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Archive for April, 2010

Spare a moment to open your window and listen. What do you hear?

If you have friends or family stuck overseas (or you are reading this from a hotel room in Frankfurt) then the chaos caused by the Ejafjallajoekull volcano will no doubt be causing you some anxiety. If not, and you are a resident of ASSA then enjoy this unique time in our lives when there is no constant stream of jet engines at all hours over our heads. It might never happen again.

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Please see below for an update from our friends in the Albert Square Gardens Trust

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Dear Residents

This is to let you know about changes in the management of the Garden.

Under a Deed of 1914, Trustees hold the legal title of the Garden to benefit residents of the Square.  A management committee is responsible for the Garden’s maintenance.  The Albert Square Garden Trust is different to the Albert Square and St Stephen’s Association (ASSA) which is the residents’ association covering a wider area.

New Trustees

Jim Nicolson, who was the Trustee of the Garden, and his wife Barbara, who joined Jim on the management committee, have recently retired after more than 40 years’ service in Albert Square. We wish them a restful retirement after so much hard work.

We are delighted to announce that our new trustees are Roli Okorodudu-Thomas of No 32 Albert Square and Charles Crawley of No 15.

New Management Committee

Rosemary Ellis, Martha Fiennes, Mark Williamson and Charles Glanville have joined the new trustees on the management committee. Stan Samuel of the London and Quadrant Housing Trust, Stephen Barlow and Tony Andrews were already on the committee and are happy to continue.

A New Constitution

The 1914 Deed is outdated but legally difficult to change. We will introduce a more modern constitution to sit alongside the Deed, providing for election of the management committee, residents’ meetings and generally for a more open and inclusive way of managing the Garden. The first meeting of Albert Square residents will be held when we have drafted the constitution.

Notice Boards

We have commissioned a local sculptor to make traditional notice boards, one at each gate, supported by proceeds from the ASSA Summer Fetes.

The Perimeter Path

It has never been clear who owns the path but we do know that it is not owned by the Garden Trust. Lambeth Council have accepted responsibility for its maintenance and have installed the new pathway, using the original kerb stones where possible.

Improvements and Maintenance Projects

We are considering the best use in the Garden of the surplus kerb stones and top soil and will let you know what we think are the best options.

We are also considering a larger project providing additional seats linked by a path around the inside of the garden to encourage more residents to use the Garden at all times of year. We will present more detailed proposals when we hold the residents’ meeting.

A tree surgeon is advising us of work needed to keep the trees in a good condition and we are exploring affordable ways to paint the railings.

Dogs

We will try a range of approaches to the problem of people who allow their dogs to foul the grass. Doubtless this will be an ongoing priority.

Funding

Freeholders of each house in the Square make an annual contribution towards maintenance costs. If you are a freeholder you will shortly receive a request from our Treasurer, Mark Williamson, for this year’s contribution of £80. This amount just covers basic insurance and routine gardening.

We can release money from our reserves to pay the balance for notice boards but we need to retain funds for contingencies that cannot be covered by our insurance. We will present some options for raising money towards the other improvements when we hold the residents, meeting.

We hope this information is helpful. You are very welcome to contribute ideas and practical assistance for the improvement of the Garden.

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