Minutes 26.02.14

LOCKNER ESTATE – TRA MEETING

26th Feb 2014

Present:

Lisa Linpower, Dorchester Court (chairing)

Joe Cranston Turner, Treasurer

Francine Bennett, Secretary

Elli Papamichael, Hackney Homes

Hanrival Castro, Dorset Court

Mattia Reininger, Stratton Court

Brian Burton, Dorset Court

Carol Wonderling, Wareham Court

Sam Bryant, Dorset Court

Rebecca Reeves, Dorset Court

Jake Snell, Dorset Court

Terry Collins, Poole Court

Sarah Honeywell, Blandford Court

Ellie Stevenson, Swanage Court

Edd Southerden, Dorset Court

Serena Allen, Blandford Court

Jackie Lynolt, Stratton Court

Apologies:

Tom Ebbutt (Councillor)

Action items

  • Share link to the public Order which explains why gates have tp be removed (EP)
  • Share any photos or evidence of Hackney Homes vehicles parking on the estate in the past (all)
  • Ask Councillors whether there is any way to request a public cycle pump on the square (FB)
  • Forward email confirming that Blandford gates plan is not going ahead (EP)
  • Confirm latest plan for estate repainting – is this to be done in patches or as an overall programme? (EP)
  • Flake test on estate paint – was the wrong paint used? (MR)

Notes

1. Security gates

Many residents’ external security gates have been removed by Hackney Homes due to their fire risk assessment – any gate that opens 90 degrees onto a walkway has been removed. Downstairs gates have not been removed.

EP explained that the new Hackney Homes policy is to remove such gates, due to their concerns about being held liable for fire risk, and that this policy was non-negotiable.

Furthermore, she could not guarantee that Hackney Homes would want to remove other gates in future if their policy changed. However, she said that pram shed gates would not be removed, as they’re not attached to a dwelling. She clarified that upstairs gates that opened 180 degrees should be OK, but that if they had already been removed that residents had to seek permission from Hackney Homes to reinstate them.

FB commented that their email to the estate manager (Martin Omoding) asking for more information before removal did not receive any reply until after Hackney Homes had already removed her flat’s gate. EP advised that this should not have happened, and that we could raise a formal complaint about lack of reply if we wished to.

CW asked why gates couldn’t just be altered to open 180 degrees instead. EP advised that Hackney Homes did not wish to provide advice as then they might be held liable for saying that something was safe.

RR questioned the evidence for gate removal, and argued that burglary was far more likely than fire risk. EP said that the policy would not be changed.

2. Paving bill

Leaseholders have recently received a large bill (around £700 per house) for the paving remedial and replacement works which took place this summer. The TRA plans to challenge this bill, on the grounds that much of the damage was initially caused by Hackney Homes vehicles, which we raised repeatedly at the time and which was not stopped by Hackney Homes from happening. ES is heading this up on behalf of the TRA, trying to challenge the cost and negotiate a discount. If anyone has evidence of past damage caused by these vehicles, please share it.

Leaseholders can choose not to pay the bill. It’s unclear yet if this would mean that we don’t get the 5% early payment discount, but ES will request that this is maintained since we’re challenging the cost.

It was raised that sharing “cost per slab” publicly would make clear how unreasonable these charges seem.

3. EIB/184

Tony Stenning is doing a post-inspection of completed EIB and 184 works from last year.

We had previously requested a cycle pump installed on the estate. The quote for this has just come in at £2400. Those present took a vote and decided not to go ahead, as the cost seems unreasonable (voting was 15 against, 1 in favour). Agreed that we would be in favour of installation if the cost were lower.

FB agreed to ask the Councillors if instead we might ask LB Hackney to install a public pump somewhere on the cycle through route on the south side of the square.

4. Anti social behaviour on Wareham court

Residents on Wareham Court have been having ongoing problems with drug dealing and taking in the stairwells, and have been calling 101 repeatedly to report it. Some residents on Dorset Court also complained of the same problem.

EP agreed to inform the estate safety team of this issue.

5. Blandford gates

The planning application for gates on Blandford Court was submitted by Hackney Homes. EP and Fiona from the De Beauvoir Association joined the planning meeting to challenge this on grounds of discrepancies in the planning applications, problems with blocking the light to two flats, and violation of conservation area guidelines by the proposed plastic infills.

Andrew from Hackney Homes has informed Elli that this application was not approved and that therefore the gates will not be going ahead.

6. Recycling bins

EP asked for feedback on the new recycling and food recycling facilities which have been installed on the estate.

