Gerda Doors update

For the last six months (or more) we have been chasing Hackney Council about the Gerda door instillation programe on Lockner. You can see some background information on our previous post – click here .

Hackney Council, despite heroic efforts from our excellent estate manager, have still not clarified the situation; do we HAVE to have the doors installed? Who pays for them? Is there a time schedule? One leaseholder reports being told on the telephone that she can simply say no to the instillation.

In the meantime, we have heard from Phillip Glanville, the Mayor of Hackney (with help from Cllr Peters), that the Gerda door instillation programe has now been stopped in Hackney Council properties – see email below.

So – the bottom line appears to be that you don’t have to have a door installed if you don’t want to. If you do go ahead and you are a leaseholder, it is still not clear who will pay for it, even if it appears that the council have previously insisted on it…

Minutes from tonights meeting to follow.

From: Mayor <<>>
Date: 8 September 2017 at 17:03:48 BST
To: “James Peters (Cllr)” <<>>
Subject: Gerda doors

Dear James

Gerda doors

Thank you for your email which was received on 17 June 2017. I am sorry to hear of the concerns of Lockner Estate residents about the ability of the Council and emergency services to quickly gain access through Gerda-manufactured doors in the event of an emergency. I apologise for the delay in responding.

As you are aware, concerns about Gerda doors, specifically in relation to the durability of their finish, date back many years and the Council has tried to proactively work with Gerda to resolve these issues since 2006.

In terms of access, when I wrote to you in November 2015, I explained that six approved carpenters had been trained in accessing properties with Gerda doors, and that during their training, Gerda provide delegates with the skills to get past the specialist locks. While I appreciate that there have, understandably, been concerns around the doors, I have been assured that training was provided to the emergency services within the borough, to demonstrate how the doors can be forced in an emergency. This was done almost as soon as the doors were fitted.

Housing Services have confirmed that the DLOs operate a 24/7 service and are trained in how to force entry. DLOs are available when needed and more than happy to help in these circumstances. Further, I am pleased to be able to confirm that they continue to run workshops for local emergency services to ensure that this skill is maintained.

However, as I suggested in my previous response, the Council has recently discontinued the purchase of Gerda doors and opted instead for multi-point locking composite doors. While there are still some Gerda doors in stock that may be fitted, the Council will not be ordering any more. This does not, however, reflect a lack of faith in Gerda doors, in terms of being able to gain access in an emergency.

I hope that this response is helpful and if you or the Lockner TRA want to discuss this further, please do come back to me or Cllr McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services.

Yours sincerely

Philip Glanville
Mayor of Hackney


Meeting Tonight

Hi Neighbours. A reminder of our meeting tonight at 6:30 in the community flat, 18 Blandford court. 

Hackney Council changed the rules at our last AGM to say that we have to meet quorum and have 12 people at every meeting for the meeting to count. In exchange they have agreed to do a “Mail out” before every meeting with information – have you received yours?

See you there! 

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.


Minutes 14.6.2017

TRA meeting – 14th June, 7-8pm


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)


  • 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 (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 “there will be an expectation that there will be a contribution made towards the cost of the utility bills” 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: “We are waiting for leasehold services (major works team) to issue the section 20 notices before we can start the front entrance doors installation”. 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 – more 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 “check and rectify” 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

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:  (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
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

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.