St Peter's Residents' Association, Hammersmith, W6

SPRA Committee Minutes

St Peter's Residents Association

Minutes of the Committee Meeting

Monday 13 May 2019 @ 7.30pm in The Barn @ The Cross Keys

Present: Steve Askins (co-Chair), Jonathan Blackhurst (co-Chair), Louise Devonshire (Secretary), Phil Back (Treasurer), Elizabeth Ryland.

1.     Apologies: Nichole Detering, Julia Everett, Oliver Leigh Wood

2.     Minutes of the last Committee meeting, 1/4/2019:  Approved and signed off for SPRAweb.net.

3.     Matters Arising

GDPR – JB confirmed that he has written the SPRA GDPR policy; this issue now is to establish how best to publish it in line with best practice.  He said that he and ML have been discussing the information that needs to be actively published in every communication with members, and how much is on the website.  In addition to flagging the policy in all membership renewal notices, SA suggested that SPRA communications (emails and the newsletter) should reiterate that members can opt out of communications at any time, and that until that point their details are held by SPRA.  He added that a link to the GDPR policy in full might be added as a footnote to communications.  He also noted that the Standing Order form would need to be updated to reflect the policy, and undertook to review this.  JB said that he would forward a copy of the draft policy to LD for discussion at the next meeting.

Reclining Lady – SA reported that restoration discussions are ongoing with various parties, and that there would likely be more to report in September.

Tesco Fence – LD reported that the Council has now entirely replaced the broken fence.  It looks more robust that the previous one.  She said that the current Tesco manager had been influential in getting the repairs finally done. He told her that since the fence borders the Tesco site, customers mistakenly assume that it is the shop's responsibility to maintain it – but it is in fact Council property.

CS9 – SA reported back on the latest discussions held at the Council's recent Ward Action Group meeting.  The TfL Cycling Czar was in attendance, who said that H&F has design responsibility for CS9 within the borough.  The Council had previously stated that it would explore a two-pronged approach, developing the A4 as the superhighway, and King Street for local cycling, mindful of local business and community.  SA said that there was reluctance to discuss any of this at the meeting, which left open the possibility that the superhighway might still cut though King Street.  The situation remains unclear, despite TfL's undertaking that controversial plans for co-opting British Grove into CS9 would not now be happening.  

On a related issue, the charity Abundance London has been promoting the creation of a planted hedge to run either side of the Chiswick and Hammersmith sections of the A4.  It has gathered support from many groups, especially the schools and nurseries that run close to the road and who are naturally concerned about pollution levels.  It is unclear how these competing claims for space alongside the A4 – from Abundance and the superhighway – will play out with the Council.  The committee agreed to monitor the situation.

4.     Events

a)     AGM Planning

In JE's absence, LD showed the committee her draft flyer to promote the upcoming AGM/SPRA Summer party, and Shakespeare in the Square.  It was agreed that it could be printed and circulated to the street reps for distribution ASAP.  

PB undertook to have the accounts for the financial year 2018/19 audited by Richard Thomm.  SA reported that membership numbers were roughly stable, despite persistent issues with cash subs collection this year.  Reps continue to struggle with knowing who has not paid their subs, as more and more do so via SO.  SA and PB agreed to review the situation.

b)Shakespeare in the Square

LD reported that ticket sales for A Midsummer Night's Dream on 6 July are strong with the target of 250 within reach.  She said that Simon Cherry at The Carpenter's Arms has agreed to run a pop-up bar on the night. There is an urgent need to find a Green Room but LD said that she would use the SPRA AGM to recruit a willing host.  

5.     Great West Hedge

Further to the earlier discussion in relation to CS9, SA reported that Abundance London had made contact to recruit SPRA's support for this “greening up” scheme along the A4.  They had provided very little detail at this stage.  He said that the Community Litter-Pick run by Mick at the Cross Keys had demonstrated how “green” areas can often be amongst the most neglected and litter-strewn.  Recent litter-picks had, for instance, uncovered various fly-tipped pieces of furniture, used nappies, old clothes and the usual plastic detritus dumped in the hedging along Berestede Gardens.  He also raised security concerns, not least the notion that hedging might provide street criminals the perfect secluded spot for mugging.  SA concluded that SPRA should reply encouraging the scheme's broad aims, but say that we need to see much more detail before lending our full support, for the reasons discussed.  

6.     Community Action

a) Friends of St Peter's Square - FOSPS

SA reported that in his meetings with dog walkers there was both support and interest in formally bringing together a Friends group.  JB said that summer is a good time to remember that dog poo is not the only issue to focus on with respects to the Square by-laws.  We are in picnic season: people bring trestle tables, rugs and gazebos for impromptu parties.  On occasion they leave food behind, which can in the case of leftover chocolate cake for instance be toxic to dogs.  The committee discussed how there can be a fine line between these pop-up parties, and planned events like weddings where a formal booking (and permission from both the Council and SPRA) is required, and where crucially people are accountable for clearing up after themselves.  The larger the informal group, the greater the potential for littering and general disruption – for which not everyone involved takes responsibility.  How do we get groups to respect the Square and clear up well after themselves?  

