PCA Newsletter 62 - April 2012

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In This Issue

 

Return Of The Zone

Membership Campaign

Bay Delay

Lane News

Go West

Why We Love Our Council

Natural Beauty

Events And Activities

Burglaries

Poet’s Corner

Pitshanger FC Clubhouse

Pitshanger Pictures

Pied Piper Wanted

Members’ Charity Choice

Return Of The Zone

Pitshanger 20mph Zone

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water we’ve more to report on the proposed Pitshanger-wide 20 mph zone.  In January we told you of an overall ‘Yes’ response to the Council’s public consultation, but by February a private poll of Castlebar Park and Victoria Road residents had rejected the Council’s prescription of speed humps for their streets.  In the last newsletter we said we’d be taking an anti-hump position in our submissions to the Council, but this drew some strong support for humps from Queens Walk, one of the other two roads scheduled for ‘humping’.

In the end we asked the Council to look at alternatives to humps only in Castlebar Park and Victoria Road.  However, the latest news is that they now propose a six month trial of signage and roundels painted on the road surface in all four streets.  The effectiveness of these measures will be tested via speed measurements, and if more than 15% of vehicles are found to be doing over 27 mph (the standard threshold) we’ll get speed humps after all.  The only remaining complication, as if this wasn’t enough, is that Council officers are looking to the Cleveland Ward Forum to stump up £7,000 to fund the trial, and we haven’t heard yet whether our ward councillors have agreed to this.  Look out for Son Of Return Of The Zone in a future issue.

Events And Activities

It’s little more than a couple of months to our big summer event, Party In The Park on Sunday 17th June from 1 until 9 pm.  The Diamond Jubilee Tea Party for older members will be on Monday 10th September.  More information and invitations will be sent out in due course.

The St Barnabas community will be inviting everyone to share in the “Big Lunch” on Sunday 3rd June followed by a live screening of the “Thames River Pageant” on the Big Screen.  More details nearer the date.  They’ll also be showing the Olympics opening ceremony.

Actresses Gemma Slade and Poppy Jhakra run a weekly acting workshop at the Methodist church.  The class is every Thursday from 7.30 pm until 8.30, and is aimed at children and young people who want to “develop confidence, assertiveness, public speaking skills, make friends and have fun!”.  Turn up at the church or contact Gemma at [email protected].

Membership Campaign

Burglaries

Membership secretary Jan Vaughan and Kommandante Lynda Pullman, chief of the PCA posties, would like to say a huge thank you to all who helped with this year's membership campaign, particularly those who delivered the thousands of envelopes.  We were fortunate to have wall-to-wall sunshine for the exercise this year.  So far returns are looking good but if you’ve mislaid your form you can get another from [email protected].

There’s been quite a spate of these recently, targets including the Play Centre and the PCA container in the park as well as several private houses.  Our local police team leader, Sergeant James Ayling, reports that most have involved entry through the rear of the property with small items such as jewellery and cash being taken.  In some cases the back door has been forced and in others the door has been left unlocked.  James asks that you remain vigilant, check that doors and windows are locked when you go out, and call 999 if you see anyone hanging about or acting suspiciously.

Bay Delay

It looks as though Pitshanger’s first club car may at long last be on its way to a bay in Harrow View Road.  We first reported this last May, but until now there have been few signs of progress apart from the publication of traffic orders for two bays (one in Harrow View Road and the other in Princes Gardens).  It appears that the club car operators have been unsure about extending their services to Pitshanger with one of them backing out altogether, but now City Car Club plan to use the designated bay in Harrow View Road starting in May this year, and if that car is used enough they will consider placing a second one in Princes Gardens.  We hope the scheme proves successful as club cars have the potential to reduce pressure on Pitshanger’s scarce resource – parking space – by offering an alternative to lightly used second cars.

Poet’s Corner

Poetry lovers will be interested to know that we have an eminent poet in our midst.  Mahmud Kianush has lived in Summerfield Road with his family since 1976 and has worked for the BBC’s Persian service as a freelance producer for the last 23 years.  Born in Iran in 1934, he’s been writing poetry to critical acclaim since he was 12.  Altogether he’s published 14 books of poetry as well as novels, short stories and other literary works, and is regarded as the founder of children’s poetry in Iran. We could fill the newsletter with the achievements of this fascinating man, but suffice to say he has a new book of poems out, ‘The Amber Shell of Self’ (available from Pitshanger Bookshop).  Contact him directly via [email protected].

