Spring 2004 Bulletin

Backdated from previous BA website

Bloomsbury Association Bulletin ??? Spring 2004 Incorporating Bloomsbury Residents Association Bloomsbury Blues & Jazz Festival Malet Street, Friday June 25th from 6pm ???11pm CLICK TITLE FOR MORE ………………………………

Bloomsbury Association Bulletin – Spring 2004
Incorporating Bloomsbury Residents Association


Bloomsbury Blues & Jazz Festival
Malet Street, Friday June 25th from 6pm –11pm

In Partnership with Bloomsbury Improvement Group and UCL we propose to hold the 2nd Bloomsbury Blues and Jazz Festival in Malet Street on June 25th between 6pm and 11pm.  Refreshments will be available at ULU in Malet St. Entry is FREE.
We are awaiting permission from Camden at this time and further details will be published on the BA web site soon. Please contact us if you can help the organisers on the evening of June 25.

We will explore possibilities of another event in Museum Street in September in conjunction with Camden and Car Free Day.


Drugs & Anti Social Behaviour – West End Drugs Partnership (WEDP)

Since October 2002 the BA executive committee has made significant progress in bringing the primary concern of the community, namely the chaotic drug related anti-social behaviour on our streets, to the attention of the authorities and we are pleased to say that significant progress has been made right across the spectrum.

·    Our participation as a major community voice on the West End Drugs Partnership (WEDP) continues and in partnership with Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA), Soho Society and Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association (FNA), we believe we make a valuable contribution to this important community led forum.
·    We are please to announce that the WEDP will ‘go public’ before the end of May 2004, and that our demand for an independent Chair for this group has been addressed with the appointment of Prof. John Foreman of University College London (UCL) in February 2004. Web site; http://www.wedp.org
·    Insp. Des Rock has been appointed as coordinator for the group and funding has been acquired from Government of London to allow him to continue in this post for the next financial year.
·    At long last, we feel we are now being properly consulted on drug matters and that the authorities have an effective way of listening to the concerns of the community.
·    Currently, we are addressing the proposals by Camden Drug Action Team to open a dedicated fixed site needle exchange in the Charing X Road area.  We are most strongly opposed to this proposal – our reasons are recorded in detail on our web site.
·    We have commended Camden Council and Camden Police respectively via the WEDP for the major improvements to street cleanliness and enforcement on drug related matters and particularly on the success of Operation Methane in May 2004.

There are fundamental differences of opinion on how to deal with drug problems and these issues can be very complicated, time consuming and sometimes acrimonious. However, this issue remains our top priority and you can be assured of our persistence in ensuring that the community voice is heard via the WEDP, which we believe has now found direction and is beginning to make real progress and improvements.  The new WEDP web is at; http://www.wedp.org


MEMBERSHIP of BA & OUR WEB SITE

http://www.thebloomsburyassociation.org  or
http://www.camdennet.org.uk/groups/bloomsbury

We congratulate Camden Council on the excellence of the free software and web site hosting that has allowed us to move from the Dark Ages to the 21st century as far as our communications are concerned. The Camden team that run this service are second to none!

This resource allows us;

·    to publish all our documents in the public domain
·    to provide a permanent public record of our achievements as well as any disappointments
·    to be ‘up front’ with our opinion and policy
·    to publish feedback from anyone with an interest in our activities
·    to give all registered members and anyone else with an interest in Bloomsbury access to our news and the various consultations that are a major part of community activity
·    to help ‘empower’ our community help to improve the quality of life of Bloomsbury residents

If you have an opinion or historical article on Bloomsbury or wish to have any Bloomsbury related comment published on our web site please email us!

Since we went online (Nov 2003), we have published over 80 news bulletins, 50 documents, and a calendar record of over 50 meetings and events that we have attended on BA business.

Membership:  Your registration is more power to your local community association. Please register online by downloading our membership form or telephone 020 7916 1034 and we will post one to you.  Its FREE!



FUNDING
Community Chest Fund

We have won a £4200 grant from Camden Community Chest for capital equipment (March 2004).  This will purchase a laptop, digital camera and projector to allow us to promote our activities and projects to better effect. This grant even includes £200 for postage stamps – that’s a 1st for the BA!

