Minutes 30.01.2013


Minutes from meeting of 30th January 2013

Lisa Linpower, Chair
Francine Bennett, Secretary
Joe Cranston Turner, Treasurer
Cecile Joseph-Godfrey, Hackney Homes
Portia Marapara, Hackney Homes
Jenny Duval, Dorset Court
Brian Burton, Dorset Court
Xiaoxia He, Wareham Court
Katie Cross, Swanage Court
Rabiye Mustafa, Dorset Court
Edd Sourtherden, Dorset Court
Jon Gascoigne, Wareham Court

Tom Ebbutt (Councillor)

Action items

  • Feed back result of paint works hearing after February (ES)
  • Provide information on leaseholder information sessions (CJG)
  • Agree and distribute letter to pram shed applicants (JCT & PM)


1. Painting on the estate

ES has been investigating and working on the issues related to painting contracts for the estate, on behalf of the TRA. He recapped the current situation: that there were proposed works to repaint the whole estate in 2012, and that after JD and others raised questions about the unit costings and quality standards for the works it emerged that Hackney Homes had no legally permissible contract in place to do the works through. They have now proposed that Hackney Homes should award that contract to themselves to do the work (which requires them to get special legal permissions). A number of TRAs have got together to query this, given the existing doubts about quality and value for money delivered through previous works and doubts about whether this would give Hackney Homes appropriate incentive to deliver high-quality and good-value work, and Edd has been involved in this action on behalf of Lockner TRA.
The next stage is that there will be a hearing in February, which the TRAs have submitted a statement of case to. After we find out the judgement from that, the TRA can decide whether further action is necessary.
2. First aid
LL would like to arrange a professional emergency first aid training for residents, as a good for the community, since it would always be good for ourselves and our neighbours to be able to help in the case of need. She requested permission to use up to £900 of the TRA’s funds, taken from the rent for the flat, to deliver training to up to 40 residents. Those present approved this request.
3. Leasehold permissions
JD raised concerns about differences in lease agreements on different parts of the estate, and how enforcement of them appears to have changed. She has recently found that Hackney Homes retrospectively wish to inspect for approval minor internal changes which she has made in her own home, for the first time, and was concerned for other leaseholders in similar situations. The particular points of concern were that:

  • Leases haven’t historically been tightly enforced, so leaseholders might have a leasehold that wasn’t scrutinised at the time of purchase and now find themselves liable for any changes that the previous tenant might have made.
  • What is the driver behind increased inspection, and how can we deal with changes which have already been made without being heavily penalised? (anecdotally it seems that things have never previously been checked in the history of the estate)
  • Are leaseholders and tenants being held responsible to the same standards? Both groups frequently make changes to their properties, it’s unclear whether leaseholders are being more closely scrutinised in this case.
  • Hackney Homes charges leaseholders for instructing their surveyor and the cost of redrawing leases, Is this a money-making exercise, given that it’s never been done before, or is there some other driver?

CJG commented that Hackney Homes runs leaseholder information days which she believes do cover such issues, and offered to forward further information on these to the TRA.

4. Pram sheds

PM reported back on work to date on identifying and redistributing unused pram sheds. She has identified 14 unclaimed, and a further 5 which could be reclaimed since the owners have taken more than one shed. The cost of changing the locks where needed on these has been estimated at £1240, not including cost of clearance of any contents.
She has received 26 applications so far, so we will need to determine rules for who gets what. PM and JCT will discuss further, but at the meeting those present agreed some broad principles:

  • Sheds should be allocated according to need
  • Those upstairs with young children, who actually have prams, should get first priority as they have daily need for access to downstairs storage
  • After that, those upstairs who commute by bicycle or have other very inconvenient objects that they regularly have to carry up and down the stairs
  • People who already have a garage or a pramshed or who live downstairs are lower priority, as they are likely to have less need
  • People who have older children, or who have children visiting who are not their own, get lower priority, as they also have less frequent need

PM and JCT will consider how to collect information on these factors from applicants in an accurate way, and will agree a draft before anything is sent.