St Peter's Residents' Association, Hammersmith, W6

SPRA Committee Minutes

St Peter's Residents Association

Minutes of the Committee Meeting

Monday 20th April 2020 @ 6pm via Zoom

Present: Steve Askins (Chair), Louise Devonshire (Secretary), Elizabeth Ryland, Oliver Leigh Wood, Phil Back (Treasurer).

This is the first SPRA meeting to take place during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, conducted via Zoom.   Whilst in many ways community spirit has never been as strong in recent years, many of SPRA's projects have necessarily been put on hold until normality resumes, and the Minutes reflect this holding pattern.  

1. Apologies: Nichole Detering.

2. Minutes of the last Committee meeting, 03/02/2020:  

Approved and signed off for SPRAweb.net.

3. Matters Arising

GDPR – SA will draft the SPRA mission statement as part of the Association's GDPR statement and publish on the website

Reclining Lady – SA reported that before Lockdown, the team investigating the structural condition of the statue put out a tender for quotes to dig and investigate trial pits.  However this has now been put on hold until further notice.

CS9 – SA explained that LBHFC has committed to CS9 in principle, since the Kew Bridge works would not have started were it not for this.  The Council insists that it has design rights over the section through the borough.  The design of the two routes (along the A4 and King Street) has not yet been specified; nor has any link between the Chiswick High Road section and the A4.  SA said that LBHFC has internally recruited a Design Commission to map out a way forward, and that SA has been asked to join meetings.  He reiterated his preference to channel most cycle traffic along the A4, given the potential detrimental impact on businesses and pedestrians of the King Street route.  He is particularly keen for the design speed for King Street to take into account those who share the route.  OLW mentioned the ominous removal of several trees along the southern side of King Street near Potli and Saigon Saigon, and asked whether these could be preparatory works for a cycle route imposed onto the wider pavement.  SA said he would do all he could to represent these concerns at Council level.  

In the circumstances, with more Londoners than ever opting out of public transport and onto their cycles, there is an urgent need for progress.

Friends of St Peters – The Square continues to be a magnet for dog walkers despite Lockdown restrictions.  The general impression is that there are more, not fewer, people enjoying the space.  Mary Mortimer recently calculated that, based on poo-bag usage, one ton and a half of dog poo is picked up annually in the Square! PB reported, however, that SPRA has not paid for as many dog poo bags this year.  The argument for the creation of FOSP remains as strong as ever, although Lockdown complicates recruitment.  OLW and SA will continue their search for leaders on this.

Membership – PB reported that he has had more people signing up to pay subs via Standing Orders this year, and that he would fully report on exact numbers at the next meeting.  SA said that it was fortunate that so many members now pay by SO, given that street reps would be unable to go door-to-door collecting cash subs this year.  

Pub sign – ER reported that the new Cross Keys pub sign is now installed where it's supposed to be, on their land.  She said that whilst some neighbours are not entirely happy with its design, it could have been a lot worse, so this is a positive step.  

4. Coronavirus Response

a) Community – SA outlined some of the actions that SPRA has taken in the first few weeks of Lockdown.  The flagpole in the Square has been flying two significant flags: one for the NHS, the other a rainbow which has come to signify Hope during Lockdown.  SA explained that the nearest rainbow flag fit for purpose also featured a unicorn, so the flagpole has an unexpected flourish!  

The Committee discussed what they knew about local cases of the virus, and of the tragic death of one man who worked in the area and lived nearby. They also discussed St Peter's church's creative solutions to Lockdown, with Youtube church services, Zoom choir performances, and an active volunteering service for those in need.

SA reported that SPRA had sent out two emails to date for members at the start of Lockdown, and members had been actively getting in touch.  Given the emergence of self-help groups by neighbours within the patch, SA said that SPRA's role has quickly emerged as match-maker, helping those in need to get in touch with those who can help.  These groups are connecting via WhatsApp, helping people to share chores, do shopping, and reaching out to those in isolation.  Within the SPRA patch they are (in no particular order):  Standish Road, St Peter's Road, Theresa Road, Berestede Road, Black Lion Lane, St Peter's Grove.  SA agreed to include more information in the next SPRA mailout.

It was generally agreed that the incredible community spirit being unlocked on every street within the patch is something SPRA should seize on, once social distancing is no longer a defining factor of everyday life.  So many local heroes and helpers can revitalize SPRA, its scope, events and Committee.  The Committee agreed to approach those who took the lead once the emergency is over.

b) Events – Shakespeare in the Square has been cancelled for 2020 but the producers intend to bring back the same cast for a performance of The Tempest in 2021.  

c) SPRA AGM – It was agreed that in the circumstances it would be impossible to run an AGM or summer party as normal.  LD said she would investigate what (if any) provision there is in the Constitution for rescheduling the AGM until a more appropriate time.

