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A number of local residents have recently reported problems with Camden’s recycling service.
Since the council brought in new, larger wheelie bins (which have themselves been the subject of controversy, with unwanted bins costing taxpayers £67,000), recycling collections appear to have become less reliable. One block on Weedington Road didn’t get a single recycling collection for months, while addresses around Quadrant Grove have reported sporadic collections with no service every couple of weeks.
This is a real nuisance, and no one likes rubbish piling up in their driveway.
We are trying to get to the bottom of what is going on and have reported the service failure to the council. Please contact us if you are experiencing similar problems – it will help us build up a fuller picture and hold the council to account.
While most of Haverstock has survived the gale force winds that hit London last night, residents on Malden Place woke up to find a tree had been ripped out of the ground.
Fortunately no one was hurt, though there has been serious damage to cars on the street. We have been in touch with the council and can report that the tree will be chopped up and placed at the side of the road, for collection by the council’s contractors at the end of the week.
Residents with any other damage to report should get in touch as soon as possible so we can press the council for speedy repairs.
The South Hampstead Synagogue have listened to the concerns of residents and taken their redevelopment plans back to the drawing board.
The Synagogue say that they have outgrown the existing building on the corner of Eton Villas and Eton Road, and that it needs updating and modernising. They are planning new community facilities and a larger hall for
worship. However, in a series of meetings chaired by local councillors, Steele’s Village residents have expressed concerns about the bulk and mass of the new development and the impact of additional traffic on local streets.
The Synagogue have now appointed a new architect, the widely respected Allies and Morrison, and will be presenting revised designs to us on 10th October. A formal planning application could be presented to Camden Council before the end of the year.
Please get in touch if you would like us to keep you up to date on the plans as they develop.
Camden Council have proposed allowing a mobile refreshment stand in Talacre Gardens.
It’s pretty obvious that what’s driving the council is a need to find new sources of income – this is part of a deal that would see sites rented out across 12 of the borough’s parks and open spaces. However, if litter and noise could be kept under control, and if the outlet were discreet, I can see that some people might like to be able to buy teas, coffees and snacks on their way through the park.
We also need to consider the impact on existing local businesses – both Cafe du Coin and (more recently) The Fields Beneath have loyal local audiences and have worked hard to establish themselves in the community.
I’m interested to know what you think before I respond to the council’s consultation. Please do drop me an email or, alternatively, you can complete the public consultation directly, here.
Residents and businesses in Chalk Farm and Steele’s Village are calling on the Mayor of London to extend the Cycle Hire Scheme further North.At the moment, cyclists using the popular scheme can only get as far as Castlehaven Road in Camden Town. While Chalk Farm Station and Haverstock Hill would be popular extensions, the Mayor insists (somewhat bizarrely) that the local “topography” is not suitable for cycling. In other words: it’s too hilly.
South West London will be seeing more and more hire stations over the next few years, but the next time the Mayor has said he will even consider more sites in Camden is 2016. This means that Chalk Farm residents miss out on the opportunity to cycle all the way home and local businesses don’t get the benefit of being on the cycle network.
I raised this issue at the last Full Council meeting, and asked Camden to help residents prepare sites and lobby the Mayor.
Camden Council has posted it’s winter weather pages once again this Decemeber, to carry all the information local residents will need if predictions of severe weather in the Borough prove to be correct.
If you’re a local community group in Camden you can get prepared by claiming your free snow shovel from the council.
Camden Council have been forced to abandon their plans to sell off the much loved Bassett Street Community Garden.
We mounted a furious campaign after the Labour councillors who run Camden announced that the successful community garden would be bulldozed and sold for development, destroying years of hard work by local residents and activists.
But the council have today written to those who raised objections and said:
Following representations from the three Haverstock ward councillors, Councillor Fulbrook, the Cabinet Member for Housing, has decided not to continue with the consultation and determined that development/disposal will not take place and that the site will be retained in its existing use for community food growing. The Council will be in contact with the organisers of the food growing project to conclude a licence agreement for the continuation of their work.
