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

Security

Dalston square security issues

Dear Resident

A distribution list has been set up to keep you informed.

We are aware of the security issues regarding Thomas/Burke and Ocean/Dekker and endeavour to resolve. Today I had a meeting with the door manufacturer who has said that the fixing of the maglocks may need to be addressed. The company that fitted the maglocks will be attending tomorrow. Once they attend, we can look at what appropriate action needs to be taken to remedy this situation.

I had a conversation and a meeting today with the police and gave them CCTV images of offenders that I managed to capture. May I please ask that dates and times are recorded if you come across any incidents; I can then see if anything can be captured on CCTV to assist the police.

With regards to the Concierge and what they can do:-

I would firstly point out that they are not security guards and we cannot expect them to put themselves in a situation where they could be confronted with violence or aggression. I know that the Concierge have confronted various youths to date but residents need to understand that they are not an authority with any power (only the Police have authority and power) and they cannot be expected to put themselves in a position of danger.

Whilst the Concierge can of course phone the police, we would urge as many residents to phone the police as possible as they always work on statistics. If their records show a large number of calls from the Square, they are more likely to send someone down. One phone call from the Concierge will do nothing to help in this regard.

Regards,

Gerald

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Hackney Film Club, World Food Market, Dalston’s Heritage Buildings, Bicycle Stores

Hackney Film Club And The World Food Market

Further to my last post, the meeting I mentioned went ahead as scheduled and we now have new dates for the public film screening, as well as for the market. Starting with the market, this will run from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd May, with opening times of Wednesday to Friday 10am to 3pm, and Saturday from 10am to 6pm. The film screening will also be on Saturday 23rd May, running from 9pm until 11pm, with some of the food stalls from the World Food Market remaining in the square to become part of the film screening event. The PA system that will be used for the film screening has been specially calibrated for use in the square, and the council have assured us that they are confident that volume levels will be well-managed, despite the late finishing time of the movie. Fingers crossed the weather plays ball.

Dalston’s Heritage Buildings

Further to the recent meeting of Councillor Peter Snell’s Dalston Ward Forum on March 25th, Peter has organised 2 further meetings to look specifically at the issue of Dalston’s conservation area. Full details of the meetings can be found posted at our discussion forum HERE.

Bicycle Stores Fob Resetting

As you should of all seen (after notices were posted to every mailbox in the development), after the recent resetting of all fobs for building entrance doors, a similar process will not run to reset all bicycle storage area fobs. All fob access to bicycle stores will be disabled on Friday 15 May at midday. If you require access to a bicycle store from that date onwards, please note the name or number of the store you wish to use, and take your fob to the concierge desk where you will be asked to sign a disclaimer form and your fob can be re-programmed for that particular one. PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR YOUR FOB TO BE RE-PROGRAMMED PRIOR TO FRIDAY 15 MAY. Please also note that the bicycle store in Sledge Tower closest to Dalston Junction station (No. 7), will no longer be available after Friday 15 May as it is being removed to create a proper thoroughfare. If this is the one you currently use, please choose an alternative. If you have any queries prior to this operation, please do not hesitate to contact Development Manager Gerald Bernard (his contact details can be found in the right hand column of the DSRA website homepage.


Xmas Events, Building Security, Restaurant ventilation, & Yoga

Upcoming Christmas Events

With the current light-box exhibition from Daily Life Ltd. due to finish next week (December 16th), there is just one more event planned for the square this year: Make a note of the date Saturday December 20th, 4.30pm to 6pm. Organised by Age UK East London, there will be carol singing, mince pies, and mulled wine (tea and coffee will also be available). Choirs from across Hackney will be singing festive carols hoping you will sing along. All monies raised through sales of refreshments (and of course the collection buckets that will be present) will go to help Age UK East London continue their as-necessary-as-ever work throughout the region, and spread the Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than us. Please show your support and pop down if you are able to.

And speaking of events and charity, the Eastern Curve Garden are running a whole host of events in the run-up to Christmas. To get in to the festive spirit and support them in their fabulous work of maintaining this delightful little oasis, check out their list of upcoming events HERE.

