Minutes 01.05.2013

Notes from meeting of 1st May 2013

Present:

Joe Cranston Turner, Treasurer

Francine Bennett, Secretary

Jenny Duval, Dorset Court (chairing)

Elli Papamichael, Hackney Homes

Tom Ebbutt, Councillor

Dimitri Kossivas, Dorset Court

Carol Wonderling, Wareham Court

Sarah Honeywell, Blandford Court

Jon Hoskins, Dorchester Court

Ellie Stevenson, Swanage Court

Apologies:

Lisa Linpower (Chair)

Action items

  1. Chase Portia to send out pram shed allocation letters (EP)
  2. Agree how to allocate remaining pram sheds to ground floor people (JCT)
  3. Chase up and provide an update on next steps relating to overgrown private gardens (EP)
  4. Update on leasehold permissions and guidance once completed (EP)
  5. Find out how many garages are in use at the moment and what the waiting list is like (EP)
  6. Obtain update on Blandford Court security gates (EP)
  7. Find out what is happening with scaffolding on upper floors and when works will be finished and scaffolding removed (EP)

Notes

1. Pram sheds (JCT)

All available sheds have now been allocated to residents, and Portia is due to send out letters from the Neighbourhood Office this week.

There were enough sheds for everyone on upper floors who wanted one to have one.

There are some remaining sheds, but there are more people on lower floor who want sheds than the amount that remain. JCT will think about a fair and transparent way to allocate these.

JCT also noted that some residents are still holding on to more than one shed, breaking into open sheds, or acting in an abusive or deceptive way towards the Neighbourhood Office and TRA people to try and obtain sheds. Those present agreed this isn’t acceptable, but that we have no clear way to deal with it at present.

2. Hackney Homes new structure introduction (EP)

Elli is now going to attend all local TRA meetings, including ours, and is responsible for monitoring actions and communicating these back to the Neighbourhood Office. She has assured us that she will be remaining permanently in post, and will be our single point of contact from now on. She noted that Portia (Estate Manager) is not confirmed in her current post, so our Estate Manager may still change. FB asked EP to highlight the need for a good handover if roles do change, as we have seen information lost and actions slip multiple times before when postholders change. EP assured us that handover will be managed properly by Hackney Homes. All new officers are expected to be permanently in place by July at latest.

EP also asked that any communications with the neighbourhood office should go not to individual officers but to neighbourhoods@hackneyhomes.org.uk, as emails to that address will be properly tracked and managed from now on.

3. Paving works update (JD)

Several residents at the meeting noted the very poor quality and patchy organisation of the paving works done on the estate to date, including damaged stones, uneven levels between sections of paving which for example are dangerous to children on bikes and scooters, and decreases rather than increases in the look and quality of the surface.

JD has met with Mel Cameron, Hackney Homes Contract Manager, on the estate, and he agreed that the works to date were not up to an acceptable standard. He is now managing the works more closely, and signing off on them section by section, to ensure a better quality.

JD asked those present to photograph any sections which still look poor after they are completed, so that the TRA is able to properly challenge any problems which remain after Mel’s signoff.

4. Paintwork update (FB and JD)

Edd Southerden was not able to be at the meeting, but has been leading the TRA’s participation in the borough-wide court case relating to the paint contract (see previous meeting minutes). FB noted that the Hackney Leaseholders group which is leading the action is asking leaseholders to contribute a small amount to legal fees (see: http://www.wearehackneycouncilleaseholders.org/latestnews) for the court case, to ensure that our interests are well represented.

JD has discovered an old can from the previous works which was meant for indoor domestic use, suggesting that the paint used on the last set of works may have been the wrong kind and may be a root cause of the paint flaking and being mouldy so quickly.  She is pursuing this question on behalf of the TRA with Hackney Homes.

CW noted that the estate wasn’t painted at all until these initial works about 7 years ago, and she and several long-term residents agreed that they would be happier to return to the original bare concrete.

The cleaners have started removing mould from upper floor balconies, to improve their

appearance, which the TRA requested a number of months ago.

5. Gardens

FB requested an update on the issue of private gardens being in a poor state, which Kim Byrne had asked Cecile Joseph-Godfrey from Hackney Homes to look at at the October 2012 TRA meeting and which we haven’t yet received any response on.

EP said that this was a new issue to her but that Veronica from Hackney Homes was looking at the issue.

6. First aid course

The First Aid course for residents which the TRA recently organised and funded went very well, and we plan to hold another in the near future.

7. Big Lunch

The Big Lunch event will be on 2nd June this year, and JH will be taking a lead in organising it. He asked for any kind of help that people are willing to offer. ES volunteered to design a poster.

8. Leasehold permissions

At the Jan 2013 TRA meeting we’d asked for clearer guidance on what leaseholders can and can’t do to their properties, and what processes apply for making alterations.

Hackney Homes has not yet produced their updated guidance, but will communicate it as soon as complete.

9. Any other business

Garages

DK asked why there were notices on some parking garages on the estate, and how they were used. EP wasn’t sure in the case of this estate, and doesn’t know how many are let and which ones are for commercial users vs residents. She will follow up with Portia to find out more.

Security gates on Blandford

An update on the security gates on Blandford Court was requested. EP did not have an update but will check with Tony Stenning who is leading on the work.

Several present noted that the consultation was not likely to be very effective as it was held on a weekday during the daytime, meaning that nobody with a job would be able to attend.

Scaffolding – whole estate

Scaffolding for the water tanks has been up since March on upper floors with no sign of activity yet. EP agreed that it should not be left up without a good reason, and will follow up to find out what’s happening with these works.

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