Tag Archives: donoghues

2020 – What a Year it’s Been!

Covid-19. Perhaps enough said! But …

• It was lovely to see so many join in the Clap for NHS and to see how neighbours have looked out for each other throughout.

• Thanks to the residents who have been supporting our local pharmacy deliver medicines to the housebound.

Litter picking

• One resident was spotted litter-picking on his own in Purbeck Drive one early morning during the first lockdown. How kind!

• Thank you to residents of The Vale who have organised litter pick-ups in the green space there.

• We hope we can organise another estate-wide litter pick-up in due course.

We continue to campaign for Donoghue’s to relocate. On a related note, we were able to help coordinate some strong opposition to the proposed concrete batching facility in Cricklewood.

It was lovely to see in the spring the results of the earlier wildflower bulb-planting activity.

The Memories Group has been meeting weekly via Zoom every Wednesday 5:00–6:00 pm since April. It has become more of a support group to its members during these peculiar times. It welcomes all residents and those with a connection to our area. It is now on Christmas break but weekly meetings will resume on Wednesday 13th January. If you would like to join any of its meetings just email memories@ggera.org.uk.

After some months of cajoling, the vandalized cash machine in Pennine Drive has at long last been removed.

We do thank Barnet Council for installing the CCTV camera in Pennine Lane, behind the shops. Please email PC Singh at amric.singh@met.police.uk if you witness any antisocial behaviour in that area.

We continue to try to halt the overdevelopment of our neighbourhood. Some planning applications have been turned down after our lobbying. Thank you to all those who have taken the time to object.

Other Matters

Clitterhouse Farm’s garden will be closed from this Saturday until January 9th. The Grub Club – which tackles food waste and food poverty by turning surplus into delicious meals on a “pay as you feel” basis – will be returning also on the 9th. Help tackle environmental waste by bringing your tupperware along.

We do also want to thank

  • Barnet’s parks and street cleaning team for keeping our streets and playing fields free of litter.
  • Barnet Police and the Golders Green & Childs Hill Safer Neighbourhood teams for working hard to keep us safe.
  • Our councillors and council officers for their ongoing support in local matters and particularly with our Dump Donoghue campaign.

You can contact our police Safer Neighbourhood Teams for non-urgent matters:

Of course these contact points are not for emergency matters. For urgent help please dial 999.

https://www.met.police.uk provides a way of reporting crime online.

You can keep up to date with police local news and advice by joining www.owl.co.uk.

Donoghue and the NLWP

Our efforts to relocate Donoghue continue.

GGERA represented the community at the NLWP Examination Hearings on Wednesday 20th November and Thursday 21st November.

As explained on the NLWP web site, the North London Waste Plan (NLWP) sets out the planning framework for waste management in the North London Boroughs for the next 15 years. It will identify sites for waste management use and set out policies for determining waste planning applications. It has the potential to affect us all in this area if – as planned – Donoghue’s site is included as a safeguarded waste site.

We made representations to the NLWP draft consultation that took place earlier this year. An inspector was appointed to conduct the examination to determine if the plan is sound. We believe it is not because:

  • No one who is directly affected by Donoghue’s was engaged in the process or was consulted during the consultation.
  • Donoghue’s site is considered an existing protected waste site; however, it is in the wrong location because it is surrounded by residential, community and educational facilities. Additionally Donoghue’s business operations have outgrown its site.
  • Handley Grove and the youth homeless shelter residents that immediately neighbour Donoghue have been living in agony for years and their health and well-being have been affected. They and other many people affected by Donoghue cannot wait until 2026 or later for its relocation!
  • The site is not operated sustainably, generating too many unnecessary lorry journeys and polluting the air we breathe.
  • Our local council has spent too much taxpayer’s money to bring this business into compliance and to repair the damage caused by its heavy fleet on our roads, while our children’s schools and public services are suffering drastic cuts.
  • We would like to have the site’s safeguarded status removed and Barnet to commit to its relocation in collaboration with the North London Waste Authority as an urgent matter.

Protest – Friday March 22, 8:00-9:30 am

We urge you to join our protest on Friday 22 March and stand up for clean air, environmental justice and the protection of our most vulnerable. The time has come for Donoghue to move on.

As you well know, residents and businesses have suffered for more than a decade from Donoghue’s dust and chemical pollution, noise, work out-of-hours, speeding HGVs, transport of uncovered waste and illegal parking.

For the past two years, Barnet councillors, the most affected residents’ representatives, the Environment Agency and Council officers have been meeting quarterly at the Council to find the best way forward.

