Sunday, 2 June 2019

Mill Hill Focus #57 - Pentavia Update and other Mill Hill News

Lots of news in this weeks edition.

Pentavia Update

If you have previously commented on the Pentavia Retail Park scheme, which is now being determined by the Mayor Of London, you will have received a letter detailing how Meadow Residential, the developer, have submitted revised drawings which include alterations to the internal detail and amendments to the 'private amenity'.

The documents are available to view on the Mayor of Londons website 

The page with the documents on is here

Please make sure that you lodge you comments on the latest iteration of this plan. These must be submitted by Wednesday 3rd July. 

The email for sending comments is

It is vitally important for the future of Mill Hill that the Mayor of London is made aware of the strength of feeling amongst residents with regards to this scheme.

It is not just the future that is affected by the owners of the site. We were copied into the following Twitter conversation

We need the issue of rubbish and dumping to be taken seriously and we need action rather than just words from @PentaviaHomes  We will be monitoring to see if the words are backed with action.

Mill Hill  Town Square Public Drinking Area

As previously mentioned, Mr John Gillett of the Mill Hill Neighbourhood forum has submitted an application for an alcohol and entertainments licence, to transform the 'Town Square' (area next to Boots on Brockenhurst Gardens) into a licensed public drinking area. Mr Gillett is proposing regular events in the space. The team at ABetterMillHill support the usage of the space for events, but we believe that Mr Gilletts proposal is flawed. We suggest a 7pm curfew on all events as part of the licence, to ensure neighbours are not subjected to noise and disturbance into the night. Our experience of events shows that it can take up to an hour and a half to clear the square and remove equipment etc. A 7pm limit would ensure that for all but very special occasions, no disruption would occur after 8.30pm. We also believe that this would encourage revellers to use local restaurants and the Bridge Pub (strangely Mr Gillett was unaware that there was a pub on the Broadway when questioned by the committee).

Mr Gillett has suggested that this would prohibit the use of the space for live football screenings, etc, which can go on until 10.30pm. Our view is that if such events caused noise and disturbance until midnight, this would not be good for Mill Hill.  Our view is that in the event of exceptional circumstances, a Temporary event notice should suffice. These cost a mere £21 and can last a week.

We also have other concerns about the way the proposal suggests that the space is managed. As Mr Gillett suggested that there would be regular events for Children, we have suggested that all organisers of such events in a public space should be DBS checked. We believe this should be a fundamental part of the proposal.  We would also like to see event organisers trained in safeguarding issues. We hope that Mr Gillett will concur and Mill Hill can move forward with a united front, having ironed out these small concerns of local residents. We are not seeking an argument with the Mill Hill Neighbourhood forum on this. 

Barnet Council have deferred the decision on the application for five days pending consideration.

A response from A Better Mill Hill team to Mr John Gillett.

At  the Barnet council  licensing committee meeting, during his submission, Mr John Gillett of the Mill Hill Neighbourhood forum publicly criticised the team at "A Better Mill Hill" by name for advising residents to contact us if they had an issue with reporting a  pavement issue, pothole or other council infrastructure problem. Mr Gillett stated that this would stop people following the proper procedure and was in some way a troublesome proposal.

Team member Donna Pickup said "It is a shame that John seems to have misunderstood our leaflet. Many older residents and other residents who have issues with IT are not able to use the councils Report It system. We included the advice in our leaflet, so that we could help anyone who didn't understand the process for getting problems fixed. We would have thought John would support this initiative". Donna added "we are happy to report any problem for residents who can't report issues themselves. For those that can, but simply don't understand the process currently, we are happy to help them, so they can sort it out for themselves in future". We hope that John will support our efforts to get all such problems in Mill Hill properly reported. We would be more than happy to hear his suggestions for enabling people who cannot deal with the Councils IT systems. 

Other Mill Hill News

The Mill Hill Music Festival is less than two weeks away. There is an amazing program, including Jazz, Big Bands, Reggae, Rhythm and Blues, Opera, Classical, and Soul music.

Check the festival website here for full details.

The programme this year is proving to be very popular, so please make sure you get tickets, which are available online or from Mill Hill Wines.

Mill Hill Jazz Club this week

Richard Wilkinson - A clarification by Roger Tichborne

This newsletter, along with several other Mill Hill publications have been promoting the signposting website put together by Richard Wilkinson, a retired local resident. The site has several pages which contain links to various websites etc of interest to local residents, such as transport links, restaurant reviews  and local sports clubs and music venues etc. Have a look, its really rather useful

Whilst Richards site has been met with appreciation and received much traffic, a rather vicious campaign was waged against Richard this week on social media, with hundreds of messages posted on twitter by a single individual, inviting people to publish Richards address and other personal details in an effort to 'expose'' him. Rather disturbing claims were also made that various local organisations had been contacted to try and locate Richard. If these were true, it is clear that someone was trying to get local bodies to breach GDPR rules and disclose personal information.

I met with Richard at Mill Hill Services club on Friday for a beer and he was quite bemused by all of the fuss. Richard, like many people who do not wish to have a  high social media profile, used a pseudonym to set up the site. Anyone viewing the site will realise that this was not for any malicious intent as the site has no editorial content or opinion, but simply because he didn't want anyone bothering him. He is not active on social media and was concerned about 'cold callers and salesmen'. Given the level of harassment he would have received this week, he feels rather vindicated in this decision.

When Richard first discussed his plans with me, I offered to let him use some of the website development tools that I pay a subscription for, which make putting together such a site easy. I have done this with quite a few other bands/artists/organisations etc over the years, with far less controversial results.  I have also given him a hand with a few formatting issues when he got stuck. Much as I would love to take credit for an excellent site, Richard did all of the work and it is very much his baby.

If anyone has any concerns about his site or the content or feels that there is anything misleading on it which you want to discuss with me, please DM me at my @Barneteye twitter handle.  Richard has firmly stated that he has no interest at all in discussing anything with anyone who has posted malicious tweets about him.

I invite the person responsible for the campaign to state clearly and concisely what issue they have with Richards site, why they feel he should be 'exposed' and what content is on the website that could possibly justify such a campaign. Should anyone really be that interested, there are people who were at the club who can confirm this, as we didn't meet in the secret basement, although I sincerely hope that the club and its members will not now become the target for a hate campaign as well.

As with all of the content on this newsletter, we have been promoting the site as we think it is a useful resource for people in Mill Hill. We promote many things in Mill Hill, some that members of are team are involved with and some that they are not (such as the Jazz Club, St Keirnans Gaelic Football club, Mill Hill Village  and the Rugby club) as we think they are good for the area. We hope people find these links interesting and useful.

I will leave the last word to Richard "I hardly think the story would make a very gripping Sherlock Holmes film". 

And finally......

The Lib Dems are now officially the most popular political party in Barnet

Last week we saw the announcement of the Euro election results. This gave voters their first opportunity since the Council elections last year to express their views about the state of the political parties. Barnet had a higher than the national average turnout and the Lib Dems topped the polls. In London the Lib Dems were by far the largest party and returned the most MEP's.

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