Building Security: Tail-gating

This is a subject that has been broached before, but it seems it needs to be re-iterated. After this week’s break-in to the Consort staffroom in Thomas Tower (and subsequent theft of staff personal belongings), and the ejection of non-residents from Collins Tower, it is clear that many people are still not getting the message that tailgating is a problem throughout the square that puts us all at risk. If someone tries to follow you in to your building (or tries to enter whilst you are exiting) ask to see their fob before allowing them entry. It is all very well being polite and holding the door open for people, but it is simply asking for trouble. Although these events are rare, apartments have been robbed, and stairwells have been used for drug taking and dealing. How long before we have a mugging or somebody gets hurt? And all of this is so easily avoided: Stop the tail-gaters. And if you find someone holding the door for you, thank that person for their politeness but also enlighten them to their thoughtlessness: They are putting you and all the other residents of your building at risk. NO FOB – NO ENTRY! It could not be simpler. Just to state the obvious, do not put yourself in danger during any confrontation: If you are threatened in any way, or even feel threatened, get yourself out of the situation and report the incident immediately to the concierge service either in person or by telephone on 02072547341 and they will investigate further.

Restaurant Ventilation

As many will be aware, there was a bit of a panic a couple of weeks ago when news came through from Hackney Council that Barratt had withdrawn their planning application for the proposed ventilation system to cure the restaurant smoke and odour problem plaguing phase 1 buildings (Gaumont through Labyrinth). After many emails and phone calls, including the help of local councillor Peter Snell, it has been determined that this was an error on the council’s part who accidentally deleted the application. This has though now been reinstated, and we are hoping for a decision soon: Preferably a positive one. More news as soon as we have it.

Yoga

To continue the tradition of advertising Dalston Square businesses and the businesses of Dalston Square residents, here is a quick plug for Labyrinth Tower resident Patricia. Patricia is starting new sessions of her family oriented yoga classes early next year, which will be held in the Young Hackney building in Forest Road. Patricia is an experienced yoga teacher, working primarily with newcomers and children, she hopes to attract your whole family to her new sessions: All ages, and all experience levels are welcome. To enrol for these new classes, check out her website HERE. If you are interested, and a Dalston Square resident yourself, take the flyer you will find in your letterbox during the coming week to your first session for a special (and very neighbourly) ‘Residents Only’ discount of 40% on that session (£6 instead of £10). The new sessions start on January 10th 2015, and will continue every Saturday from 11.15am to 12.15pm: What better way could there be to energise your weekend!

Carols

 


Fob Recall, Service Charge Bills, And Dalston Futures Meeting

Fob Recall

Consort will soon begin the process of wiping the database of the development-wide fob entry system. All residents/fob holders will receive notification direct from Consort to your post-box to advise of the days your building is being reset thus requiring you to visit the concierge to have your fob re-programmed. The reset renders your fob useless until you pay that visit to the concierge where you will need to present your fob PLUS the forms you also received in your post-box, properly completed. The process will begin with Collins Tower next Monday & Tuesday, then make it’s way around the square. Check your post-box regularly for your block’s dates: You should get approximately one week’s notice. A little bit of a nuisance I know, but it should be a quick and painless procedure (completed by the end of the month) and will help tighten security for us all.

