2021 AGM Papers

The Inkerman Area Residents Association

Annual General Meeting 2021, held19.1.22

Agenda

1. Welcome and apologies

2. Minutes of the AGM 7.12.20 https://www.inkermanresidents.org.uk/meetings/1381

3. Election of officers

4. Chair’s report

5. Treasurer’s report

6. Report backs

· Police Liaison – John

· Green issues – Rafe and Dilip

· Local History – David

7. Alma Street Fair – Jonathan

8. Planning

9. Any other business

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Inkerman Area Residents Association Annual General Meeting 2021

Report from the Chair and Secretary

It’s been another year living with Covid.  Many members and families have had Covid and have suffered – but fortunately the majority of people have been relatively ok, although we have had to report on at least one death from Covid of a longstanding member of IARA. 

During the pandemic, members have continued to support each other with collecting shopping and prescriptions as needed. Face to face meetings have been very limited (see details below), but there has been huge community connection and involvement through the ever-expanding WhatsApp group – now with a membership of over 130 – double what it was at last year’s AGM. 

The WhatsApp group includes offers of unwanted items like furniture, kitchen equipment, even catfood!  As well as information about local events, activities and causes that need support. Sharing photos of beautiful scenes and The Drama of the Missing Kitten gripped the area for days!  (Happily resolved.) 

Victories in planning and licensing. Major issue with the huge Murphy’s site.

Probably our biggest (and most successful) campaign this year has been to work with residents, schools, and other community organisations to fight the plans of warehouse giant Segro for a “last mile delivery” depot in Spring Place. This would have involved HGVs very early and then a continuous flow of smaller delivery vehicles all day.  We helped to generate over 500 objections, including support from all three of our local councillors. We pointed out how the application would affect the area and that it contravenes some of Camden’s own policies – and it was refused.

Another success was the closure of the huge and extremely loud beer garden in Regis Road, which opened early on a temporary licence (and with no planning permission) in time to show the Euros on giant screens.

Regis Road has produced more headaches for its neighbours with the opening of a huge number of dark kitchens – producing and delivering food and drink at antisocial hours.  Judith from Holmes Road did heroic work in talking to workers at the sites, collecting evidence of licensing breaches and opposing a licensing application.  This resulted in Camden imposing very tight conditions on the licence – and the applicant did not pursue the application.

Holmes Road, with its growing residential population, has particular issues with its commercial neighbours.  A fast food and drink delivery company, Gorilla, has caused a few problems and wants to expand into Wilkin Street on the very edge of our area but with an impact on Brinsmead and Fashion House members. There are also problems with late-night rubbish collections from commercial premises.

One battle we have lost is over the installation of an expanded telecoms site on the roof of Monmouth House.  This was turned down by Camden but approved by the Government Planning Inspector.

We have been involved with consultations with Murphys over development plans for the massive site behind Highgate Road, which will have an impact on all of us in Kentish Town.  They submitted an outline planning application some months ago, which includes plans for up to 19- storey tower blocks which would almost completely box in the view to the Heath from the station Canopy area (the application is now open for comment on the Camden Website).  Some people have welcomed it as an economic stimulus to the area and we don’t have a mandate to comment as IARA, except in respect of the visual impact of the towers on the Inkerman Area, about which we’ve had quite a lot of feedback.  We also commented on proposals for redevelopment of the West Kentish Town Estate which, although outside our area, would visually impact on some of our members who have contacted us.

We have continued to alert neighbours of domestic planning applications where we have contact details but we do not take sides in disputes between residents.

Local history

A long time ago we had an active local history group – and this has revived in 2021.  We are fortunate in having a couple of very experienced researchers (Samantha in Holmes Road and Sara in Ryland), and there has been some great individual work – Vivienne produced an excellent report on the great rail crash of 1861 and Ryland Road, in a separate initiative, a booklet of stories about the street.  We managed two face-to-face meetings (thanks to Vivienne for hosting) with limited numbers plus a zoom connection. If you are interested in the subject, please look at the section on the website where there is a lot of information and maps – and maybe get in touch. We can show you how to find out from the census records who lived in your home going back many years.

Independent Elders of IARA

Elders managed three meetings by zoom earlier in the year, but suffered somewhat from zoom burnout and didn’t meet after late April until October, when things felt a bit better covid-wise. Ten of us had a very good face-to-face meeting in The Grafton.  We’ve had some good exchanges of how to keep ourselves occupied and cheerful – both online and out in the world.

Some valuable information has been shared on the WhatsApp group and we will be creating a resource page on the website – and welcome ideas for this.

Traffic

After decades of pressure from members and campaigning, and many consultations, Camden agreed to restore the left turn from Prince of Wales Road to Kentish Town Road and to close Anglers Lane as a rat run.  They have also held preliminary meetings to discuss plans to make Holmes Road a Safe School Street, leading to a full consultation.  There have also been major changes for Grafton Road and Prince of Wales Road where IARA has not commented directly, being aware of some mixed views in the neighbourhood.

Police and Crime

John has continued to attend the Safer Neighbourhood Panel meetings.  These were in abeyance for a while, but the police have now expressed enthusiasm for keeping them going. These are a real opportunity for us to raise concerns and ask for police involvement to deal with any local crime.

Green issues

An emerging subgroup is focusing on various ways in which we can improve our local environment.  COP26 may have disappointed many, but it may also have helped to focus some of us on what we can achieve locally.

A small group has been talking about ways in which we can save energy (and protect the environment) through relatively small adjustments to the way we live.  We hope this will take off in 2022.  Please contact us if you are interested.

Members have also been involved in the practical greening the area – helping with planting and maintenance work on the Raglan Estate, replanting the Inkerman Gardens in Holmes Road, and planting up tree bases – as well as keeping Camden’s young trees watered during the dry season.  Particular thanks to Dilip for working with Camden and several local resident volunteers on restoring Inkerman Gardens, and to Robert and Chris for heroically keeping the Raglan Street gardens going.

Alma Street Fair

Well, it couldn’t happen.  Perhaps in 2022, in some shape or form …  If you are interested and would be committed to working on this, please get in touch.

And finally … a thank you to our Street Reps
who faithfully deliver notices door-to-door in each street.  In particular, thank you to Doreen Bartlett, of Prince of Wales Road.  She has done this for many years and now feels the time has come, at the age of 94, to retire!

Debby and David

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Inkerman Area Residents Association Limited

Financial Statement 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 (Provisional)

INCOME  £

Balance B/F from 1 April 2021                               7368.09

7368.09

OTHER EXPENDITURE £

Gardening                                         0.00

Co. House Filing 2022                    13.00

Website                                              61.00

Printing & Sundries                         58.20

132.20   (132.20)

 

Provisional Closing Balance 31/3/22                7235.89