MapRA AGM 2022. Wednesday 27 April.

The AGM was held at 7.30 pm on Zoom and was hosted by Jan Knight, Gerry Weston, and Jim Coakes. It was attended by 38 people of whom 34 were members.
Steve Iliffe introduced himself as chair, co-opted as chair in September 2021; welcomed people to the AGM and gave 5 apologies for absence

Gerry Weston gave the secretary’s report accompanied by slides covering:

  • Covid – thanking the Mutual Aid group for their continuing work
  • Oliver Sacks Festival; 1000+ views of video; indebted to Jacqui Pelham who organised it.
  • Mapesbury Fete 2021 organised by MapRA Gardening group
  • 4 garden triangles maintained by sub-group of the gardening club
  • Cleaning up rubbish, work led by Alex Henderson
  • Pavement / renewal completed in Dartmouth, Teignmouth and St Gabriel’s Roads.
  • The tree planting in memory of Covid 19 victims and NHS envisage near the corner of Lydford and St Gabriel’s Roads, similar to the Millenium silver birch
  • Planning and conservation sub-committee commenting / objecting on planning applications. Main of these 37 Lydford Road, back of 69 Teignmouth Road, Watling Gardens, Windmill Court and the B&Q site
  • MapRA Community Groups contributing to the attraction of the area.
  • Help for Ukraine; donations now £37000 to restore farm building as accommodation.

Steve Iliffe thanked the 3 members who during the year had covered the Treasurer role; Alison Cossar, Sapna Chadha and David Freedman. Gerry has been looking after accounts in the run-up to AGM.

Finance report. Gerry Weston summarised the financial statement. (Treasurer Jacob Sam left the post in July 2020 as he was no longer in the MapRA area; and Alison Cossar, who had taken on the role temporarily, resigned in Jan 2021 as a result of greatly increased workload due to her part in the COVID vaccine rollout.)

Gerry Weston summarised the financial statement. Our net assets are healthy at £6,293 (including £645 on the Open Gardens account). He said that a more robust method of authorising expenditure will be sought when have new Treasurer.

MapRA Elections; conducted by Jim Coakes.

  • MapRA chair. Steve Iliffe nominated by Tariq Dar, seconded by Alison Cossar elected unopposed
  • Organising secretary: Gerry Weston, nominated by Joseph Seelig and seconded by Anne Aiken; elected unopposed.
  • Treasurer. David Tomas-Merrills Nominated and seconded by Gerry Weston and Anne Aiken; elected unopposed.
  • Simon Judge was confirmed as Independent Examiner

Executive committee: Nominations were received for 12 members including 3 new for the committee. These were agreed: the Committee is now:

  • Dickson Abegunde – Walm Lane
  • Lia Colacicco – Dartmouth Road
  • Alison Cossar – Hoveden Road
  • Tom Cotton – Keyes Road
  • Derek Forsyth – Keyes Road
  • Freddie Fulton – Walm Lane
  • Alex Henderson – Walm Lane
  • Steve Iliffe – Walm lane – (Chair)
  • Jacqui Pelham – Anson Road
  • David Tomas-Merrills – Chichele Road – (Treasurer)
  • Gerry Weston – Teignmouth Road – (Organising Secretary)

The 2 Mapesbury & Cricklewood Councillors when elected on 5 May will be ex-officio members. Carol Reeman is ex-officio representing the North West Two Residents Association. Angela Payne is ex-officio representing the Cricklewood Town Team.

There were no questions / comments on MapRA business.
Steve Iliffe ended the formal AGM session and passed chair over to Jim Coakes for the hustings for local elections in Mapesbury and Cricklewood ward.

Hustings for Local elections 5 May for Mapesbury and Cricklewood ward.

Chaired by Jim Coakes

Each party had 2 minutes for it’s candidates to present their arguments.

Conservative Party. Richard Geldart / Freddie Fulton. Richard stressed the election is about local issues. Claimed Brent Council was wasteful and inefficient. Spent too much on Officers’ salaries. Pavement replacement a disgrace and long term uneconomic. Planning poor with overdevelopment at Watling Gardens and Windmill Court and no access for Fire Brigade. He was one of few people to oppose it.

Labour Party. Tariq Dar, Dr Gwen Grahl. Tariq thanked MapRA for opportunity to speak and for work they do. Life is improved with Community groups and it is Councillors role to be in touch with community and to serve local needs. Gwen is Trade Union rep and they pledge to tackle inequality. Currently increased cost of living and cutbacks of Government support. Need safe secure and decent housing and to re-establish trust with Police. Need greener cleaner area.

Liberal Democrat Party. Anthony Dunn / Alyssa Gilbert. Anthony said that both locally and nationally we are a one-party state. Need to trust others; people are not getting range of representation. The NW2 residents association led opposition to the B&Q devt., not Mapesbury Tories. Nationally the Government just acted illegally in hospital discharges to care homes; shows moral bankruptcy. Quoted Boris Johnson 2011 to effect that parties long in power become corrupt.

Independent. Scott Bartle. 13 years lived in Teignmouth Road. Not a fan of political parties. The Labour Council poorly maintained pavements and streets; dog mess in playgrounds. Inadequate spending by Council and were complacent with a small minority running it. Where problems exit need to go ‘upstream’ to find the cause

Discussion:

How can people trust Tories when flyer about B&Q was fallacious? Richard Geldart; that wasn’t a Brent flyer but one from Barnet Conservatives.

Why no consultation over the low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)? Tariq Dar; there had been consultation; Anson school with 60-70 people plus online consultation. Anthony; didn’t see any. Freddie; council had wasted £1 on LTN. Anthony; it was a Central Government imposed scheme. Tariq; after consultation the Council removed the scheme.

History shows that Brent always Labour or labour controlled and was inefficient. Gwen Grahl; priorities difficult with budget cut by 40% since 2008. But 5000 new homes; investment in cycling lanes and green space. Have been lucky in Mapesbury with Councillors (Lia and Tariq) listening to concerns. Scott Bartle; Brent Council was remote and need a local ‘parish’ council to enable focus on local issues with local referendum.

Why did Labour Council have policy of asphalt pavements? Gwen Grahl: Asphalt gave good result with smoother surface e.g. for prams. Also cheaper in respect of budget cuts. Freddie; it may seem a short –term gain but short-sighted as deteriorates. Scott Bartle; claim that tarmac safer is ridiculous; wrong of remote Council to rip up paving. Alyssa Gilbert; agrees that paving better; she is expert on climate changes issues and needed also to have pavements that allow flood water to drain away. Integrated approach needed. Richard Geldart; wife badly injured with fall over pavement before repair and has argued strongly for paving, which lasts but tarmac doesn’t.

Why no literature received from Lib Dems? Alyssa Gilbert; problem of resources; Lib Dem focus on other wards in Brent. Anthony Dunn;  Felicity (his wife) died in October 2021 (and because of Brexit had difficulties in getting treatment for her cancer). This had left him bereft and because of this hadn’t then been able to put as much effort into campaign as would like.  Many expressed condolences.

If elected would Anthony and Alyssa have time to devote to being Councillors? Anthony; his wife’s expressed wish was that he focus on community work; which he now can. Alyssa; now has agreement with employer to reduce hours should she be elected councillor.

Some issues from chat:

Air quality important too

Thanks to current Councillors who have been helpful. Gladstone Park has been developed and improved.

Can talk to Cricklewood Town Team about needs of local residents and businesses (covers Barnet side as well as Brent)

Notes by Gerry Weston