Service Charge Bills

By now, all Dalston Square property owners should have received their  supplementary charges bills for the financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 (if you do not yet have yours it should be with you very soon). These charges, fully explained in Consort’s letter I think, vary widely depending on which block you own in and which year you look at (2012/13 sees rebates in excess of £500.00 for some phase 3 residents while some phase 1 residents saw bills in excess of £500.00, and in 2013/14 we see bills, some quite substantial, across the development). This though should be the last time we see supplementary charges like this: After years of campaigning and meetings between the DSRA and Consort, with the DSRA demanding transparency in Consort’s accounting and budgeting processes, the 2013/14 budget was set with the DSRA’s full approval. For the first time our finance committee (a small group of owner-residents who just happen to be professionals in the fields of accountancy and finance) were presented with full development accounts and budget plans, and were able to make sense of them (what has been passed to us as accounts in the past were anything but). Going forward, these newly established practices should ensure that unexpected items and shortfalls are kept to a minimum, and all future service charge rises can be fully explained and justified. It has taken 3 development managers, umpteen area managers, and several different accountants from Consort to give us the financial reports and transparency we have been demanding, but finally during the past 6 months or so, since the appointment of new development manager Gerald Bernard and Senior Property Manager Helen Goldstone (Gerald’s line-manager), we have finally been dealing with people who have not just listened to our concerns, they have acted on them and delivered results where their predecessors continually failed. (See HERE my post from March regarding the 2014/15 budget)

Dalston Futures Meeting & News

A reminder that Dalston Futures’ community organising master-class is tomorrow night at the Trinity Centre, and to pass on THIS LINK to catch up on their latest news.

 


Locked Doors, Balcony Litterers, Free Tickets, & Dalston Futures

Keeping Your Doors Locked

Back in June of 2012, after a series of burglaries here in the square, I made a post to explain the system used by the thieves and remind residents to keep their apartment doors locked at all times. After what appears to be a gang operating in the exact same manner struck Sledge Tower last week, it seems it is time for a reminder. The initial problem is one I commented on in my last post: Residents who continue to allow people to tail-gate them through building entrance doors (if someone tries to follow you into your block, ask to see their fob: No fob, no entry). Once inside the building, the burglars take the elevator to the top floor, then start making their way back down again trying every apartment door as they go. When they find one unlocked, they walk in, bold as brass as if they own the place. If someone is home they apologise profusely, explaining they must of got off on the wrong floor and leave again. If no-one is home, they quickly scan for and take small, portable valuables (laptops, tablets, and phones are particularly vulnerable). In one instance 2 years ago, one resident came out of the bathroom to find they had been burgled.

So please neighbours, keep your apartment door(s) locked at all times, whether you are home or not, and keep yourself and your possessions safe. One last comment on the subject, and a response to the resident that once said to me that they did not understand why they had to lock themselves in. You are not locked in, you are free to leave any time you like: You are locking everyone else out.

Littering From Balconies

Again this is an issue that we have covered before, and again it seems a reminder is necessary. Please do not throw litter from your balcony. Mostly it seems the issue is (though not limited to) people who, rather than use an ashtray when smoking on their balconies, simply flick their ash, and eventually their cigarette butt, over the rail (or out of the window in the case of phase 1 winter gardens). Please just spare a thought for your neighbours below who have to a) keep an eye skyward for falling debris, and b) clean up your mess. Disgusting behaviour: Really disgusting.

Dalston Futures & The Eastern Curve Garden

As many of you will be aware, the latest threat to the popular Eastern Curve Garden has receded since plans for the redevelopment of Kingsland Shopping Centre have been withdrawn. But that does not mean it is safe from future plans. In an attempt to make it harder for developers for get their hands on this beautiful, community treasure, Dalston Futures are attempting to get the garden registered as an ‘asset of community value’. If successful, it would give the community a ‘community right to bid’: Should the owner wish to dispose of the land, the community must be given an opportunity to raise money to secure the land before it is sold. It does not of itself guarantee that the site will be saved and retained, but it does create an additional opportunity for the community to prevent unwanted development, and create a disincentive to developers. For more info on the campaign and how to be involved, plus their other upcoming projects, click HERE.

Two Free Tickets To Give Away

Thanks to Dalston Square resident Judith, I am in possession of 2 tickets to ‘Saturday brunch with The Guide’ (details of the event can be found HERE) this coming Saturday (Sept. 27th) at Rotorino on Kingsland Road here in Dalston (event runs from 10.30am until 1,30pm). Having purchased the tickets (an £80 value for the 2) Judith and her partner find they are now unable to attend so, rather than leave the tickets unused, they would like to give them away: Very generous I am sure you will all agree. Here then is what I will do: If you are a Dalston resident and are interested in receiving them, send an email to DalstonSquareRA@gmail.com with the heading ‘Yes Please’ and your postcode and name (just your christian name is fine) as the message. On Thursday afternoon I will select one at random and contact you for your full address so I can deliver them to you (I will only deliver them to the Dalston postcode contained in your email – collection or alternate addresses will not be allowed). This is the fairest way I can think of doing it to ensure they go to a Dalston neighbour. Good luck everyone.

