- local organisation
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2012 Community Council minutes
Present: Mr. W. Taekema, Mrs. B. Aardewerk, Mr. A. Bloembergen, Mr. B. Bos, Mrs. A. Beekman, Mrs. C.C. Dedel- van Walbeek, Mr. T. Dike, Mrs. E Drijver, Mr. M.C. v.d. Hoog, Mr. D. Hazekamp, Mr. G. Hooft Graafland, Mr. F. Horweg, Mrs. T. Hollander (minutes taker), Mr. B. Huisman, Mrs. Y. Ipema (police), Mr. R. Klein, Ms. A. ter Kuile, Mrs. N. Mulder, Mr. P.A. Offers, Mr. G. Spierenburg (The Hague City Council), Mr. C. Storm de Grave, Mr. T. Stappers, Mrs. M. Teesing, Mr. D.N. Tetterode
Absent with notice: Mrs. E. Ponsen, Mr. W. Abels, Mrs. E. Hoogenraad, Mr. P. Munnikes, Mr. W.F. Hooft Graafland, Mrs. M. Hoogerbrugge, Tong Tong Foundation
Chairman Wybe Taekema opens the meeting at 20.00, welcoming all present.
On Saturday 26 May, the Stichting Tong Tong is for the first time offering to stage a limited programme in our neighbourhood: the Tong Tong Trail. After gathering at the Klokhuis Community Centre, groups accompanied by a guide can take a walk through the neighbourhood, where there will be demonstrations or performances at various locations lasting a maximum of 30 minutes. Participants will have to register beforehand but as yet the costs involved are not known. More information can be found later on the websites of the Tong Tong Foundation, Tong Tong Fair and www.archipelwillemspark.nl and on the A&W billboard.
Tieke Dedel reports that a number of volunteers have signed up to host the programme.
The agenda will be followed without any changes.
2. Approval of the minutes of the 26 January 2012 meeting
The minutes are approved without any changes.
3. The Hague Bridge, an initiative to bring ‘Hagenaars’ and expats together
Auke Bloembergen (committee member A&W Community Association) explains that De Haagse Brug is a City Council initiative set up to promote contact between ‘Hagenaars’ and expats. Residents wishing to organize activities to this end can apply for financial support from De Haagse Brug up to a maximum of 50 % of the total budget.
Linda Nash (international section of A&W website) has suggested a number of possible activities. More information is available from Auke and/or on the website.
4. Editors sought for A/W website and billboard
Ank Beekman (Dutch section of the A&W website) explains that the members of the present editorial team have been doing their work for 10 years or more, and feel it is time to hand over their tasks to others. Frits Hoorweg is prepared to take over from Ank Beekman. Christo Padmos (former member of the editorial team of the A/W newspaper) will join the Webteam later this year. Deniz Pelsman will continue to take care of technical support behind the scenes. More members are most welcome.
It appears to be more difficult to find a replacement(s) for Linda Nash, who takes care of the English language section of the website and the English language newsletter. Native speakers [ed. or anyone who has an excellent command of English and Dutch] are urgently requested to succeed Linda.
The electronic newsletter now has 580 subscribers!
Two volunteers keep the billboard up to date with the latest news from the website. This takes about an hour each week. It would be better to share this load with more people.
With the reopening of the revamped AH supermarket, the A&W billboard was found a new home immediately inside the entrance on the right, above the table with leaflets and the small ads board.
After the summer, a new A&W billboard will be located in the Bornhijm bakers shop.
The shop window of Citronics on Frederikstraat has been changed. Citronics will find another place for the billboard.
Recently, the QR-code for subscribing to the A&W electronic newsletter was posted on the billboard, enabling people to sign up on the spot.
5. Wall Poetry project
After more than a year of preparations, the first wall poem will be unveiled at the corner of Surinamestraat/Javastraat on Saturday 31 March. Project group members Gilles Hooft Graafland and Derk Hazekamp voiced their thanks to the City Council, in particular to Gerard Spierenburg, for its positive cooperation on this project. The owner of the wall, the Koninklijke Haagse Woningvereniging (housing association) established in 1854, will take care of the opening ceremony. Everybody is welcome from 14.30 onwards.
The official proceedings will start at 15.00 and Alderman De Jong (The Hague’s alderman for Culture, City Centre and International) will unveil the wall poem.
