HIGH KINGSDOWN community association

Welcome to the High Kingsdown Website. We would like this website to act as a hub, and to provide useful information for residents of the 103 houses and 76 flats that make up High Kingsdown. We hope you enjoy your visit! Feedback always appreciated.

See below for information on:

Our email is: office@highkingsdown.co.uk

If you wish to contribute to this site, or are somehow involved in HKCA activities and wish to be receive communications sent to us, just email us and a "Share" link will be sent to you. At the moment, such emails are forwarded to Briony, Karen, Ken, Tony, Allan, Matthew.

Facebook for the flats: https://www.facebook.com/HighKingsdownResidentsAssociation/

Our great Newsletter covering the estate's issues and plans is published by Martin Smith: hkra.newsletter@gmail.com.

To subscribe, fill in the Newsletter form

Minutes of the High Kingsdown Community Association AGM. 8th March 2022.

Committee members present:- Briony, Martin, Tony, Ken, Karen, Nick and Shaun

1. Welcome given by Briony- great to be in person after last year as a zoom.

Shaun read through the minutes of the last meeting. Comment was made about the naming of the lanes after poets who had lived in or near the High Kingsdown estate. Suggestion they went for minimalist rather than Modernist? Some disagreement noted on this point.

The issue of weeding the estate lanes was raised last year and this has been discussed via the survey- more later on under point 5).

2. Annual Report. Briony explained what our charitable objectives were and how we had been working towards these over the past year/s despite lock downs. The activities and achievements including:-

a) Playground - much used and looking great, providing a hub for the community. b) Greening of the estate. This includes the numerous beds (over 50) and the Green with some recently planted trees. c) Encouraging volunteers as part of Green High Kingsdown. This has the effect of building a community network and providing us all with a greener environment. d) Concerts on the Green. We have had three and they were much appreciated- Harpist and others. e) Information to residents comes via the Newsletter (which included a particularly collaborative edition during the 1st Lockdown) and the WhatsApp hub and Email distribution. These have been regular methods of communicating to and between other groups of residents.

The activities have been restricted due to Covid but still continued in furthering the aims of the charity. We are planning to reinstate the Welcome brunch for students/ residents as well as linking this with the 50th anniversary of the estate. We will also be marking the Jubilee in June.

The possible closure of the Sports Centre in Kingsdown is being challenged by a separate group and HKCA is lending its support to this as it is a community asset which is highly regarded.

Shaun thanked Briony for her report.

3. Treasurer’s Report. Martin distributed copies of the financial report. £900 has been spent on greening the estate which includes both the beds and the new trees.

The account is changing over to the Co-op as the previous bank- HSBC has begun to charge us.

Madeleine has agreed to check the accounts for this year. Many thanks.

Martin was thanked for his report and for his contributions in this respect-and the newsletter- over many years.

4. Election of new members The present committee had agreed to continue in place but would welcome new members.

Briony as Chair; Martin as Treasurer. We are short of a secretary. Tony agreed to stand in for Briony as deputy.

Two new members were voted onto the committee. Thanks to Irena Cameron-Cowburn and Monika Smith– more members always appreciated.

Website Matthew was thanked for his work on re-vamping the website.

5. Survey. Tony explained that the survey was handed out to all residents on and near the estate. This was something discussed last AGM to gain feedback on issues raised then and during the past year.

76% of the respondents were HK residents. 10 respondents were landlords and 4 from students.

This first survey was good and we have learned how to approach it better next time. The questionnaires were distributed widely to residents on, and adjacent to the estate in line with our charitable aims.

Q. How is the estate looking? The playground and the Green had positive comments.

The recycling and black bin waste – particularly in some areas eg: Clarence Place/ Myrtle Road were seen as regular eyesores. HKCA has discussed these issues in the past but we can only report the problems and liaise with Bristol Waste and the University. We do not have any direct control. Large container bins were mentioned and it was stated that this had been considered by the council. Cllr Guy Poultney offered to follow this up.

Q. Weeds. This was brought up at last year’s AGM. We have asked the council not to spray glyphosate on the weeds in the lanes. We have undertaken to use our time to selectively pull them up. This was generally approved in the survey.

There were mixed comments about the flower beds and Green High Kingsdown are aware of the amount of work needed on the beds.

Overall the respondents were happy with the estate - even the noise wasn’t a general complaint. Understandably some houses were much more affected by being close to areas where noise bounces off the buildings. A minority were very disturbed by noise but there were not many comments on this topic.

Operation Beech was mentioned where the University pay the police to visit houses which are creating excessive noise.

It was agreed that we would try to find out where the noisy areas were- foot paths/ The Green/ clusters of houses etc.

Q. How to make it a better place? More planting was mentioned in beds and on the Green. More trees and more shrubs.

It was felt we should improve our relationships with the Co Op, Cotham School and landlords for everyone’s benefit.

Tony and Karen were thanked for their construction and collating of the newsletter.

6. Green High Kingsdown This area is how we deliver the principal aims of the charity by inclusivity and outward looking to all members of our community. Karen works with Cotham Church and the interaction between them and the volunteers has been very rewarding. There is always so much to be done in the lanes and beds and these activities which were reduced during the pandemic are really opening up again. Discussion about how weeds are a green corridor for insects. Trying to fill borders with perennials rather than just looking pretty.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who have given their time in all areas of the estate Greening.

Discussion began on whether we should have benches on the Green - tbc.

7. Balanced Communities. Cllr Guy Poulteny spoke about the HMOs on the estate and in the Ward generally - this is one of the most common issues he comes up against. The council was not pursuing the issues of HMOs. There is a definite lack of communication between the licensing department and planning department. Approval from one can be used against the other.

The 2011 local housing act stipulated that areas should not have more than 10% HMOs. Our estate has over 50% HMOs, some of which do not have approval. Whilst the council has been notified, progress is non-existent.

Guy reported that a campaign to address the problem of HMOs is being launched in April. A target will be put before the council so that it might shame the Mayor into doing something about the issue.

Engaging with new students as they arrive - aletter could be sent saying how disruptive behaviour could affect your grade.

Guy was thanked for his attendance and would like to have an invitation to our meetings.

Community cartography. We would like to put our weight behind this.

8. AOB. Question over cost of newsletter.

Question over whether we are HKRA / HKCA. HKRA appears on the website only but the Charity is HKCA.

(This has since been rectified. The website now only refers to HKCA.)


GARAGES We are painting garage where they have deteriorated -

Action: Next painting session: Thursday January 6th. Start 10 am – all welcome to help.

CONTRIBUTIONS The flats pay annual contributions to the upkeep of the estate but it is more difficult getting money out of the houses.

Action: Nick and Shaun to galvanise the committee into collecting contributions from houses in March.

HMOs - Action: Tony/Karen to liaise with Dan on updates to the HMO situation and to formulate a question for Guy Poultney

Website: Briony to write a ‘News from the Committee’ based on minutes.

Survey deadline is 31st December.

Green High Kingsdown: Karen is now being employed by Cotham Church for a few hours per week to take forward the Green Cotham and High Kingsdown initiative.

Sports Centre closure: Briony reported that there would be a cabinet meeting on December 14. Meet College Green at 3.30.

50th Anniversary of HK– The committee have decided to produce a commemorative newsletter in June and to hold a brunch on the Green in July.

Carol singing – Briony to email Graham Syrett to say that the HK residents would like to join in the carols on Fremantle Square on 18th December.

Meeting schedule: for 2022 to go on the website.