Feedback was unanimously positive, and all present said they were pleased to have these available.

7. Any other business

Scaffolding

Scaffolding has appeared on Dorset Court. The scaffolders broke into one garden without permission in order to install it. EP advised that this should not happen. The resident in question has raised a complaint.

ES noted that the new concrete tiles being installed on balconies from this scaffolding are a lower specification and less insulated than the previous version, so may cause condensation or colder buildings. She will share a specification for better insulated tiles which can be laid over the top.

Garden walls

BB asked whether garden walls were safe, given that they’re not tied into the main building and that several fences have already blown down in the recent weather.

EP advised that Hackney Homes will not proactively check whether walls are safe, but will address any that are visibly dangerous. Perimeter fences or walls on gardens are the responsibility of Hackney Homes, while fences or walls that divide two properties are the responsibility of the residents.

Painting

Latest advice on the estate repainting is that there will now be no major repainting programme on the estate but that they will fix patches as necessary. EP to confirm.

MR agreed to take forward a flake test to confirm whether the previous paint used was domestic, as we suspect.

Wonky tree

One of the trees on Wareham Court is leaning badly and seems unhealthy. To be reviewed during the walkabout whether there’s some remedial action or replacement to take.

LOCKNER ESTATE – TRA MEETING

Minutes 17th July 2013

 

Present

Elli Papamichael, Hackney Homes

Lisa Linpower – Chair

Jon Hoskins – Vice Chair

Joe Cranston Turner – Treasurer

Jenny Duval – stand in Secretary

Tom Ebbutt – Councilor

Katie Cross, leaseholder

Brian Burton, leaseholder

Cyril Hanrival, leaseholder

Maria Sanchez, leaseholder

Alasdair Bernard, leaseholder

Monica Merlin, leaseholder

Mattia Reiniger, leaseholder

Ellie Stevenson, leaseholder

Peter – McMahon, leaseholder

Apologies:

Francine Bennett – Secretary

Edd Southerden – Central Hackney Neighbourhood Panel representative

Agenda

1. Paint update/crown report

2. Homeless man on estate

3. Pram sheds; recent mistake and update on allocations

4. Blandford Court gates update

5. Dispensation tribunal update

6. Money – how much underspend from levy? Another event?

7.Retrospective permission for internal changes – how to go about?

8. AOB

Prior to going through the agenda Elli Papamichael from Hackney Homes went through the TRA Enquiry Form with items raised at the last meeting and gave an update on each of the issues. Most of the items are ongoing and have been incorporated into the agenda below, with two exceptions:

Garages – are currently a waiting list of two tenants / residents for garage space and HH have no intention of evicting any local business that might have hired a garage in the past, as the contract is on an individual basis. Nevertheless a tenant or leaseholder would get priority over local business when a garage space becomes available. HH does not rent garages for commercial use.

Scaffolding – has now been removed as HH has carried out safety work on tank rooms.

1. JD gave an update on the external paintwork. Paul Grant, Hackney Homes Painting Supervisor, has commissioned a paint survey in which Crown have taken flake samples around the estate to be analyzed. They are still waiting for the results to come through. JD believes there is a great possibility that this will prove that the wrong type of paint was used on the exterior surfaces back in 2005, as the TRA is in the possession of a tin of paint used at the time, which by its nature would not be suitable for external use, hence the flaking in localized areas.  She urged that it would be prudent for the TRA to wait for the results to come in and then take relevant action to ensure that the estate is repainted in future at no cost to leaseholders.

2.    A homeless man was spotted sleeping on the estate and was reported by a number of tenants / residents using the neighbourhoods@hackneyhomes.org.uk email and our Estate Manager Portia Malapara  took immediate action by contacting the charity No Second Nights Out and he is subsequently not there anymore. The contact details for the charity favoured by the council are below but can also be found on the Lockner Website:

No Second Night Out – Committed to Ending Rough Sleeping in London

http://www.nosecondnightout.org.uk/

Call if you see someone sleeping rough in London 0870 3833333

 3.    EP confirmed that HH had dealt with the case of the pram shed mix up issue over the weekend, where a new family was allocated a pram shed in the archway in Blandford Court, which was occupied by a leaseholder on Stratton Court.  EP explained that new sheds would be found for those occupants that have sheds on Blandford Court as they will not have access to the archway when they gate off that section of Blandford Court.

