AGM 29th November 2018 – Minutes

Minutes for the AGM on Nov 29th2018 at 19.00 in the Podium Room.

Here are the minutes as a webpage. The minuted were distributed in paper form to all flats.  If you would like to download a printable pdf version, as distributed, please click this link:

MINUTES for Cromwell Tower House Group AGM Nov 29th 2018 (V3)

1.   Chairman’s welcome

Frances Calman, Membership Secretary, opened the meeting, as our Chairman John Tomlinson was delayed by a traffic accident. She welcomed those present including Helen Davinson, Resident Services Manager from the BEO, who was standing in for Luke Barton our BEO House Officer:

There were 32 Members present, including 6 existing and 4 potential Committee Members.

2.   Apologies for Absence

The secretary received apologies for absence from Mike Bristow, Christopher Gorman-Evans, and Gordon Wise.

3.   Minutes of 2017 AGM (Accuracy)

House Group Members approved the minutes of the previous meeting, November 28th2017, which the chairman later signed.

4.   Financial Statement

Laurance Jones (Treasurer) provided a financial report. The cash balance of the House Group has changed only slightly from last year. The accounts were approved by the meeting.

5.   Chairman’s Report

The Chairman praised the work of Committee Members and thanked them for their efforts during the year.

Fire Safety has been a particular concern this past year and is addressed later.

Committee members spoke with the Jugged Hare managers to request that their patrons stopped obstructing the pavement at the corner of Silk St.  The Jugged Hare consequently now have someone standing outside during busy nights to manage their patrons.

Four carpets in the lift lobbies were replaced last year. In the future two per year will be replaced until further notice. This programme is managed by Luke Barton.

Paul, our cleaner, has cleared up the area around the bin store. Luke reminds us that shopping trolleys are to be taken back to the supermarket and not left in the tower or near the bin store.

Our two new porters, Abdi and Kal (Kalpesh), have settled in.

There was a Culture Mile event which closed the Beech Street tunnel in March 2018. It went well and in general people enjoyed it. More events are likely in 2019, most probably at a warmer time of year.

Beech Street Installation, March 2018

The Chairman chairs a Barbican Residential Committee (BRC) working party on electric car provision. There are charging spaces in car parks across the estate, including in Cromwell. Please contact Luke ( if you would like one.

The Committee feels the need to bring the Constitution up-to-date, so that the House Group’s legal status is assured. This will help us in making representations to the City, who are both our landlord and our managing agent.

Following a request for additional Committee Members, four people put their names forward and will be proposed for election to the Committee at this AGM. In the coming year, both the Chairman and Secretary will resign and pass the roles to other people on the Committee.

The Chairman has served for 15 years, and he looks forward to a newly formed Committee taking Cromwell to new heights.

6.   Fire Safety and Procedure in the event of Fire

Helen Davinson (BEO) updated Members and answered questions. A Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out, and a number of its recommended actions have already been implemented. These include the following:

  • Communal areas, the mezzanine, fire exits, balconies and car parks, have been cleared of items which might burn or might obstruct firefighters.
  • Independent inspectors from “Checkmate Fire” have examined the compartmentation (fire isolation) of flats in this tower and their report is awaited. Where they discovered that the compartmentation has been breached, the BEO is working with leaseholders to restore the firewalls.
  • The PDA (plumbing) ducts have been inspected and flammable material removed. These ducts are behind concrete doors which are normally locked shut – see pictures below.
  • Fire Extinguishers were removed at the recommendation of the London Fire Brigade.
  • The front doors and surrounding areas have been tested for fire resistance and a formal report is awaited.
  • There is a new procedure for approval of building works. There will now be an inspection and approval is only given after final sign-off by building control.
  • In February 2018, the London Fire Brigade did an exercise in the tower. Their feedback was that the procedures worked well.
pipe pull (2)
Firefighting equipment takes up a lot of space on balconies, and on the firestairs.

Question: The front of our flats comprises a door and also a wooden surround. Was all of this tested, or just the door?

            Answer: The whole assembly was tested, including the surround.

Question: Why were Fire Extinguishers were removed?

