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

Posts tagged “Community

Playground, Events, & The Over 55s…..

….. But not a series of over 55s events held in the playground obviously. 😉

Firstly a quick reminder to those who wish to have a say in the selection of the replacement playground equipment who have not yet cast their vote. Voting will close at midnight Sunday night so have your say now (see my last post for full details or head over to my forum post HERE).

Secondly, are you over 55 and interested in taking part in a street-theatre piece that will be presented here in the Square in a few weeks time? Or do you know someone living locally that may be interested? You would need to be available from the 13th to the 16th August in order to participate (from 10am to 1.30pm the first 3 mornings for rehearsals at Forest Road Youth Centre, with the actual show on the 16th at 1pm here in the Square). Click on the first of the thumbnail pictures below for full details.

Next, a copy of the summer programme of the free events being held here in the square throughout July and August (starting tomorrow). You should of received a copy of this in your letterbox but here is a copy just in case. Click the 2nd thumbnail below to view it.

Lastly, a list of events for children and young people being put on by the library (and not just our own CLR James Library: All Hackney libraries are getting involved). Again these are all free: All your kids need to do is turn up. Click the 3rd and last of the thumbnail images below to see the list.

Mimbre  DS Summer  Library


Opinions & Choices

First a quick piece of half-news: The last retail unit is now being worked on. Top of the stairs as you leave the Square heading for the rear entrance to Dalston Junction station, the last piece of the Dalston Square commercial jigsaw slots into place. Although I am still unsure of the name of the restaurant or the owner, I can confirm it is to be a Japanese restaurant. More to come when I learn of it.

Now news of a new project running in Dalston for the duration of March (and beyond?). Many of you will be aware of services like Yelp that can point you to the right bar, cafe, and/or restaurant when you want it (particularly great as a smart-phone app). How about a research tool that allows you to comment on, not just food and drink establishments but, everything an area has to offer. And the ability to read other peoples opinions of course. Below is the poster that launched the project over the weekend. In their words “… CPRE London and Commonplace have created a different way for you to share your ideas about your neighbourhood. Using your phone, home computer or other internet device, you can comment in real time, share your views, and also find out what other people in your neighbourhood think. Information is immediately available to you or your organisation…. Register now on Dalston.Commonplace.is…” A chance to get your geek on.

launch


Updates To Previous Posts

Hi all, hope this post finds you well. The first item is not so much an update as a reiteration. You may have noticed Sean Stone’s note on the notice boards, and should of received your letter from Consort, regarding next week’s meeting, called by Consort, to explain to us all the reasons for the rises in the coming year’s service charges. (Regarding the letter, please note there is a mistake contained therein: Charges will rise from the current range of £900-£3800, depending on block and size, to a range of £1000-£4000. Not, as it is poorly written, an increase of £1000-£4000). Those of you registered with the DSRA (via the forum or by attending our regular meetings) will have today received my email but I will again publish here a note from Ben Collins, Chair of the DSRA, regarding this meeting:

Service Charge increases 2013- 2014
Consort Meeting 
Tuesday March 19th
6.30 pm
CLR James Library 
Some of you will be aware that our Service Charges are due to increase again this April.
In some cases, we the Residents Association believe, these could be very significant. (From our estimates this could possibly be more than 25% in the case of some buildings)
Leaseholders received a letter this week from Consort Property Management (dated March 12th), which is somewhat confusing. It describes ‘an increase of between £1000 and £4000 per apartment… dependent on the block’.
If these figures are correct, they are alarming. They do not reflect the provisional figures the DSRA committee was given in a recent budget review meeting with Consort, but they do confirm the need to attend the meeting next Tuesday, to ask questions.
For the past three years the Residents’ Association has asked for greater transparency in budgeting and more accurate predictive information for Service Charges for each apartment, to be sent out well in advance of the new financial year. This is to avoid the surprises many of us have had in past years from late notices of increases, based on unexplained or questionable cost increases in running our buildings.
The increase in Service Charges will impact on ALL residents including tenants.
We are very concerned about the confused message from Consort and hope that as many residents as possible will attend the meeting on Tuesday March 19th, at 6:30 in the library. We need a strong showing to impress upon Consort that we expect better from their financial management, and better value for money for their Service Charges. If you can, please come to the meeting to make your case.
Ben Collins
Chair
Dalston Square Residents’ Association
I cannot stress enough how important it is for as many residents as possible to attend this meeting. And that includes renters as well as owners: If costs continue to rise for owners, eventually rents will increase to compensate.
Next, an update on the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School. Further to my announcement HERE (down near the bottom of the post), the plans have now been submitted to Hackney Council. There is a forum thread discussing this issue in depth HERE. Anyone wishing to object to this development can do so on the Hackney Council website HERE.
Lastly an update to my post including details of Land of Kings (HERE, second paragraph). Nick has sent through a copy of their event poster and full event details which I have included below. Click each thumbnail to see the full size version. Further details on the family oriented Land of Kids will follow.
poster pg1 pg2 pg3

Lots Of Minutes….. But Not An Hour.

Lots of meeting minutes to share with you, all posted over at the forum. Firstly, from a meeting of the Dalston Lane Community Working Group Ben Collins (DSRA Chair) and I attended back in December HERE. Secondly, from a meeting of the DSRA’s Buildings Maintenance sub-committee meeting with Barrat and Consort on January 10th HERE. Thirdly, from the DSRA general meeting of January 10th HERE. Lastly, sent to me by Lucy McMenemy of Hackney Council, minutes from the meeting of the Culture and Community Engagement Forum meeting for Dalston Square that was held on January 16th HERE (scroll down to my last entry on the page). As always, simply click the highlighted link to save a pdf copy of the document to your computer for your perusal. If you are unable to access the first three links above, read THIS, and, if you qualify, follow it’s instructions HERE. Just a thought (which led to my post title above); If you have minutes from 60 meetings, do you have an hour? 🙂

One last thing before leaving you all in peace. I have been contacted by Nick Griffiths of Land Of Kings (www.landofkings.co.uk) organisers of an annual Dalston music and arts festival. Let me share his email with you:

The fifth Land of Kings (2013) will take place on Sunday May 5th and we will also be debuting a new festival the following day (Monday 6th) aimed at local families, to be called “Land of Kids”.  Both festivals are collaborations with a number of local artistic and cultural venues such as Arcola Theatre, Bootstrap Company (including Print House Gallery, The Bunker and Dalston Roofpark) and Café Oto.  The night time part of the programme also includes venues across the neighbourhood such as Vortex Jazz Club, The Alibi, Servant Jazz Quarters, Rio Cinema, Birthdays, Shacklewell Arms etc.
In previous years the festival has taken place largely in the area’s indoor music and arts venues as well as a few temporary event spaces for which we have applied for Temporary Events Notices (TEN).   We are planning an outdoor element to the festival this year, on Ashwin Street and in Abbot Street car park,  and for that we’re required to apply for a temporary Premises License as the number of people we are expecting is more than 499 (the limit for running an event under a TEN).
As part of the planning for this year’s event we wanted to check in with local residents groups to share our plans as well as what we will be doing to limit the impact on the area and work with local people to make it as successful and smooth running an event as possible for all.  I wondered if you’d be able to share this email and the attached site plan with your respective groups.  The main part of our license application pertains to the car park at the end of Abbot Street where we’re hoping to build a temporary live music stage, to run in the afternoon until 10pm on Sunday 5th May, and until 7pm on Monday 6th May.
The site plan is attached below: click on the thumbnail image to see the full-size version. Is it just me or does this sound really cool? More details will follow when finalised. Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks.
Land of Kings Site Plan

Dalston Square Events

Hi folks. I have received an update email from Lucy McMenemy (our friendly local council cultural events manager) to share with you all. October is Big Draw month, and with funding from the Arts Council, we are being encouraged to get creative. Things kick off this coming weekend (saturday 6th October) with a drawing workshop for kids. The event will take place in Dalston Square (weather permitting), in the CLR James library, and the Eastern Curve Garden. This is completely free of charge and will run from 12.00 noon until 3.30pm. The following weekend (saturday 13th October) will see a comvmunal sculpture project taking place in Dalston Square, open to everyone of any age, using plumber’s tubing and hundreds of elbow joints. This will run from 12.00 noon until 5.00pm. There will also be events the following 2 weekends but as they are outside the Square and I am writing this post on my phone (I am currently on holiday in Lebanon – 35 degrees and sunny yesterday), I will let you visit the coucil’s website for details: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/dalston-square. All of these events are free of charge and deserve your support: Get out there!

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A Bit Of This…..

Hello all, I have some news and updates to share and will try not to ramble too much.

Firstly, some good news for those of you still using E.On as your electricity supplier (not to be confused with E.On heat supply). It has been pointed out that most energy suppliers now offer discounts to customers who use a single supplier for both their electricity and gas supply, and how unfair it is that although we have no gas we are tied to E.on for our heat, but still we do not qualify for some kind of discount also. Well, thanks to some great detective work from Andy T. (resident of Labyrinth Tower), it seems we are eligible for a discount after all. There is, however, a problem in that although E.On have agreed to give us the discount, it is not yet set up in their billing software: I have spent over an hour in total, in four phone calls, over 3 days trying to get it arranged for myself. So, I have an arrangement with a supervisor at E.On whereby as soon as things are set within their systems, I will be advised that they are ready to receive calls from all residents for whom this will apply, and of course I will then let you all know exactly how to claim this discount for yourselves. And do not worry that you are missing out whilst being delayed: E.On are back-dating the discount to the beginning of your account with them! Pretty cool I think you will agree. It could be 4-6 weeks I am told but will get back to you all as soon as I hear from E.On.

