MapRA AGM 2021. Thursday 22 April.

7.30 pm on zoom hosted by Jan Knight. Attended by 34 members.

Gerry Weston acted as chair in absence of David Freedman convalescing after surgery and welcomed people to the AGM

Chair’s report recorded in advance by chair, David Freedman, covered MapRA activities over the 2 years since last 2019 in AGM. Cllr Tariq Dar proposed a vote of thanks to David Freedman which was carried.

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.)

Our net assets, healthy at £5,356 (including £978 on the Open Gardens account). In addition, we have £8,000 in the accounts for the Oliver Sacks festival.

He thanked Independent Examiner Simon Judge for help in preparing the accounts.

He also described the need for new financial protocol which has been adopted to make clearer arrangements for authorizing transactions, both payments by cheque and payments via online bank transfer.

Elections; conducted by Jim Coakes.

MapRA chair. There were no nominations and under constitution rules the next MapRA committee will choose a member or members to carry out the role,

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

Treasurer. Sapna Chadha, Nominated and seconded by Steve Iliffe and Jan Knight. elected unopposed.

Simon Judge was confirmed  as Independent Examiner, acting as our Auditor.

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

  • Sapna Chadha           Blenheim Gardens          Treasurer
  • Peter Chambers        Dartmouth Road
  • Alison Cossar             Hoveden Road
  • Tom Cotton                Keyes Road
  • David Freedman       Exeter Road
  • Freddie Fulton          Walm Lane
  • Alex Henderson       Walm Lane
  • Steve Iliffe                  Walm lane
  • Jan Knight                 Melrose Avenue
  • Jacqui Pelham         Anson Road
  • Teresa Solomon       Chatsworth Road
  • Gerry Weston           Teignmouth Road            Organising Secretary

The 3 Mapesbury Councillors Lia Colacicco, Tariq Dar and Ahmad Shahzad 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.

News items:

Pavement repair. Dates for the work on Dartmouth, Teignmouth and St Gabriel’s Road:

  • Dartmouth Road             Start  10 May    Finish     28 May
  • Teignmouth Road                      21 May                   03 June
  • St Gabriel’s                                  31 May                   18 June

The work had been put to the back end of their investment programme to allow for discussion on the repairs. Defects inspected and considered high priority have still been completed.

Street Trees:

We were successful in getting the large grant for new trees. Following a delay due to lockdowns Brent has started work on Mapesbury trees. The first phase of work is on site now with trees now planted in Chatsworth Road area. Brent will be consulting residents in other parts of MapRA area and drawing up detailed plans for new trees in May and June.

Questions and discussion:

Gerry Weston reported that Julia Hanika had put forward a proposal of having a bench and cherry tree planted in memory of the residents who have suffered from Covid 19, and to honour the NHS who saved so many lives and looked after the sick and dying. It was suggested (by Julia Hanika) that MapRA raise the money for the bench. Raakesh Shah, Brent Council, was supportive and recommended a location in Gladstone Park, where it can be enjoyed by the public and maintained by Brent Council. Some members thought that somewhere in Mapesbury (e.g. by a triangle garden) would be better but Raakesh Shah said that the Council don’t want benches on residential roads as it attracts anti-social behaviour.

Social Media. Some members suggested there was a need to raise MapRA’s profile by some use of social media. Discussion about options; Facebook better than Twitter as more controlled. Alex Henderson encouraged people to be on Nextdoor network but Jacqui Pelham was worried about the tone of some exchanges there. But desirable to have presence to be visible to younger people; commended the example by the NorthWest RA. Recognised that would need to be moderated. Street Trees. Eric Cliff welcomed the fact that street trees were now pruned but thought should be more frequent. However, the reason for 5 year interval was financial as the Council has priority for other issues; e.g. social care, childrens’ support, mental health. MapRA however should press for some reduction in pruning interval.

Street Cleanliness. Raakesh Shah, Brent Council, said that main roads were cleaned twice a day and residential roads once a week. Alex Henderson thought that the cleaning was poor and was the main need for improvement of the area; Jacqui Pelham agreed that even once a week left her road (Anson) messy as people dump stuff – sometimes told by landlords to do so. Raakesh Shah described the ways residents could help; reporting on the app; sending information if see fly-tipping (but take no risk); asking for education officer where residents don’t abide by rules; Shops and business in the high streets have a given time each day to leave out rubbish for collection (in bag- either coloured or with contractor’s name on – not black sacks). Problems contact or him at Cllr Ahmad Shahzad stressed that people can contact Councillors for help to fix problems…

Gerry Weston ended the AGM by thanking attendees and in particular Jan Knight for hosting. Anne Aiken congratulated all on a well-run AGM.