Answer:This was at the recommendation of both the Fire Risk Assessment, and the London Fire Brigade.  The London Fire Brigade consider it unsafe for Fire Extinguishers to be used by untrained people: it can make the fire worse. This also applies to fire extinguishers in your kitchen. If there is a fire in your flat, or you see a fire in a communal area, their recommendation is to leave the area, close the doors, and phone the Fire Brigade.

Question: What is the logic of not having a Fire Alarm?

Answer: Because there is a stay-put policy. Work has been done by the City as Landlord with the objective of making the flats properly isolated, so residents are safe inside their flats.

Question: Under what conditions should we leave our flats? How do we know when to get out?

Answer:You leave your flat if that’s where the fire is. You also leave your flat when told to do so by the Fire Brigade or if you are affected by fire or smoke.

Question: In my kitchen I can smell cooking from other flats, penetrating through the vents. If these smells can come in, then surely fire and smoke can travel by the same route, so the flats are not isolated?

Answer: The flats are isolated from one another. There have been three fires in the last ten years: in a mews block, in a low-rise block and in a tower. In all cases, the fire was contained within the flat in which it started.

Secretary’s note: After the AGM the Chairman was informed by the BEO that within “living memory” (32 years) all fires have been contained with the flat in which the fire started.

7.   Constitution

Cromwell Tower House Group is a “Recognised Tenants Association” (RTA). This is a specific type of association under the Housing Acts. An RTA has the right to represent long-leaseholders in dialogues with their Landlord. To maintain this status, the House Group must abide by certain rules set down by Parliament. One of these rules is that at least 50% of long-leaseholders must be Members. Because the City is selling its rented flats, there are an increasing number of long-leaseholders in the tower and it has become increasingly difficult for the Membership Secretary to demonstrate that the House Group fulfils this condition. The Membership Secretary currently holds no data indicating which Members are long-leaseholders. The House Group also does not know the total number of long-leaseholders in the Tower. This data is held by the City.

In order to show that 50% of long-leaseholders are House Group Members:

  • We need to revise the constitution
  • We need to revise the Membership process, including considering an opt-out system.

Cromwell Tower House Group currently has an opt-in system, where residents join the House Group. Many other House Groups on the Barbican have an opt-out system, where residents are deemed Members unless they have opted out.

Any proposed changes to the constitution will be formally submitted, after due notice, to a General Meeting of House Group Members.

Question: What happens to Membership fees if we move to an opt-out system?

Answer: Most other blocks in the Barbican do not have Membership fees. Our Membership fee is currently a “once-off” payment, which is difficult to administer. If we move to an opt-out system we will not have Membership fees. The current Membership fee is collected by the House Group, as reported in the Financial Report presented by Laurance. It does not go to the City of London.

Question: What happens if we don’t meet the conditions? What if we fail the RTA audit?

Answer:The audit is performed by the City (our Local Authority) to check that 50% of our Members are long-leaseholders, that we have a proper constitution, and that we hold quorate, minuted, meetings in accordance with our constitution. If the House Group does not meet these conditions then we lose our Recognised Tenants Association status, and we can no longer legitimately represent our Members to the City of London (our landlord).

8.   Pictures in the 01 level lobby

The next exhibition in the 01 lobby will be a local photographer. The Members at the meeting applauded Alan’s efforts to provide a changing exhibition in the lift lobby. Exhibitions usually last about 6 months.

9.   Beech Gardens

Helen Davinson (BEO) updated us on the renovation of the East part of Beech gardens: “Beech St Gardens Phase 2”. The objective of this work is to waterproof the podium, so water does not leak through to offices underneath. Everything on the podium is to be removed during the works. The podium tiles will be removed. A waterproof layer is installed. Then the tiles and the flower beds will be replaced. The landscaping will be by Nigel Dunnett, with planting consistent with the West part of the Beech St Gardens.  It is likely that the Exhibition Hall corridor, known as “The Yellow Shed”, will be permanently removed as part of these works.

The Yellow shed will be removed when the Beech St gardens project is done.

This work will extend under Ben Jonson, along Cromwell Highwalk, and to the steps down to Speed. It will start in February 2020and last 2 years.

Question: What communication will there be with residents? Will residents be involved?

Answer:There will be a Project Board, including residents from Cromwell, Breton, Ben Jonson and Shakespeare.

