Outcome of the Special General Meeting Held on 28th June 2021
Following the end of the meeting, the Zoom reports on participants and voting were downloaded and cross-referenced with the membership list and the votes were then counted and validated. The results were as follows:
Motion 1: That the process for appointment of members of the Society’s sub-committees and all minutes of their meetings must be published on the Society’s website, including declarations of interest.
The motion was carried by 90 votes to 53, with 4 abstentions
The Society's Executive Committee had already agreed to this motion and, following the Executive Committee meeting in July, a more detailed statement about the process for the appointment of members of the Society’s sub-committees will be prepared and published on the Society's website, along with minutes of the future sub-committee meetings, including declarations of interest.
Motion 2: The Society must undertake a formal, independent and impartial survey of its Membership about the remit the Membership wishes the Society to adopt with regard to the Society’s long term policy position on Travel and Environment. The findings of this consultation with Members to be published in full on the Society’s website and available on request to all members.
The motion was rejected by 79 votes to 67, with 3 abstentions.
The Society’s Response to the Boundary Commission Consultation
The Dulwich Society is the largest amenity society in south-east London with over 1150 household members. While it accepts that some changes need to be made to make sure that all constituencies have roughly the same numbers of voters, it does not support the current radical plans to change the constituency boundaries of the current Dulwich and West Norwood constituency and put large areas of Dulwich into a Dulwich and Sydenham constituency. These are our reasons:
The constituency has been called Dulwich and West Norwood since 1997. It was an amalgamation of the former Dulwich and Norwood Constituencies (both formed in 1885). The proposed changes would be a fundamental change to historical precedent.
Dulwich and Sydenham are separated by a line of sports fields along the South Circular backed up by a large area of woodland (formerly part of the historic Great North Wood) extending from Lordship Lane though to Crystal Palace Parade. There is no road link between the two areas other than Sydenham Hill/Kirkdale and College Road (approximately a mile apart) and there is no direct rail connection between them. There are also no existing community connections between Dulwich and Sydenham, both see themselves as stand-alone centres.
The proposed revised constituency cuts across existing community ties. Dulwich's community connections are with Norwood, Herne Hill and Brixton backed up by roads (and bus routes) and railways. Likewise for shopping, faith centres, G P Surgeries and the main cemetery. The Dulwich Society, the local amenity society in Dulwich works closely with the amenity groups in Herne Hill and Norwood.
Parts of West Dulwich will be located within the new Streatham and Norwood constituencies and there are concerns that matters affecting West Dulwich will not receive the attention required.
Herne Hill has developed a distinctive character within the current Dulwich and West Norwood constituency. The proposals mean it is now split between three constituencies which makes no sense, and which will cause problems when raising issues or concerns with MPs and authorities.
In summary, the plan to link Dulwich with Sydenham should be reconsidered and Herne Hill should remain with Dulwich; West Dulwich (Lambeth sections) should be in the same constituency as the rest of Dulwich.
Echelon Parking in Dulwich Village
Finally, after over 20 years of discussion and the Society being told many times that it would only happen when the echelon parking was replaced by parallel parking, paid parking has arrived in front of the northern shops in Dulwich Village. It seems that the impact of the LTN’s has finally persuaded even the most reluctant trader that it is a good idea. The controlled hours are 8.30am-6.30pm (Monday to Saturday) and allow an hour free and up to a further two hours paid for through the PayByPhone app on your phone - and this includers the free hour. Those without a smart phone may not be able to use it and the Society has asked local councillors to help find a solution to those users who are not so tech-savvy. It also raises the question though, whether paid parking should be extended to other areas of the Village like Gilkes Place where vans can be parked for months on end, denying users of the parish hall any space.
Soane Place, Dulwich Village
Aquinna Homes, the new owners of the former S G Smith workshop site, have changed its name - formerly known as ‘The Gilkes’ it is now to be known as ‘Soane Place’. As members know, Sir John Soane was the architect of the Dulwich Picture Gallery which had a major influence on art gallery design throughout the world - being the first to use roof lights to light gallery interiors. Soane was also the architect for other famous buildings including the Bank of England and the recently restored Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing but, most famously of course, there is his own house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, now the Soane Museum. Whether he would appreciate his name used for a small housing development where the houses will be ‘exquisitely specified’, we can only guess but, we suspect he might have hoped for something better - the new owner has a current application with Southwark Council to ‘value engineer’ the approved design which will make it less visually attractive.
Bridging the Ambrook
Funding of £2300 from the Dulwich Society to the London Wildlife Trust has enabled a new bridge to be placed across the Ambrook stream which flows down to feed Dulwich Park lake from the Woods. The Society is looking at other requests from the from London Wildlife Trust for financial assistance for further work in the woods to improve paths due to heavy footfall during the pandemic.