Next up, another find from Andy T. (he has been a busy boy) that will be useful for anyone struggling with anti-social neighbours and loud parties. As well as being able to phone the Hackney Council noise pollution team to make formal complaints (020 8356 4455), they also have a website for the same purpose: Click HERE to go straight to it. Just one request though: If you do contact the council directly regarding a party or generally noisy neighbours, please be sure to report it to the concierge as well so it gets logged in Consort’s log-book. Thanks.

On a more positive note, Hackney council now have a webpage dedicated to Dalston Square and the activities organised by their Culture & Community Engagement Forum. You can find it HERE. As you will see, there is already quite a lot of events on the cards, with plenty more to come I believe. Check it out to see the details of this coming Sunday’s (tomorrow’s) t-shirt design & printing event that is completely free for under 18s: Very cool. Do please note that under 12s must be accompanied by an adult. The event will take place in the library, spilling out into the Square if weather permits. Click the thumbnail image at the bottom of this post to see their advertising poster.

Lastly, a word regarding posting comments to these blog posts. Please do not use fake names and spurious email addresses, and please keep the comment relevant to the post you are commenting against. All other comments or questions should be posted to the discussions forum. Many thanks.


DSRA Late-Summer Social

Hello friends and neighbours. As you all know, we held a DSRA meeting during the week and I will be posting the minutes of that meeting soon. In the meantime, we did finalise plans for a late-summer get-together. Open to all residents of Dalston square (and any friends you wish to bring with you), it will be a BBQ event held on the 9th floor terrace of Gaumont tower. The RA will (fingers crossed) supply the grill, so bring some food & drink (something to share?) a plate and a glass, and come to meet your neighbours! Click the thumbnail image below to see the poster with the details.

 


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


Two Dates For Your Diary

Hello neighbours. Firstly, Gerard Hayes, our on-site development manager from Consort Property Management, is holding another surgery to answer any questions you may have for him: Wednesday 1st August, 6.00pm to 8.00pm. To reserve your 10 minute slot contact Gerard by email at gerard.hayes@consortpm.co.uk, or by phone on 0207 2490896.

Secondly, a plug for a charity event. I am sure most of you are aware of Oxfam, and the incredible work they do around the world. Most of you will also be aware that they have a shop here in Dalston at 514-518 Kingsland road (just 2 minutes from the Square and recently declared London’s best charity shop for books and records by Time Out magazine – click HERE to read the article). Now, just for the sake of transparency I will tell you I volunteer one day a week to work in the shop (volunteers are always needed to help process donations and keep the shelves and racks on the shop floor stocked, so if you can spare a half-day or more each week, please do drop in and speak to a staff member). Also, instead of contributing to the local land-fill, please consider donating your unwanted items: No electrical or electronic goods please, but clothing, books, music & movies, general housewares and any other unwanted goods in good condition are always welcome.

And so to the special event. Over the past several months the guys at the shop have been saving the high-fashion and quality designer and vintage clothing and accessories that have been donated. These will go on sale at a special late night shop opening on Friday 3rd August. Titled ‘Oxfam Chic’, the sale will run from 6.30pm to approx 9.00pm. There will be light refreshments and nibbles available, and Steve, the shop manager, will be donning his DJ hat to supply some cool tunes. There really are going to be some amazing bargains to be had, so get yourselves along there! Click the pic below to see the full-size advertising poster (designed by the Squares own Stephen Humphries – thanks Steve).


Olympic Torch In Hackney

Hello friends and neighbours. I have received another event flyer from Cory Defoe, Town Centre Manager from the Regeneration Delivery Team of Hackney Council, to share with you all. This flyer covers the course of, and events surrounding, the Olympic torch through Hackney as a whole. There is a Dalston specific flyer in the works and I will share this with you as soon as I receive it. Click the thumb-nailed images below to see the full size version.

 

 

 

 


Dalston Square As A Public Space

As you may or may not know, Dalston Square is the largest public space created in London since the 1940s. What you probably do not know is that the local council are very keen to make the Square a place for the whole community to enjoy (not just the residents) and, to this end, have created ‘The Dalston Square Culture & Community Engagement Forum’.

Though the Square is still some way from finished (early 2013 is the latest estimate I have heard for this), some small events have already happened: You surely saw the kiddies climbing wall some weeks ago, and if you were lucky you caught one of the 2 contemporary dance performances a couple of Saturdays ago (I have to say dance is not normally my thing but I thought it was great: Very clever and imaginative).

Anyhow, the Engagement Forum held a meeting a couple of weeks ago and I have been sent a copy of the minutes of that meeting, by Lucy McMenemy, the Cultural Programme Officer for Dalston at Hackney Council, so I could share them with you all. I for one am very pleased to know that the local council are serious about making the Square not just a great place to live, but a public space the whole community of Dalston and beyond can enjoy.

I have posted those minutes in a new thread over at our discussions Forum which you can access directly by clicking HERE.