Present: Bernie Bullbrook, Jane Pickard (note taker), Michael Grimwood, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Gerry Slaughter (chairing), Simon Berlyn, Cllr John Whelan, Joe Ward, John MacDonald, Councillor Geraldine Evans, Richard Moore, Helen O'Brien, Romano Barca, Linda White, Paul Tobin, Rod Brown, Pat Fisher.
Apologies: Anne Orange (chair), Gabrielle Garton Grimwood, Jeremy Galloway, Jeremy Baker, Cllr Robert McConnell.
1. Bernie was welcomed back by Gerry after his stay in hospital.
2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
2.1. Rod Brown and Pat Fisher had sent apologies for the last meeting. With those amendments the minutes were approved.
2.2. Gerry Slaughter thanked everyone for their contribution to the last meeting which he felt had been the most constructive of NAG's meetings.
2.3. Linda White said she had the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors information.
2.4 Simon Berlyn said the last meeting of St Luke's Gardens sub-group had considered various options and was close to a firm viewpoint.
2.5 Gerry Slaughter said a lot of shops had agreed to display literature on the gardens competition. We needed to check with Anne whether the judges had been sorted out. John MacDonald said he had distributed 200 around Gypsy Hill. Jane Pickard queried whether we could do with a few more leaflets to distribute round houses.
2.6 Coun Geraldine Evans said there had been a meeting about Knight's Hill highways that day. There had been a budget crisis and the depth of potholes which triggered repairs (the "trip height")had been increased. The area committee concept would mean the creation of area engineers with their own budgets which might speed up things like pothole repairs. There was also to be a one-way system on part of St Julian's Farm Road and two new CCTV cameras for Cotswold Road. Yellow Box had come up: it was not clear if the developers were following planning requirements. Councillors had asked for a pedestrian crossing on Knight's Hill but there was no budget. A five-year controlled parking programme for Knight's Hill was on the back burner for the same reason.
2.7 In Waylett Place, Coun Evans said traffic wardens had not been taking people's numbers. Councillors suggested something be done about cars parked there all day and about the approach roads. John MacDonald said four different traffic wardens were covering Waylett Place, so cars didn't get booked. Coun Evans said councillors would get a street care officer to look at this. Richard Moore said the fire service was unhappy about access to the back of B&Q. The store's manager might be able to apply pressure on the garage tenants whose cars lined the side street. There was a new fire station manager who would like to visit NAG.
2.7 Coun John Whelan said the new council administration was producing a new budget for road maintenance in July because the previous one didn't provide any money for that, or for proper CCTV maintenance. Kavanagh Motors had withdrawn their vehicles from neighbouring roads. There was a substantial problem with Crown Lane school plans which included outside toilets and did not provide enough space for all the children in the hall. Officers were looking at options for a new secondary school in Norwood, with Elmcourt Road being considered.
2.8 CCTV: there was a long discussion following an assault in Norwood Road which had not been filmed because the camera was broken. People said NAG should press the council to allocate money for an improved design of camera and proper maintenance. John MacDonald said other areas had cameras pointing in several directions. Richard Moore said Brixton had got upgradable cameras, Norwood had not. James Slattery-Kavanagh, John and Michael Grimwood asked who was ultimately responsible for managing the cameras, saying their effectiveness was not just about technology.
Agreed that NAG writes to the council leader to ask who owned and controlled the management of CCTV in Norwood, who was responsible for ensuring the council's objectives for CCTV were met, how much was allocated for maintenance in the next year and how much information was being passed to police. Also to ask for a NAG tour of the control room. Also, express concern at Gipsy Hill police station opening hours. Letter to be copied to Michael Wood, superintendent, Lambeth South, at Streatham Police Station.
3. Priorities for the council
We went round the room asking everyone to list their ideas, to be discussed at the next meeting.
