Venue: Pub on the Park, London E8

Present: Oliver Schick, Tim Evans, Paul Golding, Sandra Schmidt, Trevor Parsons, Lucy Thomas, Brenda Puech, Sally Haywill, Ross, Roger Blake (Hackney Council Planning Officer), Katie Hanson, David Fowler, Patrick Field, Clare Groom

Topics discussed (action points in italics):
1. Reports
2. Workshop
3. GLA draft transport policy
4. Hackney Interim Transport Plan
5. Election / coronation of postholders
6. London Fields Festival
7. Car(e) Free Day
8. Employers’ resource pack
9. Road safety consultation paper
10. AOB

1. Reports

Mile End Park
Trevor had written to the Park Committee about the speed bumps on the cycle paths in the park, but had received no reply. He will chase for a response after a while.

Car Free Day
Brenda reported that a letter had been written to Robert Biggs, Hackney Council, asking Hackney to take part in the day, copied to the Chit Chong Green Councillor, and requesting for a meeting.

Valentine’s Day
HCC had given out 40 valentine cards to cyclists, during a count at Shacklewell Lane junction, which had been very much appreciated. Hackney Gazette had covered the event very favourably, with a photograph. A survey had been included with the card and 7 had already been returned. It was agreed that this should be an annual event, and Oliver was congratulated for the idea.

Burns Night
Sally reported back from the event, which was a brilliant success, and she and Clare were congratulated for organising it.

London Bus Initiative
This related to the consultation around changes to route 149 down Kingsland Road and Stoke Newington. Trevor and Oliver had drafted a letter to the Roger Pye at LBI, Oscar Faber consultants, incorporating the suggestions at the last HCC meeting.

Members’ survey
No progress reported on the survey we recently sent out to members, though more survey forms have been returned. Hope to have something by next meeting.

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2. Workshop

Ross wanted to know how the rent was paid. It was agreed that HCC wanted to support the City Farm and Clare Groom would find out from the City Farm manager how much rent was due. Trevor would liaise with Clare on this.

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3. GLA transport policy consultation

It was agreed that it would not be appropriate for the Hackney group to put in a separate response in addition to the LCC’s. Tim would hunt down the central London response and circulate it, to encourage more people to respond. The deadline is the 30th March

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4. Interim Transport Plan

Roger Blake explained the background to this. With the onset of the GLA, the Interim Transport Plan, is now the Local Implementation Plan, which has to conform to the Transport Strategy and has to be submitted to the GLA by the end of June. It is meant to be for 3-5 years in view of the implementation of the Strategic Plan. However, as Hackney Council has only 2 qualified engineers in the Planning Dept, who are very over-stretched, the only way Hackney Council can produce it is by paying consultants. The Council were obliged to consult the public on this LIP, and Hackney Cyclists should have an opportunity to contribute to the transport planning for Hackney.

Roger pointed out the major decisions in Hackney were made by Neighbourhood Committees, and the best way to influence decision making was to shadow the relevant Committees, keep track of agendas, and attend and address relevant meetings. There were 5 NCs – in Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Hackney & Dalston, Shoreditch and Clapton. Information on the NCs was in Hackney Today.

It was agreed Katie would find out the list of wards for each committee and also look for how to find out which ward you are in. 5 volunteers need to be identified for the NCs to lobby the councillors, attend meetings etc.

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5. Election/coronation of postholders

Oliver outlined the election process and invited candidates for election. It was unanimously agreed that the posts should only last for one year, with a starting date from the 1st April. The following appointments were made:

Tim Evans was elected unopposed as borough co-ordinator.

The rest of the team was voted in en bloc (and unopposed) as follows:

Deputy co-ordinator: Oliver Schick.
Membership Secretary: Paul Golding and Sally Haywill on a job share basis.
Treasurer: Brenda Puech

It was agreed that the postholders would meet prior to the next meeting to discuss handover and other details.
It was also agreed that the membership secretaries would need to follow up on lapsed Hackney members.

There was a vote of thanks to the outgoing treasurer Clare Groom.

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6. London Fields Festival: Saturday, 19th May

It was agreed that a message would be circulated to the e-group, inviting co-ordinators/participants for the a cycling stall and Dr Bike. Paul agreed to put down ideas for a publicity leaflet. It was agreed that it would be good to have a banner, and there was discussion about the idea of having a trailer to help to quickly set up a stall.

Oliver made a few suggestions on using a bike trailer customised to transport a display stand, similar to the Orbit trailer used by the Sheffield group, but questions were raised about storage of and access to the trailer, so the proposal to buy one was shelved for the present. Katie said she would check in the Hackney LETS directory for craftspeople who might be interested in doing such a customisation job.

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7. Car Free Day

Roger said the Council had no resources to support car free day, and it would be better to deal with Transport for London Street Management, with a view to changing the proposed street to Kingsland High Street. Follow up?

8. Resource pack for employers

Ross informed the group that a resource pack for employers who want to encourage cycling was available for free from the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, tel : 0800 585794.

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9. Road Safety Consultation Paper

Lucy reported on the paper which indicates slight shift towards heavier penalties for bad driving. She had prepared a response to the paper. The group agreed that individual responses to the paper were encouraged, but the Hackney group should not make a response separate from LCC. It was agreed that in general, more liaison with central LCC was needed when responding to consultations.

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10. Any other business

With great dramatic timing, Roger Blake kept his good news till last, reporting that a long-held objective of ours is now being fulfilled: cycle traffic is now able to go directly between Lea Conservancy Road and Waterden Road, via a contra-flow facility codenamed the Wick Link, finally providing a direct route to Hackney Wick and the Marshes.

LCC Policy Day on the 31st March: LCC will be determining its policies, and all interested cyclists are encouraged to attend.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 4th April, Pub on the Park, London Fields, 8pm