Monday, 16 February 2015

Shakespeare Residents' Association & BUG AGM, 4 June 2014

Rachel, Claire, Maggie, Annie, Christophe, Pat, Ken, Phil, Mary Cate, Diane, Bron, Tora, Victoria, Eloise, Ken Brandt (the Garden School), Ned Hercock (Clissold councillor)

Rajni, Theron, Andy, Geraldine

The May Minutes were approved

SRA update 2013/14
Claire reported the following for SRA:

July summer picnic – purely social event, with some games and musicians but minimal organizing required, great success despite weather not being perfect

Christmas drinks – mulled wine and decoration making, successful but with slightly disappointing attendance

We had no film nights in 2013/14 as we had to cancel the one planned for end-April, but have planned one for early October 2014.

Sainsbury’s Campaign – We wrote to the council and Eric Pickles to protest against the building of the new Sainsbury’s on Wilmer Place. Efforts are ongoing and we are closely following the Stokey Local campaign. We have also assisted with leafleting.

Cycle Hangars – we cooperated with Hackney Council with regards to the positioning of, and allocation of space in, the new cycle hangars on Allen road and Nevill road.

Information – while we did not produce any newsletters this year, we have circulated a number of different notices and alerts with regards to local campaigns and events to the emailing list. The website and facebook page have been continuously updated throughout the year.

Flyers – We printed some information flyers about the SRA and BUG ahead of Apple Day, which have been available throughout the year at the events and during gardening sessions, as an effort to boost membership and attendance.

BUG and MUGA update 2013/14
Maggie reported the following for BUG and MUGA:

MUGA - resurfaced by mistake

Trees - pruned round play areas by street trees department
- woodland area was not cut back according to agreement made in Nov 2013 with parks department

Orchard - all trees pruned, composted and most released from support ties by BUG
- volunteers did a good job on renovating orchard beds/seats, paid for some new equipment (and broke some)

Stream - hand pump replaced in May
- stream still not running - a very poor record on this; no proactive effort from Parks Department

Apple Day - the rainiest yet, but great music and cakes, and funds of £160 raised.

Albion Grove bed - much attention lavished with good results (plus couch grass!)

New Parks Development Officer - Georgie - the 4th! Keeps in communication with us, and efforts are being made to improve contact with the council.

Financial Report
Christophe reported that the balance on the account as at 1st June was £2063. The name change on the account has finally gone through and we were able to sign the cheque for a donation to the Night Shelter as agreed earlier in the year.

SRA 2014/15 Elections
We thanked last year’s outgoing officials, and in particular Claire who has decided not to seek reelection as chair. We elected the following new officials:

Chair – Pat O’Leary
Vice Chair – Bron Jones
Secretary – Tora Olsson
Treasurer – Christophe Lutard
Website – Theron Schmidt
Signatories – Christophe, Annie Wilson, Tora Olsson

Street contacts remain unchanged, with the exception of Church Walk, where Pat O’Leary is replaced by Diane Dyer.

SRA Picnic in the Park
Planning for the picnic on the 27th of July was deferred to the meeting scheduled in the pub for the 9th of July.

Ken Brandt, Garden School
Ken introduced himself and explained that the Garden School is essentially specialized in teaching children with Severe Learning Difficulties, and particularly children with various degrees of Autism. He was interested in whether any kind of cooperation with the SRA, and BUG in particular, could be achieved, to allow the children in the school to come to Butterfield green and do gardening, including digging, watering, and planting. We discussed the orchard in particular, and the need for regular watering of trees and bushes, which would be something the children could help out with. Annie and Maggie agreed to walk around the orchard with Ken to look at where would be good places to start, and also potentials for building some raised beds for the children to plant in. Ken shared his contact details with the group (email: and encouraged anyone who would like to visit the school or learn more about it, to get in touch with him.

