It’s great that so many people feel very passionately about joining Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum and its boundaries. The problem with any drawn boundary is that it is, by its very nature, arbitrary. We felt that the railway line was a natural border to the west that kept Kentish Town Road at the centre.
The boundaries were agreed at a public meeting, open to all, back in January this year and the Forum area was then seen as quite large enough. Most of the KTNF area is covered by a patchwork of existing residents groups. Representatives of these attended the January meeting and this also helped inform the current KTNF boundary. At that time the area of the Forum incorporated the Castlehaven and Rochester areas down to Camden Road Station, but it’s just been confirmed that both of these areas wish to form their own Neighbourhood Forums – Castlehaven linking up with Hawley Wharf and Rochester (strangely) joining up with Camden Broadway.
Now that the KTNF area is smaller, you may be pleased to hear that there is an opportunity to incorporate some of West Kentish Town into the Forum: if residents and businesses in West Kentish Town wish to join KTNF then they would, of course, be welcomed.
Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum is run by a committee of 15 local volunteers elected by Forum members – now numbering well over 200. The Forum Committee members are working extremely hard in their own time to produce the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan, giving up countless unpaid hours to the cause.
With an enlarged boundary naturally comes extra work. It is therefore important that, in combination with increasing the boundary further west, we have a corresponding active engagement from any newly incorporated residents and businesses to the Neighbourhood Plan’s production and to all other activities the Forum undertakes.
The first issue to be addressed is where the boundary will be drawn in West Kentish Town. This should be decided democratically – from those in West Kentish Town contacting as many local residents and businesses as possible, by email and/or leafleting, and by holding a public meeting and voting on the boundary.
It is important that a local resident or business person from West Kentish Town represents the West Kentish Town area group by joining the Forum Committee. Not only will this person help to organize the work needed in the area but they will act as a key contact to ensure all issues and aspirations for the area are represented.
When North Kentish Town wanted to join Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum, existing local residents groups and councillors joined together to carry out a leaflet drop and arrange a public meeting to show they had support to join KTNF. North Kentish Town is now a valuable addition to Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum.
So yes, if people are willing to donate their time, work hard, and have the satisfaction that they are playing a pivotal role in how their local area will develop, then we would love to hear from you.
As the main pic illustrates, we can really make a difference. After listening to the opinions of residents and businesses, including those of the hundreds of people who spoke to us during the 6 day street engagement before the Planning Event, the Prince’s Foundation came up with a scheme called Kentish Town Square. Taking a lead from the new traffic management plan in Oxford Circus, the design shown in the drawing suggests an all red phase of traffic lights, lasting slightly longer than the present one, that will allow time for pedestrians to cross the road safely in all directions. In the canopy area there would be small useful shops in front of the wall; it will, we hope, be an attractive space for residents.