Minutes of EFRA AGM 2010

Minutes of the 32nd Annual General Meeting
held on 20 May 2010 at the Log Cabin, Northfield Avenue
1 The Chair, Andrew Dick, welcomed the 41 members in attendance, and Sgt. Greg Fox and colleague of the Northfields Safer Neighbourhoods Team.
Apologies had been received from David Ashforth and Keith Marriage (Committee members), Graham and Hilary Phillips (street reps) and Councillors David Millican, Phil Taylor and Mark Reen.
2 The minutes of the last AGM were approved. There were no matters arising.
3 Reports on the year’s activities
(a) Transport and parking issues
Junction marking. Roger Jarman reported that, after pressure from EFRA, yellow lines had been introduced at junctions south of Little Ealing Lane to improve safety. EFRA had been instrumental in limiting these to 5m rather than the usual 10m, to avoid using up more parking spaces than necessary.
Windmill Road traffic calming. Yellow lines had also been introduced at junctions in Windmill Road after pressure from EFRA.
Bramley Road. It was reported that a new stop-and-shop sign installed in Bramley Road related to a different parking zone.
Devonshire Road. Susan New reported that there were originally four stop-and-shop bays in Devonshire Road, near the corner with Northfield Avenue but these had not been replaced after recent building works. There was space for at least three. EFRA would pursue this.
Niagara Avenue access. After pressure from EFRA following consultation with residents the Council had agreed to remove two stop-and-shop bays at the entrance to Niagara Avenue to improve access for wider vehicles. Unfortunately the Council had removed one on each side of the road rather than two on one side, and as a result there was no improvement in access but a loss of two bays. EFRA was endeavouring to get this corrected.
Resurfacing of roads. This was ongoing. Blondin Avenue was due to be done in December.
Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) extension south of Little Ealing Lane. The previous Council administration had been considering re-consulting this area. It was not known whether policy on CPZs would now change. Rita Smith reported that Ealing Park Gardens residents had taken their case to the ombudsman as they felt the consultation had been carried out improperly.
CPZ Visitor vouchers. Members were unhappy with the new vouchers which were time-limited and more difficult to complete. EFRA agreed to find out why they had been changed and why there had been no consultation on this.
Traffic lights at junction of South Ealing Road and Popes Lane, and outside Northfields Station. The phasing was very poor, giving pedestrians insufficient time to cross safely.
(b) Heathrow. Rosmarie Matter noted that everyone was celebrating the new Government’s recent announcement that there would be no third runway. However, we still need to be aware that this could lead to a move to introduce mixed-mode runway use, which would mean more overhead flights in our area, and/or more night flights. The proposal by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) for more easterly take-off's, which could potentially affect us, was being reconsidered. Rosemary was thanked for all the work she had put in the anti-expansion campaign.
(c) Planning issues
Little Ealing School expansion. James Guest explained that the school was expanding from two- to three-form entry which would result in 210 additional pupils. He reported that EFRA had commented on the plans and had been successful in combating potential overlooking of a Hereford Road resident’s garden. The developers had also agreed to consult residents on the colour of the glazing. He reported particular concern about the apparent lack of any plan for road safety improvements in the planning application. The increased catchment area would inevitably result in more traffic so this is a serious concern.
Pickering House, Windmill Road. Building was now well advanced for six flats in one three-storey block to the rear of Pickering House. An application had also been submitted to build another level of flats on top of the main Pickering House building to accommodate six further flats. EFRA had objected on several grounds, mainly relating to parking, overlooking and raised roof height. A decision was still awaited on this.
Cranmer Avenue Snooker Hall. An application to replace the old snooker hall in Cranmer Avenue with a three-storey block of five or six flats was rejected in March but the developer has subsequently appealed. EFRA submitted objections to the original applications on the grounds of over-development and would make a written submission to the planning inspector.
Northfields Underground. TfL had constructed a very large unsightly metal structure in the forecourt of the station – a listed building – to house their rubbish containers. James Guest, on behalf of EFRA, and Cllr Millican objected immediately and the structure was very quickly removed.
Christadelphian Hall, Dorset Road. They now have permission to go ahead with rebuilding.
