Notes from the 2023 Annual General Meeting of your residents’ Association
Langton Way Association Annual General Meeting – 7.00 pm on 23 May 2023 in St John’s Church, Stratheden Road
The Chair welcomed everyone and said that apologies had been received from ex-Councillor Geoff Brighty, Nick Butcher, Tim Ford, Paul Maloney, Kelly Ovenell, Alison Rogers and Alex Trifunovic (Committee Member – 130 Langton Way).
The following matters of local concern were discussed:
- The future of 133 Langton Way, the former Old People’s Sheltered Accommodation on Vicarage Avenue – Councillor St Matthew-Daniel said that she would make enquiries. Those present said that they were pleased that it was being used as a nursing home for those needing temporary nursing following hospital discharge before returning home.
- The application to erect a tall 5G telecom mast next to residential property on Vanbrugh Park Road (https://planning.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_GRNW_DCAPR_115977 ). There was a concern that if this was approved that it might set a precedent for the erection of such masts in other residential areas. Councillor St Matthew-Daniel said that she was waiting to see if the planning officers recommended approval. If so, she intended to call the application in before the Area Planning Committee to allow public representations for and against the application to be made.
- The prospect of the Old Dover Road only being open to cyclists. It felt that this would adversely affect not only the ability of residents to exit Langton Way to the east, but also the financial viability of our local shops and restaurants in the Standard. Councillor St Matthew-Daniel said she was unable to comment at present as the findings of the Council’s recent traffic consultation were still under consideration. She hoped that this review would be finished by the autumn.
- Concerns were also raised about the number of dangerous and illegal U turns being executed around the triangle at the junction of Stratheden Road and the A2, next to Marnic House. It was suggested that the relevant signage was partially obscured by trees that needed cutting back and/or the triangle should be elongated and made more pointed. Councillor St Matthew-Daniel said she would look at the triangle and raise our concerns.
Thanks were voiced by those present to the Council and to both their Refuse Collection team for providing such a good service and their Highways team for promptly filling in the potholes by Vicarage Avenue (one of the few areas that they are responsible for) following our reporting it online.
Matters arising from the last AGM (Nov 2021)
Matters relating to the future of the Old Peoples Home on Vicarage Avenue, Social events and the Newsletter are covered elsewhere in the minutes.
The Chair read a report prepared by Alex Trifunovic which reiterated that Langton Way is a very safe place and that crime is rare. To put things in perspective, there have been 62 burglaries in the Westcombe & Blackheath Ward over the past year, in an area with a population of 15,000 according to the latest census. Thefts of and from motor vehicles are the most common. Across the Ward, thieves are reported to target numberplates and catalytic converters in particular. Robbery and violent crimes are ever rarer, and most reported incidents are either domestic violence or involve schoolchildren (mobile phone thefts).
Relevant incidents in Langton Way over the past year comprise:
- Theft of motor vehicles: a number of keyless thefts were reported on the street in the past year, where the thieves intercept the signal from the keys and use it to open and start the car. It is recommended that keys are kept as far away from the vehicle as possible and away from windows and doors, ideally kept in a metal or faraday box or pouch.
- A driver on Langton Way had dropped his keys on the street and the vehicle was stolen in the subsequent few minutes – the driver was clearly unlucky that an unscrupulous individual was passing by, but it shows what can happen.
Other points of interest from Ward Neighbourhood Watch Meetings
- Walk and Talk initiative – Joint Engagement Officers are offering to walk with women around areas where they feel unsafe and identify how to make them safer. Information can be found on the metropolitan police website: met.police.uk
- Anti Social Behaviour (ASB): in the past, 50 St John’s Park, which houses young adults in care, has been associated with ASB on and around Vicarage Avenue. Current management is credited with a turnaround and no recent problems have been reported.
- The police are in discussion with local garages to set up a scheme to mark catalytic convertors to deter thefts (like SmartWater) with stickers to advertise that the marking has been done. The police are awaiting delivery of the packs. Local garages include Karen’s, Blackheath Tyres and the garage near the old Bluecoats School.
A question was raised as to whether SmartWater marking was still available. Councillor St Matthew-Daniel said she would ask the Safe Neighbourhood team.
