MINUTES of the 55th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Society held on 30th April 2018, 8pm at the Crown and Greyhound, Dulwich Village, SE21
Present: approximately 80 members
Apologies: Louise Wood (BRRA)
1. Introduction and Welcome by the President Dr Colin Niven OBE
Colin welcomed members to the meeting and thanked the Chair and the Executive Committee for their work over the past year. He welcomed Sir David Beamish and Patsy Bramble who had recently been co-opted as Sub-Committee Chairs for Trees and Licensing and were standing in the elections later in the meeting.
Colin asked the meeting to reflect on the sad passing of His Honour Michael Goodman who had been a Vice-President of the Society and had contributed so much to life in Dulwich and to the Society over the years.
Colin also highlighted that the upcoming series of events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Dulwich Estate and Dulwich College.
2. Minutes of the 54th AGM held on 24th April 2017 were approved and signed.
3. Matters Arising - None
4. Reports on the activities of the Society in 2017-2018.
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 key points, and to give an opportunity for questions to be asked.
4.1 Chairman (Ian McInnes)
The Society continues to raise the Scheme of Management performance with the Dulwich Estate via the Residents’ Advisory Group. The Society also had a meeting with the new CEO, Simone Crofton in early March. At the Society’s first formal meeting with Simone, she stressed the importance of improving communications with residents and making the Estate office pro-active and approachable.
The continuing vacant shops on local shopping parades is a disappointment. It is understood that a convenience store will be occupying 88 Dulwich Village but details will not be released until an agreement is signed.
The Chair also mentioned the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club now occupying a ground in Mitcham & Tooting while discussions take place about the Champion Hill site. The planning appeal has been withdrawn and there is no clarity as to the future of the club. It had been a worrying time for the club and supporters.
Also, the ongoing postal fraud cases in SE21 now exceed 100. Fortunately an arrest has now been made.
There were questions to the Chair about the poor condition of the former S G Smith site and the Grove Tavern, and whether the Grove could be subject to a compulsory purchase order. Both projects are on the Society’s radar. The Society held a public meeting in December to kick start the discussion on the Grove’s future but although most people wanted the pub to re-open, the reality of that happening is very unlikely. The Dulwich Estate and Southwark Council need to agree how to move forward.
The Society is a member of the residents’ liaison group which meets frequently with the developers of the Gilkes (former S G Smith) project. It is expected that the demolition will start in the summer.
4.2 Secretary (Sue Badman)
Sue mentioned the Society’s communication channels including the website and Twitter feed @dulwichsociety. A new noticeboard will be erected as soon as a site is agreed. The Society continues to revise its governance procedures and policies and new documents will be posted on the web site once agreed. We plan to hold a members’ party in 2019.
The Society has started to make grant awards to local charities and organisations for projects in accordance with Society objectives. Recipients in 2017 included Wheels for Wellbeing, Dulwich Park Friends, London Wildlife Trust and Safe Routes to School.
4.3 Membership (Diana McInnes)
Membership remains at over 1160 households. For the financial year 2016-2017 we claimed £2402.67 from HMRC for gift aid.
4.4 Planning and Architecture (David Roberts)
Each month members of the Planning and Architecture Group visit the Dulwich Estate Scheme of Management office in the refurbished Old Grammar School to inspect and comment on licence applications. 199 licence applications were commented on - compared with 212 in 2017. There is a steady stream of applications to increase the amount of accommodation within both large and small houses.
The redevelopment of Beltwood on Sydenham Hill obtained planning consent.
There has been controversy over the use of the green space adjacent to the Judith Kerr Primary School as a site for the Dulwich Estate Almshouses. Southwark refused planning consent and the Estate will now need to review their plans and seek a fresh site.
The Half Moon Pub has reopened but the reopening of the Crown & Greyhound has been delayed.
4.5 Traffic and Transport (Alastair Hanton)
The Society has engaged:
• With Southwark Council over their holistic review of Dulwich traffic management conducted by consultants Steer, Davies and Gleave, and the Council kerbside strategy. The Society has also highlighted the car ownership and parking situation in Dulwich.
• With the Mayor of London and City Hall about transport strategy and their plans to encourage Londoners to switch from cars to public transport, walking and cycling.
• With the Train Operating Companies over franchise renewals and timetables and with Network Rail over accessibility at local rail stations. Strikes and disputes, and timetable changes have been very frustrating for residents.
The Dulwich Village junction revision for Quietway 7 has been completed, but there are concerns about its safety.
There were member questions on teachers and commuters taking up parking places in Dulwich Village which has affected parking for those who want to use the shops, and about the possibility of CPZs in the Dulwich area.
4.6 Licensing (Patsy Bramble)
Each month on average, the Society receives notice of one or two applications and submits objections or requests conditions to be imposed on the licence if it appears one or more of the licensing objectives may not be met and the amenity of some residents is likely to be adversely affected.
