Newsletter June 2019

Welcome to our first twelve page newsletter. On some occasions we have struggled to pack everything into eight pages and the resulting product has sometimes looked unappealingly dense, so we hope you like the new layout. Along with a reminder that our AGM is on 10 July we are pleased to report that membership has just passed the 700 mark, not bad considering that when we re-activated the Association in 2005 we had just 215 members.

A more attractive town

The proposed build-out of the pavement along the High St between The Spires and the Post Office, including trees, benches and more litter bins, was approved in April and work is expected to start sometime after the Medieval Festival (8/9 June). We have been promoting this scheme ever since the concept was first mooted in 2010 and we have been closely engaged with the Council in its development. The result should be a major boost to the attractiveness of the town and hopefully encourage more people to shop here. The new Premier Inn is a little delayed but work should start soon. This should also bring more visitors here, and we need them to form a good impression so they will come back and encourage others to stay. This is all very positive, but much more needs to be done. With this in mind we have been putting a lot of our energy into dealing with eyesores and improving areas of neglect around the town centre, some of which we reported in the February newsletter.

vehicle with rotating brushes at the frontWe have worked with the Council on issues such as dealing with rough sleepers, fly tipping in St Albans Rd (of which more below), graffiti and street cleaning. On 24 April the Council undertook a blitz of the High Street including gutter cleaning (pictured) and graffiti removal. The Council is consulting on the possibility of an alcohol-free zone for the public realm which, if approved, should certainly have an impact on litter - and behaviour - in areas such as the Court House Recreation Grounds, the Churchyard Gardens and around the library.

Down the years we have repeatedly commented on the shabbiness of many of our High St shops and buildings. Following on from our recent efforts to get redundant estate agent boards removed and writing to owners about neglected aspects of their buildings, we approached several shops regarding graffiti. It was pleasing that a number responded by removing the offending scrawls. Only one shop front was disfigured by graffiti at the time of writing, and we are taking steps to deal with this. Some graffiti remains at roof level and we are endeavouring to persuade owners to deal with this as well. Nos 74-78 High St, opposite the Church and currently covered in scaffolding, had some very visible graffiti on the parapet and we asked for this to be dealt with whilst the scaffolding was in place.

We have previously pressed TSB over the state of their listed building and we are pleased they are now undertaking a major restoration. The other half of this listed building, currently occupied at ground level by the about-to-close Maison, is similarly in a state of disrepair but so far our approaches have failed to elicit a positive response from the owner. Another major concern is the former long-closed Curry Cottage building, which amongst other problems has been occupied by squatters. We recently learned that there is a lease running until 2027. The leaseholder is responsible for maintenance but of course is not actively using the building. The owners have indicated to us they will do nothing until the lease runs out. We dread to think what state the building might be in if it is neglected for another eight years. One possible course of action is for the Council to issue a dilapidations order which we may ask for if there is no progress with either of these buildings over the coming months. The Tesco frontage is similarly in a state of disrepair but they have told us remedial work is under active consideration.

stickers, about the size of a business cardWe have also turned our attention to the scourge of fly-stickers that adorn many frontages as the photograph illustrates. We have pointed out to occupiers that it is those shops that do not remove stickers that are repeatedly targeted, with some ending up displaying twenty or more. We have removed over 300 stickers in the last week or two. If they are dealt with quickly they are easy to peel off, so this is a small community service that any passer-by can do. Our hope is to persuade the offenders that they are wasting their time coming here because their stickers will be removed immediately after they are applied.

In addition to our efforts, we were pleased that a new organisation ‘Green Beings’ used social media to promote a litter pick on 23 March, with over ninety volunteers turning out. A particularly noticeable result of their efforts was the clean-up of the green patch between the station and Barnet Hill. A similar event is planned for 29 June, 12 noon to 4pm, meeting at St John’s churchyard. McDonald’s have also sponsored a clean-up. A further commendable initiative has come from the Boys Brigade who aim to litter pick the High St every two weeks. We are also aware that in a number of roads individuals have regularly gone out with a black bag and picked up litter in their immediate area. We asked the station manager that more effort is made to keep the ramp down to the station litter free and our MP also wrote to TfL about this. Recent observations indicate a considerable improvement.

