Membership and meetings
Membership was slightly lower than last year. We finished the year with 148 members and 11 associate members, compared with 161 and 10 last year. 16 were new members.
The 2004 AGM was held in the Roebuck in April, with guest speakers Simon Hughes MP, Cllr Lorraine Zuleta and PC Arthur Hazell. A general meeting was held in the Roebuck in October with speakers from the Living Streets organisation. Before the meeting, Derek Brown of Cluttons was presented with a garden voucher from TNRA to mark his retirement, and his successor, Bill Robertson, was introduced to members.
We are grateful to the following venues which have hosted TNRA meetings and events this year: the Roebuck for general meetings and committee meetings; the Royal Oak for committee meetings; Henry Wood Hall for the 2005 AGM, Wine Club evenings and forthcoming porch sales; and Gallery 33 for the TNRA Art Show.
A committee of 14 members was chosen at the AGM. Officers were elected at the first committee meeting in May. During the year, Stan Lody resigned from the committee. The committee met monthly to discuss and direct TNRA’s policies, actions and events.
At a series of meetings the committee undertook a review of TNRA’s income and costs in relation to the aims as set out in our constitution. As a result of this work, we have established broad guidelines to ensure that:
• our basic operating costs are always met (secretariat, printing, mailings, general running expenses etc) out of subscriptions and other relatively certain income;
• we forecast and control income and expenditure appropriately on a regular basis;
• we use any surpluses which may arise to further the general objectives of TNRA and put resources back into the local community.
We agreed that the annual garden fete will be in aid of a local organisation or charity and decided in 2005 to give a donation (the amount to be dependent on the financial outcome of the fete) to Rockingham Estate Play Association.
We set aside some of the surplus funds for 2004/05 to pay for some temporary administrative help during April, May and June and have appointed two residents to do this work.
TNRA’s annual Garden Fete in Merrick Square in June 2004, part of Open Garden Squares Weekend, enjoyed very good weather and was a huge success, thanks to the organiser, Maria Linforth Hall. A profit of £1,500 was made, out of which we gave a donation to Charterhouse-in-Southwark.
Paddy Hyams organised another trip to France, this time to visit Le Touquet, in September. This was not fully subscribed and made a loss of about £500, but those who went spent a very enjoyable day.
Tim McNally organised two Wine Club evenings in the crypt of Henry Wood Hall, in November with SWIG and in April with Waterloo Wine.
The TNRA Art Show in Gallery 33 Swan Street in December featured work by four residents: Gail Graham, Helen Lees, Tao McLeod and Jenny Smets. Two private views took place and a raffle was held raise funds.
Recycling and community skip
We have worked hard with Southwark Council to set up the fortnightly recycling collection of paper, tins, cans and glass on the whole estate, now increased to weekly. We introduced the scheme and gave out containers and information at the Garden Fete in June 2004. TNRA keeps a stock of boxes and bags so that residents can be supplied with them directly. We keep in close contact with the council to try to keep the scheme running smoothly.
We continued to organise the supply of a monthly community skip by the council and are pleased to announce that it will continue for the next financial year. The skip has been well used by residents putting items in and taking them out.
Penny Hinves continued to lead TNRA’s work on traffic calming on the estate, including presenting a deputation at the Borough and Bankside Community Council in September. At this meeting the council decided to make two of the closures with Great Dover Street permanent and to have experimental opening of the junction with Trinity Street at weekends. Penny has pressed the council to proceed with this work quickly. The closures of Swan Street and Globe Street will commence at the end of May. The trial weekend opening of Trinity Street at Great Dover Street will happen some time later this year.
Robert Holden drafted TNRA’s responses at consultation stages of Southwark Council’s draft unitary development plan. Our comments included an objection to a proposal to build housing on Dickens Square Park. We have maintained this objection and will appear at the Public Inquiry on the UDP in June.
