Spearheading the campaign for more local schools to be provided in the area, SWEAT recently advised that...
Ashmole Academy has announced proposals for a new primary school on their site in Southgate. Ashmole is a high performing secondary school with a reputation for outstanding GCSE results.
SWEAT welcome this news which will alleviate an increasing problem In South West Enfield. In the Fox Lane district there is an acute problem where local children cannot gain admission to their local schools.
Support from parents is needed
To enable the school to go ahead and gain the funding required Ashmole will need support from parents. The proposal is for a 2 Form Entry school starting in September 2015 with a 2 Form Year 1.
Ashmole will be asking parents of children born between September 2009 and August 2012 to register an interest, which will enable the new school application to commence.
To register interest follow the link to Ashmole Academy and download the “New School Information Pamphlet” Information about the form and where to return it to are on the leaflet. Alternatively a leaflet with a form to register interest will be delivered by Ashmole to homes in the area as well as to local nursery and toddler groups.
The primary school announcement promises that the school will have the same quality education that the secondary school provides. Well done Ashmole for taking steps to meet a community need.
Please visit the SWEAT website for more information and updates.
A remarkable victory for the community in North London and for Pinkham Way Alliance
The North London Waste Authority has announced that it is abandoning its controversial procurement based on granting a £3 to £4 billion 30-year contract to multinational companies to manage its municipal waste. The Authority’s announcement, dated 27 September, can be seen at http://www.nlwa.gov.uk/news/newsdetail/2013/09/27/north-london-waste-authority-decides-to-end-procurement-process
This is the first time that a community organisation has succeeded in preventing a contract of this size and length from being made by seven local authorities and their waste disposal authority, the second largest in the UK. This is of national significance since it sets a precedent for closer scrutiny of large public sector procurements by the taxpaying public.
Complaint to the District Auditor
For two years the Pinkham Way Alliance of residents’ associations, businesses and schools in North London has been arguing against the now abandoned waste strategy. This culminated in four North London electors, supporting the Pinkham Way Alliance, exercising their right under section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1988 to complain to the District Auditor on 16 November 2012, and again on 25 May 2013, that the NLWA was not giving value for money (i.e. not being effective, efficient and economical) in the pursuit of its procurement. This led to the District Auditor warning, in his report to the directors of the Authority dated 1 September 2013, that their procurement was a “key value for money risk”. The Authority has now been forced to admit that dropping the procurement can save £900 million!
The complaint to the District Auditor comprised 40 pages of devastating analysis of the failures of the NLWA over the past decade. Just one example was their failure to take into account figures provided by their own consultant accountants showing that the procurement could be 19% cheaper if private finance were not used. Now the NLWA’s announcement states that the claimed £900 million saving will be achieved “particularly if the Authority does not use private finance”.
Campaigning against procurement profligacy at a time of austerity
At the same time as the complaints were made, PWA contacted councillors to point out that in times of austerity it was inappropriate to commit to spending £3 to £4 billion over the next 30 years on what we considered was a flawed waste strategy; and thousands of residents and businesses signed our petition urging the scrapping of the procurement. Surely, we argued, the Waste Authority cannot be the only one who is exempt from austerity. Clyde Loakes, the Chair of the Authority has now been obliged to accept that local council services would have suffered had the £900 million been wasted on the procurement.
Who will take responsibility for the procurement omni-shambles?
The Authority’s announcement implies that planning and energy aspirations lie behind their change in direction, rather than the failure of the procurement. The announcement dwells on planning policy changes as having driven their change of direction. Yet these changes were flagged up at the start of the year, after which the Authority continued to proclaim its intention to let the £3 billion contract. Similarly, the Authority announces the continuation and further development of Energy from Waste at its Edmonton site, but fails to mention that the only threat to this had been its own procurement, because the bidders wanted to divert residual waste away from Edmonton to fuel their own energy plants outside London.
The role of Pinkham Way Alliance in blocking the procurement is manifestly clear. The Authority’s failure to mention this timely democratic intervention from within the North London community is a worrying indication that accountability to the local community is unimportant to the NLWA. £21 million has been spent on this cancelled project, with a further £12 million spent on the unnecessary purchase of the Pinkham Way site. It cannot be right that no-one accepts responsibility for this. The quality of the whole costly and lengthy project is fundamentally called into question by the fact that a strategy which it was claimed would achieve “economies of scale” has turned out to be £900 million more expensive than something thought up at the last minute that is now claimed to be able to achieve the same landfill reduction and recycling targets which drove the procurement.
