MUSWELL HILL AND FORTIS GREEN ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022

Thursday 12 May 2022

Chairman’s Report

This is my 22nd year as your chairman, how time flies! When I was asked to take over the chairmanship, I had no idea that I would still be giving my annual report, especially after another difficult year. The last twelve months have proved to be more challenging not just because of the virus but because of changes on the Committee.

As last year, we conducted all our committee meetings and members’ meetings on ZOOM and I am delighted to be able at last to have an actual audience in a new venue. It is really nice to see you all in person again.

Meetings.

In September our member Peter Webb gave us the second half of his talk following his earlier talk about Michelangelo to Picasso. Another fascinating tour of his unrivalled collection of prints, this time concentrating on Oriental and European prints of a later period and his personal friendship with David Hockney and Henry Moore.

In October Professor Ian Christie, a film historian and also a member of our Association talked about Robert Paul and the birth of his film studio in Sydney Road Muswell Hill. Paul made about 800 films of which around 75 survive.

In February Gill Simpson gave us a fascinating history of the buildings and the people involved in the development of North Bank through the ages.

Also in February we visited the Hornsey Library, where after an introductory talk we were guided round by Professor Ian Christie who curated the exhibition of the lost works of the film maker, Robert Paul, we also viewed 8 archive films.

In March David Staples another member of our Association, introduced us to the architecture of modern theatres and opera houses built after the 1950-s.

Suggestions for talks are always welcome.

On Sunday 12th June at 11.00 we will be going on a conducted walk in the Kenwood estate, led by Peter Barber. Notification will be sent out very soon.

Newsletter.

The Newsletter is an important P.R. tool of the Association.

I say this every year, we are very fortunate to have Christine Morris as our editor.

She consistently produces high quality Newsletters every two months, keeping our members informed of what is happening in our area and delivering an interesting and varied publication. We also distribute the Newsletters to libraries, pubs and other outlets, where non-members can pick up a copy.

Christine receives updates from Committee members on their activities and is always looking for contributions, especially from our members, so please do not be shy, everybody has a story, especially those of you who have lived in this area for a long time. 

Website.

Webmaster Alex Vincenti has worked very hard all year round monitoring who uses our website, adding new pages, digitalising and cataloguing all our Newsletters since 1965, bringing in new ideas and updating existing content, since the website is now nine years old.

A new “catch up” page has been added, with video recordings of meetings.  The “Links” page has been completely revised and expanded and a new “search” facility has been introduced on the home page. He has also updated our shopfront photo survey and introduced new pages with videos of our zoom meetings. In one year we had 3200 visitors and 8200 views.

The website is another important P.R. tool for the Association, full of useful and informative contents. If you have not already used it, do have a look.

Membership.

Our membership secretary Richard Marmalade had to give up his role, due to moving out of our area. We are very fortunate to be able to welcome Lara Massey to take over from Richard. You can read her very impressive profile in the current Newsletter.

This year we welcomed 31 new households and 6 businesses and organisations, bringing the total membership to 780, comprising 83 businesses and 697 households.

Though the Newsletter is primarily distributed by e-mail, a small number are sent by post by the membership secretary to those without access to e-mail. We have continued to support our members on a wide range of subjects.

Our membership database is now firmly established, but there are still some shortfalls which we are in the process of overcoming.

We have continued to promote our Business and Organisation members by listing them, giving them space for special offers, as well as offering to feature them in our Newsletters and on social media, and displaying their logos on our website..

Planning.

Nick Barr has reviewed 288 planning applications during the year and objected to 8.

This is comparable with the last three years. For example, Nick will make representations to the Council if an application is for the creation of crossovers and or garden parking.

Following are three examples of note:

Cranwood House, Woodside Avenue. You may recall several articles in our Newsletter concerning this proposed major development. The Association submitted a detailed objection, substantially on the grounds that the scheme fails to meet the Council’s criteria, however we support the need for affordable housing.                    The consultation ended on the 31st of January, after attracting over 240 comments and the proposal is also subject to a police investigation. As far as we know, no decision has yet been made.

