AGM/EGM and Monthly Meeting April 2015
Thursday, 16 April 2015
Attendees: Owen Pearson, David Tuckwell, Caroline Fenton, Terry Patterson, Richard Patterson, Alex Wareing, Steve Collins, Keith Jones, Joe Batty, Leigh Andrews, Juwel Malique (LCC staff), Helen Ashcroft, Gerry Matthews, Rob Lister
Apologies for absence received from: Dave Allison, Olawale Ajibola, Christy Troy
1. Minutes of last meeting – approved
2. Accounts for the last year – presented. Agreed to waive our LCC grant for this year, based on level of reserves.
3. Year reviews:
3.1 Campaigns (Terry) – see details at end of minutes, Terry thanked formally for her efforts
3.2 Rides (Alex) – several successful rides but overall not as many as previous years due to non-availability of ride leaders
3.3 Events (Keith) – see details at end of minutes
3.4 Workshop (Keith) - see details at end of minutes
3.5 Communications (Helen) – We have produced 2 newsletters, 2 borough inserts, and one special news shot (with an open rate 40% which is very good) All e-communications now reaching over 2000 addresses.
3.6 Engineering/infrastructure (Gerry) – Aim of this group is to reduce technical content from general meetings, provide some focus on technical topics. Issue is small borough group relative to amount of consultation work and programmes (2 CSHs, Bow, massive arterial roads, lots of new developments), barriers to cycling network (river, Victoria Park), lack of resource in council. Responses submitted for about 10 consultations this year. For next year, need to consider how to decide our “line”, also learning curve is that we need to follow up after consultations.
All officers presenting formally thanked for their efforts, also Olawale for his contribution particularly to the Engineering and infrastructure work.
4. Election of officers:
4.1 Management committee
Treasurer – Dave A standing down so a vacancy exists (but he will cover the job temporarily). Some interest expressed, so will raise at next monthly meeting
Secretary – Caroline (nominated Gerry, seconded Terry) NB Will not take bank account signatory for now.
Co-ordinator – Owen (nominated by Gerry, seconded David T)
4.2 Other posts:
Engineering/Infrastructure – Gerry (nominated Owen, seconded Terry)
Campaigns – Terry (nominated Caroline, seconded Richard)
Events – Keith (nominated Terry, seconded Steve)
Communications – Helen (nominated Keith, seconded Alex)
Chair – David T (nominated Alex, seconded Helen)
Workshop Co-ordinator – Keith (nominated David, seconded Alex)
1. Membership/Engaging Networks -Juwel, Alex and Helen talked about this. EN is a database which contains all people that LCC interact with (eg people who signed petitions, gave e-mail address when joined etc, different amount of info for different people). Used to push out e-mails (eg newsletters), difficulty is where we just have an e-mail address we don’t know anything else (may have moved out of London etc). Experience says that a % of contacts can be turned into members (LCC office does mail-outs to achieve this) – so a major contribution for borough groups is to collect the contact details and pass them on (NB have to get individual’s permission). Alex suggested we could have a THW tablet which we use at workshop etc to get people to input details directly. Can we have a demo of system at a meeting?
2. Campaigns – need to decide which campaigns to prioritise next year.
3. Workshop April 18th – Keith, Rob (full time) Owen, Caroline (part only) available, Bob? Neil?
4. Newsletter etc - feedback on borough insert format - would prefer in format which could be folded in A5.
5.1 Cristiania being restored by Keith, hopefully finished by mid May.
5.2 Local group forum – 28th April Terry to attend on behalf of THW
5.3 Extra meeting – 29th April is favourite. Caroline to book cabin
5.4 LCC Policy issues – including standard constitution for all borough groups, to be discussed at a later meeting.
Detailed year reports:
Cycle superhighway 2 upgrade consultation
This campaign was a huge task for our group, with hours of work put in responding to the consultation, and a determined campaign around the Whitechapel market issues. We leafletted and organised a Cyclists Love Whitechapel Market ride, which raised awareness and built a positive relationship with many traders.