 


Important Consort Alerts

Hi all. I have just posted 2 new Consort alerts to the FORUM but felt they warranted a quick post here as they are rather important. Firstly (HERE), to strengthen security and with immediate effect, identification will now need to be presented to the concierge when collecting parcels or keys. Further security tightening measures are planned and will be announced soon. Secondly (HERE), to Phase 2 bike store users, the code has been changed: Please see the concierge for the new one.


Security And Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) On Dalston Square

Hi all. A note from Chris Rivinus, Vice-Chair of the DSRA:

Dear Fellow Resident,

The Dalston Square Residents’ Association are working with the Dalston Square Development Manager, Sean Stone, to make improvements to how various security and ASB-related issues are managed. Accordingly we’d like to ask you to help us determine whether or not you feel the efforts are working by taking a simple 6 question survey. You will find the survey online by clicking HERE.

We will use your answers to take a pulse of how residents feel now, and follow up later this year with another survey to see if residents feel progress has been made. Filling out the survey should take you less than 5 minutes and will help steer efforts to address these areas.

Regards,

Dalston Square Residents Association

As Chris said, this survey will take than 5 minutes so please help us out by sharing your opinions. Many thanks.


Happy New Year!

First things first. a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013 to you all. I have a bunch of things to mention, some of which you may be aware of but almost certainly not all. So here goes. Firstly, a quick reminder that Thursday 10th January (this coming Thursday) is the date for our next DSRA meeting. As usual the meeting will start at 7pm (likely of 90 minutes duration), but this time it will be held in the C.L.R. James Library (in the meeting room upstairs). As always, the meeting is open to ALL Dalston Square residents, owners and renters alike. Full details, including the agenda, can be found HERE.

Next, dates are now set for the next 2 presentations of the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School site (the school on Roseberry place at the south end of the Square). This will give you the opportunity to see the latest plans of, meet the team behind, and share your thoughts on, the proposed 11 storey development. Both will be held in the school itself (entrance on Beechwood Road) with the first being on Thursday 10th January from 4pm to 8pm, the second on Saturday 12th January from 10am to 2pm. If you did not manage to attend either of the previous events, I suggest all residents try to attend one of these (there is a slight overlap between the Thursday event and the DSRA meeting so why not do one after the after? 😉 ).

Next up, something for all you bicycle owners. Sean Stone (our on-site, Consort, development manager) has arranged for the police to attend the Square on Saturday 19th January to organise a bike security marking session. This will not, of course, stop your bicycle from being stolen, but, if your stolen bicycle is ever recovered by the police (they often break theft rings recovering many stolen bicycles), they will be able to return it to you: Definitely a good thing. This free service will be in the Square from midday until 2pm. It is quick, it is easy, it is free: So take advantage of this opportunity if you can. 😎

Next, I just want to be sure you all have the correct contact details for the on-site Consort staff. To contact the concierge desk (the number changed fairly recently) the old mobile number is no longer valid and the new land-line number is 0207 2547341. To contact Sean Stone (our new development manager) phone 0207 2490896, or email sean.stone@consortpm.co.uk.

One last thing before I leave you in peace: Previously I have mentioned resident Maisie Collin’s ‘Dalston Square Collective’ (a collective for self-employed and freelance people), details HERE on the forum. Well, Maisie has been busy advertising her idea and building support and has now expanded her idea to become ‘The Hackney Collective’ (though it will still be based here in the Square). The local on-line press recently did an article to promote the idea which you can find HERE. If this sounds like something for you, check out the forum post I have linked to to make contact with Maisie.

Okey dokey, that’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks.