In June the Society held a Special General Meeting with the intention of adopting new rules proposed by the executive committee that were designed to modernise the Society's functioning and to introduce more transparency and accountability. The subject matter was hardy thrilling, but the turnout was disappointing. The meeting was barely quorate and indeed would not have been quorate under the proposed rules. Whilst a majority were in favour, the required threshold of two thirds was not reached. We will now take a pause to consider and consult before reconsidering further changes. In the meantime, some of the required changes can be implemented via by-laws without the immediate need for another Special General Meeting.
It is great to hear from members with their thoughts on so many topics that come into my inbox. It will not surprise you that the climate emergency is a topic about which many of you are passionate. Locally, what can be done? What are Southwark and the Dulwich Estate doing about the climate emergency? What are we doing as residents? More needs to be done and it needs to be done faster. After a summer which has seen the hottest ever UK temperature record (set only three years earlier) beaten by more than one and a half degrees Celsius, it is not a surprise that climate change is an accepted fact. What is more of a surprise is that the urgency of the situation does not seem to be appreciated as widely. This summer's wildfires, as close at hand as in Croydon, will hopefully focus attention on the emergency that we face.
The Dulwich Estate is beginning to develop a green strategy but needs to increase its aspirations and accelerate the pace. There needs to be a thorough review of the scheme of management guidelines as well as operational changes by the Estate as real-estate owner and landlord. Southwark needs to roll out more accessible on-street electric vehicle charging posts. We as residents need to move to electric vehicles, insulate our homes and take advantage of solar and heat-pump power. All this needs to happen at pace.
On a more positive note, Southwark's process of co-design of the public realm of the area where Calton Avenue meets Dulwich Village is well under way. Now that the traffic orders are permanent, the community can put the contentious issues of motor vehicle access behind us and concentrate on achieving a design that is commensurate with the quality of the area and one which will enhance Dulwich as a destination to draw in footfall for the benefit of local businesses. The Society is playing an active role in this important project at the heart of our neighbourhood.