Present: Members: Jane Pickard, Joe Ward, Bernie Bullbrook, Simon Berlyn, Richard Moore, Clover Williams, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Cllr Gerry Evans, Helen O'Brien, Barbara Miles, Brendan Byrne.
Non-voting: Alan Miles
Presentation of prizes to garden competition winners
Jane Pickard presented Mrs Barbara Miles (Royal Circus) and Mr Brendan Byrne (Chapel Road) with gardening gift vouchers as first prizes in the Patio/Balcony and Back Garden Categories respectively. Mrs Janet Stocks (Cheviot Gardens) won second prize in the Patio/Balcony Category and Ms Lauren Tuck (Uffington Road) won the Front Gardens Category.
Apologies: Anne Orange, Gerald Slaughter, Michael Garton-Grimwood, Cllr Robert McConnell, Cllr Janet Grigg
Minutes of the last meeting, matters arising
Clover Williams asked if anything had been done about the Police Meeting
AOB2: Jane Pickard, on NAG's behalf had submitted an objection to the Planning Inspectorate re St Julian's Farm Road playing fields stating that the Group wished the retention of the land for public use and that a local secondary school needed a playing field. She did not know the date of the appeal. Simon Berlyn asked Cllr Evans why the application had not gone to the Planning Applications Committee due to overwhelming interest.
Cllr Evans noted that the leisure complex included in the planning application for the Yellow Box storage company had not materialised whilst a garage showroom development looked likely instead.
AOB1: James Slattery-Kavanagh asked for the status of the Norwood Road housing plan. Simon Berlyn advised that plans for the development of shops under a housing block had been withdrawn.
James Slattery-Kavanagh had emailed a model constitution to members and Jane Pickard had printed off hard copies for hand delivery to other active members. She noted that the Norwood Society had an overlapping boundary with NAG although the former focussed on Upper Norwood. This was not strictly allowed in rules governing civic societies.
Simon Berlyn suggested that NAG's name be changed to Norwood Amenity Group rather than it incorporating the name 'Society' within its title. This would suggest that NAG was an active group. It was noted that both the Dulwich and Streatham Societies were both very live. Joe Ward reminded the Group that as NAG's boundary extends to the Gipsy Hill Ward, the group could not be called the West Norwood Society. He also noted that as well as the geographic overlap there was a potential overlap of function with such organisations as the Area Committee, Norwood Board and civic associations. JSK suggested that NAG could serve a smaller geographic area.
Jane Pickard, having read the literature provided felt that the Group was getting into something unnecessarily complicated, eg paying a subscription, sending a representative to monthly meetings, the geographic overlap and the fact that trouble makers cannot be removed and that Civic Societies are open to all (including non paid-up members (Bernie Bullbrook's comment). (cf NAG's own disciplinary procedure). NAG's strength was that it could be quick to react, small and local.
SB noted that NAG covers a broader range of issues including education and health and wondered if NAG could continue its role with Civic Society status. JSK noted that he had distributed a model constitution which covered a range of societies, particularly those starting up. The Civic Trust proposes requesting a much higher subscription than NAG members currently pay. The fact that NAG already has a constitution means that it does not have to follow the Civic Society route but by discussing the issues may galvanise the membership into addressing its way of working. Richard Moore noted that the Civic Society constitution could be tailored to suit NAG and suggested that NAG invite a member of a Civic Society (Dulwich or Streatham) to chat with the Group. He also felt that becoming a Civic Society could serve as a catalyst to the creation of other organisations eg Chamber of Commerce.
Update on St Luke's Gardens
Simon Berlyn felt that the steering group was suffering due to a lack of support and interest. He felt that if people were not co-operating (eg late or absent for meetings) but still wanted to remain on the Committee, this was a 'recipe for inertia'. Jane Pickard, also a steering group member, suggested that if attendance was causing problems, the election of two vacant Committee members should be considered. If members of NAG's Gardens Steering Group were no longer members of NAG then NAG could replace them. Richard Moore stated that whilst he still wished to remain a member of NAG, he didn't want to continue as a member of the Gardens Steering Group unless it got a resolution of its difficulties and could move forward. JSK suggested that Luke Wickings as Chair of the Steering Group should resolve its differences and issues re absence and timekeeping. Agreed Luke Wickings be invited to a NAG meeting to report back.
Simon Berlyn noted that he, Richard Moore, Pat Fisher, Rev Luke Wickings, Pamela Tyrell, John Chandler and Jim Williams were involved in the Steering Group. Its purpose was to seek improvements to St Luke's Memorial Gardens. In July 2002, NAG endorsed proposals drawn up by the Steering Group to reinstate the railings and revamp the Gardens.
The National Heritage Lottery Fund had intimated that the Group might get funding for railings as part of a bigger package involving the church structure. But at the last Steering Group meeting, it seemed the church elements were being separated from the Steering Group's aims. JSK asked if the two elements were separated due to differences in vision between the Church and the Steering Group.
SB stated that the next Monday meeting of the Steering Group would consider involvement with the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. What was required was to raise a limited local fund of £5,000 to £10,000 to appoint an architect and get the job started. JP noted that the Norwood Area Committee had allocated NAG £500 to start off the fundraising for an architect. JP and Anne Orange had sent off the finalised application form and SB had contacted various architects. JP noted that the £500 funding must be spent by April 2004. Cllr Evans thanked AO and JP for completing the form and suggested that NAG should have a back-up plan so that if the £500 was not spent by April, it could be put towards NAG's environmental projects. Bernie Bullbrook suggested that the money could be used to pay a landscape gardner to tidy up the gardens. JP however noted that that the money, when it arrives, was allocated to an Architect.
Report from the Board
JP reported that there was discussion amongst the Board re its future.
The Board had supported the St Julian's Farm Road Playing Fields objection.
The Board had sent letters to the Strategic Rail Authority, Tessa Jowell MP and Valerie Shawcross (GLA) inviting them to come to a meeting regarding improvements to Tulse Hill Station and the Thameslink service.
Any Other Business
Richard Moore noted a meeting between objectors to the Draft UDP, Cllr Evans and Les Brown (the senior officer involved with the UDP). It had been suggested that an extra conservation area at Tulse Hill be set up. RM also noted that additions to the Draft UDP could be included via Les Brown and that the statutory meetings would be held at a later date.
Clover Williams asked for an update on the proposed meeting with the Police. RM advised that there had been a huge turnaround in staff within the Borough. The Assistant Borough Commander was Supt Malcom Tillyer, based at the Town Hall. The Superintendent for Lambeth South was Rick Algar, based at Streatham. The Chief Inspector was now Chief Inspector Sutherland
JSK advised that he had been elected Chair of Crystal Palace and Norwood Chamber of Commerce.