We hear a lot of grumbles about litter and rotting leaves in gutters. The Council does endeavour to do an annual ‘deep clean’ of all the streets but regular sweeping is a thing of the past. With major cutbacks to the Council street scene budget over the last couple of years, the reality is that if residents want to keep their streets clear of rubbish the only way is to do it themselves. It is evident from the voluntary efforts discussed above that many people do care about the appearance of the area and are also willing to do something about it. We hope members may be encouraged to think about organising a similar initiative in their own roads.

St Albans Rd fly tipping continues

a pile of rubbish at the side of the road, with cardboard boxes and a large bag as used for building materialsWe have been working with the Council over the past few months regarding the blight of fly-tipping in St Albans Rd. It has been cleaned up several times but more rubbish just keeps appearing. We have had one recent success; shortly after the rubbish in the photograph was dumped we searched through it and found an address. The Council are considering a prosecution. But at the time of writing the situation is as bad as ever. CCTV is under active consideration but there are problems because of an absence of power in the immediate area. Overhanging trees would also limit the effectiveness of cameras though this could be dealt with by cutting back the branches. We are exploring with councillors how a CCTV installation might be funded. We have also approached the Byng estate and The Shires golf club to see if they might be able to contribute to helping us to get rid of this scourge.

Waitrose uplift a welcome boost

We have always considered Waitrose to be the ‘anchor’ store for the town centre and should we ever lose it the consequences could be disastrous. So the recent uplift is a very positive sign that they remain committed to High Barnet. The refurbishment has had a generally positive response though we have noticed some of our senior residents glowering at the sushi bar and the self-service checkouts. The coin-operated trolleys have already ended the scourge of abandoned trolleys in nearby streets though there have been teething problems with the mechanism. Your editor was disappointed to see the reduction in the size of the cheese counter, which has resulted in the disappearance of a couple of his favourite brands. On the other hand, his spirits have been lifted by the expansion of the wine and beer department.

boring shop front in shades of blue and greyThe more reserved new frontage to Nationwide is a major improvement on the previous in-your-face corporate style. The new arrivals Millets and JD Sports, Health Fusion and USA nails (of which more later) also have simple but smart frontages. Fantasy Nails has a new frontage which is a world better than the previous effort, so now the whole run of shops in Union St is looking rather good. This is a startling contrast to the dereliction of a few years ago.

We can but hope that these improved frontages are heralding a new era of good taste in the presentation of retail outlets. Restraint is the key consideration - something that has been largely absent for many years. About eight years ago the Council produced a very good leaflet offering design guidance for shop fronts which emphasised simplicity in signage and colours. Apart from us hardly anyone took any notice.

High Street – lose some, win some

We have had many false starts in the hoped-for revival of the fortunes of the High St, but we continue to remain optimistic. So it is always pleasing when we can report new arrivals, but inevitably there is a down side. So first the bad news. The most significant loss is the Tui travel agency at the entrance to The Spires. Umi’s and the nearby Antong eateries opposite the Church have both closed, though in both cases we were not surprised. Previous pizza and other fast food outlets on the Umi’s site have repeatedly failed, which indicates that in the very competitive fast food market, especially at the lower end of town, survival depends on being able to offer something that is ahead of the pack. Antong was the only Chinese restaurant in town but they might have done better if the experience had not been akin to sitting in a works canteen. If this outlet is to continue as a diner we hope the next occupant radically rethinks the interior. The Emmaus charity second-hand furniture store has closed. Re-letting this large unit will not be easy. The long signalled closure of Lux Lighting has now happened. Londis has closed for redevelopment of the upper floors to flats with a smaller shop planned for the ground floor. Maison is about to close. Honey Bee café has closed but been replaced by Souvlike, a Greek café which is something different, though the signage might have been more sympathetic to the building in this conservation area location.

