Hackney LCC meeting Wednesday 6 February 2002

Venue: Pub on the Park, London E8

Present:

Tim Evans, Marian Farrugia, Patrick Field, Katie Hanson, Andy Harvey, Paul Highman, Sally Haywill + Bibsi, Frank Merrigom, Brenda Puech, Oliver Schick, Matthew Tempest, Lucy Thomas, Trevor Parsons, Ben Webster

Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Roger Blake and Paul Singer.

Topics discussed:
1. AGM business
2. Shoreditch Triangle: Pitfield Street rat run
3. News from Hackney’s senior transport planner Roger Blake
4. Hackney City Farm and workshop
5. Burns Night
6. Junctions day of action
7. Crime and community safety
8. Finsbury Park station
9. AOB

1. AGM business

There was a vote of thanks to those who had served as officers over the past year. The following were elected unopposed for the coming year:

Co-ordinator Tim Evans
Assistant co-ordinator Oliver Schick
Treasurer Brenda Puech
Communications (newsletter/website) Trevor Parsons
Stalls organiser Lucy Thomas

The only ‘statutory’ posts are co-ordinator and treasurer. All other roles are very much shaped according to what the volunteers themselves want to do, (in accordance with the wishes of the group, naturally.

There was a discussion about the role of the membership secretary, and a feeling that the job could be divided into two – one person to welcome new members (“new members’ friend”) and one to do outreach work such as putting our newsletter in local libraries (“distribution”).

Tim agreed to seek clarification from the LCC centrally about
what information can be given to local groups about members, e.g. the areas of interest and offers of help they made when they joined.

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2. Shoreditch Triangle: Pitfield Street rat run

Trevor reported on progress with the Shoreditch Triangle scheme and
particularly with a last-minute campaign to stop Pitfield Street being used as a rat run, as reported in our latest newsletter. We want to stop vehicular access through Pitfield Street for motor traffic going from the City towards New North Road, in an attempt to avoid the Old Street roundabout.

The pattern of street use locally might well change with the advent of congestion charging as this area is on the boundary. There was a long list of supporters for the proposal and it was agreed to ask Islington and Tower Hamlets LCC to add their names to this. Trevor urged members to send letters of support to the address published in the newsletter.

Under the current proposals, the trees which are now coming into maturity after the last rejig of the junction would have to be felled, so Trevor advised members to hug them while they had the chance. This proposal was supported by Sally’s daughter Bibsi.

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3. News from Hackney’s senior transport planner Roger Blake

Roger Blake, who had sent his apologies, was in the process of recruiting six new people to posts in the transport team at Hackney Council. He was considering what he could do to publicise Bike Week, together with events such as Walk to School Day and Don’t Choke Britain. Roger suggested that we continue to ask for action on the LCN crossings of Lower Clapton Road at Powerscroft Road and Clapton Square, and this was agreed.

Emails had also been received from Waltham Forest and Dagenham about the state of the LCN in Hackney, and asking us to write to Niranj Nadarajah who is responsible for the LCN.

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4. Hackney City Farm and workshop

The farm was under threat again, and if it closed we would need to find another venue for our maintenance workshop, possibly
the new green resource centre at the Groundwork building in Lower Clapton Road. We could also join in the campaign to save the farm.

Andy raised the question of a notice in Hackney Today about a plot of land for sale in Goldsmiths Row: was this the cycle route up the side of the farm? Katie offered to try to find out.

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5. Burns Night

All agreed that the Burns Night party had been an enormous success. 151 paying guests attended and nearly £1400 was raised. Thanks were expressed to Sally and her team, and to Tim’s partner Christine Kings who had run the bar. Sally reported that she had drawn up a list of issues to consider for next year and a guide to how to run this type of event for future reference. She had bought small presents for the staff at Sir Thomas Abney school who had allowed us to use the facilities. It was agreed that Katie would organise some flowers for Christine. It was also agreed to donate £150 to STA Bikes, the cycle training scheme that Sally is running at the school, and noted that there was some leftover drink available at cost price.

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6. Junctions day of action

The LCC office is promoting a day of action on Saturday 20th April to draw attention to problems with road junctions. Our focus for the junctions campaign is St Mark’s Rise and Shacklewell Lane, where since 1998 we have been asking for either a permanent remodelling or at least a temporary remedial measure. The corner of the junction requires squaring off to slow turning motor traffic, and this could be done very cheaply using sleepers or similar.

We talked about how we could demonstrate this on the day, using light materials or possibly even simply by stationing ourselves and our bikes in position so that we could temporarily effect the squaring-off of this corner. Patrick cautioned against doing anything that could be considered “interfering with traffic”, which was an offence punishable by imprisonment.

This discussion of a future event alerted us to the need to produce a
complete calendar of the events we are planning for the year ahead. Check back with the diary for progress.

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7. Crime and community safety

Jan Jenkins had been going to come to the next meeting to talk about community safety but would not now be able to attend. We made a submission on this subject, drafted by Lucy, and the report would be published soon. Instead, the March meeting would be addressed by Ian Wingrove who works for Jenny Jones, Green member of the GLA, and is a Hackney resident.

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8. Finsbury Park station

Trevor tabled the plans for the redevelopment of the front of the station. Haringey LCC had asked us to support their alternative plans, which allowed two-way traffic for cycles across the front of the station. It was agreed to write a letter of support including the following points:

    • surfaces should be comfortable for cycling, i.e. not cobbles
    • the cycle traffic count conducted by Haringey LCC shows the demand for cycle permeability in all directions
    • there should be direct cycle access to the front of the station to encourage people to arrive at the station by bike
    • all measures introduced should promote disability access

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9. AOB

All other business was deferred until the next meeting.

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Next Meeting: Wednesday, 6th March 2002, Pub on the Park, London Fields, 8:00 pm (social get together from 7:00 pm)