Venue: Pub on the Park, London E8
Present: Katie Hanson, Marian Farrugia, Andy Harvey, Vincent Stops, Helen Walters, Trevor Parsons, Brenda Puech, Oliver Schick
Chair: Oliver Schick
Minute taker: Marian Farrugia
Apologies for absence: Tim Evans, Lucy Thomas, Ben Webster
A. National Cycling Fund: Sub Group has not met yet, but Brenda phoned up for application packs.
B. Bike Week: info to go to Hackney Today and N16 magazine.
C. Festivals: ‘Up to speed’ leaflet in progress
D. Car(e) Free Day: getting list of tenants associations – in progress
E. Warning leaflet re: pannier snatches in Islington: For information about the subgroup in charge of this work contact Ben Webster or David Smith.
F. Nick Hutt Memorial – ongoing – Douglas.
We can spend up to £500 for Bike Week and £50 from central LCC. Brenda has hired equipment from Hackney Festival Support; Lucy and her network have done plenty of publicity work. Lucy will also be organising the stalls. Marian has got hamper from Fresh & Wild. Two Wheels Good will organise a Dr. Bike in Clissold Park.
Vincent Stops – Hackney councillor and the person in the new council cabinet who is leading on environment, transport and planning gave us some information about the council and cycling. The cabinet, which has an executive role, is composed of 10 councillors who meet fortnightly to implement Labour’s agenda in Hackney. The rest of the councillors have a scrutiny role which involves picking up a theme and scrutinising it. The council now has a diary of decision making known as the Forward Plan, so people can easily see when decisions are due to be made and can plan their lobbying effectively. (The current Hackney Forward Plan is here, but it is unfortunately only apparently available in Microsoft’s proprietary ‘Word’ format, the specification of which Microsoft keeps secret in order to protect its monopoly from competition by other software vendors and by free software).
With regards to issues that concern us: there is a transport subgroup whose membership is very open to the cycling agenda. However, not a great deal of money is on offer, because at the moment the council is only spending money on areas that it is legally obliged to.
The Priorities of the Transport Group are:
- To bid for money from Transport for London which will go on engineering schemes around the priority modes of buses, cycling and walking.
- to promote public transport / walking / cycling
- to increase bus routes
- to increase buses
- to give local streets to pedestrians
- to promote real green action in Hackney
- to tackle pavement parking and other parking issues.
Vincent suggested that a group like ours needs to participate and lobby in all the consultation meetings.
Suggestion that Cycle Training could become involved in the Safe Routes to School work. [As it already has been during the past year or so. Ed.]
On being asked whether Hackney LCC could be sent planning applications which relate to transport/parking etc. in advance, Vincent answered that there was currently a big backlog with regards to planning.
With regards to Car Free Day – officially know as In Town Without My Car – on 22 September, Vincent said that TfL had allocated some specific money for the council to spend on this event. He also wanted it made clear that this funding had nothing to do with regular council money and did not come out of the council budget.
The thinking in the council was to focus on Mare Street as an area where the event could be held because it was an area of high public transport use. A debate ensued as to whether this was the best area to concentrate on, since some argued this is not the busiest pedestrian area in Hackney so that it might not be as easy to have success here as some other places.
Decision: The meeting agreed to support the opening of Mare Street for Car Free Day.
First full meeting held on Wednesday 19th. One of the suggested areas for spending Neighbourhood Renewal Fund money was to do a road surface survey, so as to be have the information necessary to bid for substantially more maintenance funds from Transport for London. We decided to support this, as good surfaces help cycling, and also to push for support for a cycling-specific project: e.g. bike parking on estates
LCC borough groups have been asked by Transport for London’s Cycling Centre of Excellence to give examples of places where the needs of cycle traffic have been scuppered in favour of other modes, and Oliver was putting a reply together. Contact him with your examples.
Next meeting Wednesday 3 July, 8pm, same venue.