Our series of cards showing scenes of the estate have sold well this year, especially at Christmas. About 500 were sold and some designs sold out.
We have continued to keep a small stock of Traidcraft (fair trade) produce, which we sell at TNRA events.
The stock of equipment (gazebos, tables and chairs) for hire has proved very popular. Ten different organisations or individuals have hired items on 20 occasions. We hope to promote this service more to local groups in the future. It provides us with a small income, which covers storage expenses.
Our stock of secondhand books was on sale only at the garden fete last year but we have planned two porch sales at Henry Wood Hall in May.
In view of the increased interest by film companies in using the estate, particularly Trinity Church Square, as a filming location, we liaised with Southwark Council’s film officer and drew up a draft policy on how TNRA will deal with applications for filming to ensure that there is not too much disruption for residents. This was published in the Spring newsletter for residents to comment on and will be discussed further and finalised by the new committee. Alison Walker negotiated donations to TNRA for two filming events.
Communication and information
Two newsletter booklets were produced and distributed to members, containing articles by a variety of contributors about TNRA events and activities, estate management, local services and organisations, local history and information etc.
Over 20 news sheets or flyers were distributed to residents on topics including TNRA events, traffic, recycling, planning applications and management information.
132 members have supplied e-mail addresses to TNRA. These members received 18 e-mail bulletins over the year, an average of three every two months.
Members are increasingly using e-mails to communicate with TNRA.
The TNRA website, set up and maintained by Tim McNally, has continued to be updated weekly with TNRA news and other local news and information. It provides an easy way for people to find out about TNRA and to get in touch.
The TNRA answerphone, which is monitored weekly, also provides a means for residents to leave messages. About 30 messages were received this year.
The TNRA Fact File, originally compiled in 2001, was updated with new loose-leaf pages in August 2004. Files were issued to new residents.
Committee members had a meeting with Emma Wilkinson of Willowbrook Centre, who was compiling a list of possible local projects on which planning gain money could be spent. She also discussed tactics for investigating and (if necessary) opposing planning applications
We acted on two planning applications, one by Cluttons/Trinity House to develop part of the site between Trinity Church Square and Merrick Square, until recently occupied by Amec, the second by Henry Wood Hall to make alterations inside and outside the building, to provide facilities for disabled people. For the first, Stuart Milligan organised a meeting for people affected with the planning officer; for the second, we consulted HWH for more details about their plans, publicised these to residents and arranged for the plans to be presented at our AGM.
We have investigated the possibility of having one or two community noticeboards on the estate and have begun discussing the content.
Landlords and estate management
Tim Horsler and Stuart Milligan have continued to represent TNRA at three management meetings with Cluttons, represented by Julian Briant, Marguerita O’Sullivan, Derek Brown/Bill Robertson and Richard Spencer, to discuss general estate matters, such as external and common parts redecorations, TV reception and the asbestos survey. Julian Briant offered to attend surgeries which tenants could attend with a TNRA representative if they wished. We advertised this in the newsletter but declined his offer that he attend some of TNRA’s general meetings.
The committee discussed the points raised at the 2004 AGM about Trinity House and Cluttons. We decided that the current priority was to maintain a working relationship with Cluttons through these management meetings and requested that a Trinity House representative should attend some of them.
Following pressure from a number of long leaseholders about lack of management by Equity, and a series of meetings arranged by TNRA with Cluttons and attended by Tim Horsler, Douglas & Gordon (D&G) have been appointed as managing agents for the long leasehold blocks. Tim will continue to monitor and chase progress on behalf of long leaseholders.
Rents and leases
We have continued to advise tenants about rent levels, both market rents and fair rents. The Rent Officer has provided us with details of all fair rent registrations. We are preparing to represent an assured tenant at a Rent Assessment Committee to establish the appropriate market rent level.
We have negotiated with Cluttons on behalf of individual tenants faced with possession proceedings and rent arrears problems.
Lesley Exton, Secretary