SPRA Committee Minutes
St Peter's Residents Association
Draft Minutes of the Committee Meeting
Monday 19th November 2018 @ 7.30pm, 47 Black Lion Lane
Present: Steve Askins (co-Chair), Jonathan Blackhurst (co-Chair), Louise Devonshire (Secretary), Phil Back (Treasurer), Oliver Leigh Wood, Elizabeth Ryland, Louise Devonshire (Secretary), Nichole Detering.
Also present – SPRA member Catherine Mix to present Item 4. For convenience, the committee agreed to re-order the agenda to discuss this item first.
4. Dogs in the Square (brought forward)
Local resident Catherine Mix brought the issue of dog poo in the square to the Committee's attention, with a view to building a coalition or action group focused on addressing the problem. As the mother of two young children, she is in the Square most days and regularly comes across poo that hasn't been cleared up by dog owners. Catherine stressed that her issue was not with the dogs or owners per se, or in any way to stop their enjoyment of the Square; indeed, she appreciates that many of the regular dog owners meet, socialize and spot/share “poo duties”. Her concern is rather that certain dog walkers neglect their responsibility when distracted, on the phone, talking to friends or allowing their dog to wander out of clear sight. She felt it was time to enlist the community, dog owners included, in a campaign to promote greater responsibility and awareness.
SA filled in some context before the discussion was opened up to the Committee. He said that several years ago SPRA installed two dog poo bag dispensers at either end of the Square. They are in heavy demand. SPRA spends between £500-£800 per year keeping supplies topped up. Historically, it has been noted that some owners grab handfuls of bags more than required, but it was generally been agreed that this is a price worth paying for the reduction in dog poo since installation. But clearly, the problem has not been eradicated.
ND said that previously she lived in Barnes where she had been on the committee of the Richmond Dog Fouling Campaign, which had tackled the same problem very effectively. It focused its work around a local primary school and the streets around it where dog owners were not clearing up their dog's mess. It was a successful multi-pronged campaign that got the council, school, parents and residents all involved. School children attended an awareness-raising assembly, and designed posters (“I got a poo on my shoe”), which were displayed around the area.
As a dog owner who walks his dog regularly in the Square, JB sounded a note of caution: that fox poo can often be mistaken for dog poo, over which residents have little control. OLW added that the Parks Police have told him that any Square by-laws cannot be properly enforced unless clearly displayed.
The Committee agreed that if a similar campaign were to be mounted in the SPRA area, help from the school, the council and locals should be enlisted. It was felt that Spring would be a more effective time to launch. In the meantime, CM agreed to canvas the neighbourhood on behalf of SPRA as to whether residents would be supportive of a campaign to eradicate poo in the Square, and to build a network of concerned neighbours. LD said she would talk to Karen Frazer at St Peter's School, who was fighting another battle for dog owner awareness, with dogs being tied up too close to school gates and upsetting children.
SA thanked Catherine Mix for bringing the issue to the Committee, and for her proactivity. CM then left the meeting.
The meeting then returned to the agenda:
1. Apologies – Julia Everett.
2. Minutes of the meeting, 18/09/2018 - signed off and approved for SPRAweb.net.
3. Matters Arising, 18/09/2018 Minutes
GDPR – JB said that he and Mark Levesley are in the process of drafting a final version of SPRA's GDPR policy, but would like to review it in light of how other similar organisations have addressed the issue. He undertook to do one final draft before circulating.
CS9 – SA said that there is still nothing new to report but that it is getting closer to the time for TfL to publish next steps.
Cross Keys – Since our last meeting, the pub has itself a new landlord who has been reaching out to local groups including SPRA. It is understood that catering may be made available again, and Sky Sports is back. SA asked whether under the circumstances it was worth pursuing ACV status for the pub, as JE had undertaken at the last meeting. It was generally agreed that the ACV should continue, to underline the value of the pub to the community. LD said that she would approach the new landlord to discuss terms for hiring The Barn (under Tim the previous landlord, it had been offered for free to various local groups).
Reclining Lady statue / “Speed” – SA reported that following their site assessment of the statue, the History of London Trust (HoLT) will grant £10k of the targeted £14k of the money needed to restore our lady. This figure includes certain assumptions to do with the treatment of reinforcement within the concrete statue, but which is now exposed and rusting in places. The potential re-location of the statue was discussed. Research is showing that the statue was a gift to the community in part recompense for the impact of the A4, so the location immediately adjacent to the road is less relevant. The committee agreed with the emerging view that the statue should be brought onto the northern side of the existing hedge, further into our community.
