Present: Anne Orange (chair), Bernie Bullbrook, Jane Pickard (note taker), Gerry Slaughter, Jeremy Galloway, Marc Hagege, Stuart Finch, Rose Noonan, Simon Berlyn, Coun John Whelan, Joe Ward, John MacDonald, Richard Moore, Helen O'Brien, Pat Fisher, Jennie Vickers, Khadiru Mahdi (interim town centre manager), Grahame Fearon-Wilson, Coun Robert McConnell, Clover Williams
Apologies: Michael Grimwood, Gabrielle Garton Grimwood, Coun Jeremy Baker, Coun Geraldine Evans, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Rod Brown, Coun Janet Grigg;
Anne Orange welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Presentation of prizes
Anne thanked everyone for their work on the Gardens Competition, especially Gabrielle and Michael Grimwood. Robert McConnell presented the prizes as following:
Best front garden: Suzanne Watkins (not present)
Best back garden: Marc Hagege, Broxholm Road, received a spade and flowers
Schools prize: Holmewood Nursery School, gardening voucher accepted by Rose Noonan on behalf of the school.
Best balcony/patio: Barbara Miles, Royal Circus (not present)
Prizes were sent to those not present.
2. Minutes of last AGM and matters arising
2.1. Norwood Hall Jane Pickard said she had heard rumours that the London Philharmonic Orchestra were interested in it for a rehearsal space. Robert McConnell said discussions were at a very early stage and nothing could be confirmed.
2.2. Auckland Hill John MacDonald said cars were still cluttering the street outside a car repair outlet. Railtrack was the landlord. Coun Whelan said Claire Whelan, the executive member responsible, was considering firmer policies on this type of nuisance. He suggested she should be invited to a future meeting. It was also suggested that Dave Evans, the officer responsible might attend.
3. Officers' reports
3.1 Chair's report: Anne said she thought NAG had been successful in its strategy laid down at last year's annual meeting of focusing down on a small number of issues. The main two had been the Gardens Competition and St Luke's Gardens. She thanked Simon Berlyn for his work on the latter, as secretary of the joint committee with church. She said the projects showed NAG was now working with other parts of the community, not in isolation.
She also thanked the other officers and minute-takers for their work during the year, plus the town centre manager and councillors for attending NAG meetings. She thanked St Matthews for the loan of the meeting room.
Richard Moore proposed a vote of thanks to the chair. JP seconded. Passed unanimously.
3.2 Assistant secretary/newsletter:Jane Pickard said she had supported the secretary by organising some of the agendas early on in the year and occasionally taking minutes. Michael Grimwood, the secretary, who could not attend the AGM, had done most of the work. She had been unable to do a newsletter as the funding situation was unclear until late in the year.
This triggered a discussion about the possibility of business sponsorship for the newsletter and distribution with Norwood Eye. JP and Khadiru Mahdi said the board would consider it. Jeremy Galloway felt he could get business sponsorship.
3.3 Treasurer: Grahame Wilson said NAG had closed two specialist accounts, for the Christmas lights and newsletter grants respectively. So NAG now had just one account. There had been a problem over the Christmas lights money, because Lambeth Council had never billed NAG for one of the previous years. Consequently payments were never made and NAG was accused of evading payments, an accusation that was now withdrawn. NAG had now agreed to pay £2,500. There had also been a cheque of £188 from Lambeth's Community Chest fund for the 2001 Gardens Competition which we hadn't cashed. A new cheque has now been issued. After these items had been sorted out, NAG was left with £1,972.70.
Coun Whelan suggested NAG should have an auditor and recommended a friend of his. Anne Orange said we had wanted to submit our accounts for auditing in 2000, but the treasurer at the time had refused to surrender the books.
3.4 Vice chair/business rep: Jeremy Galloway said there were still a number of issues in the town centre that needed addressing: eg empty properties being used for manufacturing, not retail. He wanted to work with the town centre management team to add more dynamism to the town centre development. There was also still a need for a municipal car park.
There was some discussion and general concern about too many betting shops and laundrettes opening, not enough straight retail. Agreed to discuss at next meeting.
3.5 Environment: John MacDonald said NAG had made some waves in the past year over Waylett Place, lighting and graffiti. However, these were still problems. People in the council's environmental services department didn't seem to realise they were committed to a cleaner environment. And West Norwood seemed bottom of their list. Monitoring officers kept changing and it was impossible for local people to keep them informed.
John Whelan said Vale Street had been cleaned up: garbage regularly dumped there had been carted away. He was still trying to get to the bottom of the Waylett Place issue.
3.6 Membership secretary: Helen O'Brien said there were 56 members, of whom 23 were on email. She thanked distributors for their monthly job of distributing agendas and minutes. She asked whether we should still consider residents of the former St Martin's ward to be eligible for membership now that technically they lived in the Brixton town centre area. It was agreed they should remain eligible.
Grahame offered to help set up an occasional stall in the main shopping centre to attract members. Richard suggested we promote membership on the website more.
The following were elected:
Chair - Anne Orange - (proposed GW, 2nd JP)
Vice chairs - Gerry Slaughter, Jeremy Galloway - (prop AO, 2nd RM)
Secretary - Michael Grimwood - (prop GS, 2nd JG)
Assistant Sec - Jane Pickard - (ditto)
Treasurer - Grahame Fearon Wilson - (prop AO, 2nd RM)
Newsletter editor - Jane Pickard - (prop GS, 2nd AO)
Comms/website - James Slattery-Kavanagh - (ditto)
Membership secretary - Helen O'Brien - (prop JP, 2nd GW)
Transport - Rod Brown - (prop JP, 2nd JW)
Environment - John MacDonald - (prop JG,. 2nd RM)
Business - Jeremy Galloway - (propAO, 2nd GW)
Safety and crime - Bernie Bullbrook - (prop JP, 2nd RM)
5. Any Other Business
5.1 Jane Pickard proposed we write to the Yellow Box Storage Company which seemed to have nearly finished their building without any formal detailed planning permission or any consultation with the community about the materials being used. We had told them at a public meeting we did not want yellow but there seemed to be a lot of yellow in the cladding. It had also gone ahead without the sports centre promised because the council had lost a public inquiry. Agreed to write.
5.2 Gerry Slaughter proposed we write to Somerfield thanking them for doing up the old Kwiksave supermarket. In discussion, there was disagreement with this because (a) the company had proceeded with the facelift without planning permission and (b) the supermarket was parking trolleys on the pavement making it hard for buggies and wheelchairs to pass.
Jo Ward proposed we do not write. That was seconded by Jeremy Galloway. Ann Orange proposed we wait until these issues had been sorted out. Jo's proposal was agreed seven votes to five.