Ramsey Court, Park Road. The application is to demolish a row of garages and to replace them with three houses and a three-storey building with six apartments.    We objected to this last element on the grounds of loss of mature trees and inappropriate design.  No decision has been made so far.

60, Rosebery Road. We objected to the proposal to create a cross-over and front parking on this corner plot. The application was refused.

Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

John Crompton represents us on the Advisory Committee. He is keen to recruit new members, so if anybody here is interested, please talk to him.

He reports that as far as shops are concerned, this has been a mixed year in our area.

We still are attracting new shops and restaurants and there is a rumour that McDonald would also like to open a branch in Muswell Hill. Unfortunately, we lost two of our banks as well as Midhurst butchers, Michael the hairdresser and a Newsagent.

As far as residential developments are concerned, most of the applications have been for extensions of existing properties. However, permission has been granted for ten units in the car wash site in Fortis Green.

During the year permission was granted for the redevelopment of Poundland with nine flats above a commercial space. We understand that the likely use of the ground floor could be a pub and we will carefully examine any proposals. We have already objected to the fact that the proposed building will appear unduly dominant.

We are very pleased to report that the applications to add an extra storey on top of Whitehall Lodge in Pages Lane have been refused.

The proposed demolition of the disused railway bridge in Dukes Avenue, at the entrance to the park is on hold for the time being.

In other matters, we are still waiting for the first draft of Haringey’s new local plan and the government’s revised proposals on national level, after its original intentions were put on hold.

Alexandra Palace and Park.

There have been many more events than last year and the capacity and frequency of these are almost back to normal. This summer sees the return of the Kaleidoscope Festival and the Red Bull Soapbox Race, among others. There have of course been financial challenges following a very tough year and to help generate income, permanent car parking charges are being implemented later this year.  A welcome grant was received from the Cultural Recovery Fund.

Discussions are taking place to change the way in which individuals and organisations can engage with the Palace and Park, including a possible public forum, but no decisions have been taken as yet.

We were sad to see that Louise Stewart who did a fantastic job as CEO over the last six years has decided to leave. She is being replaced by Emma Dagnes, previously deputy CEO.

We will host Emma at one of our members’ talks in the autumn.

Environment.

Brian Livingston has done an enormous amount of work, covering the following green sites and flower beds: pocket parks opposite the Village Green pub and at Blaenavon on Fortis Green, beds outside Rymans and at the end of Fortis Green Road at the traffic lights, the raised bed at Grand Avenue/Muswell Hill Road junction, Grove Lodge Garden path, Midhurst Green and Twyford Green. He has worked with the Council’s Parks Department and Veolia to improve all these green spaces and ensure that they are regularly maintained and kept clean. We have funded new plants for the flower boxes at the roundabout and the cattle trough. We thank members of the Association for their donations and Sunshine Gardens for the discount they continue to give us on the cost of plants. The lack of water supply causes some issues and we have started a discussion with Thames Water about providing a tap in the Broadway.

We have continued to organise maintenance visits to the Colney Hatch Lane beds and would like to thank those members of the Association who regularly help with this task. Thanks are also due to the Avid Gardener company which undertakes regular pruning of the shrubs and other work. We have also installed two sturdy aluminium plaques on metal stakes, replacing the old timber ones.  By the way, we are always looking for anybody who is willing to help.

We continue our fight to keep Queens Avenue clear of rubbish and are working with both the Council and Veolia. This is an uphill task, due to the Haringey Homes properties and the multi occupancy houses in the street, the state of the bins and keeping clear the bin areas.

Graffiti and fly posting are an ongoing problem. We are lucky that our team of Bill Jago and Jack Whitehead continue to do a fantastic job in removing or reporting such items. The Council takes this very seriously and removes the offending eyesores very quickly.

Brian is in touch with the Haringey Local Area Coordinator, who we hope will help us in various local issues including the placing of a tap for watering our green sites. He also attended the first ever Haringey Parks summit, where it was announced that the budget for parks staff is being increased, which hopefully mean more staffing on the ground in our area.

