Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Business Meeting on 8th October 2007
Present: Anne Boston (chair), James Brander, Stefano Casalotti, Jean Dollimore, Meade McCloughan (minutes), Lionel Shapiro, Dominic Tinley and Helen Vecht.
Apologies: Jane Boardman, John Chamberlain and Richard Fletcher
• current maintenance class: ten people have now signed up and paid.
• business support for further maintenance classes: Stefano has had just one response, from Raleigh, who has asked for more information
• east-west local cycle route: Dominic and Meade have met the consultant; CRIM due sometime in November.
London Borough of Camden Sustainability Task Force
• The 24th October meeting will be on transport, and will discuss plans for Fitzjohn’s Avenue.
• Stefano has put it in his diary; it may also be that Richard and Jane would want to go.
Plans for December meeting
• Ann to contact Alan Bennett and let Jean and Stefano know how far she gets.
• Stefano to contact Adam Thorpe and see if he has any more films or could come in December.
• Jean to book up PHCA for 2008.
• James wondered whether we should invest in some new tabards.
• The last lot of twelve cost about £200; we have about 8-10 in hand.
• The existing tabards are getting a bit grubby and the fluorescent yellow makes it hard to differentiate them from other reflective tops cyclists wear (a problem on big rides, such as to Freewheel).
• Green or, perhaps better orange would be more distinctive; also maybe a more glorious logo.
• These are likely to be expensive – maybe £100 for four.
• James to investigate further.
Bike Week 2008
• It was agreed that what we need is one big extra event to fit in with our regular ones.
• Stefano suggested that we think about a Camden Freewheel event, following on the success of the September London one.
• This could be designed to fit in with Cllr Paul Braithwaite’s Camden ride, perhaps also involve the parks link route.
• It was agreed that this was a good idea and that Stefano should start by getting in touch with Paul.
St Pancras International
• Plans for the St Pancras demonstration were discussed [Jean has since has circulated a list of responsibilities for planning this event].
• Jean and Stefano to meet with Ralph Smyth (and others?) on 29th October.
• The Council says that the roads round the back will be open from the 3rd November.
• Stefano to contact Martina Grebener (Camden Community Radio). [Jean has since done this]
• Lionel recommended that the leaflet be designed so that the top quarter or third makes the subject clear (and will therefore be apparent when folded and attached to parked bicycles).
Kings Cross Development Forum
• Anne hasn’t seen the minutes of the last meeting yet; this was to have dealt with the University of the Arts project, which we will want to keep tabs on.
• The first detailed planning applications are due about now; Anne to check the London Borough of Camden planning webpage to see if anything has appeared yet.
• Camden Climate Action Network is having a meeting about the King’s Cross development on 26th October; James to attend.
• Camden Climate Action Network is holding a meeting about sustainable transport, 12th November, 6 pm at the Primrose Hill Community Association (i.e. just before our meeting there that evening); Jean to attend, maybe Anne also.
Camley Street consultation
• James, Dominic and possibly Anne are able to go as a deputation to the Council’s Executive meeting on Thursday 15th November; James to lead.
• Stefano hasn’t yet had a reply from the Somerstown Police Officer; Cllr Braithwaite has also been in touch with some other police officers about the scheme.
• Stefano could ask the Street Wardens if they could speak up in favour of the scheme.
• James started off a debate how we deal with consultations.
• We usually get 5-6 responses on the newsgroup to the more important consultations, but it tends to be the usual people, and we are probably missing out on more local input.
• People mainly don’t respond because they’re not familiar with the area; for example, Camden cyclists are likely to be unfamiliar with east-west routes across the south of the borough (as with the recent High Holborn bus lane consultation).
• Responses should therefore be encouraged even if they only saying “yes”.
• Another reason is that people are often supportive of the line already indicated by the person dealing with the consultation.
• Encouraging people to respond to consultations themselves (if they live in the area covered) is a good idea, as each response (nominally) has the same weight.
• We should therefore try to activate the local membership with more important schemes (e.g. LCN+).
• Helen to include an article in a forthcoming newsletter encouraging members to engage with consultations along the lines suggested above.
Freewheel, Sunday 23rd September
• This was agreed to have been a success.
• The stewarding of routes into the Freewheel was not that satisfactory, especially on the return leg.
Minutes of Camden Cycling Campaign Members Meeting on 8th October 2007
Present: as above, plus Cllr Paul Braithwaite, Cyril Cannon, George Coulouris and Mayer Hillman.
Camden Friends of the Earth
• Liz Lainé and Nikki Packham gave a presentation about “The Big Ask” campaign and the Climate Change Bill, which asks for 3% annual cuts in CO2 emissions.
• Camden Friends of the Earth are putting pressure on the Camden M.P.s to ensure they back the bill.
• Camden Friends of the Earth will be holding a public meeting on the 12th November in the Council Chambers; Glenda will be attending, hopefully Frank also.
• Mayer argued that the Bill was too timid and that much more drastic action is needed.
Koy Thompson, LCC Director
• Koy Thompson, the new director of LCC, introduced himself and told us a bit about his background.
• He emphasized that what he found most striking about LCC was the energy and
expertise of its members, and that he saw it as his role to promote this culture, not to develop a corporate “top-down” approach.
• Accordingly, LCC needs to help resource and train its members and promote sharing of expertise.
• Cycling has huge potential to transform the urban environment and make our city more liveable.
• LCC is currently finishing off its five-year strategy review.
• Cyril asked Koy whether he had any specific issues which he wanted to push ahead
on. Koy replied that he didn’t want to come down on one side or another of the familiar debates (segregation etc), but rather was keen to recognize the variety of cycling constituencies within London – what might be right for Hackney might not be appropriate for Richmond.
• Jean reported on her participation in the LCC Strategy workshop last month, where various possible campaigning issues were discussed, such as changing liability rules for collisions and 20 mph speed limits.
• Koy elaborated as to how he saw LCC supporting local groups; he didn’t want to see head office co-ordinators, but was happy for borough groups to raise funds and employ staff themselves (as in Southwark). It would good to revive the previous practice of local groups training sessions.
• Mayer urged that LCC should make climate change, and in particular carbon rationing, its priority.
• Koy’s reply was at somewhat of a tangent: he noted that part of the success of climate change campaigning has been down to its use of snappy phrases, such as carbon footprint and food miles, and that what we as cycling campaigners needed was something similar, a metaphor to convey the benefits of cycling. [Perhaps ‘bicycle bounce’?]
• In response to another question, Koy argued that LCC needed to be more political, and noted that it had not put in a submission to the recent congestion charge consultation, which many of us in the room found surprising. But with this, the organization needed to have a clear mandate from its members – what is the campaigning issue which they want it to take on.
• Stefano pointed out that LCC needed to blow its own trumpet more; LCC head office and members did a huge amount of work for the recent Freewheel but its name was nowhere apparent on any of the publicity. Koy agreed, but pointed out that LCC had been going through a change of directors at the time of the Freewheel planning and that this hadn’t helped.
• Paul mentioned two other issues, the legal enforceability of ASLs and getting motorcyclists out of bus lanes. Koy related these to last year’s ‘Share the road’ campaign, which he revealed had turned out to be a bit of a con: the anti-cyclist bit had gone ahead, but the anti-motorist component was quietly dropped. LCC needed to be cannier about such sort of scheme in the future.
• The meeting then ended, and Koy thanked for his stimulating and at times revealing talk.