JD shop with trainers in the windowMillets shop with green and white balloons outside

The most exciting new arrivals are JD Sports in The Spires and Millets on the High St in the former Living Furniture outlet, both pictured above. These outlets signal something of a reversal to the long decline of clothing comparison shopping in the town. By attracting new, younger shoppers they may help the other outlets in The Spires to do better, especially H&M which does have a somewhat forlorn air about it.

Also in The Spires the two empty kiosks have been taken by SP Moments jewellers and Do Dough, who have long been selling well-regarded pizzas from the van on the bandstand site. They should perk up this area of The Spires. The immediately adjacent courtyard still has the problem of the two empty units designated as restaurants, an increasingly unlikely prospect as the casual dining market continues to decline. The unit opposite which has housed the splendid Museum display on the Battle of Barnet also now includes a display commemorating 30 years since The Spires opened. There is also a new painting of the battle by a local artist. The banners used for the battle display are now displayed on the lampposts along the High St as part of the upcoming Medieval Festival.

A number of new openings are expected soon: a kitchen shop in the former Flairline, the reopening of the former Prezzo as an independent Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant which looks very promising, the intriguing Family Business Hub in the former Dudleys Pancake House, and Meraki, a new estate agent ‘with a difference’ so they claim, in the former Bottega Zagora at the very top end of the High St. Our lengthy dialogue with Foxtons has at last resulted in the empty shop next door being advertised as available to let. We also now know that the restaurant in the Premier Inn is to be a Beefeater. With this being another outlet in the casual dining sector we do have concerns whether it will do well, though an element of captive customers from the hotel might ensure it does ok.

Health Fusion Holistic ClinicUSA Nails, small shop with bay window

As ever, the trend to more personal services continues with the arrival of Health Fusion and USA Nails (yes – another nail bar) at the upper end of the High Street.

If all the expected openings come to fruition we will have 15 empty shops, though some of these are undergoing renovation or are otherwise not available for rent. Vacant and available shops represent 5% of the total in the town, still not wonderful but it is our lowest vacancy rate for many years and is around half the national average.

Is this the future?

‘One house plot could typically support over twenty flats on it’

More than anything else we have heard about the New London Plan, this chilling statement by a GLA officer encapsulates our worst fears for what outer London Boroughs might be faced with over the next ten years with the drive for ‘intensification’. It was said at the examination in public of the Mayor’s draft Plan. The examination was scheduled to last three months but has dragged on for nearly five but, as far as we can see, without any concessions to the widespread concerns that have been expressed and the justified doubts whether it will be anywhere near achievable. The draft Plan included a ten-year target for Barnet of 3134 new homes a year, of which 38% are expected to come from small plots. The Council has trawled the Borough for ‘brownfield’ plots and has found hardly any, so for small plots read demolish existing houses and replace. In extremis much of areas like Arkley could be converted wholesale to blocks of flats, though other considerations may prevent this ever happening. A major plank of the Mayor strategy anticipates a wholesale shift from cars to other means of transport. To support this objective the Mayor is looking to intensification happening up to 800 metres radiating from town centres and public transport hubs so people can easily walk or cycle. Squaring this circle is going to be an impossible task as most housing is already very dense in areas around town centres such as ours.

And there is worse. The revised Local Plan, which should explain how the London Plan will be achieved in Barnet, should include where most of the new homes are expected to go. The draft was due to be published in April but was suddenly pulled. We learned this was because the Mayor, under pressure from the Government, is now asking the Borough to set a much higher housing target of 4126 homes per year over the ten years from 2019. The mind boggles at the potential impact of the number of homes in the Borough increasing by 30%, where they would all go and what they would look like. And that is before the necessary supporting infrastructure is even considered.

Just what Barnet residents think about all this has already been reflected in the fierce opposition to the enormous high-rise flatted schemes proposed for the North London Business Park and the Pentavia site in Mill Hill. Our MP and councillors have been vocal in their opposition, but we have every expectation they will be overruled by the Mayor.

