A website & blog for residents (and neighbours) of Dalston Square

Agenda

Updates

Firstly, we now have a venue and an agenda for this coming Thursday’s DSRA ‘Open Meeting’. The venue is to be the CLR James Library (just ask at the library reception and they will be able to point you to the meeting room), and the agenda can be seen on the flyer at the foot of this post (click the thumbnail image to see it full size). As I mentioned in my last post, of particular interest at this time is Consort’s budget for our service/maintenance charges for the 2014/15 financial year. Members of our financial committee will be present at the meeting to report back on their meeting with Consort last week where that budget was presented to us: The news is not good.

On the 11th October last year I published a post (HERE) advising of a survey Hackney Council was running in order to gauge opinion on the subject of making Dalston an SPA (special policy area). This is used to control last night licensing in areas where a large number of such licenses already exist (if you followed the link I posted in the comments beneath that post, HERE, there was a very sound argument against such a carte blanche policy). Well, in a recent council meeting the council decided to go ahead with the plan. For further reading on the subject, HERE are details on the council’s own website, and two very good reports that give some extra info and interesting stats can be found HERE (Hackney Citizen) and HERE (East London Lines).

Lastly, updates on the two new restaurants that will soon be opening in the Square. First to open will be Nancy’s Pantry (in the space that was once the Barratt sales office): Currently scheduled to open their doors at 10am on Sunday 9th February. This is a restaurant that will be focusing on children and the family so is well placed in a development the size of Dalston Square. Check out their Facebook page HERE to be teased with pictures of items from their menu. Not too far behind them, though I do not yet have a date, will be Le Ziz (in the space below the gym in Gaumont Tower). Their website is still under construction and I do not yet have a great deal of details but what I can tell you is this: It will be a Mediterranean and Anatolian ‘fine dining’ restaurant, with a designated lounge area with a more relaxed atmosphere. They have also said that they will be holding a buffet/cocktail style launch event, just before their official opening, for residents of the Square: Very exciting. More news on that very soon.

One last thing before I finish (whilst on the subject of Dalston Square Businesses), are you aware of ‘The Mayor of Hackney’s Business Awards’? These are annual awards given out to Hackney businesses and business people in various categories. One of these categories is the Peoples Choice Award, and here the winner is voted for, from a shortlist, by the public. And would you believe that two of the list of 30 businesses belong to Dalston Square residents: Fiona ‘Fee’ Eastwood’s ‘Fee Fee La Fou‘ on Bradbury Street, and husband and wife team Murat & Melek Erdal’s ‘Cafe Route‘ right here on the Square. Unfortunately you can only vote once so this could be a toughie, but please do vote and support your neighbours.

meeting flyer

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DSRA Open Meeting Plus….

DSRA ‘Open’ Meeting – Thursday 6th February, 6.30pm to 8pm. Venue to be advised.

Are you free Thursday next week between 6.30pm and 8pm? And are you a resident of the Square (owner or renter)? Cool, see you at the next DSRA Open Meeting! ūüėČ

As usual, the venue is still to be decided (it will be very local) but we have a date and time for the next ‘Open To All Residents’ meeting of the Dalston Square Residents’ Association. It does not matter if you have been to one before or not, or even that you have nothing in particular to say (although hopefully you do), come along and find out how the DSRA has been working on all residents’ behalf, learn of the challenges currently being tackled, and show your support. Items likely to appear on the agenda include:

Consort’s 2014/15 budget proposal: As owner’s costs rise, so do rents, so this is not just an owner’s issue. We will have feed-back from our finance committee on their recent meeting with Consort. The news is unlikely to be good.

Sean Stone’s replacement as Development Manager: As Consort and Barratt go through the motions of hiring, the DSRA is keen to be involved in the process. This also makes it a good time for us to assess how we feel about Consort’s ‘on site’ performance generally, and ask if changes are needed.

Outstanding buildings and maintenance issues: With final completion of the Square very close to hand there are still issues that need addressing before Barratt pack up and leave for good. What are the issues and how best do we ensure they are dealt with.

I will post again before the day of the meeting to publicise the venue. Until then, please keep that Thursday free and show your support by turning out for a couple of hours: If the Square is your home, we would love to hear your opinions.

Now to the ‘Plus’ part of the post. Hackney Unites are in the process of organising their next ‘Dalston Futures’ community meeting but in the meantime have co-sponsored an event with campaign group HOPE not hate. The event, to be held in the Arcola Theatre (ignore the Dalston Lane address if you click through to them – the venue has changed) on Feb 17th, will be an introduction to, as well as a masterclass in, community organising. Their full explanation of the event can be found HERE. It is expected that this will be oversubscribed so, to reserve your spot, check HERE.


