MINUTES of the 54th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Society held on 24th April 2017, 8pm at St. Barnabas Centre, Calton Avenue SE21
Present: approximately 40 members
Apologies: None received
1. Introduction and Welcome by the President Dr Colin Niven OBE
Colin thanked Ian and Diana McInnes, and the whole Executive Committee for their excellent work over the past year. Colin also mentioned the publication of the Dulwich pub book (in conjunction with the Herne Hill Society), and the situation with local pubs. It was good to see the Half Moon pub reopen after a splendid refurbishment and there were hopes that the Crown and Greyhound will reopen shortly.
Colin also asked the meeting to reflect on the sad passing of Peter Lawson who had been a founder member and helped to negotiate the Scheme of Management, Margaret McConnell who had overseen the journal advertising and Peter Jones who had latterly been a journal delivery co-ordinator. Also, Colin mentioned the sad passing just a few days earlier of Ingrid Beazley who had contributed so much to local Dulwich life and art.
2. Minutes of the 53rd AGM held on 25th April 2016 were approved and signed.
3. Matters Arising
- The updated Society rules as approved at the 2016 AGM are available on the Society web site.
- Sainsbury’s did not after all take up the lease of 88 Dulwich Village.
4. Reports on the activities of the Society in 2016-2017. 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 press the Estate via the Residents’ Advisory Group on the Scheme of Management performance and issues of concern to residents. The Chairman was asked whether details of the Advisory Group meetings are being circulated to residents’ groups, so they can also attend. Any residents’ association who would like to attend the Advisory Group should contact the Chair for inclusion in a future meeting. The meetings are held in March, June and November.
The Dulwich Estate has recently appointed a Public Relations and Communications Manager. They have also reviewed their Scheme of Management operations which highlighted the need for additional staff and more enforcement of SoM guidelines.
The Shepherd’s retail unit at 88 Dulwich Village is still vacant and negotiations for an alternative convenience store provider continue.
The Society is represented on a residents’ liaison group co-chaired by Helen Hayes MP and Cllr Jane Lyons which is overseeing the proposed redevelopment of the former S G Smith site in the centre of Dulwich Village by McCulloch’s. There is no firm date for the commencement of the construction work. The planning consent is valid for three years and expires in autumn 2018.
There has been much local concern about the proposed Estate almshouses development on the green space adjacent to the Judith Kerr Primary School in Half Moon Lane. Public consultation has taken place and the decision is now with Southwark Council.
The East Dulwich Society has been wound up and its funds have been distributed to The Dulwich Society. The Society has invited current EDS members to join the Society and we now intend to include East Dulwich issues within our remit.
The Society is seeking a new Chair of the Trees Sub-Committee and a new member of the Executive Committee to take a lead on licensing, primarily new premises licence applications. Anyone who is interested in these roles should contact the Chair.
4.2 Secretary (Sue Badman)
The Secretary thanked members for attending the successful October members’ party and thanked Brian Green for organising the entertainment which was enjoyed by all. Sue also mentioned the Society’s various communication channels and highlighted the Society’s Twitter feed @dulwichsociety.
4.3 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. For the financial year 2015-2016 we claimed £2334 from HMRC for gift aid.
We continue to rely on the good offices of our journal delivery network within Dulwich rather than using the postal service and this helps to keep our subscription costs low.
4.4 Planning and Architecture (David Roberts)
David outlined the process adopted by the Planning and Architecture committee in reviewing the licence applications received by the Estate Scheme of Management. The committee comprises members with relevant experience and local knowledge who this past year had reviewed 212 licence applications.
Both David and Ian visited the Herne Hill Velodrome and its new pavilion, and the preview of the new Half Moon Hotel and Pub. Upcoming were the Dulwich Picture Gallery Summer Pavilion, future proposals for the vacant Grove Tavern site and the Streatham & Marlborough Cricket Club.
There were member questions on the proposed new house in Burbage Road on the garages site near the old entrance to the former PELO ground (Estate plans not yet available but neighbours will be consulted); basement developments (currently outside the remit of the Scheme of Management except for features impinging on the exterior of a property e.g. lightwells); and the dominant size of the JAGS music school.
4.5 Traffic and Transport (Alastair Hanton)
There have been active discussions with the train operating companies (TOCs) on a range of issues including timetables, crowded services through Herne Hill and station skipping. There are new indicators on trains indicating which parts of the train are less full to reduce overcrowding. The South Eastern franchise is to be relet shortly. London Bridge station will be completed in 2018. The Society continues to press Network Rail and the TOCs about the accessibility of Dulwich Stations – North, West and East.
Quietway 7 is going ahead but after pressure from residents’ groups, there will now be a holistic review of Dulwich traffic which will start later in 2017.