Question: A key issue is working hours. If it’s like Phase 1, there will be a phenomenal amount of drilling. The working hours were long on Phase 1. What will they be on Phase 2?

Answer:On Phase 1 they worked 9am to 5pm during the week, and in addition they worked eight Saturdays over the year. The quiet hours are 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. The Project Board will consult about working hours.

Question: Will there be problems with access to our podium door?

Answer: Everything on the podium has to be removed and replaced, so access will be affected. The BEO will work with residents of the concerned blocks. The aim will be to preserve access, although it may be by a winding route.

Question: So, in summary, it’s got to be done and it’s going to be painful. What lessons have been learned from Phase 1?

Answer: Drainage! This time the BEO will do a thorough drainage survey, and fix the drains at the same time as the podium.

10.        Planters in Cromwell Place

Do we want an additional 3 planters in front of the Tower?

Some residents have asked for additional planters, one in front of each pillar on Cromwell Place. The BEO have stated that there is no money from the landlord for these. So if we want them, we’ll have to buy them ourselves. They cost £1200-£1500 each. For an additional 3 planters that’s £3600-£4500. Shared over the flats in the tower this is a one-off charge of about £40 on to the service charge for a typical flat.

Members at the meeting asked that the Committee ballot long-leaseholders to ask if they would be willing to pay this purchase price.

Helen Davinson confirmed that if residents bought the planters, the City would pay for installation, planting and ongoing maintenance.

Question: There seems to be a budget for plants and planters under the “cleaner air” initiative. This budget paid for plants and planters on the bridge over Aldersgate, and also for the metal pots on Moor Lane. Can we use this budget to pay for planters in front of Cromwell?

Answer:  Helen Davinson said this was GLA money. She will find the name of the fund.

Secretary’s note:Luke subsequently provided the contact information of the Low Emission Neighbourhood –

11.        Security and the Lift Lobby Doors

There are two issues with the main entrance doors:

  1. Security

There have been recent incidents of intruders tail-gating residents as they enter. This has occurred at both podium level and 01 level. Intruders have entered the lift lobby and attempted to access the roof. These are in general “urban explorers” who want to climb and video themselves. There has been an incident where a resident was pursued into the tower by one of the unruly “cycle gang” who have been rampaging on the podium. The police were involved in both cases.

  1. Accessibility

The inner door from the main entrance to the lift lobby should be locked when a temporary porter is on duty. This heavy door is hard to manage, particularly for those in wheelchairs or with push chairs. There is a bell inside the lift lobby to call the porter to ask for help with the door, but people don’t necessarily know it’s there. At busy times the porter cannot always provide help. The external door is also hard to manage.

For these reasons there is are suggestions that we could consider

  1. a fob-operated automatically-opening door between the porters’ desk and the lift lobby,
  2. power assistance on the external door.

The cost of such new mechanisms, and their ongoing maintenance, would be borne by long-leaseholders via the service charge.

Points made during the discussion:

  • On security: a sense of perspective is needed: the security generally works well. The porters are alert to intruders. When intruders are spotted, the porter brings the lifts back down to 01. There is CCTV. When properly operated, the existing procedure works.
  • On security and tailgating: if the problem is tailgating, then a fob-operated system is no improvement. People can still tailgate through a fob-operated door. Security is only improved when residents themselves are more rigorous about who they let into the building.
  • On security: in a recent incident, the CCTV recording was found to have the wrong date-stamp, and therefore could not be used as evidence.
  • On security: The Culture Mile increases the risk to Cromwell security. As the Culture Mile develops, there will be a greater footfall outside Cromwell, and even more people will be tempted to enter our front door to ask for directions, take photographs, ask to see the view etc.
  • On the porters’ duties: Is it part of the porter’s job to help people? Answer (BEO): yes, but they are often busy with several things at once.
  • Draught-exclusion: If the doors were automatically operated, and therefore mostly closed, they would exclude draughts and the lift doors would close more reliably.

Helen Davinson took the actions to:

  • Remind the porters, including temporary porters, of their duties to help residents with the doors.
  • Send a notice to residents to re-inforce the message about preventing tailgating, and to draw attention to the bell in the 01 level lift lobby.
  • Talk to Property Services to get their recommendation, with costs, and to understand how the system works in Shakespeare.
  • Ask the Police for Crime Prevention advice.
  • Ensure that the CCTV works, and that it records the correct date and time.

