Present: Jane Pickard (chair), Ann Ridley, Helen O'Brien, Bernie Bullbrook, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Pat Fisher, Clover Williams, Richard Moore, Jeff Avis, Joe Ward, Coun Robert McConnell
Apologies: Anne Orange, Coun Geraldine Evans, Coun Jeremy Baker
Minutes and Matters Arising from Previous Meeting
James Slattery Kavanagh advised that as he had received the St Lukes Garden's Progress report (09 December 03) within the last few days it had not been possible to circulate it sooner. It was available on the website.
Jane Pickard advised that Simon Berlyn had been sent a letter of thanks for his work on the St Luke's Gardens Steering Group.
St Luke's Gardens
Jane Pickard advised that she and Richard Moore had attended the last steering group meeting. It had been decided to split the Secretary's workload and accordingly Jim Williams and Rev Luke Wickings would liaise with Architects whilst Anne Orange and Jane Pickard would share the minuting and organising of the Agenda between themselves.
The Group were investigating funding schemes for small community projects available through Southwark Groundwork. The Group had received information from several architects and must now choose one.
The funding received from Lambeth needed to be spent by the end of March 2004. Richard Moore added that whilst he was happy to allocate the money quickly to get the project off the ground, he worried that the project must keep in budget as overspends would not be taken on by Lambeth.
Transport - East-West Bus Route
In the past, NAG had conceived the idea of a new bus route which could link Dulwich to West Norwood and Streatham. Anne Orange had suggested that a survey of transport requirements be incorporated within the next Newsletter, which could be circulated particularly around West Dulwich.
RM noted that due to bridge height restrictions, only 'Hopper' buses could serve these areas. He also noted that Dulwich College Estates had deeds restricting buses to circulating around Dulwich Village and not through it. Buses had been given dispensation to go through the village but this had been challenged by a resident.
JSK suggested that NAG contact Dulwich Society's transport subcommittee for further information.
Any Other Business
NAG Gardens Competition
JSK recommended that NAG did not run a gardens competition this year. He felt that the response did not reflect the effort put in. He suggested that Lambeth Horticultural Society were better equipped to run a competition than NAG. PF suggested that NAG sponsor the competition asking LHS (Gabrielle Garton-Grimwood) for advice as to the suitability of particular prizes whilst RM suggested that NAG sponsor a cup although others preferred NAG to contribute gardening prizes and gain more publicity.
PF suggested that NAG could encourage people to open their gardens for an Open Day raising money for a specific cause. The majority of the meeting agreed that NAG should try to arrange a joint venture with Lambeth Horticultural Society in running a gardens competition.
The Old Library
JSK asked for an update on the status of the Old Library. Cllr McConnell replied that he was conscious of the support NAG had given to this project. The building works were due to be completed on budget, by 21st January. Invitations for tenders for a Cafe and Creche were to go out shortly. The project was to be the main item on the Agenda of the next Norwood Forum meeting (22 Jan). Any organisation could apply to hire the rooms and any community group could apply to use the facilities including computers and photocopying and meeting rooms with security on site. Groups could also apply to get Council funding to hire the rooms. Jeff Avis suggested that provision of facilities for the elderly was very important and that the project could provide an opportunity for interaction between youth and elderly people. JSK suggested that NAG publicise the project to local people. Jeff Avis volunteered to be a link person between NAG and the elderly. Cllr McConnell advised that Lambeth Council would withdraw its management of the project and hand it over to community management.
Clover Williams noted that Norwood Hall should be used on a non profit making basis for Coffee Mornings, University of the Third Age and elderly and volunteering projects and Joe Ward agreed that NAG's efforts should be focused on the Hall. Cllr McConnell replied that a meeting on 15th January would review tenders to take over the Hall. Community representatives would include a Hainthorpe Estate representative, Community Network rep and members of the Housing Office. Community Access must be guaranteed. An IT team was already using part of the premises. Cllr McConnell was hopeful that once the building had been leased, the green area could then be considered. He confirmed that the Parks Department were not interested in getting involved in the green area.
Robson Road/Norwood Road
Joe Ward suggested that a newsletter campaign be focused on improvements to pedestrian access at this junction. Cllr McConnell advised that a pedestrian crossing was to be installed at Joe Hunte Court (Knights Hill). The junctions of Norwood Road at Robson Road and York Hill were on the Council's list of improvements to be considered.
Bernie Bullbrook asked when the road restrictions would be sorted out. Cllr McConnell advised that this would be discussed in the presence of Thames Water at the Area Committee on 29th January. He also advised that a 6 month delay was also possible to the repairs on York Hill. JSK advised that the 322 bus route was becoming heavily potholed on St Gothard's Road. He agreed to send the council a letter concerning the diversions on this bus route caused by the road works. Bernie Bulbrook advised that the 315 bus route drivers were unfamiliar with their route and had been spotted going the wrong way round Royal Circus and missing pick-up points.
RM suggested that NAG press for the Area Committee to meet more frequently to try to get through its heavy work load. JP noted that the Area Committee could create sub-groups to take on this workload although RM suggested that councillors had to be involved in the decision making. It was agreed that NAG circulate a petition at the Area Committee meeting.
RM suggested that NAG consider campaigning to restrict speeds outside West Norwood Library.
Yellow Box Site and CCTV and street crime was suggested to form part of NAG's Agenda for the following year by JSK. Superintendents Graham Sutherland and Rick Algar were to be asked to speak at a future NAG meeting
JP advised that NAG and other Norwood based organisations were putting forward a Quiz team for the Quiz to be held at Lambeth Town Hall on 17th January. Anyone interested in joining should contact Pat Fisher
Norwood Community Safety Plan
RM thanked Cllr McConnell for his work on this. The plan is currently up in the air. The first formal meeting to discuss it had been cancelled with no new date rearranged. Cllr McConnell advised that Lambeth Community Safety Officer had taken sick leave and his return date was not imminent. RM felt that the Norwood area was being 'left out in the cold'. He also reminded the Group that the overall cost of crime related issues in Lambeth is estimated to be £18 million and that the Housing Offices were not reporting their incidences of crime to the Police for logging. Jane Pickard reminded the Group that Government funding had been allocated to local authorities for community safety.
The Town Centre Manager, following a public meeting held at Nettlefold Hall, had set up an action group with money and projects allocated. Presumably, if the relevant officer was off sick, the work could not be overseen and the project would be put on hold.
BB felt that a full time community safety officer was required in Norwood. RM said that NAG should raise the question at the Area Committee of what was happening to the plan and ask if the officer would be replaced. This was agreed.
Message in a Bottle
Jeff Avis extended thanks to Cllr Evans for her hard work in persuading Lambeth to adopt Southwark's 'Message in a Bottle' Scheme. Vulnerable people with a health condition were being encouraged to leave a green note containing their personal and medical details inside their front door and inside their fridge. He felt that this scheme could also be extended to provide vulnerable people with personal and smoke alarms, etc.
NAG Meeting Place
Helen O'Brien advised that she was no longer living in the Norwood area. Whilst she was able to continue as Membership Secretary in the immediate future, this position would have to be assumed by someone else. It was recognised that members should be encouraged to subscribe via the Virtual Norwood Website. They would be free to subscribe or unsubscribe to receive minutes and agendas. It was suggested that NAG members attending the next meeting should provide their full details including email addresses for circulation among those attending meetings. Richard Moore also suggested that if St Matthew's Hall were no longer available for NAG's use in the future, members could meet at his home.