Sunday, 1 December 2013

December 2013 Newsletter


Refreshments including mulled wine and mince pies will be served afterwardsRaffle with seasonal prizes – tickets on the door


1)  Minutes of the 2012 AGM
2)  Annual reports (included in this Newsletter)
3)  Proposals submitted to the Secretary
4)  Election of Officers and committee members
5)  Election of sub-committee members:
a) Friends of the Progress Estate
b) The Estate’s 2015 Group
c) The Social Media Group 

Dear All,
I hope you are well.
It was nice to see regular and new faces at our June Event. We received a number of good ideas for our 2015 celebrations which are being followed up.

I look forward to seeing you at our AGM/Christmas Event on December 7th.

I hope you will enjoy reading this Newsletter which contains reports on the Association’s activities during the year. Copies of the Accounts, Minutes of the last AGM and a summary of the proposed new constitution will be available at the AGM. The constitution will also be added to our website Those without access to a computer may call 07962 877389 for a printed copy.

Please continue to help us in our endeavors by communicating your concerns to us. If you have not already done so, please send us your email address together with your name and home address so we can start to send you Newsletters by email in future. If you do not have a computer, please provide us with your name and address; we will do our best to provide you with printed copies.

Our thanks are once again due to Hyde South East for printing Newsletters on our behalf.

We are always open to suggestions to make the work of the committee appropriate to the ongoing needs of the Estate. If you have some ideas and would like to be involved please contact me at or ring 07947 043479.

If you would like anything to be considered at the AGM please write to the Association’s Secretary, Lesley Cooper. If this includes a nomination to the Committee, nominees should note that they must be seconded at the Meeting and there must be a majority vote in favour of their election. Submissions should be mailed to the Secretary at 29 Maudslay Road, London SE9 1LH or sent by email to She must receive them by Saturday, 30th November 2013.
Rita Billinghurst, Chair, PRA 

This sub committee was formed in January 2012. Members undertook to report estate agents Sold signs so we could welcome new residents and provide them with a copy of our planning leaflet which explains the practicalities of our being a Conservation Area.

We discovered, towards the end of 2012, the Land Registry provides this information on line.  This has the advantage of picking up unadvertised sales and transfers by inheritance.  We have therefore begun to use this data.

This has left the Friends somewhat in limbo as a working sub-committee. However, our Social Medial Group is opening new opportunities for community engagement and we think the Friends may have a new and valuable rĂ´le to play in delivering at least some of these.

The garden project has had to be folded. My two young helpers from last year have moved on and my knee has decided it needs less work. A new one is not an option for the time being!

If you know of any organisation or group who might like to continue with this socially-valuable work please let me know.

Rita Billinghurst 07947 043479

2015 GROUP
This sub-committee has met regularly throughout the year and moved the celebration events on considerably. We have a Patron in John Sandon and a number of local businesses, schools and individuals are now involved. It promises to be a great year of varied events which we hope will appeal to you all in some form or other.

We are always looking for more help, especially for the days of events. If you would like to help or be involved please contact me.

Rita Billinghurst 07947 043479

The creation of this sub-committee has been a highlight of the year. We set up a website for our Estate, during the Summer of 2013. Links on the home page make it easy for anyone to follow us on Twitter (@progress Estate) or to ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

So far, 180 people have provided us with their email addresses. Whilst our original request was simply to enable us to email newsletters after March 2014, we have already begun to circulate other items of immediate interest. A recent example was the road sign stolen from the Well Hall Road/Congreve Road path. It was returned anonymously a few days later.

Our website has been visited by 260 people and 238 people are following us on Twitter @ProgressEstate.

Anyone can email us at

Messages will be answered by the person best able to deal with each query.

We have plans to increase the community value of our social media offering during the next 12 months. 

If you have any ideas for content please write to us at our afore-mentioned gmail address.

An example of something we had not previously been able to do occurred when we recently notified everyone following us on Twitter of a bogus fund- raiser who was active on our Estate.

We do need to increase the number of Residents for whom we hold email addresses as our working presumption is we will not have the funds to deliver paper copies of our Newsletter after March, 2014.

TREASURER’S REPORT October 2012 September 2013

Hyde South East provided a grant of £160 for our 2012 AGM and Christmas Social as well as a general grant of £350 for the period April 2013 – March 2014. However, in line with the general situation nowadays, they tightened their financial belts so some cost savings have had to be made. We are moving from distribution of a paper 

Newsletter to electronic communication for those with computer access. Hyde has been helpful in training two members of our Committee in fund- raising. We expect to have to seek funds from other sources in the future, particularly in respect of our 2015 project.

Raffles and donations raised £148 (£153 in 2012). Total income for the year was £680.

Total expenditure for the year was £575. The main item was £141 for the 2012 Christmas Social plus AGM. Hire of the Progress Hall for our general meetings has cost £137 with an additional £31 for meeting rooms for sub-committees. Planning and conservation expenses fell. Affiliation to the St Mary’s 

Centre cost £50.

