discussion the police have gone away with looking at burglary – which they tell us has increased in the Kelly St and Ryland Rd areas, youths with dogs being generally threatening particularly in the north part of the ward and the Church on Sundays. I would imagine from what I know that tackling those would be generally acceptable to most in IARA. I accepted those from a personal perspective. I have raised separately outside the meeting the added menace of ticket touting outside the tube station on some Forum nights which transport for London seem unwilling to deal with despite some threatening behaviour from the touts when they are challenged.??
John has raised some interesting issues about local priorities, and we are happy to pass on to him any views. We will put the issue on the agenda for the next IARA meeting (probably in February).