Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Meeting:                    Shakespeare Residents' Association & BUG Meeting
Time:                         Wednesday 14th October, 2015
Venue:                       The RoOM, 62 Allen road

Pat, Ken, Annie, Phil, Christophe, Tora, Maggie, Rachel, Diane, Silvia, Tom, Alex, Liz, Ned (councilor, Clissold ward), Richard (councilor, Shacklewell ward)

Jawad, Bron, Geraldine

The September minutes were approved

We have not arranged for any volunteers to plant the woodland area as the ground still needs to be prepared and a lot of the plants have already been used. Annie has let Georgie know.

Alex confirmed he will mend the orchard benches before Apple Day.

Cycle Superhighway second consultation
TfL and Hackney council are consulting on a small segment of the Cycle Superhighway currently under construction, specifically regarding road closures at or around the route section along Wordsworth road. We had requested SRA members who were interested in discussing an SRA response to the consultation to come along to the meeting or send us any feedback.

Our first concern was that this new consultation did not at all take into account the points of concern that we had highlighted in our original response to the consultation; in particular the raised area between Nevill road / Allen road, and Palatine road / Wordsworth road. We understood from Silvia and Richard that a meeting is planned to take place with TfL and Hackney Council to go over this again, together with Richard and local residents. We nonetheless agreed that this needed to be re-emphasised in our response to the current consultation, particularly as we understood from Richard that this had come out of a request/consultation with the local residents in this area (meeting that took place in the Shakespeare pub). While Richard highlighted that the place is not suitable for a pedestrian crossing, we had asked for measures such as signage or changed surface during the original consultation, none of which seems to have been taken into account. It was agreed that we would re-submit our concerns in writing as part of this consultation, in addition to the meeting taking place, where Silvia and Alex were going to attend to make these concerns heard again. We also agreed that we would ask for a schedule on when a future consultation on this particular area would take place.

With regards to the stretch currently under consultation, it was generally agreed that the ‘informal pedestrian crossings’ proposed were inadequate and should be replaced by raised zebra crossings. The area outside Matthias primary school (currently a lollipop lady assists with crossings during drop-off and pick-up times) is of particular concern, as is the area by the Garden School (both of which had also been highlighted in our initial submission to the first consultation). The councillors raised the point that the idea of the Cycle Superhighway is in part to change the way people in the local area do their shorter journeys, such as to and from schools, and that a reduced need for motor traffic should be factored in. It was pointed out from SRA members that the Garden School has a very wide catchment area and that the majority of its pupils need to arrive by bus. There was a question therefore as to whether the school had been consulted, and Richard informed the meeting that they had and that they are supportive of the plans. Furthermore, the area will still be accessible to motor traffic, and any emergency or utility vehicles will be able to go through the closed off junctions.

There were a number of questions as to why the road closures are necessary, and why the council and TfL are wasting money on a cycle path when there are other, more urgent, priorities in the area. Ned and Richard outlined that the cycle route is the result of consultation during a longer period of time with people in the area, many of whom have said they were afraid to cycle because they did not feel safe. The idea of the route under construction is that it will encourage more people to take up cycling and reduce motor traffic. Richard explained that the initial proposal had included the road closure at the junction of Wordsworth road, Matthias road, and Boleyn road, and that there had been concerns from local residents that closing only this junction would create a ‘rat run’ along Barrett’s Grove. This is an effort to stop this happening.

 It was agreed that we would put together a joint response from the SRA, based on the previous letter (same tone and general message on the SRA’s overall support for cycling but concerns about shared space and particularly vulnerable pedestrians) and re-emphasising our concerns about the Butterfield Green junction in particular. We would also call for two raised pedestrian zebra crossings instead of the informal ones proposed. The majority of members present were in favour of the road closures and in general it was felt that we would support the residents in the area who have called for these to happen. It was agreed that Tora would draft and then circulate for review before submission.

 Shakspeare Walk proposed changes
We reviewed the proposal from the Streetscene department at Hackney Council for Shakspeare Walk (section between Allen road junction and end of the park). All agreed that we were happy this is happening but we were sorry to see that no big signage or lights in the trees could be included in the plan, on the grounds of budget. We also questioned the timing of these works as Shakspeare walk is currently being resurfaced and it would have made sense to do this at the same time.

It was reported that the large trees in this area have been pruned. We agreed therefore to wait to see the impact of this before contacting the council again regarding lighting.

 Apple Day planning
No poster up yet. Rachel will scan and send out for Christophe, Tora, and Liz to circulate. Music lined up; Annie to check what they require in terms of equipment. Phil will get wood chippings and check for dog mess. Tora, Maggie, and Annie will be in charge of the tea stall. Setup to start at 12.45.

 Albion Grove
Rachel had been contacted by two mothers who had had bad experiences (muggings, assaults) on Albion Grove or the nearby area. She organized a very well-attended meeting in the Londesborough pub to discuss this together with the police, council officers, and Sophie Cameron, Clissold councilor. As a result, the bamboo fence which obscured the view in the path has been removed, and the council has installed bins. There is still undergrowth that needs to be cut back. In the long term, there is a wish that the railings should come down, and Ned confirmed that would be part of the long-term redevelopment plan. At the moment, however, the guardians who live there are concerned about break-ins, so there is a reluctance to remove the railings. The situation is now being monitored, and the next meeting will take place on the 4th of November at the Londesborough pub at 5.30pm.

Management representatives from St Mungo’s attended the meeting and had asked again for people who see anyone from St Mungo’s being disruptive, to please call the management.

Finally, the police will be able to do more if all victims or witnesses of criminal activity report it, as funding tends to follow complaints. Rachel proposed that we invite the police to a local meeting in the near future, and all agreed. We decided it was not suitable for Christmas, so it was decided that we would schedule this for the January meeting.

£38 was made from the garage sale. We have received a Visa card that can be used for purchases going forward (provided we receive the pin).

Christophe highlighted that the recycling bins at the end of Allen road are once again being used for fly tipping. It was agreed that Tora would email the council again.

Dates for diaries
18th October – Apple Day
4th November – Meeting in The Londesborough pub
11th November – SRA/BUG meeting

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