Thanks to people speaking up…

  • Donoghue is now a high public interest site for both the Environment Agency and Barnet Council.
  • Alarming findings from an independent monitoring report highlighted:
    • Donoghue breaches its daily tonnage limit.
    • Site samples included traces of unauthorised toxic substances, including asbestos.
    • Donoghue’s methodology for handling and recording waste needed to be improved.
  • Barnet Council conducted a deep cleaning of The Vale and Claremont Road.
  • The Environment Agency placed an air quality monitoring station next to the site – although to our surprise it was prematurely removed on Friday 22 February.

This has put pressure on Donoghue to comply with regulations and resulted in more cleaning and dust suppression mechanisms on site.

On the other hand, very little has been achieved to improve the life quality of directly affected residents and businesses. More worryingly, there has been no news of any relocation site.

Under these circumstances, our frustration has been growing. To make matters worse, residents feel angry and betrayed because of Barnet’s Mayor’s decision to include Donoghue in Barnet’s New Year’s Day parade and the recent consultation on the introduction of width restrictions in Somerton Road.

See the recent media coverage on the situation.

See also: Why Donoghue’s Relocation Cannot Wait

Why Donoghue’s Relocation Cannot Wait

1) It is in everyone’s interest.

  • Donoghue wants to move as the site is too small.
  • Both Barnet and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) require a fully functional waste management plant to cope with present and future demand.
  • Residents and businesses cannot wait.

2) The site is inadequate for waste management for Barnet and the NLWA.

  • It is too small to properly manage the current volume of waste.
  • The site has no space for the number of HGVs transporting waste and so there is an overflow onto Claremont Road.
  • The site is not coping with current waste needs and will not be able to cope with any additional demand from the Brent Cross Regeneration.

3) The site is in the wrong location and puts at risk our most vulnerable. 

  • The area around Donoghue has changed in the last 40 years and is predominantly residential.
  • The site is blocked to the west by the railway; its only point of access is on Claremont Road. Along this road there are 3 schools (a primary, a secondary and a special needs), 2 playgroups, a nursing home for the elderly, a post office sorting office, 2 churches and a community hall. 4 bus routes also use this road.
  • Donoghue shares fences with a young person’s homeless centre, a social housing development and a children’s playground.

4) The quality of the air we breathe is a hazard to our health. 

  • According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), “Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.”
  • Alex Chown, the Environment Agency’s Area Environment Manager for North London, responding to our concern about the amount of dust in the area, said that what we cannot see is the bigger problem. The visible and invisible dust we all breathe is a hazard to our health.

5) The intensity of use harms our neighbourhood. 

  • This is against national, local and NLWA policies that aim to protect local amenities.
  • In order to prevent this, Donoghue would need to significantly scale down.

6) Our roads cannot cope with the additional load.

  • HGVs are getting bigger, heavier and significantly increasing in number.
  • It is unjustifiable for the Council to spend taxpayers’ money to keep this one business under control and to repair road damages partly caused by its overloading and intensity of use.
  • The Vale repairs alone are estimated to cost over £240,000. We would rather see this money invested in our children’s future.

7) Children need protection. 

  • Children have been speaking up against climate change. Local schools encourage them to walk and cycle to and from school.
  • Lack of action from Barnet Council and the NLWA sends a mixed and wrong message, as it exposes children to very high levels of pollution and terrifying road safety risks.
  • Please do not wait for an accident or casualty before the relocation of Donoghue is taken seriously. 

Relocate Donoghue Campaign

Donoghue’s is still a concern for all of us in the neighbourhood. Please support any initiatives to draw attention to the issues it causes.

In particular, do please continue to advise the Environment Agency (telephone 0800 80 70 60 day or night) if you see or hear any problems on the Donoghue site or on its vehicles (e.g. loads with no cover, excessive noise or dust). A photo always helps.

Donoghue’s planning permission allows them to work only on Mondays to Saturdays from 7 am to 6 pm. They are not permitted to work on Sundays or Public Holidays. If you witness any works on the site outside the permitted hours, please take a photo if possible and let the committee know.

If you see any of Donoghue’s vehicles committing any parking, speeding or other traffic offences, please take a photo and report it to the Police (telephone 101).

The Environment Agency recently commissioned a thorough site audit which highlighted a lot of ways in which Donoghue’s are potentially or actually in breach of their permit. One significant fact is that they are storing on site more than 3 times the amount of waste that they are permitted to. The Donoghue Out team are following this up. You can download and read the EA’s most recent newsletter EA Donoghues Newsletter Dec 2017 (PDF – 297 KB).

Finally, you can read a letter from the Health and Safety Executive that was sent to our MP, Mike Freer, in February HSE Report Feb 2018 (PDF – 346 KB).

Relocate Donoghue Campaign

The campaign to relocate Donoghue’s continues.

Please continue to report any irregularities you notice about the company’s site or lorries to the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline: 0800 807 060.  This makes such a difference!