CommunityAlert

We have collaborated with UCL and Bloomsbury Improvement Group to win a substantial grant from the Met Police (Camden) to build a community led internet based incident reporting system to help tackle anti-social behaviour.  This unique state of the art online system will be built by programmers and mapping specialists from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL.  The system will be online in Oct 2004.  You can follow the development process by logging on to;
http://www.camdennet.org.uk/groups/communityalertproject

We intend to continue to build our capacity to lead or participate in projects that empower our community.

PARTNERSHIPS

We have made significant and valuable progress in building partnerships with other community organisations in the West End.  This progress started with our involvement on the WEDP and is now finding its way into other spheres of community involvement particularly in Forward Planning in Urban Design for Bloomsbury and surrounding areas.  Some projects are:

·    Bloomsbury Clear Zone – with Camden Council, UCL and local groups. The work done to date includes works to Museum Street and Malet Street / Torrington Place / Byng Place and consultation is taking place now on future works to Coptic Street.  We are actively consulting with Camden Council at high level as well as with the Bloomsbury Conservation Committee to try and ensure that the conservation policy for the Museum Street area remains a strong force in forward planning.

·    St Giles Renaissance Forum – with about 25 organisations. There are some who feel this is not the right way for us to contribute to the redevelopment of St Giles, but we take the view that participation rather than confrontation is the way forward.  We will still be able to make our views known and are not so naïve that we will let ourselves be used against the wishes of the local community.  If everyone is up front about their opinions we hope a better result will materialise.

We have promoted a joined-up process of working and consultation on this very important redevelopment that extends from Denmark Street eastward to the top of Drury Lane and includes the redevelopment of 4 major sites.  We have built a web site to allow this consultation to be brought into the public domain and we will continue to try and ensure that this unique opportunity for ALL stakeholders to be part of the resurrection of St Giles area is not lost.  Read all about it at;
http://www.camdennet.org.uk/groups/stgiles

·    A Vision for Bloomsbury – with Camden Council and the Bloomsbury Improvement Group. See; http://www.bloomsburygroup.org.uk This is a long term project aimed at building an urban design forward plan for Bloomsbury. A recent meeting, hosted by the Provost of UCL was very well received by all and full details of this will be published on the above web site and our own in the near future.

·    Bedford Square – there has been significant progress on plans to refurbish Bedford Square paving and a public consultation will take place later in the summer in Bedford Square.  English Heritage and Camden have made initial offers of funding and the Bedford Estates and Crown Estate have been invited to contribute.  We will publish notice of the consultation in the near future.


PLANNING

The Bloomsbury Association monitors all planning applications made within an area roughly bounded by Southampton Row in the east, New Oxford Street in the south and Tottenham Court Road in the west. The northern extent of the area of interest is an undefined line between Bedford Square and Russell Square. We may also take an interest in proposals of wider impact located outside this area, the St Giles area redevelopment is a good example of this. The BA comments on proposals with a view to promoting high standards of planning and architecture in the area and to securing the preservation, and enhancement of Bloomsbury.

Recently the Association, together with the Soho Society, the Covent Garden Community Association and the Charlotte Street Association, has been very active in responding to Camden Council’s consultation on the Area Planning Framework for St Giles High Street and associated planning briefs.

We have also participated in the Supplementary Planning Guidance Consultation (SPG) with Camden Council and the report of that will be published at the end of May.

LICENCING

We are currently making links with Camden Council, and our neighbouring community associations to ensure that we receive notification of all Licencing applications within Bloomsbury Ward.

George Wagner Memorial Tree – Bloomsbury Square.
The BA is pleased to support the George Wagner Memorial Tree fund to honour the memory of the founder of the BA who left us a legacy to be proud of.  If you wish to make a personal contribution to this fund please contact us and we will put you in contact with the organiser.

Area Nine Regeneration

This is a consultation by Camden Council to address deprivation in Area Nine – the area around Museum Street.  We have spent many hours liasing with the consultants on this very complicated exercise and a full report will be published on our web site in the near future.

Youth Activities

Research shows us that there is a serious lack of awareness of sports and other facilities for young people in Bloomsbury.  We are exploring Army Cadets, Karate, Football, Swimming, Drama and other activities and will produce a report shortly.
We are targeting activities for ages of 6 – 16 years.



Bloomsbury Association
Spring 2004
info@thebloomsburyassociation.org
http://www.thebloomsburyassociation.org
020 7916 1034

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