Minutes of Annual General Meeting 13th July 2017

Tuesday 13th July 2017, 7.30pm at The Bull Theatre, Barnet

Committee Members in Attendance

G Massey (GM) (Chairman)
Anna Watkins (AW) (Secretary)
Sue Russell (SR) (Treasurer)
Simon Green (SG)
Tim Simms (TS)
Melvyn Sears (MS)
Ken Rowland (KR)

Plus an estimated 33 members of the Association.

1. Amendment to constitution

Proposed and seconded: para 16 line 2 amend 6 to 7. Carried.

[For reference, the sentence now reads: "The financial year shall end on 31st December each year and the Annual General meeting shall be called within 7 months of the end of the financial year, on giving the membership not less than 14 days notice." The object of this change is to give us greater flexibility in fixing the date of the AGM as we have experienced problems in finding a suitable date in June, as is evident this year where we have had to fix the date for July.]

2. Apologies

Apologies were received from the following members:

Judith Sears, Pat & Bill Barnham, Peter Sawyer, Michael Akanos, Jeffrey Watson, Nicky Gist, Adele Winston, Cllr. David Longstaff, Pam & Barry Smithard, Jeffrey Watson, Michael Johnson, Mary Davies, Janet Littlewood, Keith West & James Barton

3. Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the previous AGM were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters arising

  • It was agreed by committee not to lobby for stickers for CPZ areas as everything is now digital
  • Broadband, BT have modernised 5 cabinets & Virgin should come to High Barnet Dec 2017 or Jan 2018
  • Clock at TSB has been repaired.

5. Chairman’s Report

  • Membership now stands at 575 and many members now renew by bank transfer which is a great help. We do not have everyone’s email address and members are urged to supply this.
  • Housing: The target for the Borough is 27,000 new homes by 20130 but this figure may rise. High Rises are creeping closer but it is hoped that we can protect High Barnet from these. The OWCH development has been completed and has won the top prize at the Housing Design Awards. There are several schemes about to go ahead in Moxon Street (not all supported by BRA) and we do have major concerns about the prospective development at Whalebones. There have been many over shop conversions. We continue to oppose the conversion of houses to flats, we lost at Manorside & Mays Lane but won Quinta Drive & others.
  • Ark School: We strongly opposed the proposal for an enormous school and were happy that it is not to go ahead. The proposed junior school has been dropped but 6FE secondary school is still proposed. We are waiting for more details before deciding how to react.
  • Town Centre. This is a make or break year for the Spires with H & M opening later this year, and two as yet unidentified restaurants due to open. In the High Street, there is a noticeable move to more specialist shops, we now have a cycling shop, dog parlour, a tailoring & alteration shop and 3 vaping outlets. There is also a slow change from shops to other business, one former food outlet is becoming a podiatry clinic and at 198 a computer shop is becoming offices and the ground floor of 85 being advertised as offices. 108-112 High Street are being rebuilt. We think the design is uninspired but it will be an improvement to what is there.
  • Planning: we have opposed the modern style building proposed at 54A St Alban’s Road although we believe that the planning department encouraged a modern design. Enforcement continues to be an ongoing battle, there was a major infringement around 141 High Street but the council have asked for just cosmetic alterations. 85 The High Street has not been changed as approved and we are pursuing this. Above Paddy Power, we did get the Georgian style windows reinstated.
  • Highways: they seem to be performing much better and this year we have seen, pedestrian crossing at May’s Lane and at Alston Road as well as the roundabout at Wellhouse Lane. The Kerbs have been adjusted in the lower High Street to aid disabled access onto buses. New CPZ proposed around the hospital. The experimental block to the turning left at the church has now been halted and we hope this will be permanent. The pavement build outs in the High Street has been contentious and the council is still considering this. We have some concerns about street cleaning, the lower High Street does seem to have a great deal of litter.
  • Crime We do now have fewer police officers but the number of crimes seems unchanged, we do have concerns about anti-social behaviour.

6. Adoption of Accounts

The adoption of the accounts was proposed from the floor, seconded and unanimously carried.

7. Election of Officers

The Chairman, Gordon Massey was prepared to stand again for a further year and was unanimously re-elected.

The Treasurer, Sue Russell was prepared to stand again and was unanimously elected.

The Secretary, Anna Watkins was prepared to stand again and was unanimously elected.

There remained 7 committee places and there were nominations for all 7 places, Janet Littlewood, Melvyn Sears, Tim Sims, Ken Rowland, Steven Ramsay, Simon Green, & James Barton. All were unanimously elected

8. Any Other Business

There are up and coming public meetings about the Ark academy and about Whalebones. Members interested in these issues were encouraged to attend.

Guest Speaker Cllr. Richard Cornelius, Leader of the Council.

Cllr. Cornelius spoke about his role as leader of the councillor, he was born in Barnet and became interested in local government 11 years ago. He told us about the challenges the council has faced with a 50% cut in funding over the last 10 years, and that the worse time for him had been the last 3 weeks since the awful fire in a block in Kensington. Barnet has been checking its high rise blocks and has also been helping Camden with dealing with evacuation of various blocks which are now deemed to be dangerous.

He told us that the Mayor wanted us to build 27,000 new homes by 2030, so there will be much building in the borough. 330 social housing units are being built this year, and homes have been bought in Luton and Peterborough for short term housing. More money is needed to repair roads but the council has leased a machine to do square repairs to potholes and this is apparently more efficient. A deep clean of streets in the Borough has been started.

There were questions about The Ark School, and the Cllr. Cornelius said he was pleased that the very large school is not to go ahead. He is not in favour of building on the Whalebones site. Enforcement: two more officers have been appointed, he hoped that this will help with problems being dealt with more quickly. The CPZ near the hospital was discussed and Cllr. Cornelius said that in his opinion the Hospital should build a multi storey car park.