6. Developments Nassauplein
Derk Hazekamp reports that Phase 1 of the makeover has now been completed. The trees have been planted, new litter bins installed and the gravel promenade put in place. About a month ago, plans for the new planting scheme were revealed (see website). Beech hedges will be planted along the two long sides of the ‘plein’ and a combination of perennials, shrubs and ground-cover plants planted in the flowerbeds to provide year-round interest and colour.
The vegetable stall at the Laan Copes end of the plein has been relocated to give an unbroken view of Nassauplein. A glass screen will be erected in front of the stall, making it less prominent.
The owner of the snack stand at the Javastraat end of the garden is considering an idea to construct a kiosk in the same style as the one that stood on the same spot in 1900; he is currently consulting the City Council about this plan.
Residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity have started up a neighbourhood initiative to have traditional lampposts installed along the central promenade. More than €8,000 has already been raised. Gerard Spierenburg (City Council) explains that the type chosen is the ‘Haagse met het groen kroontje’. Pyracanthas shrubs will be planted around the transformer house next to the vegetable stall to put a stop to the spraying of graffiti.
7. Alderman de Jong’s visit to Nassauplein, the A&W Community Association and Klokhuis Community Centre
Alderman de Jong (The Hague’s alderman for Culture, City Centre and International) visited Nassauplein and spoke with residents and members of the residents’ initiative. She was then received by a delegation of the A&W Community Association and a good cross-section of local residents in the Klokhuis. A number of senior residents joined the conversation and told the Alderman about the hot meals provided in the Community Centre.
Guus Nieuwenhuys gave an update on the traffic situation and Alderman de Jong promised to discuss the subject further at a later date.
8. Working groups
Working group Urban Planning
- The sculpture in front of the former LTO building: Tim Dike reports that according to Gerard de Greef, the artwork has been removed, but no new location, as yet, has been found by the City Council. The sculpture is about 1 metre high and should be placed on a pedestal.
A&W chairman asks whether Tim could suggest some possible locations and present his suggestions at the next Community Council meeting. Gerard Spierenburg reports that the City Council, too, is working on this.
- Bust of Couperus Surinamestraat: There was some panic when this statue seemed to suddenly disappear from the street. According to Derk Hazekamp (working group Public Space), the City Council is working on a project to prevent the theft of such monuments by securely anchoring them. To this end, they have to be removed to carry out the necessary work. So if any local monument, bust or sculpture seems to be missing, please first check with the City Council.
- Façade Willemsparkschool: The City Council has not given permission to demolish the entrance façade on Frederikstraat, or to rebuilt it in the original style. It will have to remain in place during building activities.
Working group Traffic
The Municipal Executive set out the Haagse Nota Mobiliteit (The Hague Mobility Bill) at the end of 2011. It states that the main North-West Arterial Route would become part of the International Ring West. From discussions among relevant bodies in The Hague region, it now appears that there will be no Ring, but ‘inprikkers’ (distributor or feeder roads), including Lozerlaan, N14, the Rotterdamse and the Utrechtse Baan. The North-West Arterial Route will not be further developed, which means that traffic on Laan Copes will become even busier. Alderman Smit has again invited the working group Traffic for discussions. To be continued …
Working group Public Space
- On 2 April around 10 magnolias will be planted in Atjehstraat.
- Isabelle Hylkema would like to see more attention given to bees and butterflies, both in the city and in our area. A beehive is not allowed to be placed within 40 metres of a public road, so it should be possible to have one in back gardens, e.g. in the inner gardens of Couperusduin or the cemetery.
- As soon as the scaffolding is removed, the City Council will repair the pavement outside Albert Heijn.
- Measures to better address the need for parking facilities outside Albert Heijn will involve the loss of one or two parking bays for cars. A plan will have to be drawn up so the subject can be discussed at the next A&W Community Council meeting. If residents agree, the City Council will apply for permission to remove two parking bays.
- The City Council is willing to consider a plan for a transparent roof over the supermarket trolleys, making them less visible, if that is indeed what residents want. The idea is to construct a roof similar to the one at AH Leidschenhage. Derk Hazekamp (working group Public Space) will request the design plans from Ahold Vastgoed.
- The four trees on the corner opposite AH will be felled as they have become too old. New trees will be planted, if possible, slightly further back to prevent damage to the road surface.