264 Northfield Avenue (hostel). This office building opposite the library was now being used as a café and sauna as well as a hostel and for various other purposes, without planning permission for change of use and without being licensed for multiple occupation. EFRA would continue to press for enforcement action on this.
Planning guidelines. EFRA had been submitting responses at each stage during the Council’s updating of its guidelines.
(d) Log Cabin Children’s Centre. Helen Johnson explained that there were plans to site a new Children’s Centre on the library/scout hut/Log Cabin site which would be integrated with new and larger facilities for the Log Cabin and the scouts and nursery and with the library and Bramley Road Open Space. The timetable for funding on this was very tight but residents would be consulted when the plans were finalised and there would be an exhibition in the library.
(e) Street signs. Mary Woods reported that she was collecting data on street signs in need of replacement or refurbishment as funding may be available from the Ward forum to carry out this work.
(f) Antisocial behaviour/crime. Sgt. Fox of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team reported five cannabis factories had been discovered in our area, one of which resulted in a very serious house fire in Blondin Avenue. He asked for residents to look out for and report signs. These included houses having condensation round the corners of windows, few visitors and often apparently tended by people of Vietnamese origin. Front rooms were often made to look normal while the rest of the rooms were full of plants. There had been a few robberies and burglaries and culprits had been caught. Theft of catalytic converters from cars (for the metal) was currently a common crime. Two brothers who had been fly-tipping in the area had been caught. The police were currently trying to get the area at the rear of Overdale Road cleaned up as a Community Payback project. A brothel had been found in Darwin Road. Roddy’s bar was temporarily closed down because of breaches of licensing conditions.
(f) Blondin Park and Nature Area. The improvements funded by the Northfield Ward Forum were now mainly in place, including new benches and bins, refurbished gateways, extended and restored hoggin path around the parks. The pond was currently being re-excavated and relined.
(g) Local History Group. The John Quincy Adams was still work in progress.
4 Treasurer’s report and accounts, and appointment of auditor
The Treasurer, Duncan Cameron, presented the audited income and expenditure accounts for the year ended 30 April 2010. As usual, separate accounts were presented for the association and the history group (a sub-group of EFRA). The balance on the main account was £1474.09 and on the history group account £3785.18. The main source of income was through subscriptions and donations (£352). The main expenditure was on newsletters and leaflets on campaigns, rent paid to the Log Cabin for meetings, and donations or subscriptions to local campaigns (£484). There was a £132 excess of expenditure over income. The Treasurer and Auditor were thanked for their work. It was agreed that Jay Patel be reappointed as Auditor.
5 Membership report/street coordinators/newsletter/website
Jane Cocking reported that we need to do more knocking on doors to recruit members and collect subscriptions. More street reps were needed to liaise with residents, collect subscriptions and distribute newsletters, particularly for areas not currently represented (Belsize Avenue, Cranmer Avenue, Overdale Road, Rochester Mews and Rochester House).
6 Election of committee
The following committee members were willing to stand again and it was agreed they be re-elected:
Carla Andrewes (Blondin Avenue), David Ashforth (Bramley Road), Duncan Cameron (Bramley Road), Jane Cocking (Convent Gardens), Andrew Dick (Little Ealing Lane), James Guest (Wellington Road), Clive Herring (Bramley Road), Roger Jarman (Dorset Road), Helen Johnson (Wellington Road), Patricia Judd (Laurel House), Keith Marriage (Chandos Avenue), Rosmarie Matter (Birkbeck Road), Rita Smith (Ealing Park Gardens), Max Wall (Devonshire Road), Lynne West (Niagara Avenue), Mary Woods (Windmill Road). No new nominations were received. There were three vacancies.
7 Open forum
(a) Libraries. A member asked why libraries have restrictions on computer use to under-14s at certain times. Agreed this would be questioned.
(b) Mess caused by builders. A member pointed out that builders were causing mess with cement mixing etc. on the newly surfaced roads. Could they be held responsible and made to pay for clean up? Agreed this would be raised with councillors.
(c) EPTUG (Ealing Passenger Transport Users Group). A member reported that they are doing very useful work but more people need to attend their meetings. EFRA’s transport spokesperson, Roger Jarman, pointed out that he was never given sufficient notice of the meetings to be able to attend. This would be fed back to them.