MINUTES of the 53rd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Society held on 25th April 2016, 8pm at St. Barnabas Centre, Calton Avenue SE21
Present: approximately 40 members
Apologies: Bernard Nurse, David & Jan Coughtrie, Michael Rich, Kenneth Wolfe
Introduction and Welcome by the President Dr Colin Niven OBE
Colin said how impressed he had been over the past year by the range of activity and hard work of the Society. He thanked Ian and Diana McInnes for their excellent work for the Society. He also asked the meeting to reflect on the sad passing of former Executive members Wilf Taylor, Patrick Spencer and Jill Manuel.
Minutes of the 52nd AGM held on 27th April 2015 were approved and signed. No matters arising.
Reports on the activities of the Society in 2015-2016. Written reports from the Chairman, Sub-Committee Chairmen and officers had previously been made available on the Society’s website (www.dulwichsociety.com) and their oral presentations to the meeting were confined to updates and highlighting certain points, and to give an opportunity for questions to be asked.
Chairman (Ian McInnes)
The Society was delighted to receive a legacy of over £10,000 from former member and local historian, Miss Mary Boast. The legacy will be used to support local history activities starting with a new sign for the Dulwich Village burial ground. The burial ground will be opened for London Open House in September 2016.
The Society continued to be closely involved in traffic and transport issues, and the range of consultations conducted by Southwark Council including Quietway 7 and double yellow lines to protect junctions and increase safety.
The Society is seeking a more sustainable solution to the maintenance of the iconic white posts and chains which is currently shared between the Estate and Southwark Council.
The status of key Dulwich pubs is being monitored by the Society. The Crown and Greyhound reopening is delayed until the late summer 2016 at least. There are no current plans to reopen The Grove. Fuller’s have taken the lease on the Half Moon pub and subject to planning consent will refurbish the pub and convert the building into a 12 room hotel.
Sainsbury’s have taken on the Shepherd’s lease and subject to planning consent will open a micro-store in the unit later in the spring.
Secretary (Sue Badman)
The Secretary highlighted the growth of Residents’ Associations in the area and that advice was available from the Society on launching new RAs.
Society rules and policies on complaints and declarations of interest are available on the Society web site.
Membership (Diana McInnes)
Membership remains at over 1100 households. Just over 10% live outside Dulwich and our membership for Dulwich represents approximately 20% of all households. Membership drives continue. For the financial year 2014-2015 we claimed £2291.48 from HMRC for gift aid.
Planning and Architecture (David Roberts)
Moving is expensive and people want to stay in Dulwich. Loft and rear extensions remain popular. There is a burgeoning interest in garden structures and these can have a considerable impact on neighbours. There are also projects to demolish and rebuild, and the Society has not objected where the current building has no significant architectural merit. The proliferation of hoardings needs more control.
Attendees raised concerns about the size of some projects and impact on neighbours. The Society continues to highlight the impact of basements and large construction projects on neighbours with the Scheme of Management. David Roberts is organising a meeting with the Estate’s new consultant architect to review current SoM process and practices.
Traffic and Transport (Alistair Hanton)
There are active discussions with the train operating companies (TOCs) and TfL about capacity, standard of service, the practice of skipping scheduled stops and the condition of local stations including accessibility. The number 42 bus is scheduled for extension to Sainsbury’s, Dog Kennel Hill but it is planned to re-route its double-decker buses down Red Post Hill. The Society has suggested that Sunray Avenue would be a more suitable route.
Safe school travel remains a key local issue especially with the growth of numbers at Judith Kerr School and the proposed Charter II school on the Dulwich Hospital site. Every effort is being made to promote walking and cycling to school. The Safe Routes to School group has had a pivotal role in improving safe journeys to school and reducing the dependence on cars.
There was a wide ranging discussion on several current traffic issues:
- the latest Quietway 7 proposals include stopping the left turn from Dulwich Village into Turney Road which is unacceptable to many local residents (The Society has objected).
- The Dulwich-wide double yellow lines proposal needs to strike a balance between junction safety and impact on parking capacity. The Chairman reminded attendees that Cllr Jane Lyons is collecting residents’ views on the proposal.
- Concerns were expressed about slow progress in disabled access at local rail stations including parking provision. Alastair Hanton said that this issue is being taken up with TfL and TOCs. At present the amount of money for disabled access is low and there was a need to prioritise both North Dulwich and West Dulwich stations for improved accessibility. Alastair said the urgency of this was being emphasised in consultations on the next round of franchises.
- There are concerns about the lack of bus routes in South Dulwich and the isolation felt by local residents dependent on travelling by bus to get to hospital appointments.
