Cleaning on Lockner

As we previously mentioned – our lovely cleaner Anthony has been moved elsewhere.

Instead of having our own cleaner on site taking ownership of Lockner, we now have street cleaners doing a daily “check and rectify” on every block, with a 4 weekly clean (each floor cleaned on a 20 day cycle), with an annual deep cleaning service.

Previous cleaners have changed light bulbs, reported problems to repairs and had a good feel for what needs doing. Unfortunately this service has now gone and it is up to residents to call the repair line to report such things.

Standards have clearly slipped under this new scheme. Stairwells are left for weeks smelling of urine with litter and other unpleasant items, and general litter seems to be building up everywhere.

What we recommend is that we complain individually and collectively as an association about this. 

What you can do:

  • Call 0208 356 2121 to report poor cleaning
  • Take pictures and email complaints to:  John.Wheatley@Hackney.gov.uk  (Head of Estate Cleaning as well as Environmental Operations)

Free Cooking Course in Hackney

This course comes highly recommended by a resident who now volunteers to teach on it.
An organisation called Bags of Taste based in Hackney teach fantastic cookery skills for healthy very low cost family meals around £1 a portion. They teach 2 recipes per session & then you get to cook it with supervision & eat with the course members for lunch.
They sell the ingredients for the 2 recipes bagged up for £3 for 2 people’s meals.
It’s a fantastic scheme. There are regular free courses of 4 weekly sessions all over Hackney but our nearest is in Hoxton.
Below is website & courses can be booked on Eventbrite.

Want to update your Sky?

Well, unfortunately,  you can’t. See below research done by a resident on Portland court who has asked us to share!

1.    Hackney Council (Kimson Alexander – 02083563000), confirmed that they will not be undertaking the upgrading work for us to receive Sky Q on our estate in the foreseeable future. This is due to costs.
2.    Avonline are the contractors responsible they have to be contracted by Hackney to carry out this work. This is simple but a cost is involved. They cannot help us without Hackney’s approval. 01179531111 or email info@avonline.co.uk
3.    It still stands that we cannot have our own individual satellite system installed. This remains non-negotiable with the council.

Service charge increases 

A Neighbour on Stratton court was concerned about an abrupt increase in her service charge, and took the time to complain and chase this up, involving our counsellor.

The result was a 50% reduction in the charge, and an apology from Hackney Council!

Something we can all learn from. Details can be seen in the letter she has kindly shared with us below.

You can request a breakdown of your service charges by emailing service.charges@hackney.gov.uk

A frustrating process, but certainly worth it.

Gerda Doors

We have been chasing some information on the installation of Gerda doors on Lockner. Some residents have had a private contracting company send letters and turn up to measure for instillation of these security doors. We haven’t been consulted about this, it is unclear who will pay for them, and we don’t know if we are obligated under our Lease to have them installed.

There have also been concerns raised by Lockner Residents Association in the past about the safety of these doors after the death of a resident on the estate, who was collapsed in the downstairs hallway, visible through the letterbox, needing emergency medical care. Ambulance, police and fire crew’s attended and could not get access to her home to reach her because of the Gerda door. Fire and police services explained that these doors were virtually impossible to get into and accessed the collapsed lady via a neighbours balcony and bedroom window.gerda

Hackney Homes at the time suggested that a key is left with neighbours and in emergency residents should call the repair service centre for a specialist carpenter to be dispatched. We complained further and received the following reply in 2015 from Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, and having escalated our concerns, did not take this matter any further.

“I note your suggestion that serious consideration be given to halting the installation of further Gerda doors until the training of the emergency services is complete.  Hackney Homes have considered this matter and have also consulted Sean Whelan, Crime Prevention Officer, who is attached to Hackney Homes from the Metropolitan Police.  Mr Whelan has advised caution at the suggestion that the safe door programme is halted, as the need for the emergency services to gain access needs to be balanced with ensuring the security of residents in their homes.  However, he has made a number of proposals to put something in place to assist the emergency services gain access to save life and limb.

I will continue to monitor these issues closely. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Jim Paterson, Head of Building Maintenance.”

We will re visit this topic again and invite the appropraite person from Hackney Council to attend our next meeting to provide us with an update and hopefully provide some reassurance and answers.

If you would like further background information, feel free to email and we will happily provide it.

Tonights meeting was productive with the constitution and accounts being agreed, and saw some new faces. Minutes and an important update about cleaning on Lockner and how to sucessfully challenge increasing services charges to follow.

