Minutes of the annual general meeting of the Inkerman Area Residents Association 26 November 2018
Alma St: Charles C, Hilary B, Lesley A, Debby H, David J, Brenda M, Howard L, Rokas L, Jeremy B, Sarah C
Willes Rd: Jeff B, Diana B, Don H, Rosemary W, Dot G
Raglan St: Paul S, John N, Harriet C, Mary H,
Cathcart St: Simon S, Joanna W, Caitlin A, Gus A
Ryland Rd: Sophie H, Gail N, Trisha M
Brinsmead: Liz de K, Shivaun McC, Jeff W
Inkerman Rd: Anne B, Helen H, John C-N, Rafe B
Grafton Rd: Chris H
Holmes Road: Sue McN, Patricia Z
Councillors: Jenny Headlam-Wells, Meric Apak
Apologies: Robert L, Jean H, Cllr.Georgia Gould, Patricia D, David P, Jonathan B
Minutes of the meeting of the AGM held 4.12.17 – acceptance was proposed by Paul, and seconded by Hilary.
Election of officers: there were no new nominations and existing officers (Chair Debby Hyams, Secretary David Jockelson, Treasurer Paul Seviour) indicated they were prepared to continue. Acceptance of this was proposed by Diana, seconded by Jeff and unanimously approved.
Chairs report: Debby reported as per the written report tabled, emphasising planning matters – especially regarding the Magnet site where there is a new application for an additional storey with added student accommodation. She encouraged people to respond to the planning application which is available online.
She mentioned the Kentish Town Road Action efforts on pollution, and reminded the meeting about the current Camden Council traffic consultation (links on IARA website).
She mentioned the aerial masts on Crown house in the High Street and paid tribute to the work of Adam in particular in campaigning for Camden to refuse retrospective planning permission. This was upheld by the Planning Inspector and enforcement action will now be taken to remove them.
She reported on the work of those responsible for the gardens – in Raglan Street where Robert and Chris are very active and in Holmes Road where Dilip and Don work to maintain it. Debby mentioned disruption to that garden because of Camden’s need to insert windows in the back wall to allow the rooms behind that wall to be used as offices. Camden has had some discussions with Dilip and Don about the replanting this will necessitate.
John from Inkerman Road said that the Raglan Street Gardens have a new tree planted behind his wall where the previous trees have caused cracks in the wall and in his patio. Anne from Inkerman mentioned graffiti on the walls and councillors confirmed that the Camden graffiti task force will remove within a week, or within 24 hours if it is offensive.
Debby reported that the liaison group with the French school, on which Don, Adam and Jean have been active for some years, now seems to be no longer necessary and IARA will deal directly with any problems arising with the school.
She reported on PlayStreet and gave credit ito Isabelle and others who organise it. Liz told the meeting that extra help is still needed – you do not need to have a child to come and volunteer as a helper. You also do not need a police check because playstreet is in a public group situation.
Treasurers Report: Paul took the meeting through the figures published on the back of the agenda paper. The closing balance of £6874.35 indicated a slight loss over the year.
Acceptance of the treasurers report was proposed by John and second by Diana.
1. Street Fair: David reported saying that the feedback has been very positive. He drew the attention of the meeting to the chair’s report where the main organiser Jonathan‘s comments are recorded. There was feedback from the floor with appreciations and mention of the talent competition in which the winner performed on stage and later at the French school. There was also appreciation of the parade.
David played tribute to Jonathan as main organiser, with strong support from David Prince, Michael from Flaxon Ptootch and Chris from MAP and the planning committee, as well as many volunteers who worked on the day and the businesses in the High Street who contributed with stalls and financially.
2. KTNF and the High Street: Paul reported on the work of Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, explaining that the 2016 plan which was approved by a referendum is now part of the statutory framework in the rules needing to be observed by any developer. It has been adopted by Camden as part of the Local Plan.
He explained the huge potential of the Regis Road and Murphy sites at the top of the High Street. The KTNF plan has two pages with the proposals, and Camden have now put flesh on the bones to produce a 90 page guidance document which is currently out for consultation. (The link is on the IARA website).
He mentioned possible walking routes including from the site of the current car wash up to the Heath, from Spring Place to Regis Road, and other routes across the sites.
