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Annual report 2011-12

A well-attended meeting in Henry Wood Hall first heard a talk from Lend Lease about the redevelopment at the Elephant & Castle.

TNRA secretary Edward Heckels presented the annual report, which follows. The report can also be downloaded here.

Trinity Newington Residents' Association ("TNRA”)

Annual Report 2011/12


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 the Estate’s managing agents and Southwark Council and to foster a sense of community by organising events for local people.


2. Assured Shorthold Tenancies ("AST”)


TNRA’s priority in 2011/12 has been greater security for residents on shorthold tenancies. This has been the main focus of two formal meetings with Graham Hockley, Secretary to the Corporation at Trinity House, on 2 December 2011 and 27 January 2012, the latter also attended by Simon Hughes MP, and a number of informal conversations, lead by Simon Webster, TNRA Chairman.


An AST lease of one or two years has been the default lease for all new tenants. Once Trinity House have a positive experience of a tenant, they have agreed that flexible options can be offered such as a lease of up to four years. The hope is that this will be increased to seven years over time. A three year outlook will be provided informing tenants of the likelihood of their home needing to be refurbished at the end of the lease period. During the three year period, TNRA has asked that the nature of the work to be undertaken should be discussed with the tenant to see if the work can be carried out during an extended period of absence. A minority of existing tenants would like to invest directly into their properties by upgrading fixtures and fittings and generally refurbishing to a higher personal standard. TNRA has proposed a 19-year lease arrangement for such tenants but has made little progress in negotiations with Trinity House/Capita.


3. Long Leasehold Properties

Following continual pressure from Tim Horsler on behalf of TNRA, Douglas & Gordon were finally given three months’ notice of the termination of their contract in September 2011. Bray Property Services Limited, owned and run by Daniel Bray, has been appointed to take their place. A separate company, Aspect Property Management, will handle accounting matters. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has ruled that residents of 59-63 Trinity Church Square do not have to pay for the up-keep and repair of inaccessible common areas.

4. Gardens

After much discussion, 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, lead by Penny Hinves. Penny has been engaged to prune and local volunteers are undertaking weeding and other maintenance going forward. The lawn also now benefits from the regular attentions of Greenthumb, the lawn maintenance experts. Penny is preparing a costed proposal for the restoration of the gardens in Merrick Square.

5. 28-30 Trinity Street development


On 21 December 2011, TNRA met with London Realty and Chainbow, the developer and managing agent, respectively, together with Capita. Issues discussed included access for residents and people renting garages, refuse and recycling and the lighting of the lane. The new refuse collection and recycling arrangements have been communicated to residents and are now in place. TNRA successfully lobbied for the development to be named Bedford Row,commemorating Francis Bedford, the architect of Holy Trinity Church.


6. TV reception


TNRA has been asking Trinity House/Capita for improved TV reception for many years since they stopped paying for the communal aerial to be maintained. The latest development is that Virgin have applied for and obtained planning permission to cable Falmouth Road. TNRA lobbied Southwark Council to secure planning approval. We hope that the rest of the estate will be cabled if this pilot study goes well. As a short term measure, Trinity House has agreed that tenants can put a dish in their garden if it is below wall height and provided that existing cable holes are used.


7. Law& order


Abigail Hope has represented TNRA’s interests at meetings of the Chaucer Safer Neighbourhood Panel and co-ordinated the lunch of a Neighbourhood Alert Scheme on the Estate. Local police have been lobbied to increase patrols following recent vandalism in Merrick Square.


8. Community involvement


Annie Wingfield and/or Helen Holden have represented the interests of TNRA at monthly meetings of the Borough and Bankside Community Council. 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: the former garages next to 21-27 Swan Street, 10-16 Cole Street, 200 Great Dover Street, Brandon House, 180 Borough High Street, Dickens Square, 28-30 Trinity Street and the cabling of 4-40 Falmouth Road.


9. Events


Our events have comprised: Open Squares Weekend (12 June 2011); historical walk led by John Constable (25 July); Porch Sales (20 August 2011 and 14 April 2012); Christmas Craft Fair (3 November); Trinity Church Square Pub Social (15 November); Carol Singing (21 December); Merrick Square Pub Social (23 January 2012); Wine Tasting (14 March). Lesley Exton has organised pop-up bookstalls on 16 Saturday mornings during the year. Between May and July 2011, community yoga sessions were organised by Alison Walker, funded by a grant from the United Saviour’s Charity.


10. Membership


TNRA’s membership stood at 173 households at the start of March 2012 compared with 139 at the start of March 2011, an increase of 24%. The majority of households on the Estate are TNRA members. TNRA members benefit from discounts negotiated with local shops, restaurants and other service providers. 14 local businesses are now members of TNRA’s discount scheme.


11. Finances


TNRA’s total current funds were £11,512.21 as at 31 March 2012 as compared with £11,823.25 as at 31 March 2011. £2,603.27 was raised from subscriptions in 2011/12 as compared with £1,927 in 2010/11 (subscription rates have not been raised since 2006). The surplus (over minimum reserves and prime costs) was £8,015 as at 31 March 2012 as compared with £7,650 as at 31 March 2011.