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Access to the squares gardens

Capita proposals 2013

Capita is proposing to change the criteria for access to the gardens in Trinity Church Square and Merrick Square, which will make access more restricted and take away the privilege for residents of some parts of the estate. TNRA would like clarity about the policy of who is entitled to go in the gardens (which has become confused over the years with changes of managing agents). However, we do not agree with Capita's suggestions to restrict access. We start from the position that the estate/Trinity Village is one community and all residents should be able to enjoy the gardens.

Here are Capita's draft policy and TNRA's proposals. Let us have your comments on the Discussion Forum or send them to info@tnra.net. We shall reflect residents' views in further discussions with Capita.

Capita's draft policy for access to the gardens

(shown to TNRA representatives at a meeting with Capita on 24 June 2013)

  • All residents of TCS to have access to TCS garden. All residents of MS to have access to MS garden.
  • AST tenants [, assured tenants and Rent Act protected tenants] don't pay directly - funded by Capita/Trinity House from revenue.
  • All others pay cash in advance annually in exchange for a key. If payment is not renewed, access will be withdrawn. Charge will be £100 pa per tenancy/house/flat.
  • In first year, access will be via existing key arrangement, although MS lock will be changed. At end of first year, it is proposed an electronic access system will be installed.
  • People paying for access must sign a user agreement before they get a key. Access can then be withdrawn in the event of misuse.

TNRA's proposed policy for access to the gardens

1. All residents of MS and TCS to have free access to the gardens in both squares.

This includes direct tenants of Trinity House, whose rent goes towards upkeep of the gardens, and long leaseholders, who pay a service charge, which could make a contribution to the gardens. In support of this we mention that many of the volunteers who have recently worked in TCS garden are long leaseholders or freeholders.

2. Residents from the rest of the estate who rent directly from Trinity House also to have free access.

In support of this we point out that these tenants mostly live in flats in Cole Street, Trinity Street, Swan Street and Falmouth Road, where they have either small gardens, shared yards or no access to a garden.

3. Other residents on the estate to have access if they pay a yearly fee.

This would include:

  • long leaseholders and free holders in Cole Street and Trinity Street;
  • social housing at 28 Trinity Street;
  • long leaseholders at 30 Trinity Street and freeholders in Bedford Row.

Communications between TNRA and Capita/Trinity House on access to the gardens

TNRA has received a large volume of correspondence from residents on this issue, almost all of which have been supportive of TNRA’s position. Indeed, only one resident has expressed support for Capita’s proposal that residents of the squares should have access to their own square only. Edward Heckels, TNRA Chair, has captured residents’ views in an email to Chris Vollers, the Director at Capita responsible for their work for Trinity House. Graham Hockley, the Secretary of Trinity House, was copied in. Please see attached all communications between TNRA and Capita/Trinity House on this matter.