Cloudesley Association - Minutes of Meeting

Venue: Drapers Arms Pub

Date: Tuesday, 25 April 2017



1. Barnard Park

Dianne Browning (Chair) and Jo Murray (Vice Chair) from Barnard Park spoke about the Friends of Barnard Park.

They explained that they have a voluntary gardening scheme that has been going on since 2010 and that is supported by a legal agreement with the Islington Council. People are welcome to join, and a newsletter that is circulated to approximately 250 people. They also take part in Open Square Weekend and Islington in Bloom.

Pop-up events are planned for the 10th June and the 17th June. Details are available on their website: and should anyone wish to volunteer they can get in touch with them.

They also spoke about the new scheme for the Park that will go to public committee on the 9th May should anyone wishes to attend. Sports England is currently objecting to the scheme because of the loss of the large pitch. The design brief was for a multi-use park that would support various activities and as a result the proposal caters for an informal circular grass 'pitch' that could be booked and a formal one '7-a-side' or two '5-a-side' to modern standard called a '3G' pitch.

2. Dowrey Site: New River College and Bridge School

Nigel Smith, executive head of the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) 'New River College' (NRC) reminded us all that the PRU was catering for children with behavioural issues that have been excluded from other schools. They currently have 18 primary children, with an additional child to join imminently. They are mainly aged between 5 and 7 years old. Secondary pupils are catered for elsewhere.

There is a high staff to child ratio of about 2 to 1 and Nigel reminded residents that children would be allowed out on the streets with staff supervising from a distance.

The main entrance for the school children will be from the South entrance (Cloudesley Square) although staff and services would access from the North (Dowrey Street).

The hand-over is on the 9th May with the school moving in during half-term and the children starting on the 6th June.

Children are not provided transport to and from school by the Council, this will be the responsibility of the parents. They finish at 2.45pm.

Penny Barratt, the executive head of the Bridge School reminded us that their children have severe autism and learning difficulties and they have developed an Integrated Learning Space (ILS) that also provides support to parents.

They currently have 15 children but this will grow to 25, which is their maximum pupil number. The Bridge School will occupy the upper floor of the building and the residential block to the site that has accommodation for eight children (although initially only four will reside there). The ratio of staff to pupil is at least 1 to 1, with some requiring 2 to 1.

All their children are provided transport (bus or taxi) and their days are 9am to 3pm.
The residential block will be occupied from Monday to Friday, from September. At weekends, some families will be provided with support at home.

They are currently fundraising and everyone is invited to attend the Charity Dinner on the 29th June.

The site is owned by Islington and the NRC will manage it. The Bridge school has a 25 years lease.

Residents raised concerns about the level of lighting provided, and in particular wanted to have re-assurance that the lighting wouldn't be left on all night. Nigel was going to ask the Council.

We will be looking at organising a visit of the site for local residents and are hoping to be able to hold our next meeting in the school.

3. Rowena Champion - Local Cllr

Rowena kindly updated us on a few matters:

- Rowena first gave some background on the Barnard Park proposal and explained that the pitch provided would be the fourth best in the Borough and that the brief tried to provide a balance between recreational use and sports that would support the diverse local community.

- With regard to the church, it had been confirmed that there was no structural concern with the roof and no environmental health issues. The Council is talking to the Diocese and is awaiting information on the proposal for the turrets. Residents raised concerns about the trees that hadn't be pollarded for a while. Rowena will speak to the tree officer and see if he can meet a local resident to discuss this.

- Barnsbury has one dedicated police constable and will get an additional one soon, supported by one or two support officer(s). It was suggested they should be invited to the next meeting.

- The issue of the noise generated by the tube was also raised and the relevant e-mails will be forwarded to Rowena.


The next meeting is likely to concentrate on the Church and, we are hoping, will be held in the schools.