Transport

I am very sad to report that Tony Wells has had to resign due to ill health. He has been an active and reliable member of the Committee for nine years and we shall miss him. This is his final report.

Tony covers all aspects of transport that are likely to impact on members of the Association in our area or in neighbouring boroughs, including bus routes, bus lanes, cycle lanes, low emission zones, electric charging points and all matters relating to parking.

The most impactful project this year was the cycle lane in Eat Finchley continuing all the way to North Finchley. This was introduced without consultation and as a result many businesses suffered. We, with many others, made representation to our local council and MP.  As you have seen, changes have now been made and some of the restrictions have been lifted.

Tony has also maintained contact with the Highgate Society and others in Crouch End on proposed new traffic schemes.

If I am delighted to tell you that just a few minutes ago I was informed that Chris White has volunteered to take over from Tony. Welcome Chris to the Committee and thank you for offering to help.

Community Fund.

Last summer we decided to launch a Community Fund with up to £500 available to support local projects for the benefit of the community. We received 13 applications from local groups and organisations. The eventual winners were the Friends of Highgate Roman kiln.   Since this new initiative elicited so much positive attention, we hope to repeat it in future years.

Publicity

George Danker regularly e-mails our members, informing you among other things of events (our own and those organised by others in our area) and local transport and environmental issues. He helps our corporate members by publicising their latest news.

He writes articles in the Muswell Flyer and other local publications. Most importantly he keeps our mailing list up to date. He sets up and administers ticketing for our meetings electronically via Eventbrite.

He was actively involved with our new project, the Community Fund, setting up the structure, publicising it, encouraging applications, setting up criteria for judging and serving on the panel which assessed the applications and put forward the suggested winners to the full committee. He also made contact with the new Haringey Council local area co-ordinator.

Facebook, Instagram and the Notice Board.

Zoe Norfolk has worked very hard to publicize our activities on Facebook and Instagram.

We have over 2000 followers on Facebook and growing. Zoe posts interesting local stories, such as shop openings and closings, also our events, and Committee vacancies, as well as some beautiful photos, like the bluebells in Highgate Wood and the blossoms in Cranley Gardens .

On Instagram we have nearly 900 followers and growing. Zoe posts a local picture once a week and other images in stories. For example, the vacancy for the job of the membership secretary and the transport officer were shared widely.

She keeps our Notice Board up to date and puts up new posters and copies of our Newsletter on a regular basis.

Minutes.

I would like to thank Laura Bugden for her contribution and the professional and accurate minutes she produces of our Committee meetings.

Tree Officer.

This is a new appointment. Jonathan Popper has taken on the task and is in constant touch with the Council, regarding all tree work in our area, whether it be tree planting, tree replacement or tree preservation orders. His work falls in to three categories: saving trees, promoting tree-planting and looking at local woods. His full report and contact details are on our website.

Treasury.

Before I hand over to Jacqueline for her report on our finances, I wish to thank her for her continued hard work. She has kept our accounts in an exemplary state, fighting with the banks and coping with the different ways members are paying their subs. We are greatly indebted to her continued vigilance and attention to detail.

This concludes my report.

John Hajdu, MHFGA Chairman

MUSWELL HILL AND FORTIS GREEN ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2021

Thursday 13th May

This is the second AGM when sadly we cannot get together over a glass of wine and some food to tell you what we have been doing last year.

Our Association was formed in 1948, 73 years ago and we have come a long way since then, but we never had to face the challenges of the last 12 months.

Our six committee meetings were conducted on ZOOM. Your committee continued to work throughout the year under difficult conditions.

Meetings

We had to cancel all our talks, as well as our planned outings to the Kenwood Estate and a conducted tour of Muswell Hill, both of which we hope to reinstate as soon as permitted.

