Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 25 November 2019

Attendance:
Alma St: Charles C, Hilary B, Debby H, David J, Jeremy B, Patricia D, Lesley A, Liz W, Sarah C, Brenda M, Dilip L, Anna S, Jane H
Willes Rd: Don H, Rosemary W, Dot G, David P, Jonathan B, Michele L, Vivienne M, Diana B,

Jeff B, David T, John T
Raglan St: Paul S, John N, Harriet C, Mary H, Jan M, Robert L

Cathcart St: Simon H, Lorcan K, David K
Ryland Rd: Trisha M, Hannah G, Sophie H, Gail N,

Brinsmead: Shivaun McC, Jeff W, Chris C
Inkerman Rd: James O, Steph, John C-N

Grafton Rd: Chris H, Lisa S, Gordon Y,

Holmes Road: Judith L
Anglers Lane: Susie P

Agenda item:

1. Welcome and apologies: Cllr. Meric Apak, Cllr. Jenny Headlam-Wells, Liz de K, Julia F, James H, Iris F, Sarah H, Sarah M, Alison L, John E, Helen H

2. Minutes of the AGM 26 November 2018 (previously circulated). Acceptance of them proposed by Robert, seconded by James.

3. Election of officers. John acting as returning officer indicated that the existing officers were prepared to stand again and they introduced themselves to the meeting.

All were re-elected unanimously following proposal by Robert and seconding by Lesley.

Chair: Debby. Secretary: David. Treasurer: Paul.

4. Chair’s report. A printed copy of this was available to all people attending. Debby went through it briefly highlighting some of the points and there were no follow-up questions. It is available on our website at: https://www.inkermanresidents.org.uk/news/chairs-report-2019

5. Treasurers report. A printed copy of the accounts was available to all people attending and Paul went through them explaining certain details.

He was asked about the reasonably healthy balance that we hold and he explained that it provided funds for any potential professional advice required, for example in dealing with planning matters but mainly because in order to mount the annual Alma Street Fair, we have between £6,000 and £7,000 of expenses which are committed, and which could represent a loss if the Fair was cancelled or was very compromised by bad weather.

He explained the income is essentially from the bar, the raffle and payment by stallholders.

He was asked where the deposit was invested and he reported that it was simply in the Cooperative bank account.

6. Reports back.

KTNF and High St.

Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum. Paul explained the history and function of the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum and the Neighbourhood Plan that had been developed and approved by referendum. He invited people to access their website at: https://ktnf.org/

Paul reported on various properties that are of concern to the Association members. Firstly the Pizza Express Building. He reported that demolition is ongoing and he has been told the cinema pit is nearing completion. It is a very complicated development and no room for a crane so the work is not visible from the outside.

Raglan House. Paul reported that this has been bought by a developer who is planning to convert it into six townhouses with a quite unusually high specification with approximately 1000 ft.² and using the large roof space.

https://planningrecords.camden.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=520821&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/camden/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/camden/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING

He was asked about the change of use from D 1-C 3 and if it could have been kept in community use. Paul explained that it was no longer owned by the London Borough of Camden and Debby explained that the sale of it was a part of the Community Interest Levy funds which were required to build the Greenwood Centre, so our representations about keeping it for community use had failed.

It was also explained that this is where the Day Centre facility has also been transferred and Paul explained that the cost of that was estimated at £12 million but in fact came in at £23 million

Carpetright. Planning permission has been given for the demolition of this and rebuilding it at six storeys with the basement and ground in retail use, the first floor in office use and then three floors of residential. The building is now owned by Sports Direct. It seems that very recently a demolition company has gone in.

The Car Wash at the top of the town by the bus stop. Planning permission for residential with a ground floor restaurant has been granted. The developer is apparently looking for a contractor. It will be seven storeys high.

The old Post Office building. Harriet asked about plans for this and Paul can only say that so far no planning application has been made.

Naturally. The question was raised about this empty shop which is now squatted. Paul said that the planning department are very clear that the shop will remain a shop.