JB suggested that the by-laws needed to be displayed more prominently so that the police are on more solid ground to enforce them.  Robert Spry, the new Parks Police lead with responsibility for the Square, recently suggested his officers could support SPRA with well-timed appearances in the Square as required to underline the message. LD said that SPRA could devise its own signs underlining respectful Square behavior – for instance, signs on the gates along the lines of “You are leaving an award-winning Green Flag Zone. Please clear up your litter and leave it for others to enjoy.”

b)     Cross Keys Litter Pick

SA and LD reported back on the most recent litter-pick which was well-supported, with two of our local Councillors also present. LD said she had recovered two enormous bags of rubbish from the hedges running along Theresa Road, including some fly-tipped items, old clothing, and wind-swept litter.  Many other participants had collected large multiple bags of outsized items and smaller plastic litter pieces.   It was generally agreed to be a satisfying, if disgusting, community experience! SPRA will continue to support and promote the scheme, which is run by The Cross Keys.

7.     Membership

a)     Communications to members

LD said that those members who have signed up their email addresses currently receive regular updates from SPRA.  These have become more frequent and generally focus on upcoming events, drumming up support or canvassing opinion.  They also allow SPRA to be more responsive and timely with its communications.  The downside is that not all members receive these emails.  Meanwhile the Newsletter has historically been the chief means of communicating with all members - indeed, in recent years, to all households in the patch.  It is a key recruiter to SPRA, promotes a great sense of community identity, and is the only reliable way to reach everyone.  The issue is how to re-focus the Newsletter so that it is not simply repeating SPRA emails, whilst capitalizing on what it does best.

JB suggested that he would look at evolving the Newsletter content so that it reflected life, events and people within the SPRA patch: it could feature event reviews, profiles of local people, some local history etc.  These could all be plannable, commissionable, and not so time-urgent.

b)     Subs

LD, SA and PB agreed that street reps would benefit from a list of their members sorted by payment means, in order to identify who to follow-up for subs payments.

8.     Planning

Applications previously discussed:

I.     15 St Peters Grove – Enforcement case re. the raising of the ridge height without permission. A second appeal dismissed in January and nine-month compliance period is half expired with no evidence of remedial works. SPRA is monitoring with the planning enforcement officer.

II.     3 St Peters Square – Appeal launched in Mar 18 on the fifth application for a two-story rear extension as refused at the Dec 17 planning committee. Appeal hearing took place on 16 April 2019 attended by SPRA. Decision awaited.

III.     Carpenters Arms – application to convert part of the staff accommodation at first floor level to a customer dining room, ante room and kitchen which will form part of the licensed premises. SPRA commented. Approved by the Council 9 April 2019 (with sound proofing added)

IV.     43 Beavor Lane – Change of use from office to flexible office/ health/ medical/ vet/ nursery/ training/ education/ gym or sports hall. SPRA wrote to suggest a specific use should be applied for. Application withdrawn 2 May 2019.

V.     68 Black Lion Lane – application to replace existing lead weight balanced sash windows with 'Everest' spiral spring windows. SPRA commented. Refused by the Council 1 April 19.

VI.     22-24 St Peters Grove – application to vary previous permission granted re rainwater pipes, external paving and windows. Council decision due 21 Jan – now overdue.

VII.     20 St Peters Grove – application re external paving (relates to application re 22-24 SPG). Council decision due 21 Jan – now overdue.

VIII.     405-407 King Street (boarded up ground floor of Entwistle Terrace) – application to alter the approved doors and windows in connection with the use of the retail space as a bespoke fitted furniture showroom. Council decision due 15 Feb 19.

IX.     38 St Peters Square – replacement of damaged stone paving to front portico with new Portland stone. Approved by the Council 12 April 2019.

X.     22-24 St Peters Grove – variation of previously approved details re fenestration and opening style of windows. Refused by the Council 3 Apr 19.

XI.     1 St Peters Square – removal of non-original cornice as part of previously approved internal alterations at LGF level. Due for determination 23 Apr 2019 – overdue.

New Applications

I.     4 St Peters Villas – amendments to garden room as previously approved, inc Crittal doors, sedum roof & other alterations.

II.     17 & 19 Theresa Road – rear GF and 1st floor extns following demolition of existing, spiral staircase at rear.

9.     AOB

HFC Reporting App

PB asked whether anyone had had any feedback from using the “Report It H&F” app designed for the reporting of fly-tipping, streetlamps not working and other issues.  JB reported that he had personally received notice that an incident he'd reported had been dealt with.  He'd heard that others had not (yet) had feedback.  The Committee agreed to continue to use and monitor the situation.

10. Time and place of next meeting

       Monday 16 September 2019 in The Barn at The Cross Keys – 7.30pm.

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.