 4.    EP went through the notes in the TRA Enquiry Form regarding the Entry Phone System being fitted at Blandford Court. LL added that the consultation for tenants and residents had been conducted correctly with two drop-in sessions set up both in the daytime and evening to ensure that everyone who wanted could attend, but there was a very low turn-out, despite hand delivered letters by Anthony Stenning. Following the debate the conclusion is, that the Blandford Court tenants / residents have voted in favor of an entry phone system and this seems to be what they want. The ground floor leaseholders will not be charged, and neither will the leaseholders in other parts of the estate.  ES, who is an architect by profession, has taken a keen interest in the project and has come up with an alternative plan, however, HH are too far down the line with the current proposal, to make major changes.  ES is in communication with the contracts manager Andrew El-Korashy, and has viewed the design brief currently with the planning department and is putting her effort into making sure that the gates that do go up are going to be in accordance with the conservation zone the Lockner Estate lies within. Anyone who would like to get involved can contact Ellie Stevenson on the Lockner TRA email locknertra@googlemail.com

5.  In the absence of Edd Southerden, LL filled in on the latest regarding the dispensation tribunal in which Hackney Council are facing Hackney Leaseholders, who was represented by Barrister Andrew Dymond. Leaseholders across the borough are in opposition to Hackney Council applying for a dispensation in appointing the ALMO Hackney Homes the long-term agreement for external repairs on their property stock. The following morning the news came in that Hackney Leaseholders had been successful and the tribunal had ruled in their favour in stating:

  1. The proposed agreement between the Council and Hackney Homes is NOT a QLTA.
  2. Dispensation should NOT be granted.
  3. The Council is NOT entitled to recover costs of the tribunal proceedings as a service charge.

In the summary it reads: “This is an organized objection to the Council’s views and in our findings justifiably so”.

For anyone wishing to read the full legal document please contact the TRA. In the meantime a big thank you for those who got involved around the borough and to the organization We Are Hackney Council Leaseholders http://www.wearehackneycouncilleaseholders.org/

6. JCT confirmed that we currently have £1100 in our TRA account and that there was an underspent at the Big Lunch, which following a discussion on how best to spend the money allocated for a social event, LL volunteered to organise a visit to a theatre, probably the Hackney Empire.

7.    JD has been in contact with the Right to Buy section of Hackney Homes and explained that they are currently reviewing the procedures relating to leasehold alteration to their properties. JD recommended that anyone concerned relating to alterations carried out in their flat should ask for advice from the council’s surveyor to make sure that alterations would be given the Landlord’s Approval. You can also apply for retrospective permission.

For more specific details and advice please contact:

Barend Janse van Rensburg|Leasehold Surveyor

Hackney Homes Ltd|Leasehold & RTB Services|Business Support/Information

a: Christopher Addison House|72 Wilton Way|London|E8 1BJ

t: 020 8 356 7700|e: Barend.Vanrensburg@hackneyhomes.org.uk

w: www.hackneyhomes.org.uk

8. AOB

  1. BB told EP that the gas boiler he had fitted by HH when they installed individual heating systems in flats was not deemed safe by an engineer who serviced the device. EP said she would investigate.
  2. Paving. The work is now complete and the general feeling at the walk about TRA members took with Anthony Stenning was that the work was still not carried out at a very good standard. The final bill will probably be disputed unless it is all put right.
  3. A list of Eib items and costs was passed round to give suggestions on how to spend the environmental budget. It was agreed that a couple of steel rods would be removed by HH. The other items were deemed not good value for money and rejected.
  4. JD. Pleased for the green areas on the estate especially in this dry weather. Please help to water our trees and plants as they will otherwise die.  It was also noted that Portia Malapara has started taking action against overgrown trees / shrubs and we should see a result within the next month. A letter has also been sent by JD to Wayne Hibberd, Estate Environmental Services, regarding the general upkeep of the green areas. The points made are below and Wayne has forwarded to contractors. If you don’t think they are following the guidelines please contact Wayne Hibberd, details below.

– Please make sure that grass cuttings are raked up if the grass has been mowed in wet conditions, or collected directly on a tray attached to the lawnmower.  If they are left behind, which they currently are, they cause the grass below to rot and create areas infected by fungus.

– Please be careful with our shrubs. We have put small fences around them, which are not to be mowed into to the point that the fences are completely deformed, which happens all too frequently.

– Please ensure that the person killing weeds around the paving slabs doesn’t kill a good foot of good grass next to a pathway.

Wayne Hibberd, Area Manager, Grounds Maintenance

Estate Environment Services

Hackney Homes Ltd

65 Dunloe Street

London E2 8EN

Tel : +(44) 0208 356 1724

Email : wayne.hibberd@hackneyhomes.org.uk

 

 

Next meeting is on the 23rd October 2013

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