Anglers Lane: there was a suggestion from one person that it should be made one way. Debby told the meeting that the plan for the reintroduction of a left turn from Prince of Wales Road into the High Street received very mixed feedback from both sides of the High Street and it has gone back to the council for further modelling so a different plan may be offered.

Monmouth House aerials. Paul said that KTNF have no planning policy on aerials and only comment on matters on which there is an agreed policy.

Murphys. Paul referred to the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan which laid down some policy guidelines for both the Murphy site and the Regis Road site and KTNF is excited about progress on Murphys.

David informed the meeting of the general context laid down by the Plan for mixed-use with sufficient housing as well as workshop, studio and start-up place. It seems that Murphys have taken that guidance on board and series of consultations that Murphys have had and the presentations enthusiastically inform us of the balance that they propose to develop there.

David explained that one of the Kentish Town Plan’s strongest values was to preserve the open view from the top of the High Street over the railway lines and up to Hampstead Heath. This is of huge benefit to the High Street but could be taken for granted.

The proposed development in fact includes some very tall blocks of flats which will intrude significantly onto that view. The developer said that they had been proposing 25 storeys and implied that we should be grateful that they are now only 18 storeys high. They said that they were preserving the view of the Heath but the picture they presented was a very reduced slot through which some of the Heath could bseen.

He gave credit to them for the fact that there is a plan to create a cycle and footpath all the way up to Gordon House Road giving almost direct access onto the Heath.

http://www.murphysyardconsultation.co.uk/images/190712_0361_ConsultationBoards_FINAL_small.pdf

He advised the meeting of further consultation: contact@murphysyardconsultation.co.uk http://www.murphysyardconsultation.co.uk/

They say: “We are pleased to announce dates for an upcoming public exhibition on the future of Murphy’s Yard. This exhibition will present the information and proposals on display at the workshops, including a summary of the initial feedback on these designs, as well as discuss the next steps for consultation”.

  • Friday 29th November 13:00 – 16:00 Greenwood Centre, 37 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB
  • Saturday 30th November 10:00 – 13:00 Gospel Oak Primary School, Mansfield Road, NW3 2JB

Independent elders. Debby explained the nature of the group and how they meet approximately six weekly at either Map Café or the Grafton.

They have organised outings including to Dennis Severs house in Spitalfields and to Pitzhanger Manor in West London. Anyone is welcome to join the mailing list to hear about meetings and other activities.

Police liaison. John is our representative on that group and he explained the nature and function of it. He emphasised that statistically we are one of the safest areas in Camden with a low crime rate. He said that one of the tasks of the group was to prioritise police action but he also emphasised the significant cuts in resources available.

The main issues were antisocial behaviour including drug dealing, some of which does intrude into our area, in for example Raglan Street and in Figtree Alley.

He said that the residents are the eyes and the ears of the police and urged people to report any crime/antisocial behaviour that they witness either directly to the police or via IARA.

He said that the crime that was in fact most likely to affect members was cyber crime and fraud. He told people of a fraudulent “antiques dealer” who has been coming to people’s homes. But the most common problem is scams through letters, phone calls, Internet or apps on smart phones

He had available and he distributed a book produced by the Met Police – “the Little Book of Big Scams.“

One scam that he mentioned was people approaching older residents about the fact that they may have to pay the TV licence fee and setting up payment systems for them “to pay in advance” which is totally fraudulent.

He mentioned the community app “ Next door“ where the police post updates regarding local crime risks. https://nextdoor.co.uk/login/

Liz raised the point that when she complained about having three new bank accounts fraudulently opened in her name she went to the police and they did nothing whatsoever and referred to Action Fraud who also did nothing.

John said that the police resources were mainly now dedicated to drugs and knife crime.

Magnet Site Working Group. Debby reminded the meeting that this referred to the student accommodation development on the corner of Cathcart Street and Holmes Road.

This group has been meeting fairly regularly for the last two years to try and mitigate the impact of the development work. That is now almost complete and the focus has turned to liaison with the occupants “Stayclub”. They run the building which is for university and college students during term time but has foreign language students during the summer and they have been a source of considerable nuisance with large groups of young and excited school kids.