Planning enforcement so much better

Since the Council strengthened the planning enforcement team there has been a step-change in their effectiveness. In 2018 Barnet issued more enforcement notices that any other local authority in England. 194 notices were issued, of which 142 were fully complied with. It does surprise us that our relatively prosperous Borough should apparently have so many planning offences, though no doubt many reflect ignorance rather than deliberate flouting of planning law. And especially pleasing is that the Council is now prepared to go for prosecution after many years of being a shrinking violet. Prosecution in 2015/16 were just four, but in the subsequent three years they have increased to 15, 40 and 57 respectively; an excellent performance especially as, like the rest of the Council, the planning department has had a squeeze on resources.

But there is probably still a legacy from poor enforcement in the past as for many years offenders knew they were likely to get away with it. About five years ago we challenged one trader who was about to make alterations to his shop frontage without permission. But he went ahead anyway after conferring with other traders who suggested he could do what he wanted as the council would not do anything. We are still fighting that legacy as members will appreciate from our frequent reports of continued unauthorised alterations to shops in the conservation areas.

Planning applications slow down

artists impression of shop front extension with glass walls and flat roofWe do keep an eye on all planning applications in our area and the reduction in numbers in recent months has been most noticeable. Both the Borough Planning Committee and the Chipping Barnet Area Planning Committee have cancelled three of their five meetings scheduled so far this year. Most of the decline has been a slowdown in applications for domestic extensions. Despite this we were very surprised to see an officer proposal to increase from five to ten the number of objections needed for referral to one of the planning committees. Currently, with four or fewer objections officers can overrule the objections and approve without referral to committee. The change was proposed over concern about overloading of the Finchley and Golders Green Area Planning Committee, which indeed does deal with around twice the number of applications considered by the Chipping Barnet Committee. But we thought this was a poor reason for such a fundamental change to the rights of residents to have their concerns fully considered. We lodged a strong objection, as did other residents’ associations around the Borough, and the proposal was withdrawn. We wait to see if it might be revived.

There is still significant activity around the High St though, especially extensions or conversion of upper floors for residential use, so we still have had plenty of planning applications to keep us occupied.

In recent weeks the most significant application considered by the Area Planning Committee was a proposal to rebuild 151 – 153 High St, currently the Bentley car showroom, with two shops to the front and flats and houses behind as shown in the artist’s impression. No 151 dates from around 1700 and is a listed building, whilst 153 has considerable character despite substantial changes down the years. We thought the proposals for the frontages were dreadful and objected. The Area Planning Committee agreed and were unanimous in their decision to refuse.

The appeal against the Planning Committee refusal for the construction of the ‘pile of boxes’ on the Fern room site is Salisbury Rd was dismissed. The key point made by the Planning Inspector was the jarring variation to other properties in Salisbury Rd. This very point was the whole basis of our objection, and we told the developer this back in October 2017 when we first saw the plans. Had they paid attention it would have saved them a lot of trouble and expense. Revised plans are now being prepared and this time the developer is talking to us. That said, the scheme that is emerging is still decidedly modern and includes parking, which we consider inappropriate for a town centre location. We fear we may have another campaign on our hands to try and get this one rejected.

The deluge of new flats continues. There is an application to convert the floors above the closed ‘Shaketastic’ to flats, which is fine, but we do not like the proposed alterations to the shop frontage to accommodate a door for the new flats. Another application is to add two floors above the closed Quality Jewellers for more new flats. Conversion of offices at Beauchamp Court on Victors Way to four flats has been approved, and on Park Rd there is yet another conversion application for offices to eight flats.

white house with three flat-roofed dormer windowsFollowing dismissal of the appeal to retain UPVC windows to the first floor at 189-191 High St the owner has now complied with the ruling and installed wooden windows. So after a long struggle we have ended up with the kind of pleasing frontage and signage that should be a given in our conservation areas. Another proposal we opposed was for alterations to no 1 Sunset View and again an appeal has been dismissed. The planners also refused a second application for another scheme we opposed – the demolition of a bungalow on Rowley Lane and replacement with a block of eight flats. In Puller Rd a previous application to convert a garden ‘shed’ to residential use was rejected but the owner came back with an application to use the premises for yoga and art classes. The planners didn’t buy it and turned that down as well.

