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

Reminder

DSRA Christmas Social Reminder

holly

Christmas Cheer!

Meet your neighbours, make new friends, bring the family!

6pm to 8 pm and beyond.
Friday 20th December

In the warm …

Pineapple House
Eastern Curve Garden (click HERE if you don’t know where this is)

Bring along mince pies and Xmas snacks!

Mulled wine, warm pineapple juice and…. yes! Roasted chestnuts from the open fire!

Invitations will be posted in all letter boxes – Bring them along for drinks at special rates.

See you there!

Ben Collins
Chair Residents Association

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Meetings – Reminding And Reporting

First the reminder: Tomorrow evening, Thursday 14th November, Hackney Unites are initiating their second community discussion about the future of Dalston. The meeting, open to all Dalston residents, is at 6:30pm at the Trinity Centre on Beechwood Road. Full details can be found HERE.

And now the report. Following last weeks DSRA open meeting, Ben Collins has produced the following for all those unable to attend:

This meeting, held in a residents flat, was for residents new and established, to have the opportunity to meet face to face with active members of the DSRA. If anyone wishes for more detail on any of the items reported below, please do not hesitate to contact us via the comments link below this posting.

The Agenda covered:

1) Service Charges and the Budget

On the basis of current predictions our 2014-15 service charges look like going up significantly. Our current grievance over Consorts inaccurate and erratic budget setting remains unresolved, and as a result we are very suspicious about the way service charges are established for each of us. A key question for the DSRA is how common electricity costs are obtained (some buildings, for example, are costing thousands of pounds more than others for the electricity to run lifts and corridor lighting). There are also questions about building insurance costs, as well as water and cleaning charges. We remain concerned that concierge wage increases continue to be held up by Consort’s inability to establish a properly costed budget. Concierge wages are we are told, lower than average for London. Over the past year the DSRA ‘Finance Committee’ has repeatedly met with Consort officers in an attempt to establish transparency on costs and income, and agree a consultative approach on levels of expenditure. However, we remain frustrated by a lack of progress on Consorts behalf in getting the costings right. Our current service charges are, in effect, based on historical budget figures along with a sum added (or subtracted for some) according to very unclear criteria. Given this situation, a fresh ‘high level’ meeting between the DSRA committee and Consort’s new Senior Operations Manager, J0-Ann Deeks, was arranged to clarify our concerns and call for urgent action. This face to face meeting was held on November the 7th with three DSRA Committee members present.

(Stop Press: The meeting with Jo-Ann Deeks on Thursday did result in a fresh acknowledgement by a senior Consort Officer that the company was not managing residents’ interests to a satisfactory standard. Promise was given of a fresh drive to focus on areas of poor delivery. There was also acknowledgement of poor budget setting practices, and poor communications with the Association and wider residents. It was acknowledged that greater support and supervision of the site management team in Dalston was needed. That the site manager was working very hard was not in question, however, he and his teem were working with an evolving situation and too often stretched to the point in which the site team was unable to maintain a good service. Changes were promised. We will see what this means in time!)

2) Buildings Maintenance and Repairs

It was noted that the long list of repair items was now shortening (however by no means eradicated!). The main issues were:

a) Restaurant foul air extraction
With the new restaurants opening the issue of foul air ventilation needed addressing by Barratt. Emails had been exchanged with Barratt about the restaurant kitchen odours and smoke that waft along the service tunnel, into lift shafts, and even into flats. The DSRA has received verbal promises from Barratt that a new ventilation system is to be installed to take odours directly out of the building and up to roof level.

b) The flood problem in the basement garage
This remains a big problem. There seems to be drips from the drain pipes running below the building in several places. Also water may be coming up through the basement slab itself. Furthermore, that water is not draining away as their are no drains at basement floor level. Water levels can prevent access to cars after periods of heavy rain. The DSRA has persistently chased this issue up with Barratt. Barratt are aware and claim they are pursuing the matter as a priority issue. We will keep on at them! Individual residents should complain directly to Barratt Customer Care (0208 522 5500). It was noted that phases 2 and 3 buildings are not well represented on the DSRA ‘Buildings Committee’. We were pleased to have a new volunteer join that committee.