Two Dates For Your Diary

Posters should be going up very soon but in the meantime here are the details of an upcoming meeting of the DSRA which, as usual, is open to any, and every, resident of Dalston Square (owners and renters alike). The location is to be confirmed (though definitely somewhere in the Square), but it will be on Wednesday November 6th at 6.30pm (until around 8pm), chaired by Ben Collins. The agenda is as follows:

1. Service charges and Consort’s budget costings

2. Building glitches & planning issues

3. The Christmas social

4. Any other business.

If you are a resident of the Square and have any interest in the above/wish to raise an issue yourself/want to see how the DSRA works, please do attend: You are not just welcome, we would dearly love for more residents to get involved.

And speaking of meetings, I have received a summary of the Hackney Unites meeting I advertised a few weeks ago. You can read it for yourselves HERE. It seems a shame that in all of Dalston only 10 people showed an interest in the first meeting, let’s hope they receive a bigger turn-out for the follow-up meeting on 14th November (and perhaps the Square can get a few representatives present?).

That’s it for now, I will let you know as soon as a location for the DSRA meeting has been set.


DSRA Meeting & Social

As many of you will know, at the disastrous meeting held by Consort in the library a few weeks back (a meeting at which Consort failed miserably to justify the latest proposed increases in our service charges), they promised to get back to us by mid April with answers to our many questions. Mid April is, but for a couple of days, now upon us and we have heard nothing (though in fairness we have also not received the latest bill which should have been with us by now). Where do we go from here? Ben Collins (DSRA Chair) has been weighing up our options and has come across a couple of very interesting organisations: The Federation of Private Residents’ Associations (FPRA – www.fpra.org.uk), and the Leasehold Advisory Service (a government funded Non Departmental Public Body – www.lease-advice.org). The former, a not-for-profit organisation who offer legal and organisational advice to it’s members (we would have to pay a membership fee to join in order to receive this advice) work very closely with the second and are very familiar with Consort and the problems we are encountering. I think you would agree it is perhaps time to take our grievances to the next level and see if this may be the way forward. In this regard then, we will like to call a meeting, open to all residents of Dalston Square, leaseholders and Tenants alike, to discuss these and other options and decide on a way forward. Hoping this will not take that long (we have scheduled 45 minutes for the meeting), we thought we could then break out the drinks and nibbles and have a bit of a Spring get-together: Nothing overly long or fancy, just a chance to have a chat and get to know each other a little better. Click on the thumbnail below for all the details. Hope to see you all there: The meeting is important and we need your input!

Meeting Social


Meeting Reminder & Agenda

Hi folks. Just a quick reminder for all residents of the Square that there will be a general meeting of the Residents’ Association next week. Open to ALL residents (renters and owners alike) the meeting will be hosted by my partner Christine and myself on Tuesday 20th November, at 61 Gaumont Tower, starting promptly at 7.00pm, and chaired by DSRA Chairperson Ben Collins. These meetings generally run for approx 90 minutes and I expect this one will be no different. Listed here below is the agenda for the meeting. Whether you have an opinion you want to express, or just want to know/see how things work at these meetings, every resident is welcome to come along.

Agenda

1) Consort Management Changes

Consort’s proposals versus what residents want.

2) Dalston Square Commercial Units

Bars, restaurants, cr√®ches: What fits and how do Barrat’s wishes compare to those of the residents.

3) Bicycle Security

4) Noisy And Disruptive Late-Night Parties

What further measures can we take?

5) 2013-2014 Service Charges

We have been invited to list our expenditure priorities in a pre-budget meeting with Consort. What are the resident’s priorities?

6) Christmas Social

7) Any Other Business


Meetings

Hello neighbours. Two meetings to talk about, one past and one up-coming. Firstly the meeting past. July 18th saw the latest meeting of the Culture and Community Engagement Forum, and I have posted the minutes from this meeting to our discussions Forum HERE. Secondly, the next DSRA general meeting is to be held Tuesday of next week, 14th August, 7.00pm at 32 Raddon Tower. As per usual it is expected to last an hour and a half to two hours, and all Dalston Square residents (owners and renters alike) are invited to come along: The more active members we have, the stronger our voice in negotiation.

And here is the agenda for that meeting:

1. Buildings Sub Committee report back. Progress on our back-log of repair requests

2. Anti Social Behaviour issues РA report back re meeting in July with Consort and Council 

Progress in establishing positive expectations/good neighbourliness

3. Cultural events in the Square –¬†Cultural Sub Committee

Making the Square a community space for all.