There is of course a funding gap, which SPRA can continue to investigate closing. SA is meeting representatives from HOLT on 4th December to discuss further. One possibility is that grants might be more forthcoming if there is demonstrable educational value in the restoration project. LD offered to approach St Peter's School to sound out Karen Frazer.
Smartwater – SA followed up the Smartwater home security offer that FB had previously explored. He said that progress would now depend on someone stepping forward to lead. In the absence of offers, this item was closed.
Site offices in Chambon Place – The temporary offices and storage containers remain in place, and no date for their departure has been set. SA said he would chase.
Filming – No more new filming dates to report, but OLW reports that someone working for a Jaguar campaign was scouting in SPS.
Autumn Gardening Event – This was a successful event, with around 30 volunteers including children helping to get the Square ready for the year to come. So many bulbs were planted that OLW ran out and had to go and buy more on the day!
Winter Party – ER reported that she'd hear from the caterers to review food options for Friday 25th Jan (Burns night). Their preferred venue was the Scott Hall, although this was felt to be problematic whilst another matter remains unresolved (see item 6). She felt that a £30 overall cost per head would work best, i.e. £10 SPRA subsidy and £20 ticket cost (this for a catered 2-course meal and first drink). The general consensus was that we could ask no more than £15 per ticket, as this was already £5 more than previous years (added to a £10 SPRA subsidy that would be a £25 overall cost per head to the caterer).
ER said she would talk to the new Cross Keys landlord regarding his new catering offer, then the committee can confirm the church or the pub as the venue.
Shakespeare in the Square – ND and LD reported that the SITS team was keen for SPRA to confirm a date for 2019; they are proposing 6th July. The play this time will be A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed as before by Globe director Tatty Hennessey. LD said that she had penciled the church as the wet-weather contingency already, but that they were holding off confirmation to SITS until the Committee gave the go-ahead. The general consensus was to go ahead with confirmation.
6. Scott Hall – hours of use
LD and SA updated the Committee on the latest situation regarding the commercial rental of Scott Hall.
In mid-June, SA had been approached by Sara Curnock-Cook, one of the school Governors, as the school wanted to change the Code of Conduct that had been agreed two years previously, following a period of discussion/ engagement with neighbours, facilitated by SPRA.
SA advised her that the community should be consulted before any changes be made, and suggested the school mark up the proposed changes on a copy of the existing code with explanation notes as appropriate. SPRA could then facilitate a discussion.
LD said that she had had a similar discussion with Karen Frazer (the headmistress) whilst discussing a wet-weather contingency for Shakespeare in the Square. SA also spoke to her at the school summer fair. Ms Frazer had said the school wanted to liberalise the Code as they had to turn down lots of requests for hire (Shakespeare included), and losing revenue. Being a parent at the school, LD was sympathetic to the school's need for funds, but said that the wider neighbourhood should be consulted, and that SPRA's role was to facilitate agreement and was not a decision maker in this regard.
SA was therefore surprised 3 months later to receive an email from the school, with a link to a new Code of Conduct that had been unilaterally imposed. Initially it was assumed that an agreement had been reached with residents without the need for SPRA involvement but on checking it was forcefully stated that the Governors felt there was no need to consult the community.
SA said this was not the case and that local good will towards the school as part of the community was at risk and that the unilateral action took the local reputation of the school back to the low point two years ago when there were significant issues and resistance over the schools planning applications as well as with regard to the Scott Hall lettings.
It was suggested that the School quietly withdraw the revised code, quicky undertake the previously agreed consultation and then move forward. This suggestion was refused. He then took the whole matter up with the Chair of Governors but received a similarly unconstructive response..
LD and SA communicated the situation to the group of Standish Road/St Peter's Grove residents who had been active in the formulation of the original Code agreed.
The code changes were in fact felt to be substantial and multiple. On behalf of the wider community, Carlo Sparanero and Alex Manisty subsequently met with a small group of Governors, but were met with resistance. To be constructive, they then drafted an amended new Code to which neighbours could live with, and presented this to the Governors. There has been no response by the time of this SPRA meeting (19th November).
