PGC Weekly Newsletter
9 July 2020
- Councillors welcome new mayor, but scrutiny changes provoke dissent
- Dugdale Centre reopens: Food and drink, gifts and a new art exhibition
- Low-traffic neighbourhoods update: Bowes, Fox Lane and Connaught Gardens
- "Extraordinarily rude" waste authority chair brushes aside mega-incinerator concerns, but questions continue to pile up
- New business hub opens in Southgate next month
- 15 years after the 7/7 bombings
- Forty Hall reopens
- St Harmonica's Blues Club - online
- Also this week...
- Reported elsewhere...
- Coronavirus advice and resources
- Current consultations
Councillors welcome new mayor, but scrutiny changes provoke dissent
Enfield Council's Annual Meeting - the first ever to be held online - saw a council-wide welcome for the appointment of Cllr Sabri Ozaydin as Mayor of Enfield. However, when debate turned to changes to committee structures and scrutiny arrangements there was dissent - not just from Conservatives and the new Community First group, but also from within the controlling Labour Party ranks. There was also disagreement over an increase in the number of councillors who will receive special responsibility allowances. Read more
Dugdale Centre reopens: Food and drink, gifts and a new art exhibition
The Dugdale Centre has awoken from its long enforced period of inactivity. The new opening hours are 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday. So far the Café, Gift Shop and Gallery have reopened, and on 14th July they will be followed by the Museum and Local Studies Centre.
The gallery plays host to a new exhibition by Palmers Green artist Patrick Samuel celebrating what he enjoyed about lockdown and his eagerness to paint during the period of isolation.
2020 is the year the world stood still. In that stillness, some of us found the peace and calm they’d often yearned for. For Patrick Samuel’s 12th solo exhibition, he’s brought to life many of the places he wandered to in his imagination during the months of the lockdown, and before. He shares these moments with us and invites us to explore these inner worlds and go beyond our isolation. Read more
Low-traffic neighbourhoods update: Bowes, Fox Lane and Connaught Gardens
Deputy council leader Ian Barnes reports having an "excellent meeting" with councillors and MP Bambos Charalambous about the emergency post-Covid Bowes low-traffic neighbourhood. He's hoping that, after incorporating some of their comments, the plan will be signed off in a couple of weeks time. Ian also says that Bowes councillors are unanimous in supporting the idea of a bus gate in Brownlow Road, to prevent it being used by through traffic. This would form part of the council's application for "tranche 2" Covid Streetspace funding.
The next significant development in this area is expected to be publication of the revised plan for the Fox Lane low-traffic neighbourhood - hopefully this week. Next in line is the Connaught Gardens area - the council is still awaiting a decision from TfL about the funding for this. Read more
"Extraordinarily rude" waste authority chair brushes aside mega-incinerator concerns, but questions continue to pile up
The recent meeting of the board of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) brought together a rather unusual coalition of politicians, all setting out arguments for a review of the project to build a huge new incinerator (aka Energy from Waste/EFW plant) on the North Circular in Edmonton. There were politicians from the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Lib Dems and Green Party, plus other environmental campaigners - the meeting even saw Iain Duncan Smith and Kate Osamor both on the same side of the argument!
They set out a wide-ranging series of arguments for a rethink, at times passionate, but throughout based on reasoned and reasonable premises. However, all dissenting points were given short shrift by NLWA chair Clyde Loakes, who asserted his superior powers of leadership and responsibility, confident that he knew best. But does he know best? And are the NLWA's plans based on sound data? Have they really been subjecting their plans to constant scrutiny, as they claim as a justification for refusing requests to pause and review?
Evidence that they are not has been piling up in the shape of an open letter to Clyde Loakes, relating to fundamental questions such as forecast amounts of waste, the probability that waste would have to be imported, the absence of an authorised waste strategy and waste plan. Then there is the matter of the expensively acquired land at Pinkham Way - a nature conservation site but at the same time a white elephant.
Read the evidence on the website, and watch a video of the dialogues between concerned politicians and blase waste authority chair, a chance to see Cllr Loakes being justifiably rebuked over the way he handles the deputations. Read more
New business hub opens in Southgate next month
At the start of August Enterprise Enfield will be moving from the Enfield Business Centre in Enfield Wash and setting up a new North London Business Hub on the Southgate College campus. Facilities will include a large co-working area with super-fast broadband, meeting rooms and event space - which, when the pandemic restrictions are eased, will be open to businesses for hot-desking, networking events and workshops Read more
15 years after the 7/7 bombings
Watch highlights of a video marking the 15th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings Read more
Forty Hall reopens
Forty Hall reopened last weekend and will open every Saturday and Sunday. Tours are free be must be booked in advanced. The gift shop and cafe will also be open. Read more
St Harmonica's Blues Club - online
Greetings, and welcome to another weekly playlist from St Harmonica's Blues Club. Last time we did an Ask the Audience playlist we received so many requests and recommendations we couldn't fit them all into one list. So here comes Part 2. Many, many thanks to all the contributors. Read more.
Also this week...
Coronavirus advice and resources
For more details of the events and notices below, click/tap on the graphics