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The next SVRA meeting will be Date tba at The Green Man Centre.
We are one community and we are working for the benefit of ALL residents on the estate. Working together we are stronger.  Membership is free and ALL residents are welcome. We look forward to seeing you!

Contact us by email at   Strawberryvalecommunity@gmail.com          

We look forward to a Strawberry Vale without problems where The Residents Association can promote the very positive things about living here.  Our Neighbourhood Manager is Zena Bolt who is at The Green Man on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
                                        Travel back in time and see how Strawberry Vale once looked here.

March 8th. It has taken over a year to get but has finally arrived. A map of the estate has been installed paid for by our 2017 MaD bid application. It was suggested by a resident. Hopefully there will be fewer lost pizzas now.  


November 29th.
We heard today that the rubbish problem caused by Barnet Council will be resolved by Peabody buying more large wheelie bins from them. We will get 10 new bins delivered before Christmas in addition to the 30 we have already. Peabody have told us that they will absorb the £4000 cost of these bins and not charge residents for them. Thanks to James Glass, Head of Estate Services for his help.

We may still need more bins but this is a good start. It makes it more important than ever to only put general waste in the wheelie bins and not things that can be recycled like cardboard. Please separate your waste and recycle as much as possible.

November 27th.
Barnet Council's rubbish policy. Barnet Council recently decided to have only one general waste collection a week here rather than the two a week we previously had. That is why the waste bins are overflowing. We had two collections a week because we have only half the bin capacity that is standard elsewhere in Barnet.
Barnet's first response was to tell Peabody that to restore the second collection would cost them about £24,000 a year. That is the information that Peabody passed on to us - that Peabody would be charging us an extra £24,000 a year! Naturally, we took issue with this for the following reason:

We pointed out to Peabody that we have only half the bin capacity that is standard in Barnet and that we pay the same Council Tax as the rest of Barnet. The second collection has never been 'free' as Barnet claimed and we should not be paying any extra to have our rubbish removed.

Another option is that Barnet will sell us more large wheelie bins (at considerable profit) to increase our bin capacity and empty them all once a week. The bin areas will have many more bins and we will probably be charged by Peabody for buying them. We understand Peabody are in discussion with Barnet about ways to resolve the situation. Other estates are affected as well.

Whilst this problem continues please make every effort to put rubbish that can be recycled into the recycling bins and NOT in the general waste bins. There are two new large recycling bins at the junction of Strawberry Vale and Old Farm Road.

September 19th.
Octavia Hill Garden can now be open for longer and at the weekends. After months of wading through the complications of altering a Planning Application to allow longer opening hours, this morning Barnet sent through the official authorisation.

Rubbish News! Using skills that would impress a Hatton Garden safe cracker we have managed to open the bolted down lids of the two new large recycling bins. As always, compressing your rubbish first gets more into the bins!   Putting your rubbish into the bins is better than leaving it next to the bins for the caretakers to tidy up. Our estate looks less messy and the caretakers can do more useful work. Also we are less likely to see a return of our small furry friends!

It has taken a ridiculous 18 months to get these bins which Peabody had to buy from Barnet. Neither organisations moved fast! It should mean that there is now less pressure on the general waste bins and less likelihood of overflowing waste attracting the pests.


September 1st.
A win for the SVRA with tenants now seeing a reduction in their heating and hot water charges and a refund. This followed ten months of arguing the case with Peabody by your RA chair! Tenants were being charged nearly twice as much for their heating and hot water as leaseholders and freeholders in same sized properties.

We also had an influence on the repainting of the junction white lines at the exit of Strawberry Vale. Residents concerns about the dangers of the first version of right turn arrows were passed to Cllr. Arjun Mittra who got it sorted. Right turning traffic now has stop lines. See the difference between before and after below.


August 5th.
Sunday afternoon tea in the Octavia Hill Garden, attended by members of the Finchley Society and the Octavia Hill Society from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

                 Octavia Hill Garden

The occasion was the unveiling of a new information plaque about Octavia Hill who is famous as a founder of the National Trust. She lived in a cottage about 200 metres to the west of the garden. She also campaigned for improved housing for the poor of Victorian London and particularly that they should have access to open spaces - just like our peaceful garden.

July 25th.
Two new picnic tables were installed today following our successful application for funding from Peabody. One is in the Octavia Hill Garden and the other by the football pen.

May 18th.
The football pen had its official opening today with matches organised by Polly and her team of helpers.


April 27th.
The football pen is back in use! Rain did not stop our players enjoying the newly surfaced pen. It has new goals and a new slightly bouncy surface that will make it safer to play on. It also drains properly. Thanks to David Azouelos for helping to get this done and to Peabody for finding the money.
            The new pen

February 15th 2018.
The gas legal case is now finally settled! Two years, one month and five trips to Court later, Strawberry Vale residents who took legal action against Peabody to make them restore the gas supply to our homes have reached an out of court settlement before going to trial.

All 57 claimants should receive some compensation. The amounts of compensation being paid to claimants varies and reflects the amount claimed and each claimants ability to justify their claim with evidence of loss. Peabody argued that their offer to provide everyone with freestanding electric cookers should have meant paying no compensation at all to most claimants. It was an achievement of our legal team that Peabody agreed to settle and pay up.

The real result of the legal case was that we forced Peabody to restore our gas supply, which would not have happened without us taking legal action. As far as they can, Peabody have also agreed to maintain the gas supply for the foreseeable future. The gas supply will also now conform to safety regulations, something that was not done before.

In fact, during the safety checks carried out two years ago, contractors found that some of the gas pipes hidden in service ducts were corroding and in need of replacement. These downpipes in Old Farm Road were promptly replaced with 31 new visible external pipes.

The whole episode was a public relations disaster for Peabody attracting negative media coverage and creating a negative view amongst residents. The 'Gas News' page has the whole sorry saga.

To their credit, the Peabody lawyer apologised to us for what went on two years ago and many Peabody staff have worked hard to improve relations with residents. We hope that nothing like this will ever happen again.

Water Charges. A very helpful guide on how you may be able to reduce your water charges has been written by one of our residents.  Read it here to discover if you might qualify and how to get it.

Energy Advice. A very thorough guide can be found here of lots of ways that you may be able to save money on your energy bills. It has been provided by a helpful member of the Peabody Home Energy Advice Team.
  Some of the other things the Residents Association are doing:  
  Trying to get more rubbish bins and bins that are easier to open.
Applying for Community funding for estate improvements.
Trying to help solve the parking issues in a fair way.
Investigating where Peabody are spending our money.
Finding out why the service charges seem to be applied unfairly.
Gathering information about unsatisfactory repairs.

Strawberry Vale

"A big thank you to SVRA members who worked so hard for us to get our gas restored. I'm now enjoying cooking on gas for the first time this evening, which is all due to you."

"We would like to sincerely thank you for your relentless perseverance in making this happen." 




The Housing Bill going through Parliament has many implications for social housing.
Lord Kerslake, Peabody Chair, reported on them in BBC Sunday Politics on 7th February 2016.


Read more about The Housing Bill here