- Bankastraat will be refurbished between Laan Copes and Bankaplein in September/October of this year. Gerard Spierenburg has not yet seen the plans, but he knows that there will be clearly designated bicycle paths and ‘fluisterasfalt’ (‘silent’ asphalt). The street will remain a main thoroughfare, also for emergency service vehicles, and may not be narrowed. Gerard will check how the new plans compare with the original ones and why the narrow section of Bankastraat is not included in the latest plans.
Working group Sustainability
About 150 people attended the first energy-saving information evening held on 15 February in the Vredeskapel, Malakkastraat. The working group wants to organise such meetings every 3 months and is looking for a suitable location. The theme of the next meeting will be insulation and solar panels. Subsidies are currently available for ‘monumentenglas’ (single glass with insulating properties): the only type that is officially allowed in the neighbourhood. The next information evening will be announced on the A&W website and in the newsletter and community newspaper.
Working group Care & Well-being
In the Schakelpunt, the meeting point for local senior residents, a hot meal is now served once a week. The number of participants is around 20. The arrangement is that those who come for a meal inform the organizers if they will be attending the following week. Those who cancel well in advance will be refunded.
‘Ooievaar’ pass holders are entitled to a 20% discount on each meal. Mathias Wenzel (counsellor for the elderly) will look into how this can be administered. To be continued …
Working group Scheveningen Woods
Bert Huisman reports that the ecological maintenance of the Scheveningen Woods carried out in February, which means that only economically viable timber is removed, leaving other smaller branches and debris on the forest floor, left the woods looking as if a hurricane has hit it. Bert Huisman asked the opinion of Hanneke Kloosterman and she also found the policy hard to understand. Now, local residents have started a ‘takkenactie’ campaign to remove the branches. On Saturday mornings between 9.30 and 10.30, they tidy up the branches by placing them alongside the path. Bert says this procedure is allowed according to the Flora and Fauna Act, as long as birds’ nests are left undisturbed.
Working group Community Festival 2012
The Community Festival will be held on 8 September from 17.00 to 24.00. The high point of the evening will be a communal meal at 18.00. There will be a podium where local residents can perform music and after 20.00 there will be a performance by a professional band. The feast is primarily for adults, but there will be a ‘kiddies corner’, enabling people with children to attend.
A number of sponsors have been found, including Shell, and an application for a subsidy has been submitted to the City Council. More sponsors are now being sought. Bert Bos (chairman of the wijkfeestcomité) will also approach The Hague Bridge.
Volunteers will be needed for the evening itself: to serve and do bar duty for example, and someone with a catering permit is also needed, as alcoholic beverages will be available. Auke Bloembergen (committee member of the A&W Community Association) will check who is organising the Queen’s Day celebrations on Bankaplein, and put Bert in touch. The Community Festival will be publicised via flyers and posters.
9. Questions and comments about Police and City Council matters
Shortly, water and sewerage pipes will be replaced in Malakkastraat, Soendastraat and Celebesstraat. When utility contractors have completed their work, the City Council will carefully relay all the pavements. Residents will receive an official letter containing all the details.
Tieke Dedel draws attention to litter on the banks of the ditch in front of the Couperusduin apartment complex on Burg. Patijnlaan, at the corner of Borneostraat. Gerard Spierenburg will check who is responsible for upkeep and whether any funds are available for a cleanup.
The Haagse Milieuservice will shortly give the Jeu de Boules court behind the Alexanderflat a facelift.
Some time ago, there were a number of cases of arson in A&W and Scheveningen. No fires have occurred in the meantime, but the police remain alert.
Today, flyers were being distributed on Bankastraat, drawing attention to an outbreak of burglaries in the Zeehelden Quarter. Yvonne Ipema does not know why these flyers were distributed in A&W as there has been no increase of street robberies in this district.
10. Other business
- Ladies’ Swimming Pool: Betty Aardewerk comments that the oldest ladies’ swimming pool in the Netherlands (located at the edge of the canal next to what is now the Hilton Hotel) was demolished to make way for the Hilton, on the understanding that it would be rebuilt. Tim Dike (working group Urban Planning) will look into the matter.
- Surinamestraat ‘ruin’: Gilles Hooft Graafland asks if there has been any progress in the matter of building plans for the dilapidated garage building in Surinamestraat. Tim Dike (part owner of the property) knows that there are three legal procedures in progress. Work has been discontinued and the main problem seems to lie with the property division agreement. The developer claims to have a majority vote and is therefore allowed to continue building activities. However, according to Tim, a unanimous vote from the Association of Owners is still required. The matter is currently before a court judge and the next sitting is scheduled for 28 May.