Shilpi reported that the LWA currently had a balance of £1,772.96 (compared to £1,807.68 at the AGM in November 2021). Subs received were £330 (2022) and £200 (this year to date) totalling £530. Expenses to date were £564.72 and included the cost of having a webpage, the newsletter, the 2022 BBQ (drinks, food, hire of a bouncy castle and storage of the BBQ equipment) and Light up Langton Way 2021 & 2022 (drinks and food), Neighbourhood Watch, and a contribution to the Standard’s Christmas lights in 2021 & 2022.
Shilpi encouraged all those who haven’t paid their subscriptions to do so, ideally by standing order. Details for paying can be found under the Association tab on the LWA website.
Parking & Potholes
A resident had reported that the Council had ticketed cars parked in the area where Vicarage Avenue crosses Langton Way, only for the Council to admit later that it had been done in error. They apologised and cancelled the tickets.
Many residents are concerned about potholes. Hoggin for those in the west is held by local residents at nos 49 & 50. The name of the contractor who tarmacked the frontages of nos 80-93 is listed under the Useful Trades tab on the website.
- Jane reported that, in addition to the longstanding application to build a house behind the Esso garage on Langton Way east, on which no decision had yet been reached, there had been 27 new applications impacting Langton Way since the last AGM in Nov 2021. None had given rise to objections on behalf of the LWA. 13 applications related to the maintenance of trees in people’s rear gardens. 3 applications related to the erection of non-commercial offices/gyms in people’s rear gardens. 11 related to residential alterations, again mainly to the rear of existing buildings. All the applications are listed on the planning page of the website.
- As it was sometimes difficult to turn in to Langton Way east from Stratheden Road due to Pointers parents parking just inside the gateway (in contravention of their contract with the school) we are planning to construct a planter there as a preventative measure. Pointers are being very supportive and have agreed to contribute 50% of the cost.
- Jane mentioned that SGN planned to replace the gas pipes in L Way East (nos 64-186, Primrose Mews & Belvedere Mews) in the autumn. A resident has said that they intend to insist on a wayleave agreement with SGN and has advised those also affected to do likewise. They say that as these are planned, and not emergency, works, residents should not be fobbed off by any statement from SGN that wayleaves are optional.
They suggest that a wayleave agreement should cover:
- a Condition Survey report;
- a Risk & Methodology Statement/Risk Assessment Method Statement (the resident in question says that they will not accept ‘patch repairs’ and will expect full reinstatement of their section of the road, including the subbase construction if disturbed);
- Insurance details covering both the works and a reasonable ‘discovery’ period thereafter;
- Warranty cover or an insurance indemnity for a period of at least 10 years post reinstatement; and
- should the Risk & Methodology Statement indicate that access to secure off-road parking may be temporarily compromised, details of any insurance cover provided by the contractor to mitigate any temporary annulment of any private vehicle insurance This is because, if you have told your insurance company that your car is securely parked on a driveway or in a garage overnight, it may not be covered if you temporarily have to leave your car nearby.
Liz said that we had had a number of social events since we last met in November 2021.
We celebrated Light Up Langton Way in both December 2021 and December 2022. The first event had been too wet for us to be able to do much but the 2022 Light Up had been very successful with residents enjoying both the lights along both ends of Langton Way, and the mulled wine and mince pies on offer in Gregor Mews.
In 2022 we had moved the BBQ from September to June, when the weather was warmer and more people were around. The change of date has proved popular, and this year’s BBQ will take place at 2.00pm on Sunday 11 June.
Shilpi reported that there were currently 101 LWA Facebook subscribers. This is the same figure as last year.
Alex M apologised for the fact that he was having problems emailing Gmail accounts from the LWA email account. He was looking into how that glitch might be resolved.
Steven reminded attendees that the website contained information about planning and the Neighbourhood Watch. There was also a useful list of tradesmen recommended by residents which he encouraged people to add to. He said that he would welcome ideas for extending the scope of the website and contributions to the Association’s Newsletter which we hope to publish shortly.
The Committee said they were happy to be re-elected and duly were.
Any other business