5. Finances

PB summarized the current financial picture.  It has been a normal year as far as SPRA expenditure goes, although in the absence of the usual filming fees into the coffers we are whittling away at current account funds.  OLW said that he has been especially pleased with garden donations this year, with Liftschutz Sandilands giving generously.  He suggested the company should be offered honorary corporate membership.   SPRA still subsidises two parties and one theatre event per year, although as discussed this year's cancellations will represent savings. PB and SA agreed to review the accounts and send them around to the Committee, in lieu of the AGM in June.  

6. Planning

Applications previously discussed:

1. 24 St Peters Square – amendment to previously granted permission re internal layout/ windows. Decision was due 29 Oct 19 – remains overdue.

2. 69-77A BLL – replacement of the wooden sash windows to front and side elevations with new double glazed windows. SPRA commented. Decision was due 12 Dec 19.

New Applications

3. 5 Berestede Road – Single story extn to side of existing back addition. Approved 15 April.

4. 19 Theresa Road – Rear extn at 1st floor level replacing existing 1st floor back addition. Approved 15 April 2020.

5. 17 Theresa Road – Rear extns at G and 1st floor level. Roof lights, external spiral staircase. Decsion was due 16 April.

6. 25 SPG – Rear extn to side and behind existing. New doors & windows, 2m high rear boundary wall. Comments by 12 May.

7. 9B SPS – front and rear steps, window & door replacement, solar panels. Comments due 20 May.

7. AOB

Supporting Local Business – The Committee agreed that SPRA communications should actively support and highlight the takeaway services of local businesses who have rapidly re-organised their operations during Lockdown.  

8. Time and Date of Next Meeting – Via Zoom @ 6pm, Monday 1st June 2020.

(Subsequent dates for diary:  Committee meeting in lieu of AGM or equivalent Monday 13th July;

Monday September 14th; Monday November 23rd)

Annual General Meeting (AGM) Minutes (provisional)

St Peter's Residents' Association

Minutes of the Forty First Annual General Meeting of the Association

Linden House, 60 Upper Mall, Monday 2 July 2018, 7pm

Minutes to be approved at the next AGM.

Those present: Steve Askins (Acting-chair), Jonathan Blackhurst (Vice-chair), Elizabeth Ryland (Treasurer), Louise Devonshire (Secretary), Oliver Leigh Wood, Fazina Blanchard, Julia Everett, and some 40 other members of the association and local guests.

In attendance:  Charles Clapham (Vicar of St Peter's Church), Cllr Siddique, Cllr Bora Kwon.

JB opened the meeting by welcoming members and guests to the 41st AGM 41st AGM. He indicated that copies of the Chair's annual report, together with a financial statement, were to be found on each chair, and further copies were available on request.  SA thanked the management and staff at Linden House for hosting, and quickly ran through the ticketing system for the party, which was to directly follow the AGM.

1.     Apologies for absence

Apologies received from: Nichole Detering, Mark Levesley, Karen Frazer, Cllr Caleb-Landy, Kate Goodhart and Michael Field of the WSRA, Raj and Asha Sethi.

2.     Minutes of the 2017 AGM

No amendments were noted.  The Minutes were duly proposed (by Jilly Paver), seconded (by Oliver Leigh-Wood) and were formally approved.  LD to post on the SPRA website having obtained a provisional sign-off by the committee at the next meeting.

3.     Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 2017 AGM

Pedestrian Crossing at the end of Black Lion Lane (and at Young's Corner) Following widespread concern expressed at the 2017 AGM that the junctions are dangerous and the pedestrian crossing doesn't give people enough time to cross the road, Harry Phibbs looked into the issue once again.  He discovered that a chain of crossings from King Street and along the Chiswick High Road are linked, so cannot be altered without due consideration of the whole picture.  

However, Margaret Lind-Smith reported that in her opinion the crossing at BLL Is much quicker to respond to requests, so something might have been changed.  Another member suggested that a puffin crossing might be more effective (this is a type of traffic-light request crossing with sensors that ensure that the lights stay red when pedestrians are on the road).  

Shop unit @ Entwistle Terrace – SA reported that this remains vacant, with no trace of any active marketing on the landlord's part.  There is general consensus that it would be better to have a business up and running, and dismay at its rundown appearance.  At the last AGM fears were expressed that developers might turn the space into more flats.  SA reported that had approached the Council Planning department who could make no comment unless an application for change of use was received.  