Gerard Spierenburg requests the details so that he can make inquires at the City Council.
- Book about the Archipelbuurt: Mrs. Oerlemans has published a modest book about her youth in the Archipel. Bert Huisman will bring it along to the next meeting.
11. Conclusion of meeting
The chairman closes the meeting at approximately 21.50.
Next meeting Thursday 14 June 2012 in the Klokhuis Community Centre at 20.00
Present: Mr W. Taekema, Mr B. Huisman, Mr B. Bos, Mr M.C. v.d. Hoog, Mrs A. Beekman, Mr D. Hazekamp, Mr W.F. Hooft Graafland, Mr G. Hooft Graafland, Mr T. Dike, Mr R. Stikkelorum, Mr G. Spierenburg (The Hague City Council), Mr G. v.d. Hut (The Hague City Council), Mr P. Munnikes (minutes taker), Mrs M. Hoogerbrugge (Haaglanden Community Police Officer), Mrs E. Verhulst, Mrs C.C. Dedel- van Walbeek, Mr R. Klein, Mrs M. Teesing, Mr R. de Jong, Mr J.E. Thedinga, Mrs T. Hollander, Mrs N. Mulder
Absent with notice: Mrs. M. Heyndericks, Mr A. Bloembergen, Mrs B. Aardewerk, Mrs A. ter Kuile, Mrs E. Drijver
Chairman Wybe Taekema opens the meeting at 20.00, welcoming all those present and requesting them to sign the attendance list.
- Folef Hooft Graafland, board secretary, is now contact person for the website on behalf of the executive board.
- The electronic newsletter [in Dutch and in English] now has 500 subscribers.
- There is the possibility that a digital billboard will be located next to the Bornhijm bakers shop.
- Folef Hooft Graafland wants to attract new subscribers to the electronic newsletter and has deposited flyers in various shops in the neighbourhood. His invites all those present to do their utmost to recruit new subscribers.
At the request of Marianne Hoogerbrugge (Haaglanden Community Police Officer) the agenda point Police will be discussed immediately after the approval of the minutes of the previous A&W Community Council meeting.
2. Approval of the minutes of the 1 December 2011 meeting
The minutes [in Dutch] of the previous meeting distributed before the beginning of today’s meeting still contain a number of typing errors. The correct version can be found on the A&W website. The minutes are approved without any changes.
Marianne Hoogerbrugge reports.
On 15 January 2012 two shop awnings were set on fire in Frederikstraat. The culprits are still unknown and the investigation continues. The police are liaising with the shopkeepers association.
Folef Hooft Graafland informs the meeting that the board has sent a letter to the Mayor & Aldermen with regard to the reorganisation of the police service. The answer received seems to indicate that the number of community police officers will not be reduced and that new IT options for reporting a crime will be introduced.
4. Working groups
4A Working group Traffic
Tim Dike reports on developments concerning the ‘westelijke ring’ (main north-west arterial route).
Pollution on Kennedylaan is beginning to become so serious that action will probably have to be taken. However the administrative structure surrounding this matter is such that exerting any influence on the situation will be difficult.
4C Working group Urban Planning
Tim Dike reports.
- Work on the construction of apartments in Prinsevinkenpark on the site of the former LTO offices (Dutch Federation of Agricultural & Horticultural Organisations) is underway.
- The former hotel Beau Séjour on upper Bankastraat will be converted into an apartment building.
- The Willemsparkschool primary school behind Frederikstraat has now received an official building permit to start work on constructing the new school building. The entrance façade on Frederikstraat will have to be demolished in order to give access to the inner courtyard, but it must and will be rebuilt in the original style.
Wybe Taekema enquires about the situation regarding any potential building plans for the dilapidated garage building in Surinamestraat. According to Tim Dike currently nothing is known of any concrete plans to be carried out.
4D Working group Care & Well-being
Ruud Klein reports.
A team of volunteers serves coffee every week in the recently reopened Schakelpunt, the meeting point for local seniors.
A warm meal is also now served once a week and there were 22 diners at the first dinner.
If possible activities will gradually be expanded.
4E Working group Sustainability
Marjan Teesing reports.
