BelSoc have attended meetings with Camden Council enforcement teams about the approach to be taken to large projects. Large projects could be basement developments or the 100 Avenue Road construction, where there is likely to be significant disruption during the build. We are keen to see the teams able to routinely check on how developers are meeting their Construction Management Plans, and other obligations.
BelSoc Chair Prabhat Vaze with Oliver Froment of CRAAC recently made a deputation to the Council’s Planning Committee about possible ways to improve the situation, especially lessons from other London Boroughs where systematic monitoring is taking place and the funding for this has been met by developers, an innovation which the Council explained they are exploring.
Thank you to all the Belsize Society members and other volunteers who have helped to bring to a successful conclusion the community air quality monitoring study in Belsize Park / Swiss Cottage. We are now excitedly awaiting the results, hopefully due around the end of March 2020.
Since early January 2019, up to 30 volunteers have been tending the 10 monitoring locations, mostly situated in the area between Finchley Road and Haverstock Hill. Every month the teams organised themselves to take down the test-tubes from high on kerbside lampposts / signposts, post them back to Camden Council for analysis, and replace them with a new set of tubes. Inevitably some passers-by could not restrain themselves from taking a few tubes and there was one explicit act of vandalism to destroy one set of tubes but these instances were thankfully rare. Overall the study managed to collect enough data for all 10 monitoring locations.
The tubes (three at each location) have been measuring the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the main source of which is vehicle exhausts. The 10 locations were agreed during consultations with the volunteers to provide readings from a mix of busy and quieter roads. The study was funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy, initiated and supported by officers at Camden Council, whom we also thank for all their help in setting up and providing back-up administration for the study.
Camden Council is now processing the data and we will be able to see how NO2 levels at the 10 locations have varied over the 12 months. If any locations have levels above the recommended healthy levels then we can ask what actions might be taken to alleviate the NO2 pollution.
Towards the end of March 2020 Camden Council will host a meeting to report back on the results to the volunteers and all interested Belsize Society members and local residents. Details of this event will appear on the Belsize Society website and will be sent out by email to volunteers and members.
A New Decade and nearly time for a new TYCT
So please get busy with email or pen and form, to send us your new tradesmen ‘finds’, plus re-recommendations for existing entries. All this input is for members, by fellow members – so mutually beneficial!
Our thanks to all who have already contributed. As a reminder to those who intend to do so, please use the form enclosed with this newsletter, or download the same form from www.belsize.org.uk/membership/-you-can-trust, or just email full details, including your own, to TYCT@belsize.org.uk by 3rd April 2020.
The cold weather was no bar to a well-attended and sonorous session of carols in Belsize Village on 23 December. Special thanks to leader, Choir Master Matthew Watts. Thanks to all who made or brought mince pies. Well done to all who contributed to Marie Curie Hospice: we raised £309 in 45 minutes, which is not bad going.
2020 will be a very challenging year for the survival of our lovely Belsize Park library:the funding that has to date been received from Camden Council is coming to an end and the Winch, which has supported the library since it was shut down by the Council in 2012, is only a small charity which does not have the means to keep the library going without help from Belsize residents.
There are various ways in which you can support the library, the most immediate being to go onto its website (http://belsizecommunity library.org.uk/) and become a regular donor.
The library can be hired for events and meetings at weekends, so you can spread the word about that, and for information and more ways to give your support, do call 020 7586 6746 or drop the library an email to email@example.com.
You can support the Library’s interesting events, listed in “Dates for your Diary”, to which all BelSoc members are welcome. Entry is a donation of £3 which includes refreshments.
Belsize Community Library, 14 Antrim Road, London NW3 4XR