Membership and attendance
Membership numbers this year were smaller last year: 126 full members and 9 associate members, compared with 151 members and 14 associate members in 2006/07. (Maximum potential membership is 320 households.) There are at least two reasons for this decrease:
(a) committee members not having time to knock on doors to collect subscriptions, and
(b) lack of engagement in the community on the part of some shorthold tenants and the increasing number of shorthold leases (now over half of the estate); this may also be the reason for small attendances at the AGM and autumn meeting in 2007.
Welcome though subscriptions are (supplying money for TNRA’s bank account and membership numbers to make us credible), we think that it is just as important for TNRA to provide opportunities for residents – members or not – to receive information about matters that concern them, their lives and their homes; to contact TNRA if they have problems; and to get together in a variety to scenarios to enhance community life. Even with fewer subscriptions, we have continued to cover our expenses (see the audited accounts) and we are pleased that many residents have joined in several TNRA events this year, notably Open Garden Squares Weekend, carol singing, porch sales and meetings about planning applications.
A committee of 10 members was chosen at the AGM (see AGM minutes). Subsequently three more were co-opted: Jessica Evershed, Simon Beresford and Annie Wingfield (representing associate members). The committee met monthly to discuss and direct TNRA’s policies, actions and events and oversee expenditure. Smaller groups of committee members and others also met on specific topics (eg, see Planning below) and to organise events.
Three members of this year’s committee do not wish to stand again: Jim Greenwood, John Criddle and Neil Dennington. We thank them for their contributions during their time on the committee, especially Jim, who has been a committee member for many years and made substantial contributions to TNRA’s work, particularly on planning matters.
Communication and information
TNRA has kept members and others informed about a wide range of topics and events through several methods of communication, as follows.
• Two newsletter booklets were distributed to members in Autumn 2007 and Spring 2008.
• Through the year, 18 news sheets or flyers were delivered to residents, giving notice of events and meetings and general information.
• Members who have e-mail addresses received 14 TNRA e-mail bulletins and members used e-mail to contact TNRA.
• Jessica Evershed continued to restructure and update the TNRA website. She set up a Yahoo group for the committee, although we have not made much use of it. Since Jessica will soon give birth to twins, we have asked for and received offers of help with the website.
• We maintained the TNRA answerphone service for calls to TNRA and committee members were called direct by residents with problems or queries.
• The TNRA Fact File was updated with a few pages of current TNRA information. Files were given to new members.
Meetings and events
• Two meetings were held in Henry Wood Hall: the AGM in April and an Autumn Meeting in October.
• Wine Club evenings hosted by Peter Ledgerwood from Waterloo Wine were held in the crypt of Henry Wood Hall in May and November (following the autumn meeting – but better attended!).
• We held Porch Sales in front of Henry Wood Hall in June, September and April, selling a large number of secondhand books and bric-a-brac in aid of TNRA funds.
• We took part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in June, this year opening Trinity Church Square garden as well as Merrick Square. We arranged bars, music and a small historical exhibition. A sunny day helped to make the event a social success.
• Also in June, John Constable took about 30 residents on a very enjoyable walk around The Borough, showing us some local landmarks and describing the area’s history.
• In October a small coachload of residents went on an outing to Chapel Down Winery in Kent. This event made a loss because of the small number attending.
• Also in October about 40 residents came to Henry Wood Hall for a concert by the Vivo Wind Quintet and refreshments afterwards in the crypt. This event made a profit, which we shared with the musicians.
• About 90 people came to carol singing by candlelight with mulled wine and mince pies in December in Trinity Church Square garden. We were pleased that in time for the carol singing we arranged for the TNRA lights in the tree to be repaired and replaced. These lights were bought with a legacy from Eddie Deeks, formerly of Trinity Church Square and this year another set was added, donated by Tim Horsler.
• Jenny Webster organised another pancake race in Merrick Square on Shrove Tuesday.
• TNRA publicised public meetings about planning proposals for developments at 28–30 Trinity Street and Harper Road/Swan Street corner. We arranged two special meetings for residents to see the plans for 28–30 Trinity Street (see planning below).
• We are very grateful to Henry Wood Hall in particular and to the Royal Oak and the Roebuck for making premises available for our meetings and other events.