Wildlife (Angela Wilkes)
In spite of increased pressure on London’s open green spaces, wildlife in Dulwich is thriving. And, in the coming months, the Wildlife Group hope to make many areas even more valuable to wildlife - in particular, pollinating, flying insects - when the Society link forces with our friends in the London Wildlife Trust in their “Beeline for London” project.
Gardening (Jeremy Prescott)
There will be a prize competition to highlight front gardens and applicants should apply by end May. Judging will take place in the first two weeks of June.
The Annual Coach Trip in June will be to Nymans and Sheffield Park.
Trees (Glynis Williams)
New Chair, Glynis Williams, outlined the role of the Tree Committee with regard to applications to fell or modify trees within the Dulwich Estate Scheme of Management and highlighted that the Committee did not have the resources to review all the tree applications. Volunteers to join the tree committee would be welcome.
Of note, the two diseased Horse Chestnut trees were finally removed from the heart of the Village replaced by copper beeches. The horse chestnut tree avenue in Dulwich College has been demolished with replacements due in the summer.
Several attendees expressed concern about the loss of street trees - how many trees were lost and how much replanting (and monitoring) takes place by Southwark and the Estate? Cllr Michael Mitchell said there are new Southwark standards for street trees; there has to be enough room for roots to grow and people to pass. If there are concerns about particular tree sites, please provide details to Cllr Mitchell.
Local History (Bernard Nurse)
In Bernard’s absence, the Chairman mentioned that most of the back issues of the Society’s Newsletter, which preceded the Journal, have now been digitised and placed on the Society’s website. The new additions cover the thirty year period from April 1974 to Autumn 2003, after which the online archive is complete up to the end of 2015.
Magazine (Brian Green)
The magazine continues to be a popular benefit of Society membership and new articles or ideas are always welcome.
Presentation of Accounts and Financial Report for year to 31st December 2015 by the Society’s Hon. Treasurer, Russell Lloyd.
Net income of over £7000 was very good news and the largest for many years. Membership income had increased but there was a fall in advertising revenue so a fall in total income. However expenditure had decreased too (principally because of one-off Rosebery Lodge lease costs in 2014). Bank balances and profit meant the Society had an accumulated fund of nearly £34,000 at end of 2015.
Appointment of Hon. Auditor. Sally-Anne Jeffries was proposed for re-election and this was duly approved.
ELECTIONS for 2016/17
The following, having been duly proposed and seconded, were elected:
Chairman: Ian McInnes
Vice-Chairman: Kenneth Wolfe
Hon. Secretary: Susan Badman
Hon. Treasurer: Russell Lloyd
Membership Secretary: Diana McInnes
(b) Members of Executive Committee:
Brian Green Editor of the Journal
Alistair Hanton Traffic & Transport sub-committee
David Roberts Planning & Architecture Group
Angela Wilkes Wildlife sub-committee
Jeremy Prescott Gardens sub-committee
Glynis Williams Trees sub-committee
Bernard Nurse Local History sub-committee
(c) Honorary Officers:
President: Dr Colin Niven OBE
Vice-Presidents: Ian Dejardin MA
His Honour Michael Goodman
Dr Gary Savage
Dr Joseph Spence
The Chair reported that His Honour Michael Rich QC has resigned as Vice-President and he was thanked for his past service to the Society.
Change to Constitution
The following motion to update the Society’s subscription rules was unanimously approved:
“This meeting resolves that the Rule 4 of the Constitution of the Society be deleted and replaced with the following revised Rule 4:
(a) Unless otherwise determined by the members at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting, an individual or household shall pay an annual subscription of £10.00. The subscription shall be paid when a person/household, becomes a member and thereafter shall become due and payable on the first day of January in every year. Any member joining the Society in the last three calendar months of the year and paying the subscription, shall not be required to pay another subscription until the first day of the January of the next but one year.
(b) If any Member shall be three months or more in arrears with his subscription (ie on April 1st of the year that membership is due) he shall cease to be a member on the day after the next Executive Committee Meeting.”
Proposed: Diana McInnes (Membership) Seconded: Sue Badman (Secretary)
Any Other Business
Timothy Hornby reported that the Herne Hill Velodrome pavilion is going ahead and will open in early 2017. Cycling will continue as usual.
After the meeting there was a display of recent Society research and photographs on the history of Dulwich pubs ahead of the forthcoming publication of a book (jointly with the Herne Hill Society), and refreshments were served.
Minutes by: Sue Badman, Secretary, 30th May 2016