MapRA AGM 2023. Wednesday 26 April. St Gabriel’s church

Attended by 113 people; 94 members and 19 visitors.

James Yeates, vicar of St Gabriel’s, welcomed people to the church and the event.

Steve Iliffe, chair, thanked James and Sarah Broadbent, manager of St Gabriel’s church, and also all stall-holders and helpers.

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

  • The Mapesbury Fete was again very successful last year. Thanks to gardening group. This year will be the full Open Gardens day – on 25 June. See stall. And the 4 garden triangles continue to be maintained by small gardening team
  • We are pressing to improve street cleaning. Assisted by local ward manager, Phillip Stagles.
  • Planning – contributed to B&Q enquiry – decision expected in the autumn. 37 Lydford Road still unchanged despite Inspector’s report. Petition on this organised by Lia. Mostly about smaller transgression e.g. boundary wall /.fence at 88 Teignmouth Road.
  • MapRA Community Groups contributing to the attraction of the area; most thriving, but need someone for Walking and Bridge clubs.
  • Thanks to all for Ukraine donations. The farm building is restored and is housing 48 People; they have had 3 babies in last year.
  • The tree planting in memory of Covid 19 victims and NHS is near the corner of Lydford and St Gabriel’s Roads. Envisage commemoration ceremony later in the summer.
  • Sad to report death of Tom Putnam; mainstay of Mapesbury Dell; many attended his funeral in Wiltshire.

Finance report. Because of the resignation of Treasurer (for personal reasons) Gerry had taken over the production of the accounts and summarised the financial situation. Our net assets are healthy at £5,759; we had made substantial grants during the year (details in the MapRA annual report).

Steve Iliffe introduced Steve McCormack who spoke about the work of the Mapesbury Mutual Food Aid. This is based at the Pakistani Community Centre on Tuesday and provides help; to people who call in as well as delivering food to those through infirmity or illness are unable to get to the centre. The food and other materials are provided by a combination of food donations from local supermarkets and money donated by supporters.  He particularly thanked MapRA who had supported the work substantially in the past year.  He gave the link for further support for the summer appeal; link to site for further support for the summer appeal; link to site

MapRA Elections; conducted first by Steve McCormack; then by Steve Iliffe when re-elected chair.

MapRA chair. Steve Iliffe nominated by Tariq Dar, seconded by Gerry Weston elected unopposed

Organising secretary: Gerry Weston, nominated by Alison Cossar and seconded by Anne Aiken; elected unopposed.

Treasurer. We have no nominations for Treasurer and the committee will have to find someone in coming months

Simon Judge was confirmed as Independent Examiner.

Executive committee: Nominations were received for 12 members including 2 new for the committee. These were agreed: the Committee is now:

·        Dickson Abegunde               Walm Lane

·        La Colacicco                           Dartmouth Road

·        Alison Cossar                          Hoveden Road

·        Tom Cotton                            Keyes Road

·        Anthony Dunn                      Walm Lane

·        Derek Forsyth                       Keyes Road

·        Freddie Fulton                       Walm Lane

·        Alex Henderson                     Walm Lane

·        Steve Iliffe                              Walm lane                      Chair

·        Jacqui Pelham                        Anson Road

·        Jenny Thomas                       Dartmouth Road

·        Gerry Weston                        Teignmouth Road     Org. Secretary

The 2 Mapesbury & Cricklewood Councillors; Cllr Tariq Dar, Cllr Gwen Grahl are 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.

Questions / comments on MapRA business.

·        Jamie McLean thanked MapRA for financial support of the Knucklas Castle project in Wales (this was supported by the Open Garden Group funds)

  • Elisabeth Mioduchowski raised problems of pavement condition. Gerry said that condition were bad after winter but should report using the app but Council will only repair substantial problems. In case of problems, refer to Phillip Stagles, local Ward Manager

·        A member raised problems of Lime bikes left in a nuisance fashion on pavements. Phillip Stagles said that Council will be revising policy on this. Another member said that one could report such problems on the Lime app.

Steve Iliffe ended the formal AGM session.

Police and Crime presentation

By Sgt Alan O’Connor, PC Dan Novakovic, PCSO Ajay Dhokia.

Chaired by Steve Iliffe

The three officers gave brief informal presentations.

Alan as sergeant covered 3 wards including Mapesbury Cricklewood. There were 2 PCs; Dan + Joanne (who couldn’t attend as had Covid) and one PCSO Ajay for the ward. He outlined his close connection with the area – having grown up in Cricklewood.

‘Engagement’ was a key word, involving ¨contact with the public’ and ‘proactive response

Ajay focused on points of interest and commitment:

  • Engagement with residents
  • Crime prevention
  • Drug-taking (as part of a city-wide issue)

There had been a measure of success in identifying actual burglars operating in the area. Particular mention was made of a recent increase in shed burglaries.

A local initiative, entitled ‘Operation Goldsmith’ centred on the experimental issue of video doorbells to selected residents. There had been a 50% take-up of this offer. It appeared that this was an attempt to increase surveillance of areas away from the main thoroughfares which did not qualify for the installation of the more expensive CCTV.

Dan invited residents to join the Police Ward Panel which met 3 –monthly with the local Police to discuss problems and set local Police priorities. Current priorities are:

  • Violence
  • Burglary
  • Drugs and Anti Social Behaviour

Questions from members covered:

  • Examples of success stories?
    • Improved background knowledge relating to specific cases. Officers emphasised that accumulation of such knowledge was dependent on reporting of incidents: basically ‘no report= no incident!
  • Any evidence of trafficking of women?
    • No awareness of this through community policing as instances were handled by a specialist unit.
  • Is Willesden Green Station still regarded as a dangerous place to be?
    • Emphatically not so! -Occasional incidents relating to ticket non-payment. By contrast, Harlesden was a much more challenging area but has, like Wembley, its own town centre team.
  • What gets helicopters out?
    • Missing or hiding persons or public order incidents. Helicopter use can apparently be monitored on Twitter.
  • Concern was expressed at examples of blatant drug-taking, especially in the vicinity of Cricklewood Broadway.
    • Use of unmarked vehicles was a tactic in identifying and apprehending offenders.
    • In terms of response, recourse could be had to ASBs and Criminal Behaviour Orders
  • There was a sense that many present felt that measures against some behaviours could be more robust.

The officers were duly thanked by the Chair for giving their time to address the gathering.

Notes by Gerry Weston & John Thorogood