 

Estate Cleaning

We recently learned that our wonderful cleaner Anthony is no longer looking after Lockner. We’re all dissapointed to hear this, he was great at his job, knew everyone and always went above and beyond his work duties to help.

Instead – Hackney Council are now using street cleaners on a rota to come in and clean. We’ve asked for a timetable/run down of when, what and where and we will email it out as soon as we have it. Previously our estate cleaner has also reported repairs and changed lightbulbs, it’s unclear at the moment who will be taking on these duties.

In the meantime, please keep an eye out on the standards of cleaning so we can flag up any problems. We were given the impression that this is something that Hackney Council are trying out, so if it’s not working, we need to feed this back to them.

AGM Meeting Minutes

LOCKNER ESTATE – TRA MEETING

15th March 2017

Present:

Emmanuel Malm (Hackney Homes)

Lisa Linpower (Chair), Dorchester Court

Francine Bennett (Secretary), Dorset Court

Joe Cranston Turner (Treasurer), Blandford Court

Jon Hoskins (Vice Chair), Dorchester Court

Maria Savito, Dorset Court

Brian Burton, Dorset Court

Carol Wonderling, Wareham Court

Sammy Wonderling, Wareham Court

Casper Laing Ebbensgaard, QMUL

Emily Read, Dorset Court

Jake Snell, Dorset Court

Rebecca Lloyd-Evans, Dorset Court

Nikki Parrott, Dorset Court

Abi Bolaji, Blandford Court

Apologies:

None

Action items

  • Provide and circulate annual accounts (JCT)

  • Query with HH directors how to get a bill for outstanding business rates and utility bills on the Community Flat sent to the flat tenants (EM)

  • Chase repairs for loose wiring on Dorchester Court, outstanding repair since January (EM)

  • Circulate bench options on playground for review (FB)

  • Find out what is the purpose, schedule, and cost of the Dorset Court door replacement scheme (ie who is it charged back to) (EM)

  • Investigate non-working light outside 63 Blandford (EM)

  • Get job number to chase up heating repairs in community flat (EM/NP)

  • Send MS details of Police Community Team (FB)

  • Share template letter for lease extension costings (NP)

Notes

1. AGM

The Chair provided a short report of the previous year’s activities. The Treasurer was absent from the first part of the meeting, accounts to be provided after the meeting for review and approval.

Elections were conducted for officer and committee posts, with the following being elected:

  • Lisa Linpower re-elected as Chair

  • Nikki Parrott elected as Vice Chair

  • Francine Bennett re-elected as Secretary

  • Maria Savito elected as Treasurer

  • All others in attendance agreed to act as Committee Members

  • Jake and Emily Snell volunteered after the meeting to act as Panel Representatives

2. Playgrounds update

At the previous meeting there had been questions about the state of maintenance and potential improvements to playgrounds. EM and NP agreed a tentative date of 21st April 2017 for a walkabout to review potential improvements, although would want to check potential costs and timetables of works before anything went forward.

3. Business Rates / Utilities on community flat

It’s still unclear how to resolve the issue with business rates on the community flat, as Hackney Homes and LB Hackney don’t appear to be willing to communicate with the flat tenants Tigerlilly about the amount owing. EM will raise formally to discover how we should get a bill for payment.

4. Update on other items by Hackney Homes

  • EM raised the issue of loose wires on Dorchester Court after our January meeting, but these have still not been fixed and are worse after recent storms – EM to chase

  • EM still waiting for information from Wayne Hibberd about options for new planting in common areas

  • Billboard has been moved, EM is not sure why – those present agreed it could be removed entirely

  • EM has recently circulated a catalogue of options for a new bench in one of the play areas – FB to circulate for comment. MS suggested that we could issue a challenge to local design schools to come up with a new design – she will follow up. EM pointed out that any new design would need to be safety approved by Hackney Homes.

5. Any Other Business

  • BB and others asked about the door replacement scheme on Dorset Court, and requested EM to find out what is the purpose, schedule, and cost of the scheme (ie who is it charged back to)

  • 63 Blandford Court has had a non-working outdoor light for many months – EM to investigate

  • Heating is still not fixed in community flat – EM/NP to chase up job reference to follow up

  • MS expressed concern about security on Dorset Court – several people hanging about in stairwells at night, which can be intimidating. FB suggested contacting the police Community Team, and agreed to forward their details

  • NP asked about lease extension costs, as HH will only provide a cost for extensions case by case, so it’s difficult to know whether the price quoted is fair. EM advised this is unlikely to change, so NP agreed to share a template among everyone to get individual quotes then share notes

Diary Date

The next meeting is on 15th March 2017, 7pm at the Lockner Community Flat (18 Blandford Court).

This is also our Annual General Meeting (like a normal TRA meeting, but with elections for added excitement). If you only come to one meeting this year, please make it this one – and if you think you might like to stand as Treasurer, Secretary, Chair, or Vice-Chair for the next year, please do (let us know if you’re considering it and would like a chat about what is involved locknertra@gmail.com).

Minutes, meeting March 2017

LOCKNER ESTATE – TRA MEETING

22nd March 2017

 

Present:

Emmanuel Malm (Hackney Homes)

Lisa Linpower (Chair), Dorchester Court

Francine Bennett (Secretary), Dorset Court

Raymond Subratie, Dorset Court

Shakira Subratie, resident

Linda Edwards, Dorchester Court (posters)

Jake Snell, Dorset Court

 

Apologies:

Jon Hoskins, vice Chair

Joe Cranston Turner, Treasurer

 

Action items

  • Investigate loose TV wiring on back of Dorchester Court (EM) – already followed up and job ticket assigned
  • Feed back to TRA on planting options and associated costs, to replace shrubs by red playground (EM)
  • Notify Wayne Hibberd that grass clippings are not being cleared properly after mowing (EM) – these are deliberately left to decompose by Hackney Homes
  • Query who owns billboard on end of garages, and whether HH or TRA could rent it out (EM)
  • Clarify the correct process for paying bills on community flat inc water and business rates, with Rachel Joseph (EM)
  • Proposal for new benches in green playground to next meeting (EM)
  • Clarify how the TRA can request playground improvements with Tony Stenning (EM) – There isn’t any provision of funding for this at present. The Planned Communal Repairs Budget otherwise known as the 184 is one area in which some funds could be earmarked however, more information about the size of this budget will be known in the first quarter of the new financial year.
  • Put up posters for all 2017 TRA meetings (LE)

 

Notes

  1. Playgrounds

Grounds Maintenance (via EM) have highlighted that there are shrubs growing into the red playground. They would like to know whether residents would prefer these shrubs to be removed, to avoid risk of children getting scratched, and possibly having the area replanted with something else. EM to get options from Grounds Maintenance to discuss at next meeting.

HH have identified that the blue benches on the green playground are splintered and need to be removed. EM to get a price and style proposal for replacing them with more appropriate new benches, to bring to next meeting.

 

  1. Panto tickets

The Subratie family and LE joined the meeting to raise questions and frustrations about the allocation of panto tickets. The TRA pays for panto tickets each year, with tickets being reserved first for people who have helped with community events in the year and then being first come first served on a particular day. In recent years the rule has been a maximum of four tickets or the number of people living in a household, whichever is lower, and last year there were 26 tickets total of which 8 were reserved for ‘helpers’ and 18 given out first come first served, including to those attending the meeting. There was a discussion but no conclusion about whether a ballot or a lower limit (e.g. 2 per flat) might be a fairer way to allocate tickets to a wider range of people. LE also raised questions about how TRA meetings were advertised (she considered that they were not advertised well enough) and criticised the lack of posters for the latest meetings; she agreed that she would put up posters for the 2017 meetings, which would also help her know that she could have panto tickets as that would put her on the ‘helpers’ list.

 

  1. Procedure on bills for flat

Bills including water and business rates for the community flat have started to be sent directly to the flat, and it’s unclear what the correct procedure is to pay them. EM to check with Rachel Joseph.

 

  1. Rental for garage billboard

LL pointed out that fly posters are using the large billboard on the garages to advertise unofficially, and asked EM to check who owns that billboard and whether HH or the TRA could rent it out for advertising, to generate revenue for the estate.

 

  1. Englefield Road gate

EM explained the current situation with the gates on either end of the car park. The gate to St Peter’s Way has been temporarily opened and Englefield Road has been closed, to allow cars out of the car park while works on Englefield Road are ongoing. Views from residents on whether to keep the new arrangement are mixed – it’s much easier to pull out of that end of the car park, as St Peter’s Way is quieter, but some residents at that end are unenthusiastic about the extra traffic. Agreed to review the situation at next TRA meeting.

 

AOB

Sections of the TV wiring trunking seem to be dropping off the back of Dorchester court – EM to investigate

Grass clippings are being left on the ground after grass areas have been mowed by Grounds Maintenance – EM to highlight to Wayne Hibberd