Landlords and estate management
For TNRA, Ali Walker and Helen Holden have continued to have management meetings with Dan Bray and Susie Hewett of Nelson Bakewell (NB). They have had two meetings, in May and November. Matters discussed have included: external redecoration, gas safety, asbestos checks, gardens in the squares, tree pruning, communal back gardens and yards, tenancy deposits, historical notice boards, rebranding the estate as ‘Trinity Village’ and NB management newsletter (not yet appeared).
Rents and leases
Market rents. TNRA helped one assured tenant with representation at a rent assessment committee. The rent was fixed close to the figure proposed by NB. We advised other tenants about market rent levels in order for them to negotiate with NB.
Protected rents. We advised one tenant before a Rent Assessment Committee hearing. Unfortunately the rent was increased, but the decision gave some guidance about calculation of ‘fair rents’. We have monitored the level of fair rents registered by the rent officer, in order to advise other protected tenants.
Assured shorthold tenancies. TNRA contacted NB in support of one tenant who had been asked to leave at the end of his term because NB said the property needed renovation. We asked NB to concentrate on renovating properties that become empty by natural wastage, but advised the tenant that he has no legal right to remain.
Long leaseholders. (See separate report.) Tim Horsler has continued to try to get an efficient management service from Douglas & Gordon for the blocks of long leasehold flats. This has involved much work organising meetings and sending repeated requests to D&G for information, many of which are just ignored.
The subcommittee members – Douglas Edwards, Robert Holden, Helen Holden, Penny Hinves and Ali Walker – have been mainly concerned with the proposals to redevelop 28–30 Trinity Street.
Redevelopment of 28–30 Trinity Street (the pickle factory or Amec building)
In May 2007, TNRA was contacted by the developers of this site and our planning subcommittee had considerable input into the initial plans, which were shown at a public exhibition in June. The plans were the subject of a planning application in October, when we organised a meeting for residents to look at the plans with the planning officer. We objected to the planning application on a number of grounds. This application was eventually withdrawn and TNRA was again contacted to comment on revised plans before they were submitted in March. We organised another meeting for the (much improved) plans to be viewed. We sent in minor comments about some aspects of the application. Many thanks to Robert Holden who undertook the bulk of work on drafting TNRA’s responses, coordinating residents’ comments.
Redevelopment of Harper Road/Swan Street corner
We publicised another public meeting with revised plans for this site, to be redeveloped by the council. A formal planning application has not yet been made.
Section 106 project bank. The committee has discussed projects to suggest to the council that could be funded via s106 planning gain money. We plan to ask for Avon Place (passage between Swan Street and Borough High Street) to be improved.
Southwark conservation officer Paul Calvocoressi was invited to the May 2007 committee meeting to discuss an early draft of the Trinity Church Square Conservation Area Appraisal report which he was writing. Over the next few weeks we made several comments and suggestions for amendments to the report, most of which were incorporated. The final draft of the report is due to be presented to Borough & Bankside Community Council in April.
Robert Holden has attended the council’s Conservation Areas Advisory Group and reported back to the TNRA committee.
Streets, traffic and parking
In July Borough & Bankside Community Council (B&BCC) finally confirmed the permanent closure of Trinity Street/Great Dover Street junction. Penny Hinves applied for and obtained a grant from the council’s Cleaner Greener Safer fund to landscape the junction.
We still await proposed changes in Controlled Parking Zone D to be presented by officers to B&BCC for approval.
Rubbish, recycling and community skip
We have continued to publicise the council’s recycling scheme and the community skip, which is supplied on the first Saturday of each month. We keep a stock of recycling boxes and bags for residents.
Residents were invited to join Neighbourhood Watch as well as TNRA on their subscription forms. Those who ticked the appropriate box have been sent NW leaflets and window stickers.
Filming on the estate
We invited Southwark film officer Andrew Pavord to the February committee meeting to discuss problems with recent filming and fees due to TNRA.
Finance, trading and grants
See also audited accounts.
• We printed 300 more TNRA cards in time for Christmas but sales were not as good as in other years.
• We continue to keep a small stock of Traidcraft (fair trade) produce for sale.
• TNRA equipment (gazebos, tables and chairs) for hire provides us with a small income, which covers storage expenses.
• Cllr Tim McNally has advised us about grants available from the council. We have applied for Cleaner Greener Safer funding for a community noticeboard and will apply to the Community Council Fund when it is launched later in April for money for a programme of activities.
Lesley Exton, Secretary