We have started to look at large commercial events planned in the Parks in 2018 specifically Brockwell Park and Peckham Rye Park, and challenge Southwark Council about their plans. In Herne Hill there are local groups crowdfunding to challenge Lambeth Council on their Brockwell Festival plans.
4.7 Gardens (Jeremy Prescott)
The Dulwich Open Gardens booklet has been circulated with the most recent journal to all members. Dulwich punches above its weight in London for the number of gardens that open for charity, a tribute to the generosity of all those involved. Our 2018 programme includes a talk by the Head Gardener of Sissinghurst and a visit to the Beth Chatto Gardens in June.
4.8 Wildlife (Angela Wilkes)
We are very fortunate in Dulwich to be surrounded by many parks, green spaces, woods and large gardens. Angela highlighted the huge army of volunteers who assist with wildlife projects and how the Society works with other wildlife groups. The loss and degradation of habitats in one of the major issues worldwide for wildlife and birds are a focal point.
There is also a drive for local authorities to seek to put on large events in parks to generate income. These could seriously affect birds during the nesting season, as well as bats year-round. The Society intends to highlight these issues with the relevant authorities and to help avoid problems.
1. Concern about potential damage by the GALA festival in Peckham Rye Park to nesting birds and bats. The festival is going ahead and it will be too late to put a stop to the event but the Wildlife and Licensing teams will continue to seek answers from Southwark Events and ensure that post-event surveys are conducted.
2. Concern about ducks in Dulwich Park being fed with the wrong food (e.g. bread). There are notices in the Park and the Friends of Dulwich Park continue to work on spreading the word.
3. Concern about people leaving out food for foxes. There is a note on the Dulwich Society web site about foxes. Food should not be left out for foxes. All rubbish and recycling should be safely stowed away in bins out of sight.
4.9 Trees (Sir David Beamish)
Sir David Beamish has recently taken over as Chair of the Trees Sub-Committee. The committee continues to advise residents on their tree problems via the email helpline, and continues the work on mapping and labelling the trees in Dulwich Park. With CGS funding, the Society has planted 10 new trees and hope to plant more.
4.10 Local History (Bernard Nurse)
Members of the Local History Committee contributed local history articles to the Journal and compiled an extensive history of Bell House for its website. The walks and opening of the burial ground organised for the Dulwich Festival were well attended. Research was undertaken for information boards to be erected by the Millpond and Tollgate in 2018. The web site generates many local history enquiries which often leads to new ideas for Journal articles.
4.11 Magazine (Brian Green)
Colin thanked Brian for the excellent work on the Journal. Brian remarked that he had a good many regular contributors but was always delighted to receive new ideas and fresh articles.
5. Presentation of Accounts and Financial Report for year to 31st December 2017 by the Society’s Hon. Treasurer, Russell Lloyd.
Overall, the audited accounts of The Society show a surplus of £2,489 for the year, compared to the previous year’s figure, 2016’s, of £8,031, a reduction of circa £5,542.
The main differences between the two years generally relate to lower total income in 2017, because of fewer donations received, also offset by lower operating expenditure and provisions made.
Overall, there has been a large decrease in Income between the two years ie £25,153 in total for 2017 against £42,043 for 2016, a decrease of £16,890. The main variance was income received from donations and grants in 2016 with no similar amounts being received in 2017.
Expenditure was lower in 2017 by £4,671, because there were some one-off costs in 2016 that weren’t repeated in 2017.
Our consolidated net bank account balances totalled £52,893 in 2017 compared to £54,564 in 2016.
The Treasurer thanked all those members who pay by standing order since this saves the Society money and reduces the heavy burden placed on our Membership Secretary.
The Treasurer also thanked Sally-Anne Jefferies for her support of the Society and for her auditing and accounts preparation services.
The accounts were duly approved.
6. Appointment of Hon. Auditor.
Sally-Anne Jeffries was proposed for re-election and this was duly approved.
7. ELECTIONS for 2018/2019
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 (including Sub-Committee Chairs where indicated):
Brian Green Editor of the Journal
Alistair Hanton Traffic & Transport
David Roberts Planning & Architecture
Angela Wilkes Wildlife
Jeremy Prescott Gardens
Bernard Nurse Local History
David Beamish Trees
Patsy Bramble Licensing
(c) Honorary Officers:
President: Dr Colin Niven OBE
Vice-Presidents: Dr Gary Savage
Dr Joseph Spence
8. Any Other Business
There was a question about Life Membership of the Dulwich Society. The Society doesn’t have Life Membership. Membership is £10pa per household. Full details are at www.dulwichsociety.com/membership.
9. Next Annual General Meeting
The date for the 2019 AGM will be confirmed in due course.
10. End of AGM Business
After the meeting there was a talk by Ed Malins about the Great North Wood followed by refreshments.
Minutes by: Sue Badman, Secretary, 31st May 2018