This is great news as it secures the future of the Bassett Street Community Garden and puts it on a stable footing for the first time. A big thank you to all those who signed our petition and long may the garden thrive!
Camden Council have this week announced plans to sell off the much loved community garden on Bassett Street to property developers.
The garden sits on what was once a muddy and neglected patch of grass, fenced off from the street with metal bars. About five years ago, the community came together with a vision to transform the space into something new. We had a long tussle with the council to get them to hand over the keys, followed by fundraising and organising led by local residents – and eventually the Bassett Street community garden was born. The garden has become a special place; a green lung in a densely populated area. People come here to grow food together, keep healthy, enjoy the outdoors and chat to neighbours. The waiting list for a plot or a grow bag is probably as long as Bassett Street itself.
Oblivious to all this, Camden Council have labelled the community garden an “oddity”, and Labour councillors have placed it on a list of “small sites” to be sold to property developers.
We cannot let this happen.
Please help us save the Bassett Street Garden by signing our petition and asking Camden Council to think again.
You can also take part in the official consultation on the plans, here.
Controversial plans for a four storey retail development in the middle of Camden Town were dramatically thrown out by councillors last night.
Local residents were out in force to protest against the proposals, which were also opposed by many local businesses and respected groups including English Heritage and the Design Council. Speaking on behalf of residents at the planning hearing, I highlighted the four storey mall masquerading as a market, the negative impact on the conservation area along the canal, and the concentration of retail spaces which would have created a tourist trap by day and an empty ghetto at night.
There has also been widespread criticism for the failure to provide affordable housing for local people.
It didn’t have to be this way. Local people, through the Hawley Wharf Working Group, have spent years working with the developer trying to shape and improve the proposals. The developer has paid the price for ignoring the wishes of our community.
Now we need to move forward together. We want to see a development that respects the unique heritage of Camden Town; improves the market so it is sustainable in the long term, and offers more affordable housing for local families. A new school would be welcomed, too – but not as a sweetner to an otherwise disastrous development.
Camden Town is an incredible place – which is why we will continue fighting to secure a decent scheme on this huge and critical site.
For the full story, have a look at this week’s coverage in the Camden New Journal.
Tonight the planning committee will make its decision on the proposed Hawley Wharf development in Camden Town, which will affect the character of our area for a generation.
We’re hoping for a strong turnout at the Town Hall to show the committee how strongly local people feel about the plans. If you want to demonstrate your support, please come along to Camden Town Hall, Judd Street at 7pm.
I will be speaking at the committee, and have joined together with councillors in neighbouring Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward to send the following letter to our local papers today:
We represent different political parties, but have come together to urge our colleagues on the planning committee to reject the damaging Hawley Wharf proposals. We don’t oppose development – but we do oppose bad development.
We have spent almost four years working with residents to influence and improve the developer’s plans. Unfortunately, our conclusion is that they just aren’t good enough for our area. And it’s not just local people who say that – both English Heritage and the Design Council have raised objections to the scheme.
Camden Town is a special place with a unique, vibrant atmosphere. The new plans would replace the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of trading in Camden with a four storey shopping mall, designed to attract maximum numbers of tourists and freeze out residents. We need a development with open space the whole community can share; affordable homes for local people, and diverse shops and services that people of all ages want to use. A new school could be a useful addition locally – providing it doesn’t mean there’s no social housing.
Even at this late stage it’s not too late to protect the future of Camden Town – by sending the developer back to the drawing board and asking him to come back with better plans as soon as possible.
Cllr Chris Naylor (Lib Dem), Cllr Pat Callaghan (Labour), Cllr Matt Sanders (Lib Dem)
Update: we won! Scheme thrown out by 7 votes to 5. Camden New Journal has full story here.