The future of the Pinkham Way nature conservation site
Unfortunately the Authority’s announcement indicates that they are still determined to use the Pinkham Way site for waste: they only exclude its use for residual waste. In a recent document, they stated that the site’s central location makes it “strategic” for North London’s waste management. This implies that rather than sorting recyclate in a number of smaller local plant, close to where the refuse is collected, which is favoured both by the public and by EU law, they now aspire to truck recyclate from the whole of North London to Pinkham Way. The target of 50% recycling by the year 2020 would imply 424,000 tonnes per year.
Although less smelly than the proposed Mechanical & Biological Treatment plant (MBT) that we defeated last December, that size of Materials Recycling Facility building (MRF) would obliterate the nature conservation site, and add more than 1,000 vehicle movements per day to the junction of the North Circular Road with Colney Hatch Lane, and to all the radial commuter and shopping road routes leading to that point. It is therefore necessary to continue the campaign to safeguard the Pinkham Way nature conservation site.
We remain determined. Our future activity will take place against the backdrop that the credibility of the NLWA, and therefore its influence, must now be critically diminished by its procurement omni-shambles.
BHORA October Newsletter
Yesterday residents on Westminster Drive woke up to find that travellers had moved into the empty plot on the Bowes Road known as Site 6. There are about 10 caravans in total. and a resident of Westminster Drive reports “Already the fencing to the rear of the plot, backing our gardens has been broken away, we are feeling very vulnerable.” An official at the site who spoke to a member of BHORA this morning, advised that the travellers have come from their last stop at a sports ground in Edmonton, and that it could take a month to remove the travellers following the proper legal procedures.
Notting Hill Housing Trust provided the following statements regarding the steps they are taking to tackle the issue.
What action is Notting Hill Housing Trust taking to remove the travellers?
“Sergeant Lorna Taylor, Bowes Police organised for her team to visit the site today. The team have had a discussion with the occupants and will be monitoring the situation. We have instructed our solicitor to issue a claim for possession via the High Court. We hope to then obtain a court hearing date within the next 2 weeks.”
When does Notting Hill Housing Trust expect the travellers to be removed from the site?
“Assuming we successfully obtain possession of the site through the High Court we can then organise for a team of commercial bailiffs to carry out an eviction and clearance of the site. Unfortunately there are no fast track options on this. We cannot simply evict them without going through this process. At this stage we anticipate possession of the site by the end of October.”
When will NHHT repair broken fences of those backing on to site 6?
“As the site is now occupied by travellers it is not advisable to send any personnel onto the site other than those instructed by the solicitor to serve our legal notices. Once we obtain possession of the site we will be assessing the boundaries to ensure security.”
How NHHT plan to protect Westminster Drive gardens.
“We have 2 smaller vacant sites at the entrance of Broomfield Road. These sites are locked however we have organised on-going 24 hour security for these sites today.
Unfortunately we have been advised it is not always a quick process to remove travellers from private land however I would like to assure you that we will do everything possible to ensure the occupants are evicted as soon as possible.
I will be sending out an update notification leaflet to the residents of Westminster Drive and our residents on Bowes Road who are directly affected by this however if any residents feel it necessary they should contact the police in the usual way.”
(Danielle Lennon NHHT)
The expectation is that this year's Palmers Green Community Festival will be better than ever. Up from last years 70 stalls this time there will be 100 stalls; the bandstand is full, with a waiting list, and there is no shortage of UK-level dancers ready to appear on the Dance Lawn. Add in the fun fair, climbing wall, dog show and a plethora of other units, even including a string orchestra, and there is considerable work to do on the day to get everything into the park safely, performing so visitors can enjoy themselves, and then out again safely before nightfall.
The small committee organising this event have managed thus far, but safety and fun for attendees on the day now becomes priority. More pairs of hands are needed from about 9am through until 8pm. The range of tasks is wide from stewarding to shaking a tin, from traffic control to updating timetable blackboards in real time. it’s a Community Festival and if you can spare anything from two hours upwards between these times then please do so.
Training, high viz vests, Festival T Shirts and perhaps even walkie talkies depending on roles are provided.
Say yes to Jean, Festival Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org
Make it your day too
BHORA received the following communication from Ray Reilly.
"As requested and to keep you informed, as of today and following officers advice Mc Donald's have withdrawn their planning application and advert applications at 188 Bowes Road.
