Sunday, 21 October 2018

Mill Hill Focus #40 - The Latest news from NW7

St Joseph keeping an eye on his fields!

Published every Sunday, we bring all the latest news stories, events and other information for people living in and around Mill Hill. Do you want to see A Better Mill Hill? Do you want to contribute to making our area nicer, cleaner, greener, more friendly, with a better sense of local community? The Focus team of Donna Pickup, Richard Logue and Roger Tichborne are all local residents, involved with the community and local schools.

If you want to stay in touch with us and know what we are doing, we normally publish the newsletter every Sunday, however we're having a Summer break, so this is the last one until September. We hope you enjoy it!


Fly Tipping in Goodwyn Avenue

This week saw yet more flytipping in Goodwyn Avenue, with rubbish being left for several days to accumilate. The team at A Better Mill Hill will keep letting the council know, but we need your help. If you see anyone flytipping, let the Council know. If you can get pictures or number plates without putting yourself at risk, this would greatly assist in helping deal with problem. Click here to find out how to report flytipping

Activities at Mill Hill Library



Top Quality Jazz in Mill Hill


Restaurant Review


Special Offer at Mill Hill Golf Club








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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Mill Hill Focus #39 - All the local news from NW7

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St Josephs fields
Published every Sunday, we bring all the latest news stories, events and other information for people living in and around Mill Hill. Do you want to see A Better Mill Hill? Do you want to contribute to making our area nicer, cleaner, greener, more friendly, with a better sense of local community? The Focus team of Donna Pickup, Richard Logue and Roger Tichborne are all local residents, involved with the community and local schools.

If you want to stay in touch with us and know what we are doing, we normally publish the newsletter every Sunday, however we're having a Summer break, so this is the last one until September. We hope you enjoy it!


Our team get things done! This week we got the council to resolve this electrocution hazard in Mill Hill Park. If you see something dangerous in our locality, let us know


Cooksleys Butchers

 Cooksleys butchers have issued the following tweet explaining the reasons for their closure.


Forthcoming events and news in Mill Hill










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Sunday, 30 September 2018

Mill Hill Focus #38 - All the local news from NW7

Welcome to the 38th edition of our weekly newsletter for the Mill Hill Community. We are now back from our summer recess and back on the case of making Mill Hill a better place for everyone!



Published every Sunday, we bring all the latest news stories, events and other information for people living in and around Mill Hill. Do you want to see A Better Mill Hill? Do you want to contribute to making our area nicer, cleaner, greener, more friendly, with a better sense of local community? The Focus team of Donna Pickup, Richard Logue and Roger Tichborne are all local residents, involved with the community and local schools. If you want to stay in touch with us and know what we are doing, we normally publish the newsletter every Sunday, however we're having a Summer break, so this is the last one until September. We hope you enjoy it!

Cooksleys closing
Cooksleys Butchers 
The team are absolutely devastated to learn of the closure of Cooksleys Butchers, a real institution on Mill Hill Broadway. At the end of the 1970's, the Broadway had three butchers, Cooksleys (then called Lidstones), Dewhursts and Newmans. Now the last of these has closed. This tweet from them explains the reasons.


Given the number of empty retail units on the Broadway, we think that it is incredibly short sighted of the landlords to force such a long established and wonderful business out. We also think that it is incredibly unfair that a business such as Cooksleys has massive rates bills whilst online sellers can pay little or sometimes nothing. It is simply not a level playing field.

Thameslink Timetable Cock up
It seems that the Thameslink service is slowly improving after the monumental cock up in May, when the new timetable was introduced.
Thameslink service figures (click for link to full report) 

There is a marvellous analysis of what happened on the influential "London Reconnections" website. Well worth a read if you want to know who was to blame for the chaos. It is not pretty reading. We will continue to monitor the service and report back regularly on what is happening.

Step Free Access for Mill Hill Broadway

The Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum report -

We have 39 letters of support for SFA at 10.00am this morning 28.09. Thanks go to those who have taken time to write in. One for each step to the platform! Mill Hill we need so many more to support our case for funding. So please write ASAP to millhill_nf@btinternet.com supporting SFA at Mill Hill Broadway Station.#


STEP-FREE-ACCESS (SFA) at Mill Hill Broadway Station
We finally have the opportunity to put in an application for at least some of the £8.5m funding required to help make this station fit-for-purpose, to the Department for Transport. SFA helps those with any disabilities to use the station; it is also of great value to families with children & buggies and for those with heavy baggage.
What we NOW need from ALL residents of Mill Hill & the immediately surrounding areas are the following:
Please send an email to millhill_nf@btinternet.com to tell us why you in particular would benefit from SFA at this station. Please do not comment on this post as it will be impossible to collate responses in a reasonable manner. Your e-mails can be shared as part of our application for funding.