Allen road nursery
Bron raised concerns about the noise levels at the Allen road nursery, both with regards to neighbouring residents, but also with regards to the welfare of the children. She had raised it with the manager who has stated that the noise and number of children for the space corresponds to what was agreed with the council. It was decided that Ken would look up the original planning permission document to check what was approved and whether the current number of children and hours spent inside/outside is in accordance with what is permitted. Mary Cate also suggested that the type of supervision and interaction with the children by the childminders should be discussed with the manager. More focused play would reduce noise levels as well as improve the quality of the nursery time for the children. We will discuss again in September.

Ned Hercock, Clissold Councillor
Ned introduced himself and the two other Clissold ward councillors (also new; Sophie Cameron and Sade Etti) and began by outlining the ward priorities for the new term:

Accessibility – The councillors are planning moving surgeries as well as the more conventional static ones, and will be arranging regular walk-abouts in the ward

Housing – There will be a general focus on, and effort to improve the quality of, housing in the ward. This applies both to the private rental sector and the council estates.

Environment – Keeping the area green and improve cycle provisions is a key focus.
Safety – The new councillors will cooperate with police as well as with young people to improve safety in Clissold

Economic regeneration – Ned particularly mentioned the example of the (mainly closed) shops in the Milton Gardens estate, and emphasised the need for renovation while keeping and using the retail space for coops and small and medium enterprises, rather than knocking them down.

Further to this, the future of the Letterbox Library was questioned by SRA members. It was reported to us earlier this year that there would be tenants in the property by September, however we have not seen any progress in the renovation works. Ned will follow up with the council and report back.

Rachel explained that the SRA has drawn up a list of planning preferences for the area around Butterfield Green, where it was stated that we wanted a mixed use commercial space of architectural coherence. Ned said that this kind of input from local residents’ associations was highly welcome and should be forwarded to the councillors.

Ken questioned whether the priorities outlined by Ned included provisions for work spaces in the area. He specifically pointed out that new housing developments on Church Walk are gnawing away working spaces, which are a characteristic of the area and should be at the very least retained, but ideally increased. He referred to the shops in the Milton Gardens estate and wondered whether all of them would have to be retail, or if some space might be converted into workshops. Ned welcomed feedback and said he would investigate and report back.

Bron mentioned the planting made by BUG around the resource centre on Howard road. It was discussed whether community gardening sessions in this area could be encouraged, as a way of encouraging usage of the centre, as well as promoting social inclusion and even safety for residents. Ned mentioned that Sophie Cameron sits on the ‘Living in Hackney’ Commission, and would be grateful for such feedback and ideas.

We emphasised the SRA’s concern about protecting local shops, and Rachel raised in particular the Sainsbury’s campaign, as well as the new Foxtons office on Church street. We questioned whether there is an area plan for Church street to remain small business oriented. Rachel also specifically asked what the Ned thought about the Hackney Pound, and he explained that he personally feels it is too small to address the sort of issues it tries to address, but that he was conscious of the concerns with regards to Church street and the Sainsbury’s campaign. He also spoke of the difficulties the local council is having in the face of developers, as well as the national government, and that there is hardly any choice for the local council to determine what rents should be.

Annie raised the issue of dogs off leads in parks and on streets in the area. There is insufficient information about the new bylaws which state that dogs must be kept on leads. There is only one dog officer for the whole borough, and no enforcement of the laws with regards to dogs.

Mary Cate raised the behavior of rangers in Clissold park, whom she had on several occasions seen behaving very aggressively towards children and parents. She questioned whether officials are receiving adequate training, most importantly with regards to interacting with children, as this may shape the way kids make contact with officials from the council or the police. Ned will follow up and report back.

We thanked Ned for coming and welcomed him back to future meetings!

There was no other business.  

Dates for Diaries

·         8th June – Community Gardening
·         9th July – Picnic planning meeting in the Shakespeare pub
·         27th July – Picnic in the park
·         4th October – Film night

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