All three of our meetings in November, February and March were conducted on ZOOM and were attended by over 50 members. In November we heard from Alex Fraser the Council’s arboricultural officer, in February Peter Webb the distinguished art historian, writer and fine print collector talked about his amazing collection and in March Maurice Collins gave us an interactive introduction to his collection of over 3000 posters and everyday gadgets. He and Peter are both local residents and members of our Association.

We have now lined up two more members’ meetings, hopefully at North Bank and not on ZOOM. In September Peter Webb will return to concentrate on his Oriental and European prints. In October Ian Christie will talk to us about the birth of a film studio in Muswell Hill.

Newsletter. Christine Morris

We continued to produce our Newsletters every two months and I am sure you will agree that our editor, is doing an outstanding job.

The Newsletter updates you with planning, environment, transport and other issues.

The member’s profile and the archive articles proved to be very popular.

Do let Christine know if you would like to contribute.

Website. Alex Vincenti

Our website is constantly upgraded and improved by our webmaster.

Have a look at his report to see the two major changes he has made and the increasing number of visitors to our site from all over the world.

Membership. Richard Marmalade

We welcomed Richard as our membership secretary last March and at the same time we started using new membership software, which is now up to date.

We have welcomed 29 new members which means that we now have773 members in total, including 78 businesses and organisations.

Treasury. Jacqueline Servat

Various changes had to be made last year due to the pandemic.

We stopped hand delivering our Newsletters, which resulted in savings in printing costs, we did not have to pay room hire charges as our meetings and committee meetings were on ZOOM, for stalls or for the AGM venue. The trend towards electronic payments seems well established. We gave a donation of £100 to the local Soup Kitchen. We reduced the amount held in our current account to a minimum.

The full financial report is available on request, addressed to me.

Planning. Nick Barr

321 planning applications were reviewed, 12 of which were objected to by Nick.

The extension of Permitted Development rights is a major concern as well as the fact that Haringey has failed to meet the Government’s housing targets. Detailed explanation can be seen in the full report.

Conservation Area Advisory Committee. John Crompton

We have been fortunate not to have lost too many of our shops, due to Covid and we welcomed many new ones.

Many of the planning applications were for small scale extensions. The exception is Whitehall Lodge where we have been successful in stopping a plan to build additional flats on the roof. We were also involved in stopping buildings in back gardens.

John also reports on the discussion about the disused railway bridge in Dukes Avenue and Haringey’s proposed new local plan.

Alexandra Palace and Park Twitter: Duncan Neill

The report covers the difficulties the Palace faced during lockdown, the financial impact of loss of trading, future plans, implementation of car parking charges, problems with litter in the Park.

We have 1000 followers on Twitter

Environment. Brian Livingston

Brian’s extensive report covers the following items:

Flower boxes around the Broadway, cattle trough opposite the Library, Colney Hatch Lane beds, new signs for the beds, pocket park opposite the Village Green pub, other green sites and flower beds, potholes, street furniture, flyposting, refuse problem in Queens Avenue, liaising with other bodies, including the Council Park Department and also new projects.

Publicity. George Danker

The following items are covered in this report:

Regular e-mails to inform our members, keeping our mailing list up to date, rubbish in Queens Avenue, members’ meetings, contact with the press, and the refurbishment of the Muswell Hill Library.

Transport. Anthony Wells

This year we have reported on the Controlled Parking Zones, the Electric Charging Points, on the East Finchley cycle lane and the proposed closure to traffic of Brownlow Road. We took action when needed.

Facebook, Instagram & Noticeboard. Zoe Norfolk

Details regarding these issues, including the number of followers we have, and the items posted on Facebook, are listed in Zoe’s report.

Zoe purchased and fitted a new green pin board and continues to display items sent to her about relevant local issues.

Please note that my report is ONLY a summary of the work your Committee has undertaken during the last year. Click on the individual headings to read the full reports.

Once again, I wish to thank every member of the Committee for their support and for ensuring the continued smooth running and success of your Association.

John Hajdu MBE

Chair
Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association
chairman@mhfga.org

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Thursday 14 May 2020

Chairman’s and Committee’s Reports

This is my twentieth year as your chairman.

