This press release from Barnet Council explains a lot

Finchley Carnival goes with a bang

Barnet Council is all set to help Finchley Carnival go with a bang this weekend.

The popular carnival, which has been running for more than 100 years, will feature a funfair and run from Thursday 7th July to Sunday 10th July at Victoria Park, Finchley.

The Carnival’s highlight will come on Saturday night with a spectacular free firework display for residents paid for by the Council with proceeds from the funfair.

The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Lisa Rutter, will set off the first firework for the display from 9.30pm.

Councillor Brian Coleman, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I am delighted that Barnet Council has been able to keep the traditions of the Carnival going and include a firework display which so many people have enjoyed over the years.

“I hope that next year we can restore many of the other traditional features of the Carnival which our residents have looked forward to so much in the past.”

The editor comments

The Finchley Festival committee were trying to turn the festival away from the idea of a carnival which tended to attract the wrong sort of people to the festivities, but a certain member of the council – no names-no pack drill as they say – told me that he didn’t approve of dispensing with the carnival. I understand that the owners of the fun-fair pay many thousands of pounds to hold their fair in Victoria Park so I guess, sadly, it was really all about money.

I did feel the council was very mean to wait until the Festival Committee had put in hours and hours of their time and probably a lot of money as well, before putting up the rent for Victorial Park from around £145 to many thousands of pounds.

I do understand the need to make the best of the Council’s resources but can’t help feeling that a little forethought and a little compassion wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Posted in Barnet Council, Community, Events, Festivities, Police. Comments Off on This press release from Barnet Council explains a lot

The Pasture’s 2nd Anniversary celebration

Pastures, approaching the marquee

Yesterday (Sunday) evening saw the volunteers, councillors, Mike Freer our local MP and other friends of the Pastures celebrating the magnificent work the volunteers have put in. They have turned the Pastures into a wild horticultural haven, with special plants of interest to butterflies, lovely paths through the huge open space, up to a little enclosure at the far end with its own bee hive.

The volunteers, who only work during the weekends, have, in 200 days of work, really transformed this originally ugly patch to the beautiful haven of quiet and tranquillity that it is.

The pond from the food table.

There is also a huge pond with fish and in season it is a hotbed of tadpoles and frogs. The fish have to be carefully chosen to be the types that don’t eat tadpoles. Alas, as you can see from the photograph, it was covered with algae but we were told by Ann Brown, who chairs the volunteers, that it was the wrong time to remove it as it would cause a lot of damage. We see the view of the pond over the view of the lovely food provided for this occasion!

The anniversary "nosh"!

It is open between 10am and 5pm, during weekends and public holidays, except after heavy rain. Also it is closed quite a bit during winter months. It really is worth a visit and, to get there is quite easy. If you go down Long Lane up to the North Circular flyover you will find the Finchley Fire Station on the N3 side of the bridge. Opposite the fire station is a little lane (you can’t park a car in it though). Walk up the lane for about 25 yards and you come to a gate in the railings on the right. You are there!

Dogs are not admitted as they could do damage to the delicate work the volunteers are carrying out. But you can get a full description and learn of all the work that is going on from their website.

Layout of the Pasture

Layout of the Pasture


Posted in Charities, Community, Festivities, Nature, Voluntary. Comments Off on The Pasture’s 2nd Anniversary celebration

Barnet Council cancels the Finchley Carnival this year.

We are sad that Brian Coleman has cancelled the carnival at the very last moment.

We suspected he was thinking of it as far back as last July so, surely, he could have cancelled it earlier before the committee had put so much work in this year’s festival.

I am sure he wasn’t being mean, and small minded and vindictive, and that there was a legitimate reason for waiting so long, so it would be nice if he could explain what this reason is. We would hate our readership to get the wrong idea about him.

Here is an open invitation, write in and tell us why and we will print it in full.

There is also a story in the Finchley Times – but we can’t write about it ourselves as we strive to be non-political and won’t take sides.

Posted in Barnet Council, Community, Festivities. Comments Off on Barnet Council cancels the Finchley Carnival this year.

Council cuts red tape to help residents join in the Big Lunch on the 5th June

Tim Smit has style and is a very able man. He, single handedly, took from concept to reality, the famous Eden Project in the West Country where my wife and  I spent a full and enjoyable day a few years ago. I say style as everything was to the fullest specification and it all looked stylishm which in turn made it a joy to be there. Even in the cafeteria the tables and chairs had style and were well made.

Tim has now started on a new project which is expanding each year. This is to hold a street party all over the United Kingdom once a year. The following has been taken directly from their website:

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. This year it’s happening on Sunday 5th June and a record number of people are expected to take part – why not be one of them?

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities across the UK and the best part of a million people get involved each year.

The West Finchley Residents Association held one last year but there was so much red tape from the Council that we decided to hold it in the park by Dollis Brook (the right hand side in Fursby Avenue) and about eighty people turned up for a most enjoyable picnic. It seems, for this year, the Council may be having a change of heart with red tape as the following press release arrived in my email box:

Hot on the heels of the success of the Royal Wedding celebrations, Barnet Council is inviting its residents to get together again – this time courtesy of the Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch is a one day get-together for neighbours and communities across the UK. The idea is to encourage as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to join their neighbours for a few hours of friendship and fun on 5 June.

