Present: Anne Orange (Chair), Michael Grimwood (Secretary, note taker), Helen O'Brien, Jane Pickard, Bernie Bullbrook , Gabrielle Garton Grimwood, John MacDonald, Paul Tobin, Councillor Robert McConnell, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Pat Fisher, Joe Ward, Bill Watling, Anne Ridley, Tony Farrow, Suzanne Watkin, David Beldon
Apologies:, Graham Fearon Wilson, Gerry and Daphne Slaughter
Minutes and Matters Arising from Previous Meeting
1. Bernie Bullbrook explained that the reference to mobile phone identification numbers in para 16 of the previous minutes should have referred to IMEI numbers. With this amendment, the minutes were accepted.
2. John Macdonald thanked all who had participated in the race night which had raised £2222 for Elmcourt school. Jane Pickard added that the Norwood Board had agreed a grant to the school for the playground from the environmental fund for small projects.
3. Anne Orange reminded everyone that the first St Luke's Gardens Steering group meeting would be the following evening (12 December)
4. Anne Orange invited Gabrielle to introduce the prize giving for the second NAG gardens competition. Gabrielle Garton Grimwood said she was optimistic that the competition's momentum was growing, there had been a substantial increase in the number of entries this year, and that it could become a focus for the community. She believed gardens were important to the quality of life in the area. Gabrielle thanked those who had helped with the competition, especially John MacDonald for persuading sponsors to offer prizes. Lambeth Council's Community and Environment Department had also provided funding which had helped cover the costs of the competition and to fund prizes. Gabrielle then introduced Tony Farrow, Chair of the Lambeth Horticultural Society, who was to present the prizes. Tony spoke about the importance that gardens had for him and, more widely, about their great value as oases in the city and their value to the community. Tony then presented the prizes as follows:
Best Front Garden - Suzanne Watkins (Bouquet from Floral Hall and spade donated by Hennessy's)
Best Back Garden - Brendan Byrne (Gardening sundries sponsored by London Borough of Lambeth and a gift token from Agralan Ltd)
Best Balcony/Patio - Nickie Philbin (Gardening sundries sponsored by London Borough of Lambeth)
Best School/Youth group - Holmewood Nursery School the prize of garden tools (donated by Hennessy's) and sundries (sponsored by London Borough of Lambeth) was collected by David Beldon on behalf of the school.
As she was unable to attend the NAG meeting, a separate presentation was made later to Alison White at the Horns Tavern which had won the Best Business and Commercial category (the prize was a basket of fruit donated by the fruit and vegetable stall).
It was agreed that Gabrielle should write on NAG's behalf to thank the sponsors.
Any Other Business
5. Jane Pickard reported on the work of the Norwood Board. There was to be a public meeting on 13 December about two major planning applications:
Big Yellow self-storage for the old Lambeth College site
Waste transfer station application for Ernest Avenue
Council planning officers and the applicants for the self storage application would attend, the waste transfer applicants had been invited but would not attend. This was the second time an application had been made for a waste transfer station.
6. Jane said that the Board had made a grant to help the work on St Luke's Gardens, but the money had to be spent in the current financial year. Jane explained that Neighbourhood Renewal money was being provided by the Government. It was to be allocated by local strategic partnerships (the Board had decided the first year allocations but there were two further years for which the partnerships would decide allocations). The money was to be focused on education and crime reduction and in the areas of Upper Norwood and the St Martin's Estate. There would shortly be consultation meetings, of which Jane could let people have details.
7. Anne Orange asked if it was possible to identify schemes in West Norwood to benefit from this money - eg improving Waylett Place. Jane said that this was possible if deprivation/renewal were being addressed by the scheme. John MacDonald said he thought only St Martin's ward and Upper Norwood would be covered. Jane said that there were other problem areas.
8. Gabrielle Garton Grimwood mentioned that the Board was organising a meeting on 30 January about the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and that the Forum's Annual Meeting would be on 24 January. She added that the Board had written to the Home Secretary about the Metropolitan Police's new Resource Allocation Formula (RAF). Michael Grimwood added that the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) website said that the MPA meeting on 10 December was to consider a report on RAF and a recommendation that no borough should end up with fewer officers than the highest number it had had between March and October 2001. He did not know the outcome of the meeting. The highest number of officers between March and October 2001 might still be fewer that the number to which the Borough had been entitled under the old allocation formula. Bernie Bullbrook said that there had been a shortfall against complement and a shortage of beat officers. Tony Farrow mentioned that MORI were undertaking a survey on the cannabis policy adopted by police in Lambeth.
9. John MacDonald mentioned the failure of the youth consultancy that Lambeth Council had commissioned in West Norwood. Jane Pickard explained that the contractors appointed by the Council had failed to perform and adequate survey. Part of the agreed payment had been withheld, the company had been sacked and another appointed. The council was also considering attempting to recover payments previously made to the sacked contractor. John MacDonald wondered if re-tendering would delay the work well into 2002. Tony Farrow said that the consultation about the failed Gateway project had been very good and could provide a model for consultation, he wondered if NAG could take it forward. Anne Orange thought it would be better to involve local groups in surveying local opinion and noted that things did seem to fail when taken over by the Council. Joe Ward noted that in April 2001 officers from the Council had said it would take 10 weeks to complete the survey. It was now December and, effectively, nothing had been done. Gabrielle Garton Grimwood said it was unclear if any of the work done by the original contractor was good enough to use and further suggested that NAG could lobby for any further funds to be managed by the Town Centre Manager. Jane Pickard was unsure if the Town Centre Manager had the resources to manage such work.
10. It was agreed that Anne Orange would write on behalf of NAG to the Council Chief Executive about the incompetent and wasteful handling of the survey (side copies to ward Councillors, the Town Centre Manager and the Norwood Board).
11. Jane Pickard reported that, as agreed, Rod Brown had written to Street management about the 68 Bus Plus route. He had received a reply saying they had attempted to consult fully about it.
12. Bernie Bulbrook reported that a mugging problem in the area was to be the subject of a police operation to target hotspots. He said there appeared to be two gangs operating, but as well as a warning he was offering re-assurance that the police were responding. John MacDonald mentioned that residents of Hannen Road had complained about a broken CCTV camera but two months on it was not fixed. Anne Orange agreed to write to Chris da Souza.