Join the annual bird-walk in Queen’s Park on Saturday 6th May

Please join us for a stroll through Queen’s Park and Paddington Cemetery.

Meet at the park café at 9.30am. The walk will take about 90 minutes, but people can join or leave at any time. We will go round the Park and then via the Woodland Walk, Chevening Road, Winchester Ave, Willesden Lane to Paddington Old Cemetery, arriving at approximately 10.15am. So finding us should be easy.

Nothing is guaranteed, but birds to look out for are: Woodpecker (Green or Great Spotted), Thrush (Mistle or Song), Blackbird, Finch, Robin, Sparrow, Crows, Tit (Blue, Great or Long-tailed),  Jackdaw, Magpie, Dove, Starling, Swift, Jay, Wren, Gull (Herring or Black-headed), Parakeet and Pigeon (Wood or Feral). Bring binoculars and a pocket bird ID guide, if you have them, but if not, don’t worry – we can share. 

Everyone is welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or adult known to them. Those under 8 might be bored, so you need to judge if it is for them.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU PLAN TO COME   

Contact: Robin (robisharp@googlemail.com,  020 8969 0381) or Judith (juditharose@yahoo.co.uk). 

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Once again QPARA agrees £1,000 donations to groups supporting the local community

At our March monthly meeting, we agreed donations of £1,000 to each of the following groups with a connection to the Queen’s Park area:

Brent Action for Refugees to fund tea/social evenings for Syrian refugees in Brent

Brent Centre for Young People to give Adolescent Exploratory Therapy to two young people who live in the Queen’s Park area

Laurence’s Larder to help help provide food, clothing, washing and drying facilities to refugee asylum seekers in Brent

Our Global School to cover the cost of transporting volunteer school students from Salusbury School and Queen’s Park Community School to a township school in Kayamandi, South Africa

The Promise Foundation to help fund a monthly Skills Club, based in the Queen’s Park Community School to help tackle educational disadvantage in Brent

Salusbury World to help with the funding of a Winter Party for refugee children and to help fund excursions for refugee women and children

Shakespeare in the Squares to help with the costs of a production of Romeo and Juliet in Queen’s Park on 24th June.

QPARA is a not for profit organisation. If, at the end of each financial year there are surplus funds, we invite applications for donations for these from local charities, groups and not for profit organisations in line with our aims to support the local community. The maximum amount for a single donation is £1,000.

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Letter to PM calling for action on diesel emissions scandal

As concerns grow about the damaging impact of air pollution on our health, QPARA has been meeting with other residents’ associations and community groups, mostly in south Brent, to look at ways of improving local air quality. This follows air pollution monitoring by QPARA along Salusbury Road last August and October, which showed average levels of toxic NO2 along the main road in excess of the legal annual mean. Readings on side streets were slightly lower, highlighting the link between air pollution and diesel vehicle emissions.
 
Clean Air for Brent, the group of local bodies, including QPARA, wrote to Brent MPs on 5th April asking them to endorse a letter to the Prime Minister and the Environment Secretary.
 

Clean Air for Brent are engaging with Brent Council on a revised Air Quality Action Plan and an anti-idling campaign involving schools. The Mayor of London is also implementing a package of measures to tackle air pollution, including new Low Emission Bus Zones. Queen’s Park is not one of them, but we will benefit from cleaner buses along Chamberlayne Road from 2018 as a result of the Edgware Road being designated a Low Emission Bus Zone.

 
In the meantime, we can all do much more to reduce pollution by driving less, switching away from diesel to cleaner hybrid vehicles, and not leaving engines running when stationary.
 
 
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QPARA comments on Brent’s document on Basements

 

 

The subject of basements has been much discussed at QPARA meetings for a number of years. In response to representations, Brent produced a draft Basement Supplementary Planning Document in February which it issued for comment. You can read  QPARA’s response here. We understand that the finalised document and a summary of consultation comments will be taken to the Council’s cabinet for consideration.

 

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Queen’s Park News spring edition out now

 

Our volunteers have started to distribute the spring 2017 edition of Queen’s Park News to all households in the QPARA area. You can download this and previous editions from the Newsletter section of our website.