Mill Hill Broadway Station is a major Transport Hub, interchanging with many buses from surrounding areas. It provides access to St Pancras/Kings X, Gatwick, Luton, & soon with the Elizabeth line at Farringdon, Heathrow Airports. At West Hampsted you can change onto the Overground for Stratford, Richmond, White City or Clapham junction. Equally you can access the Jubilee line for trips to Bond Street or Westminster. Brighton & Bedford with all stations inbetween and Kent are all readily accessible, assuming you can at present manage the 39 steps to the station. We arfe all being told not to use our cars but to jump on Public Transport. SFA may make this station a viable alternative for some of your journeys.
We have to assume that planned improvements to Thameslink will continue to make the service more regular and more reliable. This request does not ask for comments on the train service but simply whether SFA would encourage you to use the station more frequently.
Please indicate how many extra journeys you would make per month. Please state perhaps, concisely, why you feel currently excluded from the train service offered.
We have to win this bid for funding or wait 4-5 years for another opportunity. So please copy this request to everyone you know, particularly those who do not access Facebook.
Thank you in advance for your help in this matter, which will benefit so many local people.

Planning Update

It seems that Jennys is going from Mill Hill Broadway. It is being replaced by "Mani and Nick's" who are installing a new frontage.

Installation of 1no. non illuminated fascia sign following removal of existing hanging sign Open for comment icon
20 The Broadway London NW7 3LL
Ref. No: 18/5309/ADV | Received: Thu 30 Aug 2018 | Validated: Thu 30 Aug 2018 | Status: Pending Consideration


With regards to Pentavia, Watchtower site and Hasmonean, we are expecting to see further planning details submitted shortly. Various drawings of an amended design for Hasmonean have been circulating, sadly all of which seem to maintain the boundary envisaged in the original plans, with associated loss of public green space. We do hope that Hasmonean recognise that this is not a good proposal for Mill Hill and resubmit plans that are more acceptable. It has been suggested that by having underground car parking, the problem could be resolved . We hope this can be explored.

Other News.

Here is our brief roundup of other Mill Hill News

The Barnet Eye has taken a very sarcastic swipe at the failure of Barnet Council to address the plague of Graffiti in Mill Hill

A timely reminder from the Mill Hill Police

The Next street market

Fancy a Panto in Mill Hill?

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

Mill Hill Focus #37 - Pentavia, Planning and all the other news

Welcome to the 37th edition of our weekly newsletter for the Mill Hill Community. Published every Sunday, we bring all the latest news stories, events and other information for people living in and around Mill Hill. Do you want to see A Better Mill Hill? Do you want to contribute to making our area nicer, cleaner, greener, more friendly, with a better sense of local community? The Focus team of Donna Pickup, Richard Logue and Roger Tichborne are all local residents, involved with the community and local schools. If you want to stay in touch with us and know what we are doing, we normally publish the newsletter every Sunday, however we're having a Summer break, so this is the last one until September. We hope you enjoy it!

Pentavia Update

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Pentavia Retail Park
Wednesday night sees the Barnet Council Planning Committee meeting to discuss the proposed application to redevelop the Pentavia Retail park site with huge blocks of flats (details here - Pentavia Retail Park, NW7 2ET - 17/8102/FUL_). The team at A Better Mill Hill believe that this plan will undisputably make A Worse Mill Hill and so we have been actively campaigning against the scheme. The developers seem to have no interest at all in engaging with local residents, addressing their concerns or doing anything to demonstrate that they want to be good neighbours.

The council papers sum up in the conclusions why the scheme is wholly inappropriate
"It is clear that the development as proposed is of a height and scale which is wholly at odds with the established character of the surrounding areas and would represent an excessive and incongruous form of development. Officers consider that the level of harm that would arise from this excessive scale and incongruity would be significant enough as to outweigh the benefits of the scheme and to justify refusal of the application."
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Flower Lane view of development
A large number of residents asked to address the committee, as the constitution only allows for two residents, Roger Tichborne from the team and John Gillett from the Mill Hill Neighbourhood forum will be addressing the committee. John will be presenting the objections from the Neighbourhood forum perspective and Roger will be summarising comments and objections from neighbours.