12.        Leaseholder Service Charges Working Party (RCC Working party)

Jane Northcote described Working Party. A member of this working party, David Lawrence, wrote a paper to help decision-makers on the RCC to understand the budget from the residents’ point of view. The working party continues its work to understand service charges, and to seek assurance that service-charge payers get value for money.

David Lawrence’s paper can be downloaded from this link:

RCC 10.11.18 (David Lawrence on the BRC budget paper). Final

13.        Election of Committee

The meeting approved the re-election of the existing committee. The four new Members were proposed by Susan Bristow and by Michelle Riley, and all four were elected by general assent.

Accordingly the 2018/9 committee Members are:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (

Mike Bristow

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman (Membership secretary,

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Jane Northcote (Secretary,

Preneeta Mann (elected at this AGM)

Tom Flanagan (elected at this AGM)

Tim Cox (elected at this AGM)

Iain Connor (elected at this AGM)

The Chairman closed the meeting at 20:35.

CTHG AGM Minutes November 28th 2017

Here is the downloadable version: this will print better than the web page. Click the link to see the PDF (6 pages, with embedded pictures, about 2MB)

Minutes Cromwell Tower House Group AGM Nov 28th 2017 (V5 PDF)

Here is the web version


Minutes of the A.G.M. on November 28th 2017 at 19.00 in the Podium Room

1. Chairman’s welcome

The Chairman, John Tomlinson, welcomed those attending.  There were 29 members at the meeting including the following committee members: Alan Budgen, Frances Calman (Membership Secretary), Christopher Gorman-Evans, Laurance Jones (Treasurer), Jane Northcote (Secretary).

We were joined by Luke Barton, Cromwell Tower House Officer from the Barbican Estate Office (BEO) and Helen Davinson, Resident Services Manager, Barbican Estate Office (BEO).

2. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from the following members: Lesley Bradshaw, Julian Hale, Mike Bristow, Desmond Day.

3. Minutes of 2016 AGM (Accuracy)

The minutes of the 2016 AGM were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters arising from the minutes of the 2016 AGM


Appended to the minutes of the 2016 AGM was a letter from Peter Finch, who was a lobby porter, thanking us for our good wishes and gift. With great sadness we now record that Peter Finch has died. We remember Peter with warmth and gratitude.


The bollards in Cromwell Place seem to be effective in preventing high-speed U-turns. One bollard has been replaced following damage.

The programme of lift lobby carpet replacement continues.

5. Financial Statement

The Treasurer presented the financial report for the last year. The accounts were approved by the meeting.

6. Chairman’s Report

The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14th 2017 triggered action to ensure our Tower is safe. Fire Risk Assessments are in progress, and will now be done annually. This is further discussed in item 9, below.

House Group members have addressed issues concerning local licensed premises. The Brewery intends to use premises on the North side of Chiswell Street as an entertainment venue. They made an application for opening times extending to the small hours of the morning. Individual members wrote to oppose these hours. Members of the Committee and other House Group members met managers at the Brewery and their lawyer. We wrote a joint objection as a House Group. The Brewery responded by reducing the opening hours, and assuring us that they had measures in place to reduce the noise and disturbance from patrons leaving the premises. We therefore withdrew our House Group objection.

13th Oct (2)
During the summer, drinkers at the Jugged Hare occupied the entire pavement, forcing passing pedestrians into the path of oncoming cars and bicycles. This crowd also obscured visibility into Silk Street. The House Group Chairman met the lawyer representing The Jugged Hare. The House Group Committee wrote to the manager of the Jugged Hare, to draw his attention to the problem, including pictures. The manager responded by placing staff outside to keep drinkers close to the wall, leaving the footway clear for passers-by.

The double yellow lines outside Sundial Court on the North side of Chiswell Street have now been changed, so that the pedestrian area extends continuously in a straight line on that side of the street. This is a considerable improvement. Parked vehicles had previously blocked the footway so that people had to walk in the road. The improvement was made by Islington Council after about a year of lobbying by the House Group Chairman, supported by the House Group.