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Stall applications for Queen’s Park Day are now open

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Preparations are well under way for Queen’s Park Day 2017. The date is Sunday 17th September.

To apply for a stall, please read the general stall regulations and information. Then download and complete the application form and return it by email. The closing date for applications is 17th  May.

Details are here

 

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Woeful response on Brent’s air quality consultation – have your say now!

As of 20 March only 63 out of 350,000 people in Brent have responded to Brent’s consultation for its revised Air Quality Action Plan – apparently this is considered good!! We don’t think it is half good enough.
 
Air pollution, mostly from diesel emissions, is killing an estimated 9,400 people in London annually while 800 schools are on seriously polluted traffic routes. This really is a matter of life and death.
 

QPARA’s Air Pollution Sub-Group (now working with other local action groups) is asking everyone to complete the questionnaire for Brent’s revised Air Quality Action Plan asap. The current closing date is 30 March (though we have urged an extension).  

 
The link is here:  Consultation on Brent Air Quality Action Plan.  To make sense of the questionnaire you need to read the supporting document first (not the summary) but it is mercifully short.
 
Thank you
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QPARA response to the Corrib Rest planning application

After much deliberation and consultation, we have submitted our response to the planning application for the Corrib Rest. We believe that the Corrib plans will be considered by the Planning Committee at the meeting on 19 April (7pm start). 

You can read our response here.

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QPARA monthly meeting

The March meeting will be taking place on Thursday 9th March at 8pm at St Anne’s church, Salusbury Road, NW6. Doors open 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available.

Agenda

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes and matters arising from February meeting
  3. Police report
  4. Applications for charitable donations from QPARA (Mike Cantor)
  5. Councillors’ update
  6. Action Group Reports
    1. Air Quality
    2. Planning
    3. Park
    4. Queen’s Park Day
  1. Notices
  2. Any Other Business
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QPARA and The Corrib – where we are now

Residents may be aware that QPARA’s position on the redevelopment of the Corrib Rest on Salusbury Road has become a matter of concern, including on social media. 

As the new chair of QPARA I think it will be helpful to provide the following brief account of developments and negotiations since The Corrib changed hands two years ago.

The latest position will be reported to our next monthly meeting on 9th February. All will be welcome to express concerns or ask questions.

Virginia Brand

QPARA – Chair

Since pub operators Greencoats sold the Corrib Rest to property developer Ashcross in early 2015 QPARA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that a viable pub and community room continue on the premises and that neighbouring residents are protected from any noise and nuisance arising.
 
In particular we applied to Brent for the pub to be given ACV (Asset of Community Value) status. We were successful in spite of having to take on Ashcross’ high-powered lawyers. Without this it is highly likely that Ashcross would have applied for planning permission to turn the whole building into flats.
 
We opposed the original planning application made in late 2015 mainly on the grounds that the proposed community room was too small, though there were other problems too. Nevertheless at their first hearing in February 2016  the Planning Committee were minded to approve. Due to poor communications from Brent  QPARA were not present on this occasion. We made a big fuss, enlisted councillor support, spent a considerable amount of our funds on top legal advice and went in force to the second hearing in April when the Committee turned down the application decisively.
 
In June/July Iceni, agents for Ashcross, approached us declaring a wish to co-operate and listen to our concerns before re-formulating a fresh application. Since then we have had a number of meetings with them as well as extensive correspondence. We have considered substantially revised physical plans and draft documentation in detail, spending many hours on this process. 
 
The Corrib Sub-Group made recommendations to the December 2016 and January 2017 QPARA monthly meetings and these were adopted after careful debate and by a substantial majority. They are based on documents we have seen as sent to Brent’s planners. They are currently being validated and until they are published QPARA does not plan to formalise its comments – not least in case anything changes. In principle we are intending to welcome changes in the community provision and protection for local residents that have been made in response to our representations but we are not supporting or opposing the development as a whole. As of 26 January there remains one substantial point of disagreement between QPARA and Ashcross. More details are available to members in the December and January monthly meeting minutes.
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