The Big Lunch has been running for two years, with at least one million people taking part last year. The event can be as big or as small as you want it to be – from inviting a few friends over, to throwing a street party or large picnic.

Barnet Council used its new community initiative PledgeBank to successfully arrange 54 Royal Wedding street parties in the borough on 29 April. In return for three or more households signing up to its PledgeBank site, the council arranged public liability insurance and street closure notices free of charge.

The council will once again be using the PledgeBank site to play its part in supporting residents wishing to host another bash by cutting through the red tape involved. Anyone wishing to host a small-scale event can contact the council for an information pack via barnet.pledgebank@barnet.gov.uk or call 020 8359 7293. Those wanting to put together a bigger bash are invited to visit the PledgeBank pages of the council’s website http://www.barnet.gov.uk/biglunch.

Residents wanting to close their road for an event will then need to complete a straightforward application form letting the council know what they are planning.

Councillor Kate Salinger, Barnet Council’s Big Lunch champion, said: “I am hoping that the wonderful community spirit we saw on the day of the Royal Wedding can be matched in Barnet by the Big Lunch.

“This event is another perfect excuse for friends and neighbours to enjoy spending an afternoon together and provides a wonderful opportunity for those who missed out on the fun the first time round to join in.”

Those wanting to know more about The Big Lunch should visit: www.thebiglunch.com where they will learn that a million people have already attended a “big lunch” in 2009 and 2010.

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Fantastic Family and Community Day at Wingate and Finchley FC

By Ayisha Khan, our roving football reporter

Wingate & Finchley FC are hosting a Club Community day for their match against Cheshunt FC this Saturday. The ‘Renault Enfield Community Day’, originally scheduled last year, will offer a chance for new and existing fans to enjoy an afternoon’s entertainment and watch a crucial Ryman league match.

Commercial Manager Mike Bayly says, “There will be a number of events for people to take part in, including a Penalty Shoot Out competition, Games Console tournament and a Speed Cage event, where fans can test how hard they can strike a ball!

We also have a number of great prizes available in our raffle, including tickets to watch Arsenal play, and signed football shirts.”

Bayly says they are also running coaching and small-sided games on their Astroturf facility for school children, and players are signing autographs and taking photos. At an event that offers something for everyone, parents will have the chance to talk to the club about getting their children involved with it’s highly successful youth team.

The club thanks Renault Enfield and the Ackerman Group for their kind sponsorship offers, which have enabled The Blues to lay on additional entertainment. Renault are showcasing one of their cars at the ground for the motoring enthusiasts amongst you.

Entrance on the day is £8 for adults, £3.50 for concessions and free for U16s. Events start at 1pm. Further information can be obtained by contacting Mike Bayly on 07931 777958, or emailing mike@wingatefinchley.com

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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.

Posted in Barnet Council, Buildings, Community, Events, Festivities, Nature, Police, Politics, Technical. Comments Off on West Finchley Residents Association

“At the end of day…”

…we were bowled over by last night’s event at Finchley Bowling Club

Article by Pam Taylor – photos by Andrew Taylor

Dinner party at the Finchley Bowling Club

Finchley Bowling Club dinner and caberet

The dining area was jam packed with about 70 people and we had a most enjoyable three course meal. After the main course the cabaret started with Sally Ann Triplett, star of stage, TV and radio who entertained us wonderfully singing nearly a dozen songs from some of the shows in which she has starred. Further information on Sally Ann Triplett on Wikipedia. She was admirably accompanied on the piano by Lee Ormsby who surprised us later in the evening when he sang a medley from “Phantom of the Opera” – his voice was so beautiful I could have listened to him for ever.

Sally Ann Triplett photo

Stage star; Sally Ann Triplett

Photo of Danny Lane

Future star of stage musicals; Danny Lane

Photo of Lee Ormsby

Lee Ormsby who surprised us all

We were invited to this event by one of the committee members, Eddie Lane, and the second singer of the evening was his son, Danny, who sang four songs from Chicago, Follies, South Pacific and Les Miserables. He is only 16, has a lovely voice and is very self-assured. This guy is definitely heading for a star-studded future.

Photo of Sam McGeown

Willie Nelson, aka Sam McKeown, Finchley's country singer

Photo of Sandra Papier, Danny's Grandmother

Sandra Papier who sang from "Oliver"

Sam McKeown entertained us with an excellent rendering of Willie Nelson’s country song called “Me and Paul” and was followed by the lovely Sandra Papier (grandmother to Danny) whose “As long as he needs me” I found quite emotional.

There was a raffle and then Ron Raymond, their Vice President, announced it was Hilary’s swan song and thanked her for all the work she has done over the years for the club. She received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Hilary then thanked everyone and especially some of the ladies for all their help over the years.

I do hope this is repeated next year and that Eddie invites us again.

Club bowling on a summers day

A day bowling last summer at the club

Finally, the Finchley Bowls club bowling green on a summer’s day.

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