Big Lockner Lunch 2017

Lockner’s 7th annual Big Lunch was the biggest so far!

Neighbours came together to contribute to lunch tables and break bread; Somali rice, Bakewell tart, home made ottolenghi salads and Caribbean jerk among other delightful dishes were gathered and shared with friends old and new, a wonderful array of different tastes representing the different cultures on Lockner made up our delicious communal feast.

We started with a magic show, dazzling Lockner’s children for an hour of excitement, followed by a hula hooping disco workshop (and lots of surprisingly nimble hips), a Capoiera session saw children and parents come together under the guidance of Capoiera tutors and drummers. All the while Noah at Mamachari Bikes tirelessly repaired, serviced, pumped and replaced parts of bikes for residents. Live music from The Barbarian Hoarde gave the children the opportunity to listen to, and play, a cello and acoustic ukulele. Michael D’Adore from Bleed These Colours inspired children with his punchy rhythms and captivating choruses on the acoustic guitar. An arts and crafts corner ran all day by the wonderful Myriam provided Lockner’s children with a quiet creative space away from the buzz of the celebrations and Toni painted a patient line of children’s faces, turning them into anything from cosmic fairies to tigers!

Neighbors came together to celebrate our rare and wonderful community here on Lockner, and a perfect day was had by all.

A huge thanks to the set up and pack away teams and to the organisers who make this day so special for us every year.

 

Advertisements

Minutes 14.6.2017

TRA meeting Р14th June, 7-8pm

Attendees

Lisa Linpower (Chair)

Nikki Parrott (Vice-Chair)

Francine Bennett (Secretary)

Maria Savito (Treasurer)

Brian Burton (9 Dorset Court)

Kim Byrne (1 Lulworth Court)

Alasdair O’Hare (9 Portland Court)

Natalie Moss (9 Portland Court)

Cordelia Harwood (59 Blandford Court)

David Turton (18 Blandford Court)

Pat Turton (18 Blandford Court)

Shakira Subratie (67 Blandford Court)

Raymond Subratie (30 Dorset Court)

Amena Subratie (30 Dorset Court)

Abi Bobyi (63 Blandford Court)

Joe Cranston-Turner (52 Blandford Court)

Maria Sanchez (12 Stratton Court)

Tom Oakley (9 Swanage Court)

[illegible] (29 Blandford Court)

Actions

  • Find out whether Hackney can do a mailout for every open meeting, in order to create quorum for each meeting (FB)
  • Chase Hackney again for clear information on business rates and utilities for community flat (EM)
  • Add rent review to agenda of next open meeting (FB)
  • Test different meeting time for next open meeting (FB/LL)
  • Invite Major Works representative to next meeting to explain proposed door scheme (EM)
  • Contact councillor to raise concerns about proposed door scheme (LL)
  • Query whether service charge rebate has been made to all flats affected by tank overcharge (FB)
  • Raise any cleaning concerns to¬†cleaner.estates@hackney.gov.uk¬†(all)
  • Add bike locker options to next meeting agenda (FB/EM)

Approve last year’s accounts (JCT/MGS)

The accounts were reviewed by those present and approved with no queries.

Discuss, amend, and vote in new constitution (FB)

We reviewed the new constitution which Hackney has proposed the TRA adopts.

In general those present were happy with the proposed wording, but there was some concern about whether we would be able to always achieve the new proposed minimum quorum of 12 for our four annual open meetings.

It was agreed that FB would check whether LB Hackney can commit to do a mailout for each open meeting; the TRA is happy to formally adopt the constitution conditional on this being done.

We also agreed to try varying the meeting times at alternating meetings, as early times are better for parents while later times are better for those who work.

 Community flat rent review (FB)

Nikki Parrott absented herself for this item, as her company are tenants of the flat.

The rental for the flat is currently £250 per calendar month, excluding bills and rates. This is definitely well below market rent for office space in the area, so the TRA considers that it should review whether to raise the rent.

There was some discussion of the pros and cons of changing the rent:

  • In favour of changing – ¬£250 pcm is clearly below market rent, and if the TRA achieved a higher rent it would provide more for the community
  • Against charging – the condition of the flat has been very poor over the last year, there have been several floods and closures and no clear information from Hackney on when issues will be repaired, if we charge closer to market rent then tenants are unlikely to put up with this kind of issue

It emerged during the discussion that Hackney staff have not yet provided Emmanuel with the information requested at last meeting (3 months ago) on what rates and bills are owing or what the monthly rates will be in future. After discussion those present agreed to re-review the rent at the first meeting after this has been clarified, since it will be an important factor in setting a fair total rent.

Update on Big Lunch plans, 15th July (NP)

NP and LL gave a brief update on plans to celebrate the Big Lunch next month, and requested anyone able to volunteer some time on the day to make themselves known and get involved in the event.

Updates on selected action items from last meeting

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)

EM has queried this but had no clear response so far – Resident Participation has said that ‚Äúthere will be an expectation that there will be a contribution made towards the cost of the utility bills‚ÄĚ but the amount expected or the back payments owing are still unclear. EM to follow up.

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

EM has also queried this but not yet got clear information. From the Contracts Manager: ‚ÄúWe are waiting for leasehold services (major works team) to issue the section 20 notices before we can start the front entrance doors installation‚ÄĚ. This did not answer the question we asked. A number of residents raised concerns and frustrations both about the safety of any new doors (especially given the recent Grenfell Tower fire), lack of clarity about why this is being done or what it will cost.

It is unclear when the scheme will start or how we might get more information to help judge whether it’s a good idea.

EM will invite Major Works to the next meeting in the hope they may attend and clarify.

LL will contact our councillor to see if we can get better communication from Hackney through that route.

Any Other Business

One resident raised concerns about dog fouling on the grass communal areas, as well as dangerous dogs on the estate, and those from outside the estate using the large shared bins to dump their own rubbish.

EM suggested in all those cases sharing door numbers or addresses of the offenders with him, as him paying a visit is likely to be the most effective reminder. He did not recommend any new signage as there is an ongoing signage review by Hackney which means that few new signs are being installed at the moment.

MS pointed out that the service charge to leaseholders has increased rapidly over the last few years. She has queried the reasons behind this with Hackney, and has been told that this is driven by repairs taking place on the estate, although it is unclear what those repairs are. She recommended that every individual flat request a breakdown of charges. MS discovered during this process that an expensive cold water storage tank was mistakenly charged back to all flats Рmore detail here. FB agreed to query with Hackney whether this has been repaid to all flats or just to MS.

Several residents raised that cleaning under the new Hackney system is not as good as previously – stairwells and other communal areas are noticeably more dirty. EM explained that the new system is where street cleaners ‚Äúcheck and rectify‚ÄĚ any issues each day, then do a proper wash of all areas every 20 days. He suggested that if residents have concerns or issues then they raise them with¬†cleaner.estates@hackney.gov.uk.

KB shared that Hackney is definitely not going to upgrade the communal aerial for Sky Q, so it is not worth paying for upgraded Sky Q services privately.

One resident requested reviewing bike locker options at the next agenda, as he would like to know how to request having lockers installed on the estate.

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 Р02083563000), 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‚Äôs 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