3.1 James Slattery-Kavanagh: Road works or lack of them. State of zebras and pedestrian crossings. Broken pavements, potholes, old library, rubbish on dead space between buildings.
3.2 Paul Tobin: a yellow/white line repainting programme. Gipsy Hill roundabout pedestrian safety. CCTV for Rosendale Road and Gipsy Hill. Enforce parking regulations. Tighten up on illegal fly-posting. Residents' permits for Vale Road recycling site (stop Southwark residents using it).
3.3 John MacDonald: Improve business forum. Got a petition to say nearly half the businesses haven't been invited to the business forum. Need to ask serious questions on what area committees are all about. Training for traffic wardens to understand their job better.
3.4 Romano Barca: Get rid of some of street clutter on pavements. Council should use powers to clear pavements of shops' products and signs and stop pavement trading. One newsagent got 8 signs out.
3.5 Simon Berlyn: Rephase pedestrian crossings to give pedestrians more time. Repair broken footways and some of appalling crossings such as outside B&Q. Remove puddles under railway bridge on Norwood Road. Apply conservation treatment to Norwood Rd to prevent more monstrous intrusions such as B&Q, eg harmonised facia boards on shops, heritage treatment for Station Rise, end brick-paved entries to side roads. In Norwood Park, reinstate fencing or remove.
3.6 Helen O'Brien: Advertise the tip more. Put in pedestrian phase on both York Hill and Robson Road traffic lights. Support a boys' seconday school for Norwood and renovation of old library for community.
3.7 Rod Brown: Designate Tulse Hill Station a transport hub.
3.8 Richard Moore: Develop and expand NAG and establish better interaction with police.
3.9 Pat Fisher: Get rid of road humps, mend potholes and put hoods over CCTV cameras so criminals can't see where they are pointing.
3.10 Linda White (spoken by Bernie): Improve road crossings, working closely with police, mend potholes and provide more parking around Norwood.
3.11 Bernie Bullbrook: Utilise Norwood Hall properly.
3.12 Jo Ward: Clear access road between B&Q car park and Norwood Road and apply greenery. Create more shoppers' carparking. CCTV for all shopping areas. Improve Knight's Hill/Robson Road traffic lights, with extra signal for drivers down Knight's Hill, sited actually at junction. Potholes and broken pavements to be given higher priority. Continue to epxlore ways of attracting retailers into empty shops and revitalising shopping area. Provide community use for Norwood Hall and Old Library. Improve and widen access to Norwood Hall, possibly even sending buses up there. Upgrade visitor facilities for cemetery, with centre for literature, video shows, tea rooms, etc. Improve Knight's Hill Recreation Ground (Tivoli Park) and provide at least a part-time warden or ranger to have a presence there.
3.13 Jane Pickard: Prioritise Old Library as a community centre. Establish playgrounds wherever possible in and near the town centre, plus improve run-down existing ones in Norwood Park and Knight's Hill Recreation Ground and elsewhere. Institute a long-term programme of replacing tarmac pavements with paved ones, taking the opportunity to do this when the tarmac comes up for renewal.
3.14 Gerry Slaughter: Better shoppers' parking, including decisive action on Waylett Place. Clear up graffiti.
4. Any other business
4.1. Richard Moore said his local police liaison group have agreed to invited the borough commander and Home Office rep, Nicholas Long, to a meeting and thought it would be useful if this was jointly with Bernie Bullbrook's group, the Gypsy Hill group and NAG. Aiming for September and might be able to use theatre. There were no objections.
4.2 John MacDonald said we should all be proud to be British. James Slattery-Kavanagh said the Queen was visiting Crystal Palace on 4 July for a mini-Youth Games.
4.3 Helen O'Brien asked who would take photos of gardens. John MacDonald volunteered.
4.4 Romano Barca asked about the money from Neighbourhood Renewal for computer courses for business run by Lambeth College. He wanted to know what the money had been spent on and how many attended. Board members said they would find out more.