This is different from the problems that we have had in the past from the other student block in Holmes Road which is run by Unite.

Stayclub say they will have 24 hour security with a front desk and contact numbers for lodging complaints. https://www.thestayclub.com/student-accommodation/kentish-town/

7. Inkerman Area Gardens.

Dilip explained that we have two community gardens in our area. The one in Raglan Street, down the road away from the Police Station was constructed many years ago by Camden Council in consultation with us and the planting has been organised and maintained over the years by Robert with help from others including Chris H.

Diana asked about the camel picture – graffiti or mural – and Debby said the Association did not have a policy on that and no dissenting voices were heard.

The other Community Garden is the one in Holmes Road on the junction with Grafton Road – opposite the George V pub. That was designed and the planting arranged by Dilip. It has been maintained over the years by Don with occasional work days with other residents.

Don now feels he would like to be relieved of those duties and Dilip appealed for volunteers to fill that gap.

He also made a brief speech of thanks to Don and presented him with chocolates and champagne as a token of our esteem and gratitude.

At the present moment there is scaffolding for building work on the site behind the garden but that should come down in February and the lower wall retaining the gardens should be rebuilt by the council.

Green Gym will offer a one off workday but we require Veolia to start keeping it clean and we need people to keep an eye on it and contact them if it is becoming littered. The Works Building behind it will apparently have 300 extra staff and current users tend to donate their cigarette butts to the garden.

Dilip also mentioned work on the Raglan Estate where there has been good participation by the tenants. This is an initiative of Rewilding Camden and the Green Gym which has involved planting an orchard and wild flowers including bluebells and narcissi. There will also be bird boxes installed.

8. Alma Street Fair.

Jonathan explained the fact that we had tremendous support last year with a strong committee and a total of 50 residents volunteering. He thought that one of the areas that was somewhat underdeveloped was working with schools and we will try and develop that in the coming year.

If we wish to have another Fair in 2020, we need to start planning in January. We need to get licenses from Camden for street closure, sale of alcohol and other matters before we can even start the process. The first meeting will be in mid-January. The commitment is monthly meetings between January and July and each meeting is about 90 minutes.

9. Any other business.

Christmas lights. John told us that Kentish Town Road Action together with Camden have funded Christmas lights up the High Street and they will be switched on this Saturday with a gathering at the canopy at the top of the town at 4.30 and the lights being switched on from 5.00 onwards. There will be involvement by local businesses providing some free food. There will be music and dancing and performers. Local businesses contributing include Patron, Bull and Gate, Prêt, Lady Hamilton, the Co-op. Delicious, Assembly House, Costa, Iceland, Neighbour, earth, Wahaca, Saint Express.

Fly tipping. Harriet raised the issue of fly tipping around Alpha Court which is a huge problem. Because there are lots of shifting tenancies sometimes the contents of a whole flat is just dumped on the ground. There is also drug dealing and urinating in broad daylight.

She has raised this with our local councillor without success and does not know now where she can take it further.

Dilip mentioned that previously there had been an active caretaker but he has long gone. There is an increasingly active Tenants Association which may be of some benefit.

Diana mention the fact that rubbish bins are left overflowing quite frequently and there is a dumping ground in Inkerman Road.

Paul mentioned the fact that there is a Clean Camden App which allows someone to take a photograph of a problem; the app automatically inserts the geographical location and it goes straight to Veolia who usually attend and deal with the matter within half an hour or three hours. https://www.camden.gov.uk/clean-camden

Chris Hudson mentioned the existence of the Camden Community Makers Group as a part of the forum. This is a pilot scheme and can be accessed: https://www.communityledhousing.london/project/camden-community-makers/

https://www.communityledhousing.london/projects/

He mentioned the pop-up centre at the site of Flapjacks café and when that ends it will be transferred to the Highgate Centre for at least 18 months as a community resource. There will be free or cheap accommodation offered to community organisations apparently on the back of the Roundhouse having rented some of the space and made it available.

The meeting ended and the members all had their one free drink and some food.