We now have our full complement of four regular Lobby Porters: Andrew, Flo, Abdi and Kalpesh. Abdi and Kalpesh have recently joined the team. We welcome them, and residents made positive comments about them both.

The Chairman offered thanks to Christopher Gorman-Evans for the orchids on the reception desk, and to Julian Hale and Helen Likierman for the plants in the planters outside the front door.

Thanks to Christopher for the orchids, and to Julian and Helen for the plants outside the front door.

7. Pictures in the 01 lift lobby

Current exhibition in the 01 lift lobby

The “Van Gogh” exhibition was well received by residents. The current exhibition (pictured above)  is also praised. Alan Budgen said that the next exhibitor will be an Indian artist, who is the sister of Kalpesh, our lobby porter.  Members thanked Alan for his work in organising these exhibitions.

8. Tower Intercom

In previous years the intercom has been faulty, causing concern and expense.  Luke reported that the faults were temporary, and that he is taking no further action.

9. Fire Safety

Helen Davinson and Luke Barton updated us on the latest actions of the BEO on Fire Safety:

    • the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” on the City of London website will shortly be updated to include answers to all outstanding questions. To find these FAQ, search for “City of London Fire Safety”, scroll down, and follow the link to “Barbican Estate”. Or try this link:
    •  Fire Brigade advice has not changed: the Fire Brigade continue to advise a “stay put” policy.
    • the Front Doors and surrounding areas are currently being tested for Fire Resistance.
    • There is a programme of Fire Assessments “Type 3”. This is a more rigorous assessment than previously, and means that a sample of flats will be examined. The PDA plumbing ducts will be included.
    • Smoke alarms: On request, London Fire Brigade will do a Home Safety visit to your flat, free of charge. The Fire Brigade recommend actions to improve fire resistance in individual flats, and recommend or provide and fit smoke alarms. Contact them via their website or 020 8555 1200.
    •  Fire door: each tower flat has a fire door, in the living room in a typical flat. It opens inwards. You are advised to check that your Fire Door works. If it is stuck, you can call the Barbican Repair Line 0207 029 3909 to request a BEO engineer to open the Fire Door.  In an emergency, the door is opened by breaking the glass.

      Fire door: it opens inwards

Helen and Luke answered members’ questions:

Q: There is an electrical conduit duct, inside my flat front door. When I looked inside the door, I saw a continuous vertical ‘chimney’. What action is taken to stop smoke rising up this duct into my flat?

A: This is the duct containing wiring. It is accessed only by Barbican electricians. The door must not be opened by residents. The duct contains high-voltage cables which are dangerous. It is not a continuous ‘chimney’: the duct is compartmentalised, and cannot carry smoke from floor to floor. The door is fire-proofed. The Fire Risk Assessment will check that all ducts, including this one, are properly resistant to prevent smoke travelling from floor to floor.

Q: What about the PDA (plumbing) ducts? Can fire or smoke travel up there?

A: As part of the Fire Risk Assessment, these ducts have been examined.  We will also ask the Building Control inspectors (District Surveyor) to check that alterations are compliant. In some cases we have seen non-compliant materials used in the PDA ducts and this is being dealt with via the respective Long Leaseholders.

10. Beech Gardens

Helen Davinson reported that “Phase 2” of the Beech Gardens refurbishment is due to start in summer 2019. The area to be treated is Cromwell Highwalk, and the Podium under Ben Jonson. This is primarily a waterproofing project. All the tiling and flowerbeds will be removed and replaced. The same garden designer will be used as for the West side (Phase 1).

Q: Will the yellow Exhibition Hall Corridor be removed as part of this project?

A: (Helen Davinson) The tender has not yet gone out. This structure is owned by the Barbican Centre, who have said that they will keep it until they are sure that the future users of the Exhibition Hall will not need it.

Q: Will all the trees be removed? Where will the birds nest?

A: (Helen Davinson) The trees will be removed. The podium was not designed to support trees. The birds could use Fann Street Wildlife garden. We will feedback that residents want habitats for birds.

Q: Was the current project (Phase 1) a success? Is it waterproof?

A: (Helen Davinson) Mostly. There was some movement, and we are in dialogue with Crossrail. The blue water currently in a small rectangular pond on the podium is a test for leakage.