Mahmud Kianush, Poet

Lane News

Pitshanger Traders Association chair John Martin and our own chair, Karen Jacks, met with representatives from the Strategy Team of the Department for Communities and Local Government who are currently looking at ways in which small parades of shops can be encouraged to thrive.  A wide range of issues and concerns were aired and there was a good discussion about the detrimental effects of councils and planners when inappropriate schemes are ‘shoehorned’ into local shopping areas (as in ‘stop and shop’ below).  We in Pitshanger are fortunate to have good relations with the Council and councillors and are able to overcome such threats, unlike many other areas.  The Strategy Team representatives seemed to think we had something quite unique here, particularly in a London borough.

Meanwhile, the 4,000 signature petition against any changes to the current ‘stop and shop’ parking arrangements along the Lane has been formally handed to the Council by the Pitshanger traders.  We’ll be on the lookout for details of the Council public consultation on this and keep you posted.

Pitshanger FC Clubhouse

PItshanger FC Clubhouse

Last July we reported that Pitshanger FC’s planning application for a football clubhouse in the park by Scotch Common had been approved by the Council’s Planning Committee.  We’ve now learned that a Council Cabinet meeting in February agreed £75,000 of Council funding towards the project’s overall cost of £575,000, the rest coming from Pitshanger FC itself (£145,000), the Football Foundation (£250,000), Sport England (£50,000) and the John Lyon Trust (£55,000).  The building will be leased to Pitshanger FC for 25 years after which it will revert to the Council.

Your committee’s approach to the project has been to accept planning approval for the clubhouse as a foregone conclusion due to historical precedent, and to concentrate instead on the lease terms for the football pitches in the park to ensure and protect fair access for all park users.  This dialogue is still ongoing with the Council’s Major Projects Team and we’ll provide further news as we get it.  In the meantime, opposition to the club house has recently resurfaced with the launch of a new online petition that has so far gathered about 165 votes.

Go West

Pitshanger Pictures

Fancy a few weeks in Canada?  Member Adel Golding is due to give birth in May and her parents want to cross the pond to spend some time with the new baby.  Unfortunately there’s no space in her “little house” on the Brentham estate so she wonders if anyone is in need of a house sitter, wants a house swap, or has a short term rental available, roughly mid-May to mid-July.   Anyone interested in a swap would move into “a lovely two-bedroom condo about half an hour outside Toronto” with “great on-site indoor facilities…loads of restaurants in walking distance…and good transport links”  Contact Adel at [email protected] or phone 8621 6507.

Our local cinema at St Barnabas church is screening Pedro Almodava’s modern “horror classic” ‘The Skin I Live In’ (15) on Monday 23rd April at 7.45 pm, starring Antonia Banderas as a “somewhat deranged” scientist.  It’s a night at the opera the following Sunday, 29th April, with all-time favourite ‘La Boheme’ at 7 pm preceded by a hot supper from 6 pm.  Finally, to mark the 70th anniversary of its release there’s a showing of ‘Casablanca’ starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at 7.45 pm on Monday 14th May.

Why We Love Our Council

Members were alarmed when recycled waste was collected in a rubbish truck recently rather than the usual compartmentalised vehicle.  Fears that our efforts to save the planet were headed straight for landfill were assuaged by the Council’s assurance that the mixed recycling would be sorted at the depot and dealt with in the usual way.  Apparently the problem lies with the contractors and the Council are attempting to normalise collections as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, member Tony Purton has got hold of the accounts for the Council’s ‘parking services’ for 2010/11 which show an income of £14.22m, of which parking fines account for just over £10m.  Costs were £6m and the vast majority of the surplus (85% or £5.5m) went towards ‘concessionary fares’, i.e. Freedom Passes.  Cynics who presume every penny goes into Council coffers might allow themselves a wry smile as the 1984 Road Traffic Act restricts councils to spending fines on parking enforcement activities, improving off-street parking, or “other transport related and environmental schemes”.

Pied Piper Wanted

People using the paths through the golf course are reporting an infestation of rats, one dog-walker telling us he’s seen as many as eight a day scurrying across his path compared with the occasional one or two on the riverbank previously.  The worst affected areas are away from the river: any suggestions as to the cause of the sudden influx will be passed on to the relevant authority.

Natural Beauty

Members’ Charity Choice

Perivale Wood, not far from Perivale station, is a nature reserve not normally open to the public.  The owners, registered charity the Selborne Society, hold an annual Open Day which this year is on Sunday 29th April from 10 until 4.30 pm.  Entrance is free and you can explore the wood, have a cup of tea and a cake, buy home-made jams and jellies, and find out more about the society and its work.  Details at www.selbornesociety.org.uk.

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the PCA is putting £1000 into a special fund – ‘The Diamond Jubilee Fund’ – which will be shared equally between ten charities or not-for-profit organisations nominated by members.  If you know of a charity you think deserves the money please contact PCA Secretary Debbie Edwards, 12 Sovereign Close, W51DE or download the application form here.  The closing date is Friday 25th May and successful nominees will be announced in the newsletter.