A strong turnout of Mill Hill residents at the committee meeting at 7pm will send a strong message to the Council and the developers. Please make sure you attend.

Dangerous Anti Social behaviour by Mill Hill County High School leavers


We are sorry to report some very anti social and potentially dangerours behaviour by pupils from Mill Hill County High School. Mill Hill has become to high jinx by pupils leaving the school, but this year there was some highly irresponsible behaviour, starting fires in the bone dry Arrendene open space with discarded text books and course work.


Given some of the fires we've seen in East London recently, this could have had tragic consequences. It is not only anti social, it is potentially very dangerous. We ask all parents, teachers and the schools administration to take this issue seriously. Mill Hill has some amazing beauty spots, we want to preserve them. As well as Arrendene, Mill Hill Park was strewn with litter. We are lucky to have a dedicated team of litter pickers who cleared up the mess, but these young people are 16 year olds, above the age of consent. They really should learn to behave like good citizens.

Mill Hill's Open Waters at risk.


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Darlands Lake as it was
 Darlands Lake. 
 This is a large lake between Mill Hill and Totteridge. It is beautiful. It used to have a boating hut and pier, but this is long gone. Sadly few in Mill Hill even know of its existence. It is well worth a trip






Angel Pond in 2016
Angel Pond. 
This is the most picturesque pond in Barnet, it is located at the top of Milespit Hill, with an old brick church as its backdrop. As a child, I'd walk past it on the way to and from St Vincents school. I was always fascinated by the tadpoles, sticklebacks and goldfish that lived there. 
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Sadly if you took either of these pictures today, you'd be greeted with a totally different sight. The team at "A Better Mill Hill" tweeted this picture earlier this week.






The sad sight of Darlands lake dried out and silted up. A disgrace and a disaster for wildlife & fish

As you can see, Darlands lake is silted up and dried out. This lake is used as a summer watering hole for all manner of local animals. It used to have a population of carp of reasonable size. Last year I wrote a couple of blogs detailing a scheme to set up a trust to manage Darlands Lake.
Darlands Trust details

The papers around this admitted that the site had been left to go to rack and ruin over 20 years. The justification seemed to be that no one else could do a worse job than Barnet Council in protecting the nature reserve. It seems that since then, nothing has happened with the proposal to sort the situation out. Even more alarming, the lake has dried out so presumably the fish have died.  I walk around the site most days, I can only believe that our councillors do not visit this part of Mill Hill to allow this situation to reach such a point. The bottom line is that a site of significant importance for biodiversity in the Borough has deteriorated to the point where it is simply a large, smelly mudpit.

Then there is Angel Pond.  Any book, postcard or other image of Mill Hill would have a picture of Angel Pond, usually with the picturesque reflection of the former Methodist chapel (now the Brotherhood of the Cross and the Star)

This is how it looks today, as pictured by the team at A Better Mill Hill.





View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Angel pond in Mill Hill. Dying of neglect. Dead fish, homeless ducks and a horrible pong

This is a slightly different issue to Darlands. The pond has been overrrun by an invasive weed. A guest blog on The Barnet Eye by Aquatic expert Laurance Bard detailed the issues in October 2016. What is 100% clear is that we need urgent action to sort the issue out. We need the pond restoring to its former glory. Mr Bard suggested that an aquatic expert should build a plan to save the pond. It appears that his call was ignored. The time has come to sort this out. Barnet Council should get involved as the smell is becoming an issue for residents.

What is clear is that Barnet has no strategy for managing important wetland habitats in Mill Hill. We urge our local councillors to ensure that urgent action is taken to restore these beautiful sites to their proper glory. There has been some comment on social media that this is just "due to hot weather". This is not the case. Darlands has been allowed to silt up, this problem has been recognised for over a decade but no action has been taken. Angel pond has dried out because of an invasive plant overrunning it. Both of these situations could be avoided with proper management.

Other News

The Mill Hill Lib Dems were out in force in the Broadway campaigning to "Bin Brexit" this week, canvassing local views with their "Brexitomiter"





The Barnet Eye published a list of five local reasons why the Mill Hill Property market has stalled


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And if you like amazing Jazz in a brilliant setting, checkout the Mill Hill Jazz Club. There is loads of parking, drinks are very reasonably priced and the music is top notch



25 July - Val's Jam Night - The last Wednesday of every month sees MHJC filled to the brim with Jazz singers, players and listening aficionados who flock to the club to give of their best for the sheer joy of all. PLEASE RT.

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