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the popular Eastern Curve Garden has receded since plans for the redevelopment of Kingsland Shopping Centre have been withdrawn.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.
In time order then, let’s start with the ‘Past’: Thanks to everyone who attended the recent DSRA open meeting in the CLR James Library. The meeting was kept short, as requested, but, I believe, successfully conveyed to all present where the DSRA currently stands and what we have been working on. Of particular interest was the subject of our service/management charges, which we hope to have further news on very soon as Consort complete the budgets for past years as well as the 2014/15 financial year. A report on the meeting is now available for download from the DSRA specific section of our Forum HERE (if this link does not work for you, read the first post in THIS THREAD). And while on the subjects of our forum, Consort, and budgets, at Consort’s request I have published a copy of the letter they recently sent out to all owners (there has been an issue with sending out this letter so if you are an owner but have not received it, a little patience should see new copies sent out very soon. Failing that, read it on our forum HERE). Though mostly of interest just to owners, the first paragraph includes news relevant to all Dalston Square residents: For those still unaware, Sean Stone, Consort’s on-site development manager, has left Consort and been replaced by Mr. Gerald Bernard. Obviously Gerald is going to need a little time to settle in and get to know the place (and it’s issues), but if needed he can be contacted on 020 7249 0896, or by email at email@example.com.
Moving now into the ‘Present’, we have the ongoing issue of the flooding of the sub-basement beneath phase 3 buildings, and more specifically Sledge Tower. After many emails back and forth between DSRA Chair Ben Collins, Consort, and Barratt, it seems we have finally got the the crux of the issue. It seems this is pretty much the last part of the Square yet to be handed over to Consort because of the issues of flooding in this sub-basement. This flooding has been an issue right from the early stages of construction and Barratt have a number of engineers looking at the problem, trying to find a way to rectify it. This problem only recently came to residents attention when a sewer blockage forced raw sewage into the already flooded sub-basement. Anyhow, Barratt have now pumped this area dry (and have committed to keeping it dry until a solution to the flooding has been put in place), and have instructed Consort to go ahead and have the whole area sanitized to remove the last of the residues and with them, hopefully, the last of the odours. Consort have advised us that this work will be undertaken next week, and will take a full 5 days to complete. If after next week anyone again smells a problem, do not hesitate in contacting either Consort or Barratt (phone numbers and email addresses are in the side-bar of our website homepage).
And finally the ‘Futures’: Dalston Futures (the Hackney Unites project that aims to give the local Dalston community a voice in what happens in/to Dalston). They have just received a grant to make a short film allowing local people to voice their concerns, and they want to hear what yours are. If you would like to be heard, or have experience in film making and can offer advise/help, check out all the details HERE.
That’s all for now, have a great weekend neighbours!
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! 😉
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.