4. Where next for the DSRA? 

One Committee for whole complex?¬†Democracy?¬†Open Committee with sub Committees? Keeping it manageable.¬†Time to cover a full ¬† ¬† ¬†agenda? Are some items best left to sub-committees?¬†Elections or appointment of officers? Chair, Secretary etc.: Is this desirable?¬†Continue with current ‘semi formal’ structures of self appointed volunteers?

5. Communications

a)¬†email lists – ¬†i) ‘Activists list¬†ii) Full residents list

b) website

c) newsletter

6. Summer Social

Roof Garden ‚Äď Sept¬†9th –¬†People back from summer breaks and¬†closing ceremony of the Paralympics so fireworks?

7. AOB


Upcoming DSRA Meeting.

Hello neighbours. Just a quick post to advertise our next meeting: Wednesday 20th June, 7.00pm, 61 Gaumont Tower. As per usual the meeting is open to any resident of the Square who is interested in getting involved in our little community. These meetings usually last for an hour and a half or so, and our planned agenda is as follows:

1) ¬†Buildings and management issues. Discussion and report back from May’s Buildings Sub Committee meeting with¬†Consort.. ¬†Security issues. etc.
2) Communications issues – The Website/Forum/Newsletter etc.. How are they working?
3) Arts and community events in the square. Eastern Curve Garden issues.
4)  Social event РSummer roof top party! Using new roof garden above Phase 2 blocks?
5) Any Other Business (to include follow up on idea of an ‘open’ meeting on Dalston Area Action Plan in Autumn)
Hope to see you there!

Consort Customer Alert

Hello everyone, hope you are all enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Just a quick post to advice you of a new Customer Alert from ConsortPM. If you have any complaints, or questions, with regard to the management of the Dalston Square development, this is your opportunity to speak directly with Gerard Hayes, Consort PM’s on-site manager. Book your 10-15 minute slot soon to get the one you want. ūüėČ

The message (edited to correct atrocious punctuation):

Dalston Square surgery on May 30th, 6-8pm. Reserve a 10-15 minute slot via e-mail to gerard.hayes@consortpm.co.uk, or telephone 0207 2540896.

Regards,
Consort Property Management


Meeting Reminder And Agenda

Hello neighbours. Just a reminder that we have our next association meeting on Thursday 10th May. The meeting will be hosted by Ben (the committee Chair) at 69 Gaumont Tower, starting at 7.00pm. Generally, our meetings run for approximately an hour and a half and I expect this one to be no different. As always, if you are a resident of Dalston Square, and would be interested in participating, you are more than welcome to attend: The more members the association has, the stronger our voice. Listed here below is the agenda for the meeting:

DSRA Meeting Agenda For 10/05/12

1) Consort Service Charges Р[i] Offer from Regional manager for meeting to discuss charges [ii] Report on Circle shared ownership campaign

2) Buildings maintenance Р[i] Report on progress from sub-committee [ii] New issues to report

3) Cultural events – Cultural events for Dalston Square: Cultural forum

4) Local council DAAP (Dalston Area Action Plan) РA future open meeting with the council regarding school places and Dalston Lane

5) RTM (Right To Manage) – Update on progress/Urang

6) Social Committee – [i] Report on Easter ‘Egg Hunt’ [ii]¬†Summer Social: Rooftop event to coincide with Olympic closing firework display?

7) Communications РUpdate on progress of website/blog, newsletter, Facebook: How well are they working?

8) AOB (Any Other Business)


Agenda For Next Week’s Meeting

Hello neighbours. Just wanted to share with you the agenda for next week’s DSRA meeting. If you have suggestions for other topics, do feel free to make contact with Ben through the forum with them. Or you can of course attend the meeting and raise them in AOB.

Dalston Square Residents Association Committee Meeting

March 20th 2012, 7pm to 9pm, Flat 61 Gaumont Tower

Draft Agenda. (comments by return please)

Intro: Welcome to new members.

1) Report on March 13th meeting with Council (Dalston Action Plan and it consequences for us).

2) Report and discussion on changes in services charges 2012-2013
Information for 2012 -2013?
Have the charges been consistent in different blocks/different status of residents?
Charging for the Consort undercharging of 2010-2011?

3) Buildings Sub Committee – report back on mtg with Consort managers
Progress on buildings and maintenance
Response and analysis of residents questionnaire

4) Concerns about some residents (tenants?) breaching leasehold conditions to detrimental effect of standards. What can/should be done?

5) Right-to-manage progress

6) Communications. The website – making it work for us
Next Newsletter.

7) Easter Social – Easter Egg Hunt
June 2nd Street Party Beechwood Rd.- Trinity Centre

8) Future DSRA Committee meetings venues
Sub Committees and new people joining them. Helping keeping track and sharing info etc

9) AOB