Richard Farthing said that the restrictions on delivery and loading to the property must limit the appeal for potential businesses.  

Broadband Speed – SA said that there are isolated pockets within the SPRA area where BT Infinity does not work.  Elsewhere, certain streets have only patchy Wi-Fi.  BT has looked into the issue and reports no error, despite local investigations to the contrary.  The relevant street rep will continue to keep an eye on this issue.

Street Cleaning – Last year the Council was sending out street cleaners just before the rubbish collection.  Following various complaints, the situation appears to have been rectified.

Signage – Several members objected to the haphazard arrows and labels on local lampposts, advertising The Carpenters Arms.  SA said that if they wished, SPRA could make a formal representation to the landlord. He asked for any relevant photographs to be forwarded to him.  

Weeds growing on the pavements – SA reported that the Council has started to use a lot of hot water spray to get rid of the weeds that grow along the sides of residential roads and pathways.  This is both more environmentally friendly, and cheaper, than using weedkiller.  It is also, apparently, as effective.

4.     Chair's Report

JB presented the Chairs report, which was circulated in advance and summarised at the meeting, is appended to these minutes. In summary the main points were:

a.     Thanks for their time and efforts

SA and JB have shared Chairing duties this year. LD returned to role of secretary.  ER has continued as Treasurer. Sarah Macdonald stepped down from the Committee, and Julia Everett joined the Committee.  Mark Levesley has continued in his enormously supportive role as Webmaster, for which SPRA gives huge thanks especially in this year of GDPR vigilance! The street reps have been extraordinarily helpful as ever, not least because of the last-minute requests they have received this year.

b.     Events

SPRA threw two parties; SPRA Talks returned (thanks to Jilly Paver); and Shakespeare is set to return to the Square this summer with SPRA hosting a performance of As You Like It.  LD urged members to buy their tickets via the Eventbrite link advertised on fliers attached to the AGM bundle, or otherwise take their chances with the few tickets reserved for sale on the night.

c.     CS9

JB explained how the proposals for TfL's Cycle Superhighway consumed much of SPRA's time and energies this year.  SPRA disseminated information, coordinated feedback, and made its own representation to the consultation.

d.     Invitation to help

JB appealed to any members with talents and a few hours a month to join the Committee, and help roll out more events for members.

5.     Presentation and Adoption of Accounts

ER walked the room through a financial summary of SPRA's audited records, copies of which were available for attendees to view.  

She said that SPRA's accounts were especially healthy this year, with £10,984.09 in the current account.  Some 114 members/households paid subs for the year 2017/18.  Some £4,250 of that income came from filming dues this year.  

ER noted that SPRA's outgoings this year were primarily event-focused (two parties, the AGM, and Shakespeare in the Square).  She thanked Richard Thom for once again auditing the accounts.

The accounts were proposed (by Brian Paver) and seconded (by Maggie Dobson) and unanimously agreed.

6.     Election of Officers and Committee Members

Nominations for the renewed election of existing Officers and Committee members 2018-19:  Steve Askins, Jonathan Blackhurst, Louise Devonshire, Oliver Leigh Wood, Elizabeth Ryland, Fazina Blanchard, Julia Everett, Nichole Detering.  Proposed (by Margaret Lind-Smith), seconded (by Angela Than) and approved.

Elizabeth Ryland is stepping aside as Treasurer, but not from Committee membership. Nomination for Treasurer 2018-19: Phillip Back.  Proposed (by Jilly Paver), seconded (by Sarah Burrell), and approved.

7.     SPRA Heroes

Bottles of local produce (Sipsmith's gin) are annually awarded to residents to thank those who have contributed above and beyond the call of duty to life in the community.  This year suggestions are invited from members (submissions to SA/JB please) and the awards will be announced in due course by Christmas.

8.     AOB

Quidam - SA gave thanks to Revd. Dr Charles Clapham for his support, not just of SPRA, but also of the life of this community. The new arts programme Quidam is full of creative new events and ideas for residents.  SA said he was hopeful that SPRA would continue to forge links between the church, SPRA, and St Peter's School led by Karen Frazer.

Tom Ryland – Many of the assembled members wished to place on record their recognition of and thanks to Tom Ryland for his extraordinary contribution to community life across many years. Tom was a former SPRA Chair but the reach of his social, professional and creative life was enormous.

The Cross Keys – Richard Farthing asked whether it might be useful for SPRA to lobby for the pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).  It was noted however that this does not guarantee the pub's future – merely ensures the landlords must inform us if it intends to sell up.  SA said that SPRA would remain vigilant, and keep up communications with Fuller's Brewery.

There being no further business, the 41st AGM was called to a close and the party commenced.