Colin Niven praised the reopening of the Herne Hill Velodrome - Alastair has been on the Velodrome committee for several years during its development phases. A thousand riders are now attending the Velodrome every week. This has been a major success for the area.
4.6 Wildlife (Angela Wilkes)
The Dulwich Estate, London Wildlife Trust, Park Friends, Southwark Council and the Dulwich Society Wildlife Sub-Committee collaborate to conserve and improve the environment for Dulwich wildlife. The Dulwich Society has contributed funds to support the work of the London Wildlife Trust for the Great North Wood project.
4.7 Gardens (Jeremy Prescott)
The Dulwich Open Gardens booklet has been circulated with the most recent journal to all members. The Spring talk was by Matt Keightley on the “Chelsea Experience”. The annual coach trip in June will be to the Oxford Botanic Garden and nearby Waterperry Gardens, and there will be two London visits in the summer – Inner Temple Garden and the Royal College of Physicians – further details in the next journal.
As the Chairman reported, there is a requirement for a new Chair. In the meantime, Glynis Williams who is standing down as Chair reported on progress.
There is a need for new members of the committee to help with planning applications to Southwark Council and the Dulwich Estate. Usually planning applications relate to the felling of trees and we have appreciated members alerting us to their concerns about trees. The committee has raised objections to the felling of several trees – in private gardens and public spaces. Some cases are referred to Southwark’s Urban Forester who can respond quickly where a tree is at risk and has the authority to impose a temporary Tree Preservation Order.
In addition, we have followed up on street tree replacements.
There was an audience question about asphalted tree pits. Glynis reported that the Committee has acted through the council’s tree department to prevent the Highways department from depositing hot asphalt around young tree roots.
4.9 Local History (Bernard Nurse)
The publication of the Dulwich pubs book (with the Herne Hill Society) took place in anticipation of the reopening of The Crown and Greyhound which has sadly still not taken place.
The 400th anniversary of the consecration of the Burial Ground was commemorated by a leaflet, information sign and an opening during London Open House in September 2016. The same month also saw the 400th anniversary of the Almshouses marked by a book written by Brian Green.
The Dulwich Society journal has proved to be a vital outlet for current local research. Bernard referred to the entertaining story of the Tit-Bits Villa in East Dulwich Grove that came about because of an enquiry to the Society.
4.10 Magazine (Brian Green)
The magazine continues to be a popular benefit for Society members and relies on regular contributors. Thanks are due to the occasional contributors and reviewers of books. The 1967 Millennium celebrations film is now available on YouTube (and via the Southwark History Library). Type in “Dulwich Society Millennium 1967”.
5. Presentation of Accounts and Financial Report for year to 31st December 2016 by the Society’s Hon. Treasurer, Russell Lloyd.
Overall, the audited accounts of The Society show a surplus of £8,031 for the year, compared to the previous year’s figure, 2015’s, of £7,024, a rise of circa £1,000.
The main differences between the two years generally relate to higher income from donations and publication income, offset by higher operating expenditure arising from printing costs and garden competition and provisions made for project grants. A legacy bequest of £10,104 was received from the Estate of Miss Mary Boast, a former member of the Local History Committee and respected local historian and author.
Our consolidated net bank account balances totalled £54,564 in 2016 compared to £34,804 in 2015.
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 Jeffries for her support of the Society and for the auditing and accounts preparation services she provides us with.
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 2017/18
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 sub-committee
Angela Wilkes Wildlife sub-committee
Jeremy Prescott Gardens sub-committee
Bernard Nurse Local History sub-committee
The post of Chair of the Trees sub-committee is vacant
(c) Honorary Officers:
President: Dr Colin Niven OBE
Vice-Presidents: His Honour Michael Goodman
Dr Gary Savage
Dr Joseph Spence
The Chair reported that Vice-President Ian Dejardin has left the Dulwich Picture Gallery and moved to Canada. The Society has written to thank him for his past service to the Society and wished him well in his new role.
8. Any Other Business
Following a question from members, the Chair outlined the process adopted by The Society to make grants for local project initiatives. The Society has for example been collaborating with Dulwich College Archives to digitise estate maps from the nineteenth century and work on the medieval manor court rolls held there. The work is partly funded by the Society.
Mary Poole-Wilson expressed thanks to the Committee on behalf of Dulwich Society members.
9. Next Annual General Meeting
The 2018 AGM will be held in April 2018. The date is to be confirmed in due course.
10. End of AGM Business
After the meeting there was a talk by Angus Hanton about the history of Bell House and the new Bell House initiative, followed by refreshments.
Minutes by: Sue Badman, Secretary, 24 May 2017