I have received circa 100 objections, so would appreciate it if the word can be distributed. The applicant may or may not choose to re-submit.
Senior Planning Officer (South Team)"
Many thanks to those of you that submitted an objection letter, your efforts are most appreciated.
We will keep you posted on subsequent plans for the site.
At the AGM last week I was voted in as the new BHORA Chairman. It is with great pleasure and honour that I take on this role. I thank all the members who voted for me, and in return I promise to do my absolute best for you as Chairman. My heart and soul is in this community, and therefore now I have a duty to stand by you and take a lead on action.
My aim is to bring BHORA into the 21st century, and inject life into it. In order for you to feel the true value of BHORA, the Executive Committee and myself will make the accounts, Executive Reports, and our achievements visible to you.
I'd like to welcome Derek Honnor to the Committee as our new Treasurer. I very much look forward to working with him as he has already contributed and supported BHORA extensively over these last few months, which has been invaluable. I also welcome back Andrea Forsyth, and have since the AGM co-opted Paul Forsyth who both supported BHORA last year by setting up our new website and facebook page. I thank them for their efforts.
One thing we must not forget is the massive contribution BHORA received over the years from our former Chairman Gillian Yeung. Gillian was at the helm of BHORA during some of the most difficult years and always managed to keep things going. On behalf of all the BHORA members I thank her very much for her support. At the AGM, both Gillian and Ernie Chinnick announced they would both be stepping down completely from the Executive Committee. This is a sad moment for BHORA. Their contributions, support, knowledge and experience are priceless, and we are all very sorry to see them both go. BHORA needs a blend of mature and young members in our association, and I will be working on this.
Last but by all means not least I must mention our star Laura Davenport, who after two years as Secretary has stepped down for a well earned rest. I thank her very much for all the hard work, support and above all the fun that she brought into BHORA!! We will miss her very much. But I am delighted to say that she hasn't gone forever, and will be popping to our committee meetings from time to time as her knowledge, experience and sense of humour is invaluable us.
So on that note, I look forward to an exciting future with BHORA and hope to meet each and every one of you very soon.
BHORA AGM Update
New Chairperson Elected - Caroline Chénier
Thank you to the speakers and all BHORA members that attended the AGM on Tuesday 11th June. Attendance was around 50.
It was an interesting evening of two parts the first contained updates presented by Pinkham Way Alliance, The Palmers Greenery, and Palmers Green Festival. Also in attendance was our GLA Representative Joanne McCarthy who responded to questions on local issues regarding in particular the North Circular Area Action Plan (NCCAP), and planning rules in general which currently seem to favour the developer.
Elections for the Chair, Treasurer and Committee members were held in the second part of the meeting. Two nominations were put forward for the Chair, and members voted a majority in favour of electing Caroline Chénier as the new Chairperson. Derek Honnor was elected as Treasurer, and Andrea Forsyth was accepted as a Committee Member. Congratulations to the new committee. We also thank Gillian Yeung for the services she provided over the years as Chair, and Ernie Chinnick for his services on the Committee.
There are places available on the committee, which can have up to 20 members in a given year. If we can boost the numbers on the committee this will give a better representation of views. We would really like to hear from you, your ideas and input will help to shape BHORA for the future. Please let us know if you can spare any time (even if it is the odd hour here and there) to help out.
Our new Chair will soon release a statement. Read the minutes from the meeting.
Enfield Council are consulting on the next stage of the North Circular Area Action Plan (NCAAP). BHORA has submitted comments to previous consultations and will do so again shortly, watch this space!
Please do take a look at the NCAAP document. Whilst it is a bit daunting at 100 pages, many pages are taken up with photos and diagrams. It’s interesting to see how the council want to develop our area.
Consultation ran from: Wednesday 10th April until 5.00pm Wednesday 29th May 2013
Read BHORA's response to the latest proposals
The Broomfield House Trust & Friends of Broomfield Park, advise that the Stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has now been submitted by LBE – a formal reply should be received in January 2013.
This bid focuses on restoration of the house. Further bids to restore the gardens and stable yard may be submitted to HLF in the future. According to Enfield Council "the total cost of the restoration of the House and the Lanscroon murals which once adorned the main staircase is estimated to be £6.7million. This includes £4million from the HLF and the remainder coming from the Council, GLA grant and fundraising".
For further information please email: Broomfield.House.N13@gmail.com
Latest news on local campaigns and issues for the BHORA area.