The Committee agreed that the situation was highly unsatisfactory, perplexing and sad. They wish to work with the school as active and constructive member of the local community. However, the school has chosen to ignore its previous commitment to consult with its neighbours, as well as SA's advice in the summer.
ND added that she lives very close to the Hall and is affected by out-of-school hours use of the site so should have been advised by the school of the changes, as had been done prior to the original code being agreed.
The Committee agreed that they would wait to see how the Governors respond to the neighbours' Code before making the next move.
JB suggested that the upcoming SPRA Christmas newsletter could communicate the situation more widely.
Exploring other avenues, OLW wondered what is the basis for the school insisting that they are obliged to rent out the Hall? JB also wondered if SPRA could explore the Planning issues at stake (i.e. to what extent is this changing Code a Change of Use?).
7. Police Ward Panel
SA said that the policing structure around Neighbourhood Watch is changing, but this hasn't been especially clearly communicated to those heading the local NHW groups. One result of the changes is the creation of a new community discussion forum, the Police Ward Panels, the first of which takes place on the 27th November.
8. Planning – Steve please advise
Applications previously discussed:
I. 38 St Peters Square – three applications dating back to May 2017 re amends to previous permissions - decisions overdue from the council. Note work continues on site.
II. 1 St Peters Villas – May 2017 application for approval of details regarding previously granted permission. Decision overdue from the council. Work now appears to be complete.
III. 69-77A Black Lion Lane. Sept 17 application went to planning committee in March 18 when applicants were told that plastic framed windows were not appropriate. However, no revised proposals appear have been submitted.
IV. 15 St Peters Grove – Enforcement case re the raising of the ridge height without permission which has also been refused at appeal and in an application for a certificate of lawfulness. Deadline for compliance expired in Aug 2018. SPRA followed-up with the planning enforcement team. A further appeal is in process with the inspector due to visit site on 10 December 2018.
V. 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. Appelants are seeking a hearing rather than written representations but it is not clear that the planning inspectorate agree with this. No update since April 18.
VI. 1 St Peters Square. Application for internal changes at LGF level to reconfigure the kitchen and dining areas and to change the rear steps to the garden. Approved 25 Oct 18.
VII. Palco House, 11 Beavor Lane – extention hours of operation for this office building. Follows previous refusal of extended hours in Oct 17. Council decision due 30 July, extended until 7 Dec.
VIII. 22-24 St Peters Grove – variation of previously granted permission to alter 1st flr windows to front elevation to full height to the eves. Refused by the council 17 Jul 18. Subsequently appealed – time line and decision outstanding.
IX. Palco House, 11 Beavor Lane – appeal of application refused in October 2017 to extend hours of operation to 24/7. Decision and timeline outstanding.
X. 10 Berestede Road – rear roof extension, roof lights to front slope, rear extension at 2nd floor level. Approved 11 Oct 18.
XI. 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. Decision overdue.
XII. 10 Berestede Road – single storey extension at ground floor with 45 degree 'chamfer' above fence height. Approved 25 Oct 18.
XIII. Beavor House, 23-31 Beavor Lane – rear extn, new curtain wall at 2nd flr. Level to rear of this office building. Approved 26 Oct 18.
XIV. 79, 81 and 83 Black Lion Lane. Listed building application for new railings to match those to 85-87 BLL. Approved 16 Nov 18
XV. 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. Council decision due 6 Nov 18, now overdue.
I. 4 St Peters Villa – application for removal of pre-existing garden room and erection of a timber pergola structure. (which now exists). Council decision was due 13 November, now overdue.
II. 70 Black Lion Lane – additional window to rear of rear extension previously approved, to accommodate existing wisteria plant. Council decision was due 15 November, now overdue.
III. 62 Black Lion Lane – erection of single-story brick building in rear garden to replace existing shed. Concerns over footprint and overlooking. SPRA has written to comment. Decision from the council due 5 Dec 2018.
27 Bus – Sadly this much-loved bus route is being withdrawn between Hammersmith and Chiswick Business Park, despite a TfL consultation that showed that 72% of respondents were in favour of keeping it. The Committee wondered how many people need to oppose plans before TfL listen?
Phonebox applications – SA drew attention to the multiple planning applications for digital phoneboxes aka electronic billboards in the borough, as reported by the Hammersmith Society. SPRA will monitor the situation and oppose where appropriate.
10. Time/date next meeting – to be advised
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.
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.
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.
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.