11. Electrical Cars

John Tomlinson reported on a Working Party to provide charging points for electrical cars in Barbican Car Parks. There will be some charging points in the Cromwell Car Parks.  The successful contractor has been appointed with installation expected to take place in the New Year.

12. Leaseholder Service Charges Working Party

This Working party was convened under the Residents Consultation Committee (RCC), triggered by an above-inflation increase in Service Charges over the last decade. Jane Northcote reported that the working party had found that officers of the BEO currently have no formal measures in their job descriptions which specifically reflect the interests of long leaseholders. Yet BEO officers manage projects and services which, for the most part, are funded by Long Leaseholders via the service charge.  Accordingly, the Working Party has recommended that “the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of officers of the BEO include specific and measurable targets to demonstrate that they have controlled or reduced costs recharged to long leaseholders, while maintaining service levels.”  This recommendation has been accepted by the RCC. The working party has also asked that it be allowed to continue its work. Members thanked Jane Northcote for her efforts.

Q: Why do we pay for Lobby Porter sick leave and temps – shouldn’t this be funded by the City, as they are City employees?

A: (Helen Davinson) The Lobby Porters work only for the Towers, so they are paid for only by the Towers. The costs of the 12 Lobby porters are pooled and funded equally by the three Towers.

Q: Why are there so many temporary Lobby Porters?

A: (Helen Davinson) People are entitled to take holiday and sick leave. Shift work is known to cause an increase in sick leave. When a substitute is needed, the BEO look first at the local team, so ideally you get cover from one of your regular porters. If no regular porter is available we look across the estate. We also have agency staff who know the job and the estate.

13. Election of Committee

Lesley Bradshaw has announced her wish to resign from the Committee. Lesley has been a great contributor to the work of the House Group, notably during the lobby refurbishment. She has also applied her energy to ensuring that our summer party and AGM meetings are well organised and successful. The Chairman acknowledged her contribution and we wish her well.

Mike Bristow has indicated his willingness to serve on the committee. He has already helped the Committee by representing Cromwell Tower at meetings on Fire Safety, and reporting back. He was proposed and elected.

The 2017/8 committee is:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (
Mike Bristow
Alan Budgen
Frances Calman (membership secretary,
Christopher Gorman-Evans
Julian Hale
Laurance Jones (Treasurer)
Jane Northcote (Secretary,

The Chairman closed the AGM at 8:15pm.

Minutes of AGM December 1st 2016


Minutes of the A.G.M. on Dec 1st 2016 at 19.00 in the Podium Room

1.    Chairman’s welcome

The Chairman, John Tomlinson, welcomed those attending. There were 23 members at the meeting including the following committee members: Frances Calman (Membership Secretary), Julian Hale, Laurance Jones (Treasurer), Jane Northcote (Secretary).

We were joined by Luke Barton , Cromwell Tower House Officer from the Barbican Estate Office (BEO), and Ben Kennedy, LEN Project Manager from the City of London.

2.    Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from the following members: Lesley Bradshaw, Christopher Gorman-Evans, Alan Budgen.

3.    Low Emission Neighbourhood (“LEN”)

The City of London, together with the Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority (GLA), is funding and supporting measures to make the Barbican area a “Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN)”. Ben Kennedy, LEN Project Manager from the City of London, described what is going to happen. There will be a 3-year project to reduce air pollution. It starts with a consultation and Launch Event in the City of London Girls School at 6pm on 11th January 2017 to which all residents are invited. Measures under consideration include:

  • awareness-building in schools and in the general public
  • making the Beech Street tunnel a zero-emission road: only electric vehicles and bicycles would be allowed through, enforced by cameras with number plate recognition
  • actions to discourage drivers from leaving their engines running while stationary
  • increased cycle parking and more electric charging points in Barbican car parks
  • making the Silk Street taxi rank an “electric only” rank
  • trial of “green screens”, a wall with plants on it, to remove noxious chemicals from the air.

All these are subject to consultation. Mr Kennedy encouraged us to go to the meeting on the 11th Jan or to contact him:

4.    Minutes of 2015 AGM (Accuracy)

The minutes of the 2015 AGM were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

5.    Matters arising from the minutes of the 2015 AGM

The bollards are now in place to prevent fast and dangerous U-turns in Cromwell Place. We, as Tower residents, are not paying for this.

