Summary of Team Cally Caledonian Ward Partnership Public Meeting: held on Tuesday 20 November 2012, 7pm, at Jean Stokes Community Hall, Coatbridge House, Bemerton Estate, N1 ODQ
Thank you for attending the Team Cally Ward Partnership Public Meeting which was held on 20 November 2012 at Jean Stokes Hall and was chaired by Cllr Rupert Perry.
The theme of the meeting was ‘the Cally Plan’. This is a document that has started this year through engagement with interested parties and residents. The plan provides an additional set of guidelines which council planning officers have committed to take into account when making decisions about developments on the Caledonian Road, mainly between Pentonville Prison and the Regents Canal towpath. Examples of developments that will be within the scope of the plan are those relating to the retail offer, road calming measures, street furniture (bus stops, post boxes, lamp posts) and planning applications.
The meeting was very well attended, with around 80 members of the public, council officers and other key stakeholders engaging in a lively debate.
This letter summarises the content of that meeting and outlines the actions that will be taken as a result. I trust that you find this information of use and that you will continue to be an active part of the Cally community. If you have comments that you would like to feed in please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter @teamcally and there is further information available about Team Cally and the Cally neighbourhood at www.teamcally.org
The meeting opened with a short film about this year’s Cally Festival which took place on Sunday 16 September.
The Festival proved to be a vibrant, colourful ‘carnival-like’ celebration. The atmosphere was positive and the day was shaped around diverse musical and theatrical performances together with a unique showcase of local business and creative trade. The festival was designed to be inclusive and inviting, using open performance and workshop spaces hosted by professionals. Right from midday, the activities on offer were at capacity and the creative atmosphere encouraged additional impromptu performances and displays along the street.
The ward partnership meeting continued with Dr Hannah Flinders of Bingfield Surgery, who spoke about her views of the links between health and the community and the importance of individuals from different parts of the community taking the opportunity to meet and talk to one another. She also reflected that in the difficult times that we find ourselves in, that the values of community support and mutual respect will be even more important. She strongly supported the Cally Plan and advocated that everyone in the room should encourage others to become active in its development and implementation. She concluded by saying that healthy communities communicate and that everybody’s wellbeing is interconnected.
Cllr Rupert Perry introduced a discussion on the Cally Plan which he explained was initiated at a public meeting in July and shaped through a walkabout of the area on 17 November 2012. A steering group has been formed which comprises of 20 local residents and stakeholders which will influence the content of the final plan, which will take around 12 months to put together. Cllr Perry explained that following the July public meeting, senior officials of the Council and local councillors pledged to start a vigorous campaign of enforcement against noncompliant landlords on the Cally.
The Council has now set up a dedicated team of planners working on enforcement in the Caledonian ward, specifically targeting the premises where unscrupulous developers have been converting shops into flats and bedsits and subdividing properties into tiny living spaces. The Council has begun action in numerous cases after surveying dozens of suspect addresses. A Cally Councillors’ newsletter was circulated at the meeting which covered actions taken on planning and licensing breaches by landlords and businesses on the Cally. For further information visit the Cally Councillors’ Website at http://callylabourcouncillors.org.uk. Elliott Kemp, Planning Policy Officer, Islington Council, explained that the Cally Plan probably falls under the council’s secondary planning legislation that incorporates elements of the public participation directive and underpins the new strategic consent procedure established under the Planning and Development Act. One of the advantages of the Cally Plan is that it will help shape the council’s core planning strategy. The council does not have infinite power, but the Cally Plan can add influence.
Elliot gave a presentation about initial discussions that the steering group has held as well as the outputs from the walkabout. He then led a discussion about the plan. Members of the meeting highlighted that there are a number of positive features of the area, for example, there is a range of good quality independent shops, such as the Cally Pet Shop, Lewis & Lewis electrical shop and cafés such as Café Terrace and the new Italian café on Lyon Street.
The new zebra crossing has increased safety, there is one of the few petrol stations in central London, the co-op shop has recently been refurbished which was welcomed, and recently the Cally Torch relay, Cally Festivals and the Cally Market have begun to bring new optimism and sense of place. The meeting also identified that the clusters of shops between Caledonian and Barnsbury station and Offord Road and between Copenhagen Street and the canal towpath are generally visually pleasing due to their relative uniform look and size and the fact that there is well-balanced range of shops available.
Alongside these positive features, the meeting identified a number of areas of development, including adding to the range of shopping options, including a bank, introducing an award for the ‘best kept shop front’ to encourage shop owners to pay attention to the appearance of their shops, a solution for empty shops and ‘shuttered’ premises, requesting that the Barclays Bike hire scheme (‘Boris Bikes’) is extended to the area and renaming the Ferodo bridge. Businesses that were in receipt of Heritage grants to improve their shop fronts should be put under an obligation to keep the shop front to a high standard.
The forthcoming twenty minute free parking scheme was welcomed by the meeting. A member of Friends of Regents Canal suggested the elusive canal fund should be reopened for public consultation to support with public realm improvements on the Regents Canal towpath.
There was a discussion around planning matters, and the meeting raised concerns that the Cally could become isolated with the development of Kings Cross and York Way. Cllr Perry responded that the council wants to look at opening up east-west routes through the Bemerton Estate (BLiS) in order to increase pedestrian and cycling routes to and from these new areas of development.
Phyllis Richardson a local resident is interested in setting up a residents’ association for the Caledonian area; those interested should contact her via email@example.com .
Cllr Rupert Perry announced that the council has ring fenced a small amount of development fund for few quick win projects to help with the momentum of the Cally Plan. The next Cally Plan Steering group meeting is planned for mid February and the next Team Cally Ward Partnership Public Meeting is likely to just before Easter in mid to late March.
In the mean time, Cllr Rupert Perry encouraged everyone to keep the dialogue going and to send their thoughts and any suggestions directly to Elliot Kemp email: Elliot.Kemp@islington.gov.uk
Cllr Perry thanked everyone for attending the meeting and meeting concluded at 9.05pm
Many thanks Mo
For more information or to have your say email Mohamed Hammoudan, Team Cally Neighbourhood Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 609 8959 / 07960670435
Web : www.teamcally.org.uk