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NAG and get things done...
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Free phone calls, and a lot more besides.  See Digital Infrastructure below.
Dear Neighbour,

We’re often asked: why three groups, Norwood Action Group, Norwood Forum and Norwood Planning Assembly?  The answer is that we do different things (though with a bit of overlap) that would be too much for a single group.  If you want the best for our neighbourhood, we recommend that you take a keen interest in all three groups.  Find out more
here
 
NAG is planning…
… its annual general meeting combined with a social.  Date and venue soon.
 
Forum has…
A snazzy new
web site!  Its newsletter will be returning next week after a seasonal break.
 
West Norwood Retail Heart update
NAG and Forum have joined forces to try and improve prospects for our town centre site.  With high-level backing (including our MP, Helen Hayes, and West Norwood & Tulse Hill lead councillor Fred Cowell) we are engaging developers and Lambeth officers to work for a much more ambitious outcome than the latest plans viewed.  These are substantially different than previously exhibited, and propose two blocks of residential flats close to the York Hill Estate and an office / small business block facing Waylett Place, with a new road in between.  The community would like better! 
Read more.
 
Picturehouse and Library
Still no clear-cut statement of when opening. On site, builders laughed heartily at completion for March, but fingers crossed.  The dispute between Picturehouse and union staff shows no sign of resolution. 
Click here.
 
Readers write…
Some while back, but good to have a positive start to 2018.  “You asked for views and I would  like to comment on Norwood Road.  Yes, it could do with some changes – the oil on the pavement from the cafes is unpleasant (can anything be done do you think?) but generally the high street has improved during the last eighteen years I have lived here and it has a lot going for it.  If you were unable to drive or go far from home, it meets most of your needs.  We have four decent supermarkets, B&Q and other paint and builders’ merchant outlets, laundrette, hairdressers, numerous hardware stores and masses of places to drink coffee!  Often when high streets go up-market like Lordship Lane in East Dulwich they lose all their useful shops.  So I think we should be grateful for what we have and be careful what we wish for!”
 
On street digital infrastructure – who’s watching you?
Used to be phone boxes, now they are digital communication hubs.  A few problems.  The first is the spate of applications for new sites which are hard for local authorities to refuse, or even influence their location.  Most of these are token digital hubs, their main purpose being advertising sites.  These create street clutter at a time when pavements are trying to be decluttered, but also attract graffiti which the operators are slow to deal with.
 
There is also the replacement of existing BT boxes by InLink and New World (who potentially take out old and replace one for every two, and also sometimes throw‑in a tree!), and can be very BIG!  They too are advertising sites (contractor Primesight) but offer free phone calls, ultra‑fast wi‑fi, phone charging and other services.
More here.  More controversially they could also be overt and covert data collection points.  As well as the potential to access your communications by smart technology, we are told that each will have two cameras, currently inactive, but with the potential for surveillance using face recognition, even gait recognition.  Perhaps good thinking in today’s conditions, but controversial.
 
It’s OFCOM who grant licences to operators that enable this proliferation.

 
West Norwood’s wartime record
It’s not well known locally but our neighbourhood was home to two World War 2 strategic advanced electronics establishments.  The Tannoy factory, now Park Hall Business Centre, employing hundreds researched, designed and manufactured  advanced electronic test equipment as well as microphones, amplifiers and speakers, all essential to the war effort.  More
here and here. Norwood Technical College, now Yellow Storage and vacant site on Knight’s Hill, developed radar, and trained radar technicians.  Consequently West Norwood attracted its share of bombs. Learn more.

Our local Credit Union
London Mutual Credit Union is offering home owner loans of £15k to £25k for up to 7 years at 3.9% APR. 
More here.
 
Thank you to…
Lancaster Avenue Residents’ Association for a note appreciating NAG’s work, and wishing NAG members a good New Year.
 
South London Theatre…
…is expecting to be reinstalled at The Old Fire Station, 2 Norwood High Street during March following 18 months of major work to make it suited to theatre and offer community use too.  Fancy a hard hat tour this month? 
Click here and scroll down to News.  The programme has a shortfall of about £100,000 so some of the work will continue in phases as funding and circumstances allow.  External brick cleaning is an additional luxury, hopefully for later.
 