I was hoping to make my report to you in person at the Woodside Square Conference Centre on the 14th of May, but unfortunately for obvious reasons this meeting could not take place. The money we saved on hire costs and food/wine was rounded up and was donated to the Whittington Hospital.

John Hajdu, MHFGA Chairman

Click here to read the full Committee Reports.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Thursday, 16th May

Chairman’s report

This is our 71st Annual General Meeting and my 19th as your Chairman.
We have had another action packed and exciting year and as usual there is a lot to report.
First of all I wish to welcome our new members and at the same time to extend a special thank you to six of our members who came forward to help. More later.

Newsletter.
Six times a year, Christine manages to produce an outstanding Newsletter of a very high standard.  By the time you read your copy, Christine has been working on it for weeks, chasing contributors, meeting me to discuss which articles should be included, how to lay out the pages, filling in gaps, and searching for the best photos.
On the back page, we have now started a new series, looking back at our past history and quoting from early Newsletters.
Also, I wonder how many of you have noticed the flower at the top right of the front page, which varies from season to season.
We are very fortunate to have Christine as our editor.

Meetings.
In June we arranged a conducted tour of Highgate Cemetery. 21 members were shown round parts of the lesser known West side by a knowledgeable and engaging guide. Afterwards, we were allowed to visit the East side as well. The Cemetery opened in 1839 and 170,000 people are buried there. It was a fascinating insight into a part of Highgate which was not familiar to most of us.
In October Michael Burman talked to us about the history and development of the Northern Line, with amazing slides of the stations, and contemporary maps. The talk included reference to sections of the line which had closed, and plans to extend the line that never materialised. We had over 70 people attending, one of our largest ever audiences.
In November cinema historian Jeremy Buck told us about the history of the cinemas in Muswell Hill and in particular the Odeon, which opened in 1936 and is a grade II* listed art deco building. The talk was illustrated with a selection of images and the Pathe Newsreel of the opening night. Our Association led a campaign in the 1980s for the building to be given listed status when it was under threat of closure.
In March we visited Lauderdale House in Highgate and were given an outstanding conducted tour of the building and the surrounding gardens by one of the Trustees.
In April Denis Lynch of Sunshine Gardens gave us a talk with excellent slides. He told us about jobs to do in the garden and about ponds and grass, with Spring in mind. He also brought some lovely plants with him.
We also had a short presentation by the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group, which started life at one of our meetings eleven years ago.
This evening we have decided to do the catering ourselves and I want to thank Sandra, George and other members of the committee, who found, booked and set up this room, directed you here, purchased and prepared the food and drinks.
On Sunday the 9th of June we will have a conducted tour of Alexandra Park.
We are always looking for suggestions for our talks and walks, so if you have any ideas, come and talk to me, or George.

Membership.
Alex Vincenti has been our membership secretary for 5 years, but resigned for personal reasons in December last year. Alex has completely changed the nature of this job, introducing a new membership system, a new way of reporting membership statistics and starting a membership column in the Newsletter. He also redesigned our application form. He looked after our insurance, which is now done by our treasurer, ran our stalls, which is now done by George Danker, and helped with the Notice Board, repairing it periodically.

Having reorganised the duties of the membership secretary, I am delighted that Loretta Mitchell agreed to take on the task and she has already contacted 180 members who have still not adjusted their Standing Orders from £8 to £10, most promising to make the necessary adjustment with their banks. Unfortunately, many have not yet done so, and will have to be contacted again.
Loretta also sends out welcome letters to all new members and answers membership queries. Due to the new data protection laws, she also has to check if new members are willing to be mentioned in our Newsletter.

Planning.
Our planning officer, Nick Barr, has reviewed 326 planning applications and made 17 objections. This represents a decrease since last year and continues a downward trend on the previous two years. The decrease is consistent with the downturn of the housing market and economic uncertainties.
Nick will continue to object to the creation of car parking at the expense of front gardens.

