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Annual report 2012-13

The AGM was held in Henry Wood Hall. The Secretary, Edward Heckels, presented the Annual Report – see below. The meeting was then addressed by Graham Hockley of Trinity House, who listened to residents' concerns about leases and rents.

TNRA Annual Report 2012/13

1. Introduction

For over 30 years, TNRA has worked to improve life for the residents of the Newington Trust Estate (now Trinity Village) in their dealings with their managing agents and Southwark Council and to foster a sense of community by organising events for local people.

2. Assured Shorthold Tenancies ("ASTs”)

TNRA’s priority in 2012/13 (as in 2011/12) has been greater security for residents on shorthold tenancies. Trinity House/Capita organised surgeries to meet concerned residents on 6 June 2012. Tim McNally (our local councillor) attended to provide support to residents, where requested. Simon Webster, Ali Walker and Camiel de Vries subsequently met with Capita on 19 June on related issues. Simon met with Simon Hughes and Cllr Tim McNally on 3 August to brief Mr Hughes on residents' concerns. On 3 September, Simon Hughes, Cllr Tim McNally and Simon Webster met with Graham Hockley (Trinity House) and Chris Vollers (Capita) to propose the drafting of a statement of "best practice” explicitly setting out their policies for managing Trinity Village. In Autumn 2012, Capita/Trinity House organised focus groups with local residents to get their feedback on their management of the estate. Simon Webster met with Graham Hockley, Chris Vollers and Daniel Bray on 20 March 2013 to discuss the draft handbook they are preparing setting out their management approach. Graham and Chris agreed to attend TNRA’s AGM to discuss this initiative. Daniel Bray’s role with the ASTs ends on 30 April 2013. His successor will be a Capita employee (Daniel is not).

3. Long leasehold properties

Tim Horsler and Camiel de Vries continue to monitor the efficiency and timeliness of Bray Property Services Limited, the new managing agents for long leasehold properties, owned by Daniel Bray. While the position remains far from perfect, significant progress has been made as a result of Tim and Camiel’s many meetings with Daniel and related telephone conversations, email chasers and communications with other long leaseholders. TNRA continues to lobby Capita/Trinity House for long leaseholders to have access to the two square gardens.

4. Gardens

Trinity House provided funding in 2011 for improvements to Trinity Church Square, including the metal edging of beds, composting, the replanting of shrubs and ground cover and the planting of several thousand bulbs. Much of the work was undertaken by TNRA volunteers, led by Penny Hinves. Penny has been engaged by Trinity House to prune and local volunteers are responsible for weeding and other maintenance going forward. The lawn also now benefits from the regular attentions of Greenthumb, the lawn maintenance experts. TNRA organised Garden Action Days on 26 May, 13 October and 24 November for weeding, planting and composting in the Square by teams of residents, with funding from TNRA on this occasion.

5. Our local environment

TNRA met with Cllr Claire Hickson and representatives of Southwark Council and Veolia on 5 March 2013 to discuss rubbish, refuse collection, leaf sweeping and other environmental matters. Working with Cllr Hickson, TNRA has made a proposal to Capita for improving the facilities in Trinity Village for storing refuse between weekly bin collections. Section 106 money has been used to plant trees in Avon Place and TNRA has applied for £1,000 from each of the Veolia Southwark EnviroGrant and the Council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer initiative for further improvements to Avon Place. TNRA ensured that the monthly skip service provided by the Council continued throughout the year.

6. Law & order

Abigail Hope or Annie Wingfield have represented TNRA’s interests at meetings of the Chaucer Safer Neighbourhood Panel. Our ward police officers visited Trinity Church Square for a Meet and Greet Meeting/Street Briefing on 2 October. Following a burglary in January 2013, TNRA collated a list of defective front door locks in Trinity Village and reported these to Daniel Bray for replacement. The re-launch of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in Trinity Village is a priority for the coming year.

7. Community involvement

Annie Wingfield and/or Helen Holden have represented the interests of the TNRA at the meetings of the Borough, Bankside and Walworth Community Council, which meets every two months. Robert Holden has attended the monthly meetings of Southwark Council's Conservation Areas Advisory Group on behalf of TNRA. Helen Holden has attended some of the meetings of the Elephant and Castle Resident Liaison Group. TNRA has monitored /commented on a number of planning applications in the area, including: 200 Great Dover Street, 301-303 Borough High Street, 1-3 Trinity Street, 1-20 Spurgeon Street & 58 Great Dover Street, 10 Trinity Street, Eileen House and tree pruning in the two squares. TNRA's stock of equipment for hire has provided a service for both members and other local people and groups.

8. Events

Our events have comprised: Open Squares Weekend (10 June 2012); Charles Dickens Bicentenary Walk led by John Constable (21 June); Yoga Olympics Day (21 July); Porch Sales (1 September 2012 and 13 April 2013); Welcome Drinks for new residents of 28-30 Trinity Street & Bedford Row (8 October); Christmas Craft Fair (27 November); Wine Tasting (21 March 2013). Our annual Carol Singing event in Trinity Church Square, planned for 20 December, was cancelled due to poor weather. Lesley Exton has organised pop-up bookstalls on 17 Saturday mornings during the year. Porch sales and bookstalls made a profit of over £800 for TNRA funds. TNRA thanks Henry Wood Hall for providing the venue for several of these events.

9. Membership

TNRA’s membership stood at 201 households in March 2013 vs 173 households in March 2012 and 139 households in March 2011, an increase of 45% in two years. The majority of households in Trinity Village are now TNRA members and with the average household in our area comprising 2–3 adults, TNRA has circa 500 paid up members. TNRA members benefit from discounts at local shops, restaurants and other service providers. Thanks to the efforts of Esther de Vries, 18 local businesses are now members of TNRA’s discount scheme.

10. Finances

TNRA’s total current funds were £13,519.63 as at 31 March 2013 as compared with £11,512.21 as at 31 March 2012. A total of £3,018.32 was raised from subscriptions in 2012/13 as compared with £2,603.27 in 2011/12 (subscription rates have not been raised since 2006). Payment of membership subscriptions online via Paypal on the TNRA website has been used increasingly. The surplus (over minimum reserves and prime costs) was £10,938 as at 31 March 2013 as compared with £8,015 as at 31 March 2012.

11. Publicity, communication and advice

TNRA has enhanced the community by keeping members and all residents informed about issues and events through two newsletter booklets, letterbox flyers, the Trinity Street noticeboard, emails and the TNRA website. Residents have been able to contact TNRA via email and answerphone and Committee members have dealt with queries about many matters, from rents to dustbins.