The outcome of the consultation was not what we wanted at the market, and there is also a gap in the superhighway at Mile End Ocean estate. The superhighway vanishes for a few hundred metres – and then reappears again! But our presence at the market was very good publicity for us. No doubt we will be back again at the market and at Mile End raising concerns. It will be important to get riders' feedback on both stretches once the upgrade is complete.
20 is Plenty.
This campaign has been implemented with surprising and very pleasing speed by the council. Jeremy Leach from “20 is Plenty” has worked behind the scenes as have many in Wheelers, to ensure that the council understood our concerns. Implementation date was 13th of April but we must be vigilant to ensure that enforcement happens.
Safer Lorries campaign.
The TfL Safer Lorries consultation http://www.tfl.gov.uk/info-for/freight/safer-lorry-scheme - has now been signed off at a London wide cross Borough level, and the appropriate traffic orders are being put in place. We are seeking clarification from Tower Hamlets Council to recognise this and sign the LCC Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge http://lcc.org.uk/pages/why-safer-lorries.
The council had concerns that implementation would affect smaller local operators who couldn't afford to put the appropriate lorry modifications in place. However this can't any longer be an issue if all of London is now required to conform with this proposal.
Space for cycling ward asks.
Progress on Ward asks is being delivered through the monthly meetings with the council where we are in discussion with council offices on the best way forward. The council has committed in theory to all the ward asks, but due to budget constraints this is highly unlikely to be delivered in full. At the monthly meetings we are able to prioritise and bring back the council's most recent position statements.
There have been many other equally important campaigns and consultations, which members have been involved in, including, to name a few in no particular order
Cycle superhighway 3 upgrade
East – West route
Bow Roundabout-ongoing work by our members on this ill designed junction - Wheelers remembers with respect the victims of accidents here and elsewhere in the Borough.
Victoria Park closing at dusk- in effect a daily cycle road closure on a major route
Massive private development and consequent access/ infrastructure issues for cyclists
The most significant development this year has been the opening up of communications with the council in regular meetings. This provision has enabled us to have direct dialogue with the officers at a senior level who implement council policy. We also have meetings with key councillors in two of the three main parties. Without the hard work done by lots of members at the mayoral hustings in 2013 as part of the Ward Asks Campaign, this would not have happened. At the hustings several parties gave public commitments to both 20 is Plenty and the Ward Asks- we were then able to hold them to account after the election, Well done to our committed Wheelers members for that excellent piece of work.
Wheelers attended and organised several events in the last year, these included the Bike Week bike breakfast, the Arnold Circus 100 Revolutions Challenge, the Limehouse Community Festival and the Bancroft Estate Fun Day. We also led and provided marshals for the Prudential FreeCycle feeder ride to the event.
After the construction of CS3 along Stratford High Street we returned Svitlana Tereshchenko’s memorial ghost bike to its location on the SE corner of Bow Roundabout. We arranged for the bike to be welded so parts cannot be stolen from it, painted it and secured it to the railings. Her family are very pleased with our contribution to her memorial.
Wheelers were instrumental in helping to set up a senior’s cycling club at the Zacchaeus Project, a social club run for church members and seniors at the Bethnal Green Methodist church close to Victoria Park. They have a selection of donated bikes based at the church and to get the project started we held a workshop day for their bikes which we serviced. Subsequently, every Friday since the project started in June (except for the winter months) we have been riding out with them in Victoria and the Olympic Park helping to build their cycling skills and confidence. The goal for the club is for the participants to take part in this year’s FreeCycle. This project has been very successful due to the enthusiasm of the project’s manager whose has co-ordinated training instructors with the council and the fact that their bikes are all kept at the church.
The workshop has been ticking over nicely and we now have regular volunteer mechanics, attendance has been down slightly due to the increase in bike shops in the borough so we are looking for suggestions to increase the number of people who attend and the service we provide.