The Environment Agency’s October 2017 Newsletter on P B Donoghue is now available. If you’d like a copy please request it from Matt Byrne, Customers and Engagement Officer: phone 0208 474 9864, or email HNLenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Minutes of AGM: 7th November 2016

The meeting began with a talk by the Neighbourhood Safety Team (3 Ward) about their aims and objectives in engaging with the community.
Constable Williams spoke about their efforts in dealing with anti-social behaviour, problem-solving, visiting burglary victims, advice on house safety, available government funding, locks, lighting, alarms and the like.
If any residents would like advice or a review of their home security then they are available to assist.
There was also a discussion about MetTrace, a burglary reduction initiative to help residents make their homes more secure by providing crime prevention advice and free SmartWater property marking kits to 1 in 7 London homes.
Residents were advised to always keep a light on in their homes and were given various others tips about deadlocks, keys and cars.
Street lighting and safety is the responsibility of Barnet Council.
A discussion was held about crime in Clitterhouse and Millennium Park and what action the Police were taking.
A resident mentioned that leaflets hanging out of letterboxes indicated no one at home and that neighbours should be pro-active in looking out for their neighbours.
Childs Hill Park
Brian Berry spoke on behalf of Friends of Childs Hill Park. He advised us how locals working together on a project could flourish and their project was a case in point as they had created a beautiful gem in Childs Hill Park. He mentioned charity money was available for green spaces and indeed their project had received over £100,000 in grants. A volunteer programme was in place and he encouraged us all to visit the Marsh Garden.
The Relocation of Donoghues
Cllr Zinkin said this was the single, biggest issue and worry for residents.
It seemed to be an intractable problem as far as he was concerned
Donoghues has grown into a vast successful business.
The width restriction was removed because it diverted traffic onto surrounding roads.
There is no right turn on the A41 because the Police had requested this of TFL in view of the volume of traffic and accidents etc. It was concluded that it would not be safe to remove the ‘no right turn’ sign.
A conversation ensued about the 20mph speed restriction on The Vale. Cllr Ryde and Cllr Zinkin both attended The Vale (a few months ago) when a radar gun was used and they advised that by and large most vehicles abided by it. Some residents living on The Vale took issue with this.
Cllr Zinkin also stated that as The Vale was a wide road it was important that the road humps were maintained to deter speeding.
Dust created by Donoghues traffic is an environmental and aesthetic problem. An effective cleaning regime needs to be agreed, as the current cleaning regime was ineffective.
In addition, with the Brent Cross Redevelopment, there would be more disruption, pollution and changes to the area.
Cllr Zinkin advised that eventually Donoghues would be moved but we are talking about many years.
Many residents were unhappy with this and asked how matters could be accelerated and requested Cllrs to explore more options for relocating Donoghues as a matter of urgency.
A neighbour who lives directly behind Donoghues put her and her neighbours’ difficult situation to the Cllr. Residents were unable to open doors or windows. Even with all windows closed, thick dust gathered on a daily basis and it was insufferable. She advised the meeting that Donoghues started work at 5am and often did not finish until 10pm, which is intolerable.
She advised that the impact on the health of all the residents there was detrimental. Cllr Zinkin said that he would arrange to have Environmental Health attend and monitor as soon as possible.
A resident of The Vale monitored the trucks from Donoghues today (7 November) during the lunchtime period. He counted 19 trucks going down and 9 coming up the other way. He advised that in his view they were driving at more than 20mph.
Cllr Zinkin stated that at least 100 trucks from Donoghues would travel each day up The Vale.
Another resident mentioned that it was not only Donoghues assets and successful business we should be concerned about but also the assets of the residents (i.e. their homes) which were being eroded by Donoghues success! There should be more fairness and until we have a solution in place then Donoghues should be pressed to reduce by half their lorries going up and down The Vale.
Lisa said that residents’ health should be the No.1 concern and should be prioritised over business success etc.
Bernard said it may be that the residents would have to take matters into their own hands and take whatever action it was deemed necessary to take.
All residents agreed that solutions to the problems created by Donoghues were needed quickly.
Parking on street corners of the Estate was raised and it was suggested that double yellow lines be put on all corners. Cllr Zinkin said from his experience busy roads all wanted CPZ and when they were installed the less busy roads also requested them. It would be much more efficient and economic if all residents could decide together as consultations were very expensive.
Other Matters
Luisa brought up the dirt and dust on the pavements – Who is responsible?
She also asked councillors to keep GGERA informed about the forthcoming meeting set for 12 December or thereabouts.
Mike took the floor to give a briefing on our accounts. The balance in our account as at 7 November was £956. The balance as of 31 March (end of accounting year) was £742.
Shoib took the floor to say we need more volunteers if we are to become a strong force in the community.
Shoib and Mike were re-nominated and approved as Chairman and Treasurer, and Maureen was nominated and enthusiastically approved as the Secretary.
A Christmas meet-up of neighbours was discussed but interest was low.
The next Memories Group meeting is on 10 November.