Present: Anne Orange (chair), Jane Pickard (minute-taker), Rod Brown, Chris Pointon, Ann Ridley, Bernie Bullbrook, James Slattery-Kavanagh, Pat Fisher, Clover Williams, Richard Moore, Jeff Avis, Joe Ward, Coun Gerry Evans, Coun John Whelan, Mike Evans.
Apologies: Coun Robert McConnell, Coun Jeremy Baker
St Luke's Gardens
General feeling from steering group members was that the project was going well. W. S. Atkins had done a survey of the site; Lambeth Council was going to pay for the restoration of the footings for the railings and English Heritage were hopeful they could fund good quality metal for the railings themselves. The high cost of doing a quality job meant there was less money for the garden itself, but this could be improved upon in later years.
Disabled access from the gardens to the church terrace could only be achieved through a side entrance taking wheelchair users out on to the pavement and back in again to the terrace.
Atkins' plans were circulated. Comments included the continued interest by NAG members in a water feature. Bernie Bullbrook said the pipework could be laid at the same time as the lighting system. He was going to contact Val Shawcross, GLA member, to see if the authority could grant-aid some discreet, self-powered lamps. It was pointed out that some Area Committee members seemed to have the wrong impression about the steering group's approach to designing out crime which it had been insistent was considered right from the start.
There would be a public consultation on a single draft plan in the summer and the work would be launched on 17 September during a special event which also commemorated the end of the war. This is fitting as it is a War Memorial Garden.
To help pay for a water feature, Richard Moore suggested selling crocuses to the public for £5 each, which school children could then plant in the garden.
It was also agreed that the future of the large horse chestnut tree that blocks the view of the church should form part of the consultation process. Also, we needed to decide what to do about the disused drinking fountain.
Matters raised by Coun Whelan
(1) The mini-roundabout at Harcourt/Robson Road junction was being remodelled.
(2) A planned partnership with Ujima Housing Association for developing part of the Vale Street depot had fallen through, but the council was partnering with a private sector developer instead and the community would still get the floodlit all-purpose sports pitch also proposed for the site.
(3) Lambeth Archives was organising events to help people research the history of their house.
(4) Repossessions were at a record level.
Minutes and Matters Arising
1. Christmas decorations: James Slattery Kavanagh asked why NAG was being requested to donate money towards Christmas lights. Wasn't this the council's responsibility? Jane Pickard said she thought this was probably due to the fact that NAG had in the past been the guardian of money raised from traders eight years ago which, matched by the council, had paid for the existing lights. She thought that a portion of this funding might still remain in the NAG bank account. The treasurer was asked to look into it. Jo Ward suggested that if money remained we should ask traders' representatives what they wanted to do with it.
Coun Evans was also asked to find out what was happening about the Christmas tree this year and the Father Christmas event. Pat Fisher said she was part of a group being consulted about the event, but there had been no meeting yet. It was agreed that the tree decorations could be improved.
2. Lansdowne Hill: Bernie Bullbrook said the traffic barriers were still dangerous at night. The lights had gone and there was no reflective strip on them.
Tulse Hill Survey
Chris Pointon said this had been delayed because of the election. There was a sub-group which would be taking it forward. It was agreed that tenants and residents associations and neighbourhood watch groups could be used to help distribute it.
Any Other Business
1. Gerry Evans said we could visit a material recycling facility which was interesting. She sould send details to JP.
2. 14th July Area Committee was at the Old Library.
3. Gerry Evans said the council's executive committee had decided that officers must consult with the owners of St Julian's Farm field and report back to the committee on plans for acquiring it.
4. Agreed it was time to revisit NAG's constitution. Agreed to discuss at next meeting.
5. James Slattery Kavanagh said a replica of a corner of the old Crystal Palace girders was being erected on site this summer and, if the Olympic bid was successful, a beacon would be set alight which would be used to start the Olympic torch.
6. Jane Pickard raised the planning application to turn Jack Stamps pub and car park on Norwood Road into two shops and a block of flats. It was unanimously agreed that this should be opposed. The group felt that a large, well-run bar and/or family restaurant was needed in the town centre while two more small shops were not. Shops were constantly closing. Car parking was also needed. There were many other sites in the area where flats were being built. The building was part of a historic grouping of church, pub and cemetery and was an important architectural feature of the town centre.