The Society arranged the public meeting with the Trustees of the Dulwich Estate in late September to give Dulwich residents the opportunity to learn more about the Estate’s remit and operations. Questions were submitted in advance, in order to make sure that the meeting was focused, and in excess of 130 were received.
The questions covered a wide variety of subjects including who the Trustees were, what the charity was set up to do, and the working of the Scheme of Management. There was a widely held perception that the Estate did not respond to residents concerns/complaints appropriately and that their relationship management sometimes left much to be desired. More specific concerns were over the future viability and range of shops in Dulwich Village (the subject of an article in the previous edition of the Journal), the lack of progress in securing cycling at the Herne Hill Velodrome, and the maintenance of the post war estates.
Feedback on the meeting has been very positive and the minutes of the meeting, published on the Society’s website - www.dulwichsociety.com, will serve as a useful prompt for any future discussions.
The Estate made their position on their shops very clear and the Society is setting up a Shops Group to look more closely into the exact legal position and see whether there should be room for some flexibility.
Similarly on the Herne Hill Velodrome, the Society will be taking the lead in organising a co-ordinated approach to the Estate from all the interested parties, the cyclists, Southwark Council and the residents who overlook the track. The beneficiary schools are also an important factor here, for as cycling becomes more and more popular, the track could be a huge benefit in terms of enhancing their sporting facilities.
On the management of the Post War estates, the Society followed up the public meeting with a separate social event for residents associations. The aim was to encourage them not only to meet each other but also to set up longer term relationships to work together and exchange information. The Society has also suggested that they keep us advised over any problems so that we can bring these to the Estate’s attention at our thrice yearly formal meetings.