14 October 2018
1) WFRA Membership - 346 individuals are listed as members (including 30 non-email contacts) - from a total of 750 households/homes/addresses in the WFRA area – almost 50%
2) Planned Events
- Local Crafts & Skills Fair on 2 December
- Winter Warmer 20 January
- Crime Prevention & Home Security – 24 Feb
3) Local Issues
- WFRA sends updates on crime and safer neighbourhood.
- Reviews planning applications for the area
- Ongoing discussions with Barnet Councillors and officers regarding the parking situation especially on Courthouse Road and Gardens
- And the rats…our campaign seems to have had some effect, fewer sightings of rats around the Brook after poison has been put down on 2/3 visits by council. Meeting with head of Parks and Open Spaces on 23 October.
4) Other Activities
- Finchley Society – WFRA is a member and represented on the Planning Committee
- WFRA is a member of Federation of Residents Associations of Barnet
- Links with Barnet Safer Neighbourhood, local ward panel and local SNT
- Facebook group for the WFRA.
- WFRA website updated and to be re-launched
5) Financial report
WFRA receives grant for the Neighbourhood Plan from the Dept for Communities and Local (DCLG) and covers exactly the costs of Nexus Planning (Professional Fees in accounts) for their work on the Neighbourhood Plan.
Committee members carry out most of the photocopying and printing free of charge, which substantially reduces expenses. Everyone thanked for their donations towards expenses which enables us to keep membership free of charge.
6) Election of Committee
There were no nominations for new committee members. Everyone was invited to consider membership of the committee and co-opted members could join at any time during the year.
The Committee was re-elected unanimously: Penny Igoe, Kieran Kettleton, Jenny Kettleton, Marilyn Lee, Taeko Mochizuki, Reema Patel, Salim Sabri and Sheila Shannon
7) Neighbourhood Plan for West Finchley
Executive group – Salim Sabri (Chair), Janet Baker, Alan Douglas, Kieran Kettleton, Suzanne King and Caroline Westbrook.
The Draft Plan is awaiting a final section on Design Guidance for West Finchley neighbourhood and should be ready for the next round of consultation after Christmas. It is hoped that the final Neighbourhood Plan will be voted on by all residents in the Autumn of 2019.
One of the outcomes of the work on the Neighbourhood Plan has been the “discovery” of the public open space between Finchley Way/ Penstemon Close/ Hamilton Way. This area will be highlighted in the final Plan and steps taken to protect it as well as making it more accessible to local residents as it had been given to the people of Finchley by Augustus Cooper in 1939.
8) Safer neighbourhood
Janet Baker (Member of Barnet Safer Neighbourhoods Board) described the work of the Board which meets four times in the year. She had some leaflets about the Safer Neighbourhood Board. She also tries to regularly put information of the WFRA Facebook page.
Janet highlighted the Crime Prevention event on 24 February with the Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Team in the Gordon Hall.
9) Refuse collection
Suzanne King asked if there was any information about the collections in the area. Ross Houston responded that brown food bin collection will continue for the present but proposals remain for abolition of food waste collection. It is also proposed that Green Bins would only be collected during the summer months and that collection days will change. No decisions have been made but residents should be informed of any changes.
10) Council news
Ross Houston, Councillor for West Finchley, raised a number of current issues:
- The Plans for the development of North Finchley and Central Finchley are moving forward and Cllr Houston was pressing for local representation on decision making bodies.
- Cllr Houston acknowledged the work the WFRA had done in pursuing the issue of rats in Dollis Brook
- There is a consultation on improvements to Victoria Park. There is a cross-party advisory panel on which Ross sits and can act as representative for the WFRA.
- The auditors report for Barnet had revealed some financial mismanagement, overspending and loss of funds which will probably result in higher Council Tax.
11) Councillors Surgeries
As well as the West Finchley Councillors surgery on Saturday mornings in the Arts Depot (every Saturday from 10.30 - 12 Noon), Councillor Danny Rich explained that he would be holding a regular surgery every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month (09:30-11:30 hrs) at Finchley Progressive Synagogue.