Here is a summary of the items discussed at the committee meeting held this month:
In the current financial year we have an overspend of approximately £3,000.Our reserve position and financial position remain secure.
The budget for ex-contract bulbs and plants remains at £2,500.
We will create a new reserve and allocate £2,500 to it each year to offset future capital expenditure. Items covered will include the irrigation system and re-painting the railings.
In the annual Garden Square competition we placed fourth in the “Small Private Squares” category. This is a fall of two places from last year but we are confident that the garden will look better than ever in 2013 with prizes sure to follow.
Save the date! This years summer party will be on Tuesday, 2nd July.
We had a great evening last Thursday at our annual Christmas Carol party. The cold weather was no deterrent with many encouraged to drop in when the Salvation Army Band struck up at 6:45. A crowd of at least thirty enjoyed the mince pies and excellent mulled wine.
A dozen or more soldiers from the Blues and Royals stationed at Hyde Park Barracks joined us in uniform and a few were even persuaded to try some of the mulled wine.
We raised over £1,500 for charity: 60% going to the Salvation Army fund for the Homeless and 40% to the Household Cavalry Foundation. The Household Cavalry Foundation exists to help serving soldiers, casualties, veterans and their dependants. Continue reading Christmas Carols Party Report
We’re having our annual Christmas Carol Party on Thursday, 13th December at 6:45pm. All square residents and their guests are welcome to come and enjoy the mulled wine and minced pies… just bring your singing voice.
As in previous years the Salvation Army Band has kindly agreed to come and play we have invited a group of soldiers from the Hyde Park Barracks to supplement our singing efforts.
In May of this year we commissioned a survey of all our trees to see if any were in poor condition. A tree in poor condition could lose branches during stormy weather and cause property damage or injure someone.
The survey was undertaken by Keith MacGregor who has extensive experience in tree management. He holds a diploma in Arboriculture from the Royal Forestry Society – the top professional, vocational, qualification for those working in arboriculture.
The conclusion of the report was that the trees were mostly in excellent health but that the London Planes needed to be inspected further for Masaria Disease. This inspection will be carried out when the trees have dropped their leaves.
Here is a map of all our trees (CLICK to enlarge):
A source at Westminster City Council recently told me that two of the houses in the square have reported the presence of bats in Montpelier Square over the summer. Bats are protected species in the UK and any confirmed sighting of bats places an onus on the landowner to take account of their welfare in all future actions.
As earlier reported, we are currently applying for planning permission for our night-time lighting of the trees. If indeed we did have bats in the square then we would have to prove that the lights do not adversely affect them.
To find out if we had any heretofore unsuspected nocturnal denizens we commissioned a bat survey from Alison Fure (website). Alison has conducted bat surveys in the local area a number of times in the recent past.
Alison did not find any evidence of bats roosting in the square but she did still recommend that the lights be switched off in the summer months to protect any passing bats during the breeding season.
It is also worth noting that, using a light meter, she could not detect any change in ambient light levels with the garden lights on or off.
The audited final accounts are now available for the period ending March 31, 2012.
We are in an acceptable position financially due to the temporarily heightened level of the precept and the efforts of the committee to keep expenditure to a minimum for the past two years. Our aim is to have a reserve of approximately one year’s expenses on hand to deal with unforeseen expenses such as irrigation, emergency tree surgery or garden shed repairs.
Our accountants are Peter Edney & Co who can be reached at edney AT globalnet.co.uk