The following are a couple of matters of interest:
76, Woodland Gardens. This was mentioned in Nick’s report last year. Since August 2017 there have been several separate applications, concerning the demolition of the existing Edwardian house and the erection of a modern house, not in keeping with the surrounding area. The first was withdrawn, the second was refused and the third was recently submitted and yet again we objected, as the application does little to address the impact and design concerns.
Risborough Close, Muswell Hill Place. This block of flats is in a prominent position and has been the subject of applications to create accommodation on the current roof space, which is a concern. One of the least sympathetic of the two applications was withdrawn. We have objected on several grounds, in particular against the creation of six car parking spaces on what is currently a grassed amenity area, and the reduction in both pedestrian and highway safety, and loss of parking spaces for others.

Conservation Area Advisory Board.
John Crompton continues to be our representative on the Board. This important group is chaired by John and they are always looking for volunteers, so if you are interested, speak to him.
During the past year we have seen a number of shop and restaurant opening and closing. Rents and business rates are the main concern, but some restaurants close due to decisions taken in head office, without considering the local situation.
We are aware that there is a national debate about the future of town centres. Fortunately, we are not dominated by large department stores. In many ways we are ahead of the game: for example, we have an active residents’ association keeping an eye on things in our area, we already have a residential population living above shops, which is only talked about elsewhere, we have lovely flower beds and pocket parks.
We have seen several large developments completed (Raglan House, the old police station and the largest being where we are meeting this evening). The 80 new homes on the Coppetts Wood site will be the next major project.
In addition, an application was approved to extend upwards the John Baird pub, to provide 7 flats. Another unsatisfactory scheme, to which we strongly objected was, to extend the former Woolworth building to provide 9 flats. However, the most controversial application is the proposed redevelopment of the single storey shops in Fortis Green Road, to build 6 flats above. Despite repeated requests by our Association the applicant has not provided enough information and after further repeated request by us, the applicant held a public meeting, which was well attended.
The new application was finally revealed a few weeks ago and is open to comments on the Council website. The closing date is the 24th May.
You might be interested to hear that the Mayor has launched the new draft London Plan. In due course Haringey will be publishing its own local plan, in which it will have to show how it will ensure the provision of an additional 2000 housing units a year for ten years.

Environmental issues, green sites, flower beds, graffiti.
We were delighted when our bid for funding was successful and we were awarded £500 for plants for our flower boxes and beds. We have continued to maintain the flower boxes around the roundabout and are grateful to members who have made donations towards the cost of flowers.
Our environmental officer Brian Livingston would like to thank Sunshine Gardens for the discount on the cost of flowers, member Tessa Kulik for helping with the planting and watering, and others who removed rubbish when passing by, as well as the local shops who help with watering and keeping an eye on the boxes outside their premises. Unfortunately, the box outside Mossy Well has disappeared.
Thanks are also due to Pauline Hudson who has continued to manage the planting and maintenance of the trough opposite the Library. The display of daffodils was particularly impressive this year.
The Colney Hatch Lane beds are now well established and we often receive nice comments from passers by. We have a regular team of members, including Lucy Haynes, Roz Abrams, Georgia Pairtrie, Brian and me, who continue to give an hour or two of our time every few months to carry out weeding, pruning and other jobs. We are also helped by Mark of the Avid Gardener and Haringey Parks Department who cut the grass regularly.
Brian and Georgia met members of the Parks Department who agreed to undertake pruning and fund new shrubs in the pocket park opposite the John Baird pub. At the same time, Veoila agreed to provide new bins and improve cleaning. In March, in the pouring rain, Brian, Georgia and two Haringey gardeners planted 20 shrubs.
Generally, we have a good relationship with both Veolia and the Parks Department and we report issues to them. The aim is to continue to improve all the green spaces in our area.
Our graffiti team of Jack Whitehead and Bill Jago continue to undertake weekly inspection and cleaning up graffiti and reporting to the Council anything they cannot clean. For example, our Notice Board was sprayed with blue paint only a couple of weeks ago.
Brian also reports to the Council blocked gullies, damaged street furniture or paving.
Please note that anybody can report these problems by phone, on the Council website, or the mobile phone App.
The Queens Avenue refuse situation continues to be a problem mainly because of the properties of Homes for Haringey, which has large numbers of transient residents and insufficient storage for the large bins, causing overflow of rubbish onto the pavement. Since we started this project, the tipping opposite the Library has greatly reduced. In fact, a meeting with the Council took place only last week.
Brian also reports to the managing agents rubbish dumping, graffiti, faulty lights and other matters at St James Square and the car park behind the cinema. In addition, we get involved in such items as fly posting in phone boxes, maintenance of footpaths and tree replacement.
Considering that Brian has a full time job, I really do not know how he manages to deal with all this.