Two lift lobby carpets are being replaced this year. Two carpets will be replaced every year until further notice. The carpets to be replaced will be determined by the House Officer. The cost for these carpets is shared by all Cromwell Tower flats and will appear on the service charge.

6.    Financial Statement

The Treasurer presented the financial report for the last year. The accounts were approved by the meeting.

7.    Chairman’s Report

Apart from the items listed below, there are no major issues affecting the Tower.

The Chairman thanked Luke Barton, our House Officer, for his successful work to get the bollards in place, and for supporting us on numerous other matters throughout the year.

8.    Concrete

There has been a long-running dispute between the Barbican Association, representing residents, and the City, about who should pay for concrete investigation and remedial work done in August 2013. This dispute is now ended. The Barbican Association took the view that there was not sufficient advantage to be gained for residents from pursuing the case. Therefore the City’s position prevails, and residents must pay for this work. All but one resident have already done so.

9.    Pictures in the 01 level lobby

Alan Budgen sent through a note to say that a photographer will very shortly be putting up her work on the hangers in the 01 lobby. After her, there are two other artists ready to exhibit.

10.Tower Intercom

Luke reported that he is investigating options to replace the intercom between the porter’s desk and out flats. It has had intermittent problems which are expensive to fix.

11. Procedure in the event of Fire

Following an independent Fire Risk Assessment, Luke has prepared a dossier of information which will be distributed to residents shortly. This will include instructions to be followed in the event of fire.

A resident reported that they had obtained excellent fire alarms for use inside the flat, free-of-charge, from the London Fire Brigade.

The estate office has investigated whether the rubbish lockers are a potential route for fire to travel vertically from floor to floor. This was a concern after the additional drill holes were made for installation of new cabling. The locker floor and ceiling were found to be adequate proof against fire. Work will be undertaken to seal the cable holes to prevent smoke travelling up the tower in the event of fire.

12.Beech Gardens

The City is about to seek approvals for the renovation of the East part of Beech Gardens, including the walkways next to our Podium door. Precise details are yet to be confirmed. This work will be similar to the work already completed on the East part of Beech Gardens. It will include totally new flowerbeds. Since this area is a public walkway, it will be paid for by the City and does not come out of our Service Charge.

We understand that that the “Yellow Corridor” on Ben Jonson Highwalk, which currently leads to the Exhibition Halls, will be removed as part of this work.

13. Update on Peter Finch

Peter was a member of our Lobby Porter team until he became seriously ill. He was on long-term sick leave and then resigned his job. Residents contributed to a gift for Peter and sent messages of support. Peter has received the cheque, and sent a note which is appended to these minutes.

14.Question: Update on recruiting a replacement for Peter Finch

After the meeting Luke investigated and reported that recruitment advertisements will be placed in the New Year.

15. Question: Weekend Cyclists on the Podium

A house group member reported that he had encountered unruly cyclists on the Podium on more than one occasion. Some had been abusive. Cycling on the podium is a contravention of the City Bye-laws.

Luke Barton and others recommended calling the City Police directly on 101. Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour is a City of London Police Priority identified in their 2016-19 Policing Plan. Calling the police directly is likely to be more effective than going via the estate office.

16.Leaseholder Service Charges Working Party

All work on the Tower appears in our service charges. So when a lobby carpet is replaced, or a contractor mends a window in a flat, the charge is shared amongst all the flats in the Tower. In addition, we bear a portion of estate-wide charges.

The Leaseholder Service Charges Working party was formed at the request of the Residents Consultation Committee (RCC) in February 2016 following concerns at the apparent above-inflation rise in Service Charges. It aims to scrutinise the Service Charges we receive, and the processes by which they are derived, and thus to propose how the Service Charge can be better managed. Jane Northcote is one of the eight residents who are members of the Working Party, which is chaired by Anne Mason of the BEO. The Chairman thanked Jane for her initiative and perseverance in this matter.

17.Election of Committee

The committee were re-elected. People in the meeting thanked the Committee for their work.

The 2016/7 committee is:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman (membership secretary,

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Jane Northcote (Secretary,


The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm.