Current Issues

Belsize Society is formed as Belsize Residents Association takes charitable status

On Sunday 10 March, members of the Belsize Residents Association took the decision to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, voting to become the Belsize Society.

Setting up the Society
The registration of charity number 1180842 in November last year probably went unnoticed. However, it marked the end of a phase of work improving how the Association undertakes its activities. At the last BRA Annual General Meeting, the membership asked the Committee to set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and, a couple of days after this, Committee member Michael Jampel started the ball rolling by applying to the Charities Commission.
The journey to successfully starting a CIO has been educational, working with different public bodies and advisors – all kindly offering help freely – to shape a way of working for the future.
The Committee had a good of idea of why the AGM wanted to set up a CIO. We would have a legal entity contracting for services rather than individual members. Also, we felt we were “charitable”, seeking to support the Arts/Culture/Heritage/Science (our classification in the Charities Commission register), through providing education/advocacy/advice/information (again from the register). This work was non-political, not-for-profit and for the general public as well as people living in Belsize area
But setting up the CIO did make the Committee look at what we do and how it should be presented, teasing out why our work is for the public good.
The BRA name was a hook for this. The Commission asked whether we were a residents’ body, in the sense of representing residential interests to a landlord or to the Council. The name Belsize Residents Association was always a little misleading, risking giving this impression. The name makes sense in that we are an association of residents seeking to make Belsize a better place. However, it may fail to show that we do this for residents, visitors, businesses and all those that have an interest in the area.
Articulating this wider benefit has been a focus as the Commission probed our application. We were able to observe that the website, newsletter and noticeboard are freely accessible; equally, where we comment on planning matters or undertake pollution monitoring, residents are putting time in for the wider community. Interestingly, using the word “Society” – making us more recognisable as an amenity body – was also scrutinised. There was some relief in March when Michael confirmed with Companies House that we can use the word Society, after answering questions (this time from Companies House) that this restricted word was being used in acceptable way.

What happens next
At the BRA AGM, a motion to transfer assets and wind up the Association was voted on and passed, with the first AGM of the Society being held after this motion. All BRA members were eligible and encouraged to join the Society as members. The Trustees of the Society (five of the BRA Committee) stood for re-election as Trustees of the Society and the rest of the Committee for the Society was also elected.
From the members’ perspective, very little of the BRA’s way of working will change. BRA activities will continue (newsletters, TYCT etc) though we will rebrand these. The annual subscription will be unchanged and as the bank account will transfer we would expect not to need to trouble members for new payment details.
Most of the changes, such as re-branding, will take place during the next few months and the committee would be very pleased to hear from members wishing to contribute, whether or not by joining the committee.

100 Avenue Road
Summary of Minutes from the Construction Working Group (CWG) Meeting on 07.03.19

Exceptional loads: Information was given about timing of an exceptional load, due on 14th March. The load was later delayed to 18th March due to inclement weather. It was suggested that all anticipated exceptional loads should be listed to avoid meeting-by-meeting updates.
Demolition works: Due to begin mid March with scaffolding being lowered sequentially to the building but remaining two metres higher.
Noise & Vibration Monitoring: The trigger levels at both Winchester Road and Hampstead Theatre basement had been exceeded on a few occasions but these were at night time so were attributed to utility works, atmospheric changes or tube trains. Noise limits were exceeded twice in the last month but when averaged out over a day, do not equate to a breach.
A request was made for timing of all noisy works to be listed for the demolition phase. A report will be brought to the next CWG meeting. Noisiest works likely to be during Summer months (during theatre closure) for breaking slabs and piling works in the basement.
Vehicle Movements: TfL and EL are working with developer to allow access and pit lane on A41. Residents agreed that if necessary, closing the bus stop would be preferable in order to minimise the number of vehicles using the market and local roads. Use of the parkland exit to the A41, if allowed, would contribute towards the 14 daily vehicle movements allowed.
Capped vehicle movements (as above) apply only to larger (7.5 ton) lorries. Were the contractor to bring in many small trucks on site, thus abusing the CMP, Camden would take action.
A request to install a CCTV camera or number plate recognition at the entrance gate to keep contractor in line with CMP, will be explored. Parking infringements will be a matter for Camden’s parking enforcement team.
CMP: A question was raised concerning the revision of the CMP, were the substantial change allowing access from the A41 agreed. Bringing this forward to the planning committee would depend on perception of the change but it was thought that if advantageous, residents would happily consent to a better proposal. TfL to update residents on timelines for agreement.
Name: There was differing views on the name ‘Theatre Square’. To be discussed further with residents.

Next meeting: 04.04.19.

St Peter’s Church, Belsize Square, NW3 4HJ

In November this year, this Grade II listed church will celebrate the 160th anniversary of its opening and to mark the occasion, the church is planning to dismantle and overhaul the tower clock to full working condition, including redecorating the four clock faces in sky blue and gold leaf. The tower and clock are part of the original Victorian design. Alongside this, the church plans extensive repairs and improvements to St Peter’s fabric and fittings as well as to the roof and masonry.

The Church Council invites the congregation and local community to support the Clock Appeal which aims to raise £25,000 in order for the restoration of the clock to be complete in time for the November celebrations.

Cheques (made payable to “St Peter’s Church Belsize Park”) or cash, may be handed to the Treasurer or Churchwardens at St Peter’s during these coffee times:
Sundays from 12.30-1.30pm and Thursdays from 11.00am-12.00noon;
or delivered by envelope to the Treasurer through the vestry letterbox on the south side of the church. Gift aid may be added to donations by completing a gift aid envelope.

Clean Camden

Clean Camden is a campaign by Camden Council to crack down on littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.  Please let Camden know if you spot a place that needs attention.  You do not need to give your name.   Anyone can report fly-tipping or other street mess on the Clean Camden app which can be downloaded free of charge from the usual app stores.   You can also make a report online at https://environmentservices.camden.gov.uk/street.  Alternatively, you can email: uk.occamden@veolia.com; or phone: 020 7974 2202