Income exceeded expenditure by £105.


At year end the Association had £502 including £200 ring-fenced as the 2015 Centenary Fund.
2015 Centenary Fund

A great deal of work is going ahead in planning the 2015 celebrations. A year ago the Committee started the fund with £100 and has decided to increase this with another £100 raised from raffles and donations. An application has made for funding from the Co-operative Society. Further applications will be made in the coming months.
Allan Cooper, Treasurer

Planning applications
The Association has four options in deciding whether or not to respond to any particular application:
  • - We can support it.
  • -  We can object to it.
  • -  We can comment.
  • -  We can do nothing. 
Our sole concern is whether or not an application, when judged by reference to the relevant planning and conservation guidelines, will have a neutral or positive effect on our Estate. We support those that do and object to those that do not. Occasionally we comment. This is where we basically support an application but would like Royal Greenwich’s planners to ensure a particular aspect is made a condition of approval. For example, the proposed works might involve the demolition of a traditional wall or fence but the plans do not make it clear that the replacement will replicate the one being removed.

We do nothing if the proposed works will not affect our Estate’s street scene. These are commonly either for the removal of trees in back gardens that are not visible from sight-lines to the road or the construction of rear, single storey extensions.

The table shows how we exercised these options for the 45 applications that were completed in the 12 months to 30th September.

As at the 30th September, 8 applications had not been decided and there was one outstanding Appeal against a refusal.

Two of the 6 applications that were approved despite our objections involved the installation of roof lights. Does the odd one detrimentally affect the appearance of our Estate? Probably not. If they were installed on a significant number of roofs, would they do so as a whole? Yes, we believe they would. 

Therein lies the argument for vigilance and, we would argue, a demonstration of the reason for there being an Article 4 Direction for our Estate.

Houses changing hands
We use Land Registry data to track houses changing hands on our Estate. During the 12 months to the end of August 2013 (the data is published approximately 5 weeks after the end each month) 41 houses changed hands. We have delivered Welcome letters to them all.

Keith Billinghurst

The GVDA took around 2,000 referrals in Greenwich last year, the 5th highest number amongst London Boroughs. Referrals were from all walks of life, and although predominately it is women who are abused, it is not always, and there are cases of financial abuse of older people. GDVA will be the first point of referral in the borough, dealing with what they can, and signposting especially high risk cases on to other agencies as appropriate. GDVA exists to support Greenwich residents, although it would be able to signpost residents from other boroughs on to their appropriate agency.

The contact details are:  
Telephone: 020 83178273 

Committee Member Margaret Oliver continues to represent the Progress Estate on the Eltham West Safer Neighbourhood Panel which meets every couple of months at the Turning Pages Community Centre. 

The Police have recently had another reorganisation in order to provide a hopefully better service and to put more police officers onto the streets. We have recently had a new Police Sergeant, Lesley Taylor, and we have a dedicated Police Officer, PC Richard Greef, and a dedicated Police Community Support 

Worker Helen Watchorn. ‘Dedicated’ means that they belong to Eltham West 100% and cannot be taken away for other duties.

Panel meetings discuss local problems with the Police Team and between them prioritise the issues on which the Police Team should focus. We are lucky in that Head teachers from two of the local Primary Schools regularly attend the meetings in addition to resident, local business and youth worker representatives.

Obviously in an emergency you should always call 999. You can call 101 to report a crime that has already happened or inform the police of any local issues. If you would be interested in coming to Panel Meetings or have any concern you would like to raise with the Panel you can contact Margaret via the PRA Chair Rita.

The Eltham North Safer Neighbourhood Panel meets at the Eltham Centre and their meeting dates can also be obtained from Rita.

Sandby Green is named after Paul Sandby who in 1764 became chief drawing master to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich for 30 years. Originally skilled in the art of map making, he became an incredibly gifted artist who was a founder member of the Royal Academy and whose painting influenced such great artists as JMW Turner. Thomas Gainsborough said that if you wanted ‘real Views of Nature in this Country’ Paul Sandby was the master.

He was also very skilled at commercial engraving and improved upon the technique of acquaint, simplifying the process and enabling a golden age of British colour-plated topographical books. He toured Wales with the famous naturalist Joseph Banks (who had accompanied Cook on his First Voyage) and the series of ground-breaking topographical prints that were published were extremely successful.

After his death an obituary described him as ‘the father of modern landscape painting in watercolours’. The Royal Academy held a bicentenary exhibition of his work in 2010. If you would like to see more of Paul's Sandby's beautiful pictures, there are several good sites on the Internet.  They are a wonderful record of the landscape, people and the way of life in England, Scotland and Wales in his time.

Lesley Cooper

Date for your diary Christmas Fayre 2013 at St Mary’s Community Centre, Sat. 23rd November 

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