Membership numbers showed a small increase from last year: 137 full members and 6 associate members, compared with 126 full members and 9 associate members in 2007/08. (Maximum potential membership is 320 households.)
As an incentive to encourage residents to join TNRA we have set up arrangements with local businesses to offer discounts to TNRA members on production of a membership card. The aim is to seek deals with one of each type of business: so far, one Indian restaurant, one Thai restaurant, one fish restaurant and one gym have offered discounts.
A committee of 14 members was chosen at the AGM and 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 and to organise events. Committee members attended some meetings of Borough & Bankside Community Council and Emma Peters attended meetings with the police Safer Neighbourhoods team.
The committee has spent some time at several meetings discussing TNRA’s role in our community. Ilona Ludewig-Mack ran a workshop for the committee in July and devised a questionnaire which was sent to all residents in October. The aim of these was to understand residents’ needs and priorities and to gather their views and expectations of TNRA. Suggestions included: improving communication; prioritising committee work each year; better publicity for events; distribution of work among more people. The results of the questionnaire have formed the basis for a discussion at the AGM of priorities for TNRA’s work next year (2009/10).
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 2008 and Spring 2009.
• Through the year, 12 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.
• TNRA events were advertised to a wider audience on the SE1 community 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 looseleaf Fact File was updated with pages of current TNRA information. Files were offered to new residents.
• Patricia McCarthy has maintained the TNRA website and undertaken minor redesign. In order to improve our electronic communications and administrative systems with a dynamic website, we applied for and obtained a grant of £5,000 from the lottery Awards for All scheme. The new website is currently being designed; it will incorporate the material on the current site and add more features.
• Southwark Council has allocated ‘Cleaner, Greener Safer’ funding for a community noticeboard on the estate. We are working with the council and Trinity House to agree a design and location.
Meetings and events
• Two meetings were held in Henry Wood Hall: the AGM in April and an Autumn Meeting in October. Councillors, local police and Simon Hughes MP attended these.The AGM was followed by a Jazz Evening in the crypt and Autumn meeting by bread, cheese and wine.
• We took part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in June, opening Trinity Church Square and Merrick Square gardens. We arranged bars from The Roebuck and The Royal Oak, music from The Clink Street Jazz Band and Southwark Consort of Winds, and a few stalls. The day was sunny and well attended.
• In July on a rather wet evening, John Constable took about 20 residents on a very enjoyable Dickens walk around the Borough.
• We held Porch Sales in front of Henry Wood Hall in October and March, selling a large number of secondhand books and bric-a-brac in aid of TNRA funds.
• In October, we organised a Sunday in Merrick Square garden, clearing leaves, tidying the beds and mulching for the winter.
• About 90 people came to carol singing by candlelight with mulled wine and mince pies in December in Trinity Church Square garden.
• Merrick Square families organised pancake races in Merrick Square on Shrove Tuesday.
• In February, we organised a concert ‘Living Room Music’ in Henry Wood Hall by Cityside String Quartet and Brake Drum Assembly Quartet, with refreshments afterwards. This was very well attended by about 180 people.
• We have not been able to organise any wine tasting evenings ourselves but were invited to an evening organised by the Albert Association in April 2009.
• We are very grateful to Henry Wood Hall and The Royal Oak for making premises available for our meetings and other events and to Southwark Council for a grant of £1,000 from the Community Council Fund, which subsidised the July walk, carol singing and February concert.
Landlords and estate management
This year saw the rebranding of the estate as ‘Trinity Village’, which was launched at a function organised by NB Real Estate and Trinity House in Henry Wood Hall in November 2008. Ali Walker attended this for TNRA and spoke to Trinity House personnel about management of the estate. Before this Simon Hughes MP and Cllr Tim McNally met Trinity House to discuss matters raised to them by tenants on the estate. These two events led to a meeting between Trinity House, NB Real Estate and TNRA in January 2009.
Ali Walker and Helen Holden had management meetings with Dan Bray and Susie Hewett of NB in May and September 2008 and attended the January meeting at Trinity House. It is hoped that TNRA will keep up this contact with Trinity House, as well as with their managing agents. Significant matters decided/discussed were: possible 3-year leases for houses; soundproofing to be installed when flats are renovated; external repairs to be started earlier so that work is completed in the summer; Penny Hinves for TNRA to draw up planting plans for the square gardens. Dan Bray attended the March committee meeting to report on these and other matters.
Rents and leases
Ali Walker and Lesley Exton have advised tenants about rent levels when increases have been suggested. Tim Horsler has continued to try to get an efficient management service from Douglas & Gordon for the blocks of long leasehold flats – see separate report for leaseholders only.
Redevelopment of 28–30 Trinity Street (the pickle factory or Amec building).
Demolition of the building on this site has been taking place for most of the year, causing noise and vibration particularly to the west side of Merrick Square, where the garden wall has not been retained at the height promised. Ali Walker and Merrick Square residents have been in contact with the demolition company and the developers to minimise disruption.
Dickens Square Park
We encouraged members to vote (unsuccessfully) for extra funding from the Mayor of London to improve Dickens Square Park and will be involved in Southwark Council’s plans for the park.
Conservation and planning proposals
Robert Holden has attended the council’s Conservation Areas Advisory Group and reported back to the TNRA committee. He also reported on the proposals for redevelopment of 200 Great Dover Street. TNRA commented on documents in the first stage of Southwark Council’s Development Plan. The Trinity Church Square Conservation Area Appraisal Report, on which TNRA commented extensively in its early stages, was finally approved by the Borough & Bankside Community Council in December 2008.
Streets, traffic and parking
Ray Whitley and Simon Webster have worked with the Southwark Council officers, councillors, residents and NB over a number of traffic-related issues. Especial thanks to Cllr Tim McNally for his help with these matters. Progress has been made on:
Great Dover Street/Trinity Street closure landscaping
TNRA has kept this project under review and we are pleased to see that work has started in March 2009.
Trinity Street gate
This has been replaced with a metal structure in a design more in keeping with the Trinity Church Square railings. There remains a problem with motorcycles in Trinity Street, which the committee will review once the landscaping by the Roebuck is completed.
We conducted a questionnaire to identify residents’ preferred locations for cycle racks and negotiated with NB to provide a garage for free cycle storage. The council will install racks in the streets and garage in due course.
Controlled parking review
We have continued to press for implementation of the review of the controlled parking in our zone.
Noticeboard (see also under Communication, earlier)
We are pleased to have received funding from Southwark Council for a community noticeboard and are working with the council, Trinity House and NB Real Estate to get it installed.
Rubbish, recycling and community skip
Rubbish collection from the lane between the squares has been a problem since demolition started. We have tried to encourage NB and Southwark Council to communicate and work to ensure that bins are emptied weekly and recycling is collected.
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 have kept a stock of recycling boxes and bags for residents.
As well as using them for our own events, we have hired TNRA gazebos, tables and chairs to local people and groups. We purchased a stock of gardening tools for residents to borrow.
Lesley Exton, Secretary