Waylett Place and car park
This has recently been smartened up with new pavements, roads and car park resurfaced, with action against illegal traders.  Removal of the 30 minute free car parking and pavement widening will soon occur between Chatsworth Way and Chestnut Road.  If driving and wishing to shop, your choice will be to spend 40p in Waylett Place or use side roads.  It would make sense for Waylett Place to be free for 30 minutes otherwise few will use it.  An opportunity was lost to enlarge the space and make it more useable.  We wonder how much shop keepers will be affected by restricted parking.
 
Please be aware
…there’s been a rise in residential burglaries in SE27, particularly Casewick, Thurlestone and Broxholm Road. If you see anything suspicious please report it.  999 if emergency, 101 or on-line if not.  Or there’s always the coffee mornings (it will soon make sense, read on...).
 
Robson Road Hard Sun film set
Not that long ago the road was closed for filming, and the final concoction appeared in last Saturday’s opening episode of Hard Sun on BBC 1.  It’s a sci-fi thriller set in present day London.  The extinction of life on earth is predicted for the near future, but it’s a secret!  Enough to say that the present time plot is ludicrous and with violence and a body count not for the squeamish.  Apparently there's a rail goods yard in West Norwood Cemetery as when the two main protagonists jump over the wall they’re in Robson Road, trapped by psychopathic MI5 operatives.  Catch-up on IPlayer.
 
400 Rabbits
…sour dough pizza and craft beer restaurant could be coming to our neighbourhood. Multiplying from Crystal Palace and Nunhead, err, like rabbits.
 
Secret West Norwood micro-brewery

Sneak preview of bottle label proof.




Coffee with a Copper
Due to the recent closure of Police front office counters, all wards will be hosting a drop‑in or coffee morning on a regular basis. These will be at a local venue and Officers and PCSO will be on hand to give crime prevention advice, for reporting crime if needed, also to signpost people to other agencies. The information will also be available on the
MPS website and individual Twitter pages.  So far we can report sessions for Gipsy Hill ward at Volcano Café, Park Hall Business Centre, 12 to 1pm 17th Jan, 11 to 12pm 23rd Jan.

Whilst this may initially seem a poor replacement, it’s a useful addition.  Crimes are reported using 999 if urgent, and if not 101, or on-line.  Last time there was a manned police station in West Norwood was pre-war, and was located on Knight’s Hill.  It’s long gone and replaced with the mega electrical transformers.
 
St Luke’s chimes poll
December’s newsletter asked readers’ views on whether chimes should ring out from our town centre again after at least 50 years’ of silence.  The options were: no chimes, part-time chimes (perhaps 8am to 8pm), or round the clock.
 
Members' vote: no chimes 0%, part-time chimes 65%, full time 35%
Other readers’ vote: no chimes 5%, part-time chimes 63%, full-time 32%
 
So NAG will now pursue this and establish more about possibilities and options to put before you.
 

Christmas Crackers!
What did the elephant say when he sat on a grape?
Why is it getting harder to buy Advent Calendars?
How did Scrooge win the football match?

(answers at end…)
 
Brockwell Park summer festivals
Controversial!  If you live in the north of our three wards you could well be affected.  Objection meeting 18th January.  Learn
more and more.
 
Tivoli Park Friends and Nature Vibezzz
Great news!  Nature Vibezzz has secured over £50,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a series of free activities exploring Memories, Heritage and Community of Knight’s Hill Wood and Tivoli Park. These will include tailor-made activities for local youth and community groups and schools. 
More here.
 

Christmas Crackers!
Nothing. He just made a little wine!
Because their days are numbered…
The Ghost of Christmas passed!

 
The NAG team wish our members and newsletter followers a most excellent 2018.


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NAG and get things done!
Support us, to enable us to help you.  Join NAG now!  See below.
NAG needs more paid-up members to increase our authority when lobbying or campaigning and to cover our modest costs.  If you think we’re good for our neighbourhood and worth £5 a year, the best way to join is by electronic transfer to our bank account: Norwood Action Group, Barclay’s West Norwood, sort code 20-94-67 account 20410489, ideally annual standing order, or payment at any meeting.
A brief note to say you have done the deed to
membership@norwoodactiongroup.org 
would be appreciated.  All details kept confidential.
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