But there has been bad news. We supported residents in opposing the use of the house at 81 Quinta Drive as a Home in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Planning permission was refused by the Area Planning Committee but on appeal this one was approved. The Planning Inspector found that the house would be used in the same way as a family home, which we thought was a decidedly odd argument. A previous application for a HMO at no 2 Bruce Rd (behind Dory’s café) was withdrawn in the face of fierce opposition but has now resurfaced. There is little change from the original proposal so we have objected.

Another unwelcome planning application is for a BT ‘inlink’ installation to replace the redundant telephone box outside 135 – 137 High St (KFC). Many people, including ourselves, consider these are just an excuse to install street advertising and there has been a lot of concern over misuse by drug dealers of the free call facility. We have objected, pointing out that any need can be met by the modern BT installation less than 100 yards away outside Carluccio’s.

closed pub with windows all boarded upWe thought the re-use of the White Lion pub and surrounding land as a car hire site would get the nod-through by the planners, but it has got hung up on whether the former pub was a ‘community facility’ and therefore there should be replacement community provision on site or elsewhere (which need not be another pub). We think this argument is nonsense and we have made our views known. Because of this we could lose a very useful new business. Meanwhile this locally listed building continues to deteriorate, with the owner having to board it up to fend off squatters.

The planning applications for 57 flats on the Meadow Works site and 68 flats on the Brake Shear House site were lodged in May and August last year respectively. They have yet to go before the Planning Committee which suggests officers are having difficulty in deciding what to recommend. We put in strong objections to both. The planning application for another controversial major development - Whalebones - is thought to be imminent, though this is one we are minded to support.

More CPZ expansion likely

It was perhaps inevitable that following the establishing of the ‘hospital’ Controlled Parking Zone there would be displacement of parked cars to other roads. And sure enough this has led to a demand from residents in the Well Rd/Trinder Rd area for their roads to be considered for inclusion in the CPZ. The Council are conducting an initial informal consultation. We do know that the hospital management are well aware of the difficulties now being experienced by some staff in being able to park when they need to drive to work. A multi-storey car park is the obvious answer, but that needs money which may be difficult to find, and would also take a long time to achieve. Improvements to bus services should be another option. Many hospital staff live in south Underhill yet have no direct bus service to the hospital, a deficiency we have pointed out in the past.

To deal with the problem of all-day commuters parking near the station, the Council is also consulting on a possible CPZ covering Meadway and roads beyond. We anticipate this is likely to go ahead, probably with a one hour restriction similar to the area on the opposite side of Barnet Hill.

For existing CPZs we have previously pointed out that many roads have unnecessary yellow lines and residents should consider asking for the markings to be reviewed. We are pleased that the reviews for three roads we mentioned in the February newsletter - Fitzjohn, Normandy and Bedford Avenues - have now been completed, delivering up to 50 or so additional residents parking spaces.

And still on the subject of parking: Council on-street and car park charges are expected to increase by an eye-watering 28%. This seems exorbitant, but the charges have been unchanged since 2012. Our Council car parks have been consistently full for some years, but if the proposed new charges go ahead, one result may be to encourage more people to switch to The Spires, which has lost out because of the repeated increases in charges there. In recent times it has rarely been more than 50% full. We are pleased that the free time in Moxon St and along Hadley Green will remain.

The Council are also considering increasing parking fines from £110 to £130, discounted to £65 instead of £55 for early payment. On-road fines such as stopping in a box junction are already at the higher rate. The Council says that fines have increased from 99,882 in 2010/11 to 148,141 in 2017/18, and claim that higher charges improve behaviour and result in fewer fines being issued. Cynics point out there appears to be a correlation between the number of hours worked by parking wardens and the number of fines issued. You can see the consultation and comment at engage.barnet.gov.uk. The closing date is 31 July.