An information evening about energy saving will be held on 15 February in the Vredeskapel, Malakkastraat. A flyer will be circulated house to house.
Under the supervision of the municipal council, three model homes in the Archipelbuurt will be made more sustainable; the homeowners will finance the energy-saving measures taken.
In the meantime an EPC (energy performance certificate) has been issued for each house.
Tim Dike notes that it will also be necessary to take account of the building construction specific to the older houses when implementing any energy-saving measures.
4F Working group Public Space
Derk Hazekamp reports.
- Renovation of Nassauplein is well underway.
- The working group is looking for new members.
- The Municipal Council intends to replace all litterbins with a uniform ‘Haags’ model.
- The Council is working on a plan to improve the situation around the entrance to the Albert Heijn supermarket in Sumatrastraat.
- Fortunately there are few cases of graffiti in the neighbourhood, but when instances are reported the Council responds rapidly and removes the offending defacement.
- Things are currently quiet on the Atjehstraat playground front. As soon as the weather improves this could change and the police will give attention to the matter when and as necessary.
- Eight trees will be planted in Atjehstraat at the end of March 2012.
Ank Beekman and Noor Mulder express their appreciation for the improvement in the timely emptying of the recycling containers on Burgemeester Patijnlaan.
Noor Mulder asks if anything can be done about dog dirt. The police are aware that this continues to be a serious problem and requests that so-called ‘hot spots’ be reported so that they can target their action. Surinamestraat and Burgemeester Patijnlaan (opposite the police headquarters) are mentioned.
4G Working group Community Festival 2012
Bert Bos reports.
The date is now 8 September.
A salsa band will probably provide the musical entertainment. The possibly of the Oranje Fonds supporting the ‘wijkfeest’ as part of its ‘Neighbours’ Day’ initiative will be explored.
Although September 2012 is still a long way off, in connection with the new subsidy rules it would be advisable to submit an application for funds as soon as possible.
5. Working group Scheveningen Woods
Bert Huisman expresses his appreciation for the speed with which the Council recently carried out repairs to a reported damaged bench. In the past this was not the case.
6. Lobby group Couperusduin
Noor Mulder (Tenants Association Couperusduin) again draws attention to the fact that the Jeu de Boules court at the rear of the Alexander apartment complex is becoming rather neglected. Gerrit van der Hut (City Council) says he has visited the court and it seems to be in good condition. It transpired that he had mistakenly visited the Jeu de Boules court on Burgemeester de Monchyplein. He will now also inspect the Alexanderflat court. Apparently it is unclear who owns/is responsible for this court.
Ank Beekman reports.
The new website was launched in November 2011.
Ank explains that maintaining the website is extremely time consuming and is delighted that Folef Hooft Graafland (board secretary) will now be involved as contact person on behalf of the executive board.
8. Wall Poetry project
Gilles Hooft Graafland reports.
The unveiling of the first poem in Surinamestraat will now take place on 31 March 2012 at 15.00. Deputy Mayor Marjolein de Jong (The Hague’s alderman for Culture, City Centre and International) will perform the opening ceremony. Around 100 to 150 interested parties are expected and there will also be music. During the ceremony traffic passing along Surinamestraat will be halted.
The City Council will take care of publicity for the event.
During the New Year’s Reception it was made known that there is a wall at the corner of the short section of Balistraat and Laan Copes van Cattenburch available where perhaps a second poem could be located.
9. Community Newspaper
Ank Beekman notes that there had been productive discussions between the editorial teams of the newspaper and the website.
10. Other business
Gilles Hooft Graafland refers to an idea for a working party to welcome expats to the neighbourhood and to help them better integrate into our community. As an example he mentions an initiative in Riouwstraat where expats are invited for a welcoming drink. He knows someone who is interested but is looking for reinforcements.
None of those present put themselves forward.
Board secretary Folef Hooft Graafland is writing an A&W Community Association annual report for 2011 and requests written input about activities from the working parties for incorporation into this report. Gerard Spierenburg (The Hague City Council) noted that a well-constructed and comprehensive report plays an important role in the awarding of a Council subsidy.
Derk Hazekamp enquires about the situation with the illumination of the Bankaplein fountain. None of those present knew the answer. Gerard Spierenburg will look into the matter.
11 Conclusion of meeting
The chairman closes the meeting at approximately 21.30.
Next meeting Thursday 29 March 2012 in the Klokhuis Community Centre at 20.00