West Finchley Residents Association

The following is an extract from a recent meeting of the newly formed West Finchley Residents Association. If you live in the area of West Finchley (local to the West Finchley station) please contact the editor and we will put you in touch with the association.

Dates for your Diary

  • As the national “Big Lunch” is scheduled to take place during the half term holiday this year the WFRA will be holding an alternative event – a Midsummer Picnic in the Park – on Sunday, 26th June, as last year, by the play area at Dollis Brook Park. Details to follow later in the year!
  • The first AGM of the WFRA will take on Sunday, 18th September in the Gordon Hall – we hope this will be a social occasion as well as a meeting.
  • Following on from views expressed by members, over the weekend of 7th / 8th May all local residents will be canvassed – and signatures collected – regarding Conservation Status. A Sub-Committee is currently producing a leaflet for all residents, giving information about the impact of Conservation Status and explaining the processes involved. Volunteers will be needed to help with the canvassing – please let us know if you are able to help.

Wheelie Bins permanently blocking pavements

In order to take up this issue with the Council it would be helpful to have photographic evidence. If wheelie bins block the pavements in your street (on days other than the refuse collection day) you are advised to take a photograph and send it to us.

Dollis Valley Green Walk

Some time ago, Barnet Council was awarded £400,000 by the Mayor of London to make improvements to the Dollis Valley Green Walk. Work is due to start in Spring 2011 and be completed by early 2012. One of the first areas to be repaired is the path in Windsor Open Space. Use this link for more information: http://www.barnet.gov.uk/index/environment-planning/parks-and-open-spaces/dollis-valley-green-walk.htm

Recent Burglaries

There have been 2 burglaries recently in Courthouse Road – on each side of the road. In the most recent case, last week, having climbed over the fence, the burglars forced the back door and stole cash and jewellery.

Security

The “Safer Neighbourhoods Team” will be invited to attend a WFRA Committee meeting to give advice about security issues raised by residents for example, one resident is concerned about the need for lighting on the path to the allotments from Nethercourt Ave (leading to the rear of houses on Fursby Avenue).

Parking

A member wants to alert residents to over-zealous traffic wardens. He cited a personal incident where a fine was issued for parking partly on the kerb where this was deliberately and regularly done to give consideration for other road users. In this particular case, our local MP, Mike Freer, has taken up his complaint. However, residents are reminded that parking on kerbs or across the pavement, even slightly, can lead to a fine.

Damage to Grass Verges

In response to concerns raised by a local resident in Nether Street, Cllr Jim Tierney has written to the Council asking for a solution to be found to the problem of the grass verges along Nether Street (between Howcroft Cresent and the mini roundabout at Finchley Way) being significantly damaged by car drivers mounting kerbs to pass on-coming traffic. The WFRA will also follow this up with the Highways Department.

1 Courthouse Gardens

Having won their appeal we await the developers’ commencement of work on the demolition of this feature building. It is recognised that there is a need to closely monitor the building works once they begin, to ensure the developers build to the agreed plans and in accordance with the conditions, such as consideration of local residents as required by the inspector.

General Planning issues

The WFRA Committee has proposed working with our Ward Councillors to bring about a meeting with the Council Planning Officers to explore their perspective on planning for the West Finchley area in advance of further applications.

Safe Electrical Earthing of Homes

Many residents are aware of the recent scheme replacing domestic lead water pipes with plastic pipes. A concern has been raised which has caused a number of residents to worry that their homes would not now be electrically earthed since, in the past, lead pipes were used for earthing.

It has proved difficult to get to the bottom of this issue – very little expert help or knowledge has been forthcoming!

However, following some advice from an electrician and a little research, it seems that for nearly 40 years it has been required that electrical earthing should not be through the water pipes. So it is likely that anyone who has had any significant electrical work carried out in their home in recent years will have a modern electrical system which is properly earthed.

If residents are still concerned here are a few tips from information we have gathered:

UK Power Networks is the local energy distribution company responsible for London:
http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/products-services/networks/index.shtml

It is their responsibility to ensure that PME (Protective Multiple Earthing) is in place; it is the householder’s responsibility to ensure that their property is properly connected to the PME; it is the Supplier’s responsibility (ie the company to whom the householder pays their bills) to provide this connection.

An appointment can be booked (free of charge) with UK Power Networks to inspect a property and to check that the PME is in place – phone 0845 6014516 (select Option 4, then Option 3). However, this could take 8-10 weeks! If a problem with the earthing was revealed, the householder would then have to book their Supplier to come and sort out the connection.

In the meantime, an electrician could be employed to fix up a temporary earthing stake.

Alternatively, an electrician could be employed to do the whole job…. which saves time but involves a cost to the householder.

UK Power Networks will only work on a house by house basis so it would not be possible to organize anything collectively.

We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of any of the above information but we hope it will be helpful. In the end, it seems that each householder should take steps to check that their own house is safely earthed.

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