Learning to GROW

two long-haired brown farm animals, I'm not sure what they are, probably goatsGROW is a newly established charity working in close partnership with the Totteridge Academy. They are aiming to transform a 6 acre field owned by the school into a vibrant working farm which can be visited by schools and the public. To this end an apiary has already been set up and a flock of Shetland sheep has been established on the land. The public launch was on 20 May with a very successful open day featuring a variety of ‘guest’ farm animals as in the photo.

Fundraising has now begun for £150,000 to build a multipurpose outdoor classroom on the site. It is intended to start developing the site over the coming months, initially by growing vegetables for the school canteen and the local community. Community groups and volunteers are welcome to learn about food growing, beekeeping and much more. To find out more visit www.spacehive.com/growtotteridge or the website www.grow-up.co.

Missing the bus

Significant cuts have recently been made to bus services in central London because of falling usage, down 12% since 2014. Across London journey times have fallen 6% a year over the past two years and here in Barnet usage has declined 5% since 2014. The buses need an operating subsidy of £700 million a year and Government financial support has been eliminated. But because of the anticipated growth in housing TfL say they are committed to not only maintaining but expanding services in the suburbs, with more orbital and express buses. They aim for 90% of residents to be within 5 minute walk to a bus stop. The broader strategy is to achieve 80% of all journeys by foot, cycle or public transport by 2041. Currently the figure is 63%, so the expectation is that car journeys will reduce by nearly half. This is a wonderful aspiration, but getting people out of their cars will require a lot of sticks and carrots.

A proposal to extend the 384 bus to Edgware, reflecting the policy to improve orbital routes, was featured in the October 2018 newsletter. A decision was expected in April but we have only had silence. There was a lot of opposition to withdrawing some of the diversions at the eastern end of the route especially from residents of the Bevan estate in New Barnet (so much for the ‘5 minute walk’ target), and there was a lot of resistance to re-routing the bus in one direction via Salisbury Rd instead of Strafford Rd.

And briefly ………

a charging point for an electric car, mounted on a lamp postA glimpse of the future …. An electric car charging point has appeared on a lamppost in Carnarvon Rd, though not yet in use. We understand two are also planned for Moxon St car park. This is part of a pilot scheme to install forty around the Borough, with a further forty planned for later in the year. As yet dedicated bays have not been created so we are waiting to see how electric car owners will be able to access these points, and indeed what the cost will be and the time that will be needed for recharging.

Hadley Green Rd has been closed again to repair the sewer that has collapsed immediately below the gates. It is an astonishing 33ft down and a new shaft is being dug in order to reach it. Work is scheduled to finish by the end of July – just in time before major roadworks start in the town centre.

In Underhill the new Ark Academy school (picture below left) is scheduled to open in September with 180 children in six forms of entry, and claims it is over-subscribed.  The building appears to be completed but there is a lot of interior work remaining and there is still a lot of work still to do on the grounds.  We were closely engaged with the campaign to stop this school being built and anyone in authority we speak to still acknowledges that the real need was for a school in the west side of the Borough.  We anticipated that the nearby Totteridge Academy might lose out to the new school but we understand that to date Totteridge, with a capacity of 180, has already secured an intake of 140 for September.  This is better than we feared and no doubt a reflection on how much this school has improved over the last couple of years. 

large three storey building with flat roofrectangular four storey block of flats

Also in Underhill the redevelopment of Dollis Valley is ticking along nicely and a number of pleasant new streets have been created. All the houses and maisonettes have been built and the first blocks of new flats have been completed. We think they look rather good as well, especially when contrasted with the unloved blocks they are replacing, one of which is in the background to the photograph. We still reflect on what might have been built if the proposals for this redevelopment were coming forward now. Given what we are seeing elsewhere we would not have kept the flat blocks anything like as low as 4/5 storeys.

The changing character of High Barnet from a self-contained Hertfordshire town to a commuter suburb has been accelerating in recent years. This is reflected in station usage: TfL’s figures show that in 2010 there were 4814 people entering and 4450 leaving the station each weekday; by 2017 this had grown by over 50% to 7311 and 6820 respectively, and we reckon the numbers are still going up. We do wonder why more people appear to choose to leave High Barnet than come here. Answers on a postcard please!

We facilitated the training of Spires staff in the use of the defibrillator in The Spires, which was installed at our suggestion and partly funded by us. We are pleased that it should soon be joined by another one in The Monken Holt pub that will similarly be publicly available. The pub management are fund-raising to enable its purchase.

After eight years at the helm, Council Leader Richard Cornelius has decided to stand down. He has been replaced by his deputy Dan Thomas. Richard has presided over a very difficult period for local government with the Government austerity programme putting an immense squeeze on finances. The resulting contracting out to Capita and the reduction in services has provoked numerous controversies. We reckon Richard has done a commendable job in very difficult circumstances. He has always been willing to listen to our concerns and has been helpful with a number of issues.

Your planning officer and newsletter editor, Gordon Massey, has been elected chairman of the Federation of Residents’ Associations of Barnet. This follows the sad death of David Howard who had been chairman for many years. Some years ago David was guest speaker at our AGM talking about housing provision in the Borough. FORAB largely deals with planning matters and will be taking a leading role in examining the Borough’s Local Plan when it comes out for consultation later this year.

Invitation to Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 10 July 2019, 7.30pm, The Bull Theatre, 68 High Street, EN5 5SJ

Guest Speaker: Jacques Trytsman, Community Officer, Barnet Council

Our guest speaker is responsible for enforcement of anti-social behaviour, dealing with problems such as rough sleepers, fly posters, littering and fly-tipping. These matters concern most of us so this is an opportunity to find out more and ask questions about how the Council is tackling these issues.

[Update 8 July 2019: There has been a change of guest speaker. We are now fortunate to be able to welcome David Longstaff, who has been a High Barnet Councillor for several years and who is also currently the Deputy Leader of Barnet Council.]

Following our guest speaker the formal meeting will open with a report from the Chairman, followed by presentation of annual accounts and election of officers. We need to elect Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee members. All officers and committee members are offering themselves for re-election.

Following the formal meeting there will be time for members to discuss with the committee any local issues which they might wish to raise. The meeting should conclude by 9.30pm.

Membership Matters

Do share this newsletter with friends and neighbours in our area and encourage them to join. The subscription is £4 single, £6 family or £6 corporate. The address of the Membership Secretary is on the page referred to below. Please do not send cash through the post.

Renewals and standing orders

Thank you to all those members who have set up standing orders or are using PayPal to renew their annual subscription. With nearly 700 members, the task of collecting subscriptions is very considerable and it is a tremendous help to our team of volunteers when renewals happen automatically.

If you would like to set up a standing order to pay your subscription, whenever it is due, please contact our Membership Secretary, or to set up a regular payment using PayPal, please go to http://www.barnetresidentsassociation.org.uk/membership#paypal.

Are you up-to-date with your subscription? If your payment is in arrears, or about to become due, we offer the following alternative means to make your payment.

1. By cheque payable to the Barnet Residents Association sent to the Membership Secretary.

2. By PayPal, through the following link

http://www.barnetresidentsassociation.org.uk/membership#paypal

3. Directly into our bank account. [The account number is not given here on the web site for security reasons, please contact the membership secretary, whose contact details are on the page referred to above.]

If you pay into our account, please ensure that you add your membership number as Reference, or if you do not have this, your name and postcode as Reference so that your payment can be identified on our bank statement.

Annual membership is £6 for a family, £4 for an individual

E-mails communications

Do you receive our occasional e-mails? Approximately once a month we send e-mails to our members about important developments in and around High Barnet. If you are not receiving them but have an email address contact our Membership Secretary to join the distribution list. You can also contact members of the committee using the email addresses on our website.