Christmas Message 2019

Dear Pembridge Association Members,

With Christmas almost upon us I hope you are able to look back at 2019 with good and pleasurable memories. For the Pembridge Association Committee, it has been a challenging year. The primary goal of the Association has always been to maintain the architectural heritage and residential environment within the Conservation area and the immediate surroundings. This year there have been a number of large-scale development plans, some new, some on-going, submitted for the area and it has required a great deal of time to follow the various applications. The increased workload combined with a reduction in the number of committee members has meant that we were not able to hold the social events as in previous years.

During the year two longstanding and much valued members of the committee, David Campion and Martin Griffiths unfortunately left us. Also, Joe Dawson the planning secretary, is taking a year out and we hope he may return. Luckily, we have been able to welcome two new committee members, Vivien Thompson and Andrew Pilkington, bringing our numbers to six. We would still appreciate more members joining the committee.

I would particularly like to mention and thank Fiona Fleming-Brown who has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to the local development projects. These include Newcombe House, where we await the Secretary of State’s decision following the Public Inquiry. The development of the Marks & Spencer site at NHG where planning permission was granted despite combined opposition from the Ladbroke Association, the Kensington Society, the Hillgate Village Residents’ Association and ourselves.

Ongoing campaigns include working with twelve other residents’ and conservation associations to improve the cycling routes in Notting Hill. We will be meeting with Tfl and RBKC in January to look at their new proposals for a cycleway linking Holland Park and Notting Hill with the West End and Shepherds Bush. We are also working with Kensington Wade Academy on their plans create a school by redeveloping three properties in Pembridge Gardens. Finally we are trying to persuade RBKC to appropriately refurbish the Turquoise Island Lavatories in Westbourne Grove, which the Pembridge Association was instrumental in creating and which now feature in the RIBA list of the “One Hundred Best Buildings of the Twentieth Century” We are also trying to put pressure on RBKC to improve their response time to requests for the removal of graffiti.

Other projects include the new PA brochure which will be distributed to 2,500 residents early in the New Year. We have also looked at the Pembridge Association archives, currently stored at the Town Hall. Thanks to Arun Weys we have made an inventory and the most interesting items have been digitised. We hope to have these on display at the AGM. Also, in the New Year we plan to make more regular postings on our website and we would strongly encourage all members to look at it.

Thank you to those who make donations in addition to the nominal subscription. As a result of this and the excellent stewardship of our treasurer Kevin Mead our finances are in good order and we have also implemented the GiftAid scheme.

The AGM 2020 is planned for 11th February, with venue and speaker to be announced shortly.

Finally, thank you for your continued support of the Pembridge Association and on behalf of the Committee I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2020.

Richard Payne, Chairman, Fiona Fleming-Brown, Secretary (acting), Kevin Mead, Treasurer, Cllr Dori Schmetterling, Vivien Thompson, Andrew Pilkington  

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