Alexandra Palace and Park.
Duncan Neill represents us on the Consultative and Advisory committees, which meet four times a year. He was also appointed to the Alexandra Palace and Park Charitable Trust Board.
2018 was a momentous year for the Palace and the Park. The theatre reopened after 80 years and the opening programme of concerts and shows was well received by both local residents and visitors from further afield. We are very lucky to have such a well-equipped theatre and are looking forward to a varied and exciting range of productions over the coming years.
Apart from the theatre we have seen the opening of the East Court, but unfortunately the restoration of the historic BBC studios has been put on hold and we are keeping a close eye on developments there.
The number of events has continued to grow, including the Kaleidoscope Festival last summer, and the number of complaints about noise was relatively low, 30 in 12 months.
No doubt, many of you will be concerned about a recent proposal to introduce car parking charges at the Palace and Park grounds. The thinking behind this is that it would create new revenue and would help improve the safety standards of the parking areas; but we need to keep in mind the potential impact on local street parking. We will keep you informed as and when this proposal develops further.
We encourage you, our members, to get in touch with Duncan, who is here tonight, either to raise questions or to provide feedback.

Publicity.
Our publicity officer, George Danker, has worked very hard to keep our Association in the public eye and to communicate with our members.
We now have a regular page in the Muswell Flyer, which is well read in our area and is very useful in spreading our latest news and events.
George sends out regular messages to members, which have included information on important planning applications, a January membership offer to non-members, and encouraging members to fill in the Council’s Survey on where money should be spent. We suggested that accessibility upgrades to our Library would be an excellent candidate.
We have started publicising details of meetings with the police, as many members were not aware of these. George helped to organise the event held by the police at Hornsey Town Hall where people could discuss the latest crime wave in our area.
George is involved in planning all our meetings and the stalls at Midsummer Muswell and A Very Merry Muswell events.
He keeps up the pressure on the Council’s waste management team about rubbish and fly-tipping, particularly in Queens Avenue. He informed members on how to report fly-tipping, supported our MP and Councillors in their efforts to campaign against the planned closure of the Muswell Hill Delivery Office, informed members about the latest developments on Pinkham Way, and asked members to vote for us at Waitrose, as we were chosen as one of the three Community Matters beneficiaries last month. The money we expect to receive will help with the funding of this AGM. Finally, George has spent a lot of time working on the Mailchimp membership mailing list, which now gives us an accurate database of members’ details.
We extend our warmest thanks to him for all his hard and conscientious work.

Transport.
Chris Barker, our transport officer, raised the issue of parking on Sundays in Muswell Hill Broadway, which was causing congestion, especially for buses. The Council agreed and painted double yellow lines in parts of the Colney Hatch Lane end of the Broadway. We also informed members that bus route 603 only operates on school days.
We have been involved in a campaign for a small hopper bus route hopefully to establish a link between Muswell Hill, Highgate and Hampstead.
We notified members about the ultra-low emission zone in Central London, which has now come into force, and about proposed charges for drivers when parking in Alexandra Palace. We campaigned against curtailing the 134 bus route, but unfortunately this will now go ahead. We have asked for better lighting at local zebra crossings and supported a petition for a new crossing near the Clissold Arms.