Other issues on the ‘to do’ list, include sorting our bicycle security, clarifying cleaning schedules, and the provision for the redecorating of corridor and lobby walls. Warnings on unsightly balcony contents, and the provision of proper garden maintenance where also touched on. Some of these are ongoing, but need discussion and decisions to be made. Any resident who wishes to join this committee is most welcome. Contact us!

3) Christmas Social

Finally, our concern to remain a fun loving association led us to discuss a winter/Christmas social event. It was agreed that we should aim for an indoors event this year. Two members volunteered to research some indoor venues that could serve food and drink. The idea of a buffet meal in a local cafe space seemed to be favoured. Any one wanting to help organise such an event, please contact us, again via the comments section below this posting. Cafe Route is being approached as a possible venue. Watch this space!


Meeting Location Correction: Now Gaumont Tower

My apologies all, the meeting is NOT in the Library after all. It is instead to be held in Gaumont Tower. Simply visit the concierge team and they will direct you to the appropriate apartment. Sorry for any confusion.


DSRA Meeting Reminder

Just a quick reminder of the meeting taking place on Wednesday at 6pm in the library. You all know the routine by now: The meeting is open to all residents of the Square, owners and renters alike. See you there? Click the image below to see it full size.

Nov 6th flyer


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, crèches: 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


Meeting Reminder & Parking Permits Update

Hello neighbours. Just wanted to, firstly, remind you all that the DSRA have a committee meeting this evening to which all residents of the Square are invited: Owners, renters, long-time DSRA members, and those who have never attended a meeting before. Whether you have something to say or just want to listen in, every resident is invited and welcome to join us: 7.00pm, 69 Gaumont Tower. See HERE for the agenda

Secondly, an update regarding the new parking permit system for the underground parking at Dalston Square. Due to many owners/renters having not yet collected their permits from the concierge guys, the implementation of the checking routines will be delayed by a couple of weeks. Consort will conduct a second round of posting notices on all parked vehicles to advice everyone of the new system (to catch anyone who may have been overlooked in the first round), and then full implementation of the new system will start in a couple of weeks time. Once that new system starts, any vehicle found parked that is not displaying the correct permit and/or is parked in the wrong parking bay, will receive a parking ticket (just as you would if parked illegally on any public road). Checks will be conducted several times each day by an independent contractor who will accept no excuses for illegal/incorrect parking. And Consort will not be able to help you if you feel you have been incorrectly ticketed: You will have to appeal against the ticket in exactly the same manner as if incorrectly ticketed by a traffic warden. Friends and neighbours, if you own or rent a space in the underground parking and have not yet got your permit, get it soon: Being caught without one will soon become very expensive. You have been warned.


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 – A 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 – Sept 9th – People back from summer breaks and closing ceremony of the Paralympics so fireworks?

7. AOB


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 – [i] Offer from Regional manager for meeting to discuss charges [ii] Report on Circle shared ownership campaign

2) Buildings maintenance – [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) – A 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 – Update on progress of website/blog, newsletter, Facebook: How well are they working?

8) AOB (Any Other Business)


Next DSRA Meeting

Hello again neighbours. Two more things to mention. We now have a date set for the next Dalston Square Residents Association Meeting: Thursday 10th May, 7.00pm. The venue is yet to be decided but as usual will probably be a residents apartment: I will advise you as soon as I know. Secondly, it seems that while full-ownership residents have seen a small decrease in their service charges for the coming 6 months, shared-ownership residents have seen a large (sometimes very large) increase in theirs. If this applies to you and you would like to join other affected residents in voicing your outrage, drop an email to Carmen at dalstonresidents@gmail.com.


Easter Egg Hunt Reminder

Hi folks. Just a quick reminder that tomorrow (Sunday) is our Easter Egg Hunt in the Eastern Curve Garden from 2-4pm. Entry is completely free, and open to all. Tea and coffee will be available for purchase, but if you fancy something a little stronger, or a snack of any kind, feel free to bring it along (enough to share perhaps?). The weather forecast is for cloudy skies, but dry throughout the afternoon. So, wrap yourselves and your kids warmly, and come join in the fun! Full details HERE.