What happened at our AGM

Thanks to all 15 residents who came to our Annual General Meeting. Here’s what happened

In attendance

  • 15 residents
  • Alan Piper, Brixton society
  • Chanelle Rowe, Housing Operations Manager, MTVH
  • Sara Weller (MTVH)
  • Ludovic Basse (NHG)
  • Althea Callum Resident Involvement Officer, Optivo

Estate History

Alan Piper gave a history, pre-history almost, of the St Martins Estate and the surrounding neighbourhood.

The history of the Tulse Hill (landed) estate dates back to 1807. Residents were rich city businessmen who were travelling by their own coaches into the city of London. Tulse Hill was a desirable position, above the muddy valley in the river Effra and well away from the city smoke.

From 1820s onwards grand houses were laid out along Tulse Hill and Upper Tulse Hill. Most are now demolished. In 1845 Trinity Rise added. Holy Trinity Church was consecrated in 1856.

By 1894 Tulse Hill (landed) Estate was complete with houses all they way along Upper Tulse Hill and Tulse Hill. We know these houses were grand, the estate would only grant permission for houses worth at least a minimum value. One of them is now part of St Martins School for girls. And census data show lots of people had live in servants. By this time Brockwell Park was open.

Sir William Huggins was an astronomer who lived on Tulse Hill in the nineteenth century. We plan to name Huggins corner after him.

Later, as the train and trams came to the area, houses were built in terraces rather than grand detached houses. An example in Claverdale Road. It was started in 1908 but mostly build in 1920s and 1930s.

Tulse Hill (council) estate was built 1937 – 1952 by the LCC. Both Dick Sheppard and Tulse Hill school were built in the 1950s but are now closed.

The first part of the St Martins Estate was built between 1953 and 1960 by LCC. LCC bought up big chunks of land to meet their objectives. The estate would have been placed wherever the LCC could easily get the most land.

There used to be a library as part of the estate, now part of High Trees CDT. The Chestnut pub on Upper Tulse Hill was turned into housing. The site with Fenstanton School now also has the City Heights E-Act Academy.

The original plan for Tulse Hill Estate specified no shops – so they clustered at the bottom of Tulse Hill on the boundary. The Brixton Roller Skating Rink on 2 Tulse Hill existed in 1914. It closed in 1965 and is now the Sainsburys at the junction of Tulse Hill and Brixton Water Lane.

Alan Piper illustrated the talk with slides showing many of the roads and buildings which either still exist in different settings or have been demolished. He promised to see if he could provide copies of the slides

Committee Elections
Alan Piper supervised the election of the officers of the St Martins TRA:

  • Stephen Kearney nominated as Chair by CB, and was seconded by SJ Elected 7:0
  • Chris Blake nominated as Secretary by SK, seconded by TC Elected 8:0
  • Terry Curtis nominated as Treasurer by CB and seconded by SK Elected 9:0

The following agreed to be committee members: Annalisa Premoli, Saleha Jaffer, Ed Crawford and Justine Harrison. Since we can elect up to 9 committee members they were elected unopposed.

The elected committee is allowed to co-opt up to two other people as non voting members.  This is an option if they find other people who wants to serve in 2022. 

Reports and Matters Arising

Damp Campaign: Terry Curtis said we were making progress. The problem was to relate what the housing associations reported with the experience of residents. SK said we were working on a pro forma so that we could evaluate what was being done.

Gardening AP provided slides showing before and after of the Abbotts Garden, and Challice Way gardens. The difference was remarkable. She also illustrated what is intended to be called Huggins Corner, the former derelict land at the junction of Roupell Road, and Christchurch Road. MTVH and Optivo said they can offer support. SJ offered to help with making request for grants.

Storage for tools was discussed. Sara Weller mentioned  they were looking into storage boxes with concrete bases to keep them fixed to the ground and offered to print off posters.

Leaseholder services. CB showed the differences paid for identical services even when the same housing association was sending out the estimates. MTVH have agreed to correct 2019 and 2020 service charges so the cost per dwelling for internal cleaning is identical.  MTVH proposed an non transparent way of allocating costs going forward but we forced them to stop it.  Now they are “working on re-distributing the costs across the whole of the estate to better represent the size of each block. The S20 notices will have to be re-issued to reflect the amended costs”. Sara Weller offered to investigate to explain how the bills are calculated, CB queried why NHG did not provide breakdowns. Sophie Wintrich, resident, and Ludovic Basse of NHG will discuss how to take this further.

Cycle Parking: SW spoke on cycle paths and door to door canvassing. She suggested seeing if block lobbies could be used to store bicycles.

Treasurers Report

Terry Curtis said the accounts balanced and there was a small surplus. Exceptional expenses were costs for Zoom, and the bank account. Covid had delayed moving to a new bank account with Nat West which did not attract banking charges. AP had helped in presenting the accounts sheet clearly. She also reported on the gardening campaign accounts. Accounts were accepted.

Meeting Closed 21.15 Committee meeting to be arranged

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