Website.
Our website is well established and includes the latest news on our Events and Projects page. Tony Wells continues to update, on a regular basis, our image gallery of today and yesteryear, the history of the Association, and links to our corporate members and local groups.
The Google statistics show a 20% increase of activity over the year. Over half of the users are from Britain and the rest are from almost eighty different countries.

Shop Front Photo archive.
Tony Wells continues to take photos of all new shops in our shopping centre and he keeps it up to date in digital format. A selection of new images is added periodically to the Website Gallery. Printed photos are kept in binders for viewing at our stalls and the latest one is here today. This is of historical importance, as shops come and go on a regular basis. In addition, photos taken by Tony, Jacqueline and Zoe of the various green sites and flower boxes are shown on the Website.
We also display some Newsletters as examples of the activities of the Association.

Odd One Out competition.
This was the second year that Zoe Norfolk organised this competition. 28 shops participated, displaying an item in their window; 71 children took part with 36 of them getting the answers correct. Each winner was given a free ticket to the Everyman cinema.
Due to the success of the competition, we are repeating it this summer.
Thank you Zoe for running this event again.

Midsummer Muswell.
As usual we had a stand at this event. Our location was ideal and our stall looked attractive with branded freebies on offer. We talked to many local residents who had not heard about us before and were able to pick up a number of new members.
Unfortunately, this event is not taking place this year.

Very Merry Muswell.
Zoe ran a tombola at the stall and we raised £210 for local charity, Wave. George arranged for the cast of the Jacksons Lane Christmas Show to switch on the Christmas lights and also helped the Friends of St James Square with ideas and planning. We will take part again this winter.

Photo Competition.
In celebration of our 70th birthday we held a photo competition, again organised by Zoe, via Facebook, entitled “Views of Muswell Hill”. After shortlisting six entries, which were all of a very high standard, the winner with 315 votes received a print of his winning entry.

Notice Board.
After four years, Pat Lott decided that she could not continue looking after the board, due to arthritis in her hands. She has done a very good job in collecting and displaying posters on a regular basis: thank you, Pat. We have also experienced technical problems with the Board, which have now been resolved. I am very pleased to tell you that committee member Zoe [who else?!] has agreed to take on this job. We have decided that in future the Board should mainly be used to promote the Association, leaving limited space for charities and a few other organisations.
Anybody approaching us in future wanting to display their events, will be told by Zoe that we are happy to promote them on social media instead.

Social Media:
Facebook and Instagram.
Zoe continues to grow our profile on both these platforms. We have well over 1,000 followers on each with high engagement levels. Instagram is mainly picture led, while Facebook is more article led. A video of Muswell Hill Broadway had 3,500 views.
Twitter.
Duncan manages our Twitter account: we now have 700 followers and growing.

Independent Examiner.
Patricia Pearl has taken over as our Independent Examiner.
Patricia is a long-standing member of the Association. She has already given some valuable advice to Jacqueline when examining our accounts.

Committee Minutes.
Sandra Howell has been our minute secretary for many years. I have no idea how she manages to provide accurate minutes out of two hours of heated discussions at our committee meetings. Unfortunately, Sandra has indicated that she wishes to retire soon, due to various family and health reasons. If there is anybody here who would be interested in joining the committee to take minutes at our six annual committee meetings, please speak to me later.

Before I hand over to our treasurer, Jacqueline, I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the competent and professional way in which she looks after our accounts. This was a particularly difficult year for her, mainly because of the change in membership fees. Well done, Jacqueline.

IN THIS ISSUE

  1. Coldfall Wood
  2. Tour of Lauderdale House
  3. Member profile: Alison Watson
  4. National Garden Scheme
  5. Pocket Park and Horse Trough
  6. Corporate profiles: Connubio da Fabio and Hollickwood School
  7. Meeting with local police teams and Cyber crime statistics 2018
  8. Local Events
  9. Local Guided Walks: The Beautiful Parkland Walk and History walk around Muswell Hill
  10. The Wellness Café at Alexandra Palace

Click HERE to read.