He mentioned provision of affordable homes and also talked about installing lifts at both of our stations.
A complication is that Regis Road is currently divided up between12 or 16 owners, whereas the Murphy site has one (and they are already decanting some of their activities to other sites).
Trisha told the meeting that there is an exhibition currently in the library about the plan, and people can also fill in a paper consultation response there if they don’t want to do it online.
Paul also mentioned other High Street issues such as the old Pizza Express building which after lengthy delays is now has a new developer who is progressing the plans for 12 flats and a cinema.
The former carpet shop opposite the Pizza Express building that has had planning permission for the last 18 months has been delayed in terms of demolition and rebuilding by the need for surveys, as piling for that building will come very close to the Northern Line tunnels. The site owner is Sports Direct but we do not know whether they will be using the commercial space on the ground floor themselves. There will be offices and residential.above.
Questions were raised about the old Post Office site where there is no current planning application. The former Addison Lee site in Spring Place has been delayed. The plans have had to be revised because the metal cladding was too close to the railway line. The Veolia site on Holmes Road/ Spring Place continues to be an operational asset of Camden although redevelopment of it would make sense as a part of the larger Regis Road scheme.
3. Independent elders: Debby reported on the fact they have fairly regular meetings with quite good attendance and in some ways act effectively as an ongoing committee of IARA. A storytelling workshop started within the group and has produced some fascinating histories. These workshops will continue in the New Year.
4. Police Liaison: John reported on the Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) Panel which meets every other month and includes police and Camden representatives as well as residents associations and tenants associations. It is currently chaired by somebody from Kelly Street. A new police sergeant, Jason Stewart, has been appointed and his team has to cover a number of wards. There are two allocated officers for Kentish Town: Lauren Williams, police constable and Danny Fitzsimmons, PCSO.
There are three current priorities for the police.
1. Antisocial Behaviour including drug dealing. People were encouraged to ring 999 if they witnessed any drug dealing actually happening. All the problems are mainly focused on the larger estates such as Peckwater, Torriano and Ingestre although there are also concerns around the Raglan Estate.
2. Priority number two is begging in the High Street and rough sleeping. These are separate issues because it is not unlawful to be sleeping on the High Street. There has been a drive to get people off the street in Camden Town and this has resulted in an increase in Kentish Town. John mentioned the Council’s Outreach Teams offering hostel accommodation but there is a requirement not to use drugs and some people have refused accommodation in hostels. John explained that if people accept a hostel place they take part in a programme towards getting work. Diana mentioned that some people feel very vulnerable in hostels.
3. The third priority is burglary but in fact the rate is extremely low in all areas with only three reported burglaries, all in the north of Kentish Town. John mentioned the danger of dodgy locksmiths who are putting stickers up advertising their services.
Anne said that she had a purse stolen by pickpockets outside of the Co-op and the local Police Station were unhelpful and indeed amazingly hostile to her. John said the SNT would want to know about this crime, and he urged all criminal activity to be reported to IARA to help build up police intelligence. There was recently a police operation against drug dealing which resulted in 18 arrests including one in Wilkin Street.
IARA has previously warned about identity theft being focused on the Brinsmead development.
John told us that at 11 o’clock every day there is a Community Safety Team meeting and information passed on to them will be considered at those meetings and can be acted on quickly.
Charles raised the question of knife crime and it was acknowledged that there have been a number of recent tragic deaths. One death on Peckwater has resulted in the council working together to deal with the aftermath. The site of the death has become a shrine but then sadly a focus for some gang conflict, so the mother of the dead boy has asked for that to be dismantled.
In reply to a question from the floor it was confirmed that there was a begging operation involving Romanian gang masters arriving every morning in a white van and putting beggars on the street. The money is then sent back to Romania every evening from the money shop in the High Street. Under pressure that operation moved away from Kentish Town High Street but maybe creeping back.
For non-urgent crime matters ring 101. Anonymous referrals can be made to crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Any other business. John mentioned the Toy Project in Fortess Road where people can bring toys that have been “pre-loved“. Some are available for sale to raise money for the project and some are available for people who are not in a position to buy Christmas presents such as prisoners currently serving sentences.
The meeting ended at 8.15 with thanks to the officers.