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.

Committee Meeting 29 Oct 2018 MINUTES

Minutes for Committee meeting 29 Oct 2018 19:00 in the Podium Room

For a downloadable printable pdf version of these minutes use this link: Minutes for CTHG Committee Meeting 29 Oct 2018 (V3)

Committee Members:

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

City of London Barbican Estate Officer:
Luke Barton.

1.   Welcome

On behalf of the Committee the Chairman welcomed the following potential Committee Members as guests for this meeting:

Preneeta Mann, Tom Flanagan, Tim Cox, Iain Connor

2.   Apologies for absence

All Committee Members were present.

3.   Minutes of the last committee meeting

The Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting, 26 June 2018 were approved by those present and signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising from previous Committee meeting,  26 June 2018

4.   Fire Safety

a) Will our flat front doors, and the surrounding area, be replaced or not?

Following the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower, a sample of Barbican Tower front doors and surrounds were tested for fire resistance. Luke reports that he is still waiting for the formal written report stating the results. We understand that the doors and surrounds are sufficiently fire resistant for the stay-put policy to remain valid, and so the flat doors and the surrounding area will not be replaced. In this case, internal redecoration scheduled for earlier this year can go ahead. This will be confirmed only when the formal written report is received, and a course of action approved by the Barbican Residential Committee (BRC).

b) Fire Risk Assessment – report from Frankhams July 2018

The City of London, as Landlord, initiated an independent Fire Risk Assessment. This was done by Frankhams in January 2018. They examined the inside of a selection of flats. The report was published on the City of London website in July 2018 and comments invited. Actions from this assessment included: inspection of car parks and removal of items (complete), removal of items left in communal areas including lift lobbies (ongoing), removal of fire extinguishers (complete), and recommendations for

  • a survey of the PDA (plumbing) lockers, and
  • a survey of compartmentation.
PDA (plumbing) lockers are behind these doors

Both these surveys are complete. Mike McGee, a former senior Barbican engineer,  surveyed the PDA lockers and actions were undertaken by the BEO to remove flammable items. CheckMate have completed their survey of compartmentation. This checked that flats are isolated from each other, so that fire and smoke do not travel from one flat to another. Alterations made to flats have the potential to compromise this isolation, for example by knocking holes into the plumbing ducts. Where problems were found, flat owners have been contacted. The Landlord’s approval process for checking proposed building works has been made more robust, to ensure that no future refurbishments will breach compartmentation.

5.   Electric Car Charging points

This is a trial, funded by the City of London “Low Emission Zone” (LEZ). There are charging points in the Cromwell 03 car park and elsewhere on the Estate. Please contact the BEO (Luke Barton) if you wish to use one.

6.   Arts Centre events

Christopher Gorman-Evans reported from a quarterly meeting between representatives of certain House Groups and the Barbican Association, with the Barbican Centre. The next event which may involve use of spaces outside the Centre is the “Sound Unbound” event in May 2019. No information is yet available as to whether this will affect Cromwell Tower residents. The Centre will communicate further, via these quarterly meetings, as its plans advance.

7.   Rubbish outside the front door – 01 level – Cromwell Place

Paul, our cleaner, has now cleared the alleyway between the bin store and our lobby. The bin store doors are kept closed. Luke has asked the Porters to prevent people from leaving shopping trolleys in this location: Waitrose does not collect them.

8.   Items left in lift lobbies

Following his monitoring and actions, Luke reports that residents now keep the lift lobbies clear. He continues to monitor. He is still, on occasion, finding shopping trollies in communal areas of the Tower, and reminds all residents to take their shopping trollies back to the supermarket.

9.   Bikes on Cromwell Place fences

The railings need painting

The railings along the Beech Street side of Cromwell Place have recently been repainted, repairing damage that is to some extent caused by bikes being chained up there. Bicycles left locked to the iron fences of Cromwell Place will be removed with bolt-cutters. Luke will remind the porters that they should call the BEO to initiate this action.

10.Plants and Planters on Cromwell Place

The large planters near the road in Cromwell Place have a tendency to dry out and look bad. Luke reports that the planters are watered on Mondays and Fridays, and more frequently in hot periods. There is no budget from the Landlord to provide self-watering planters.

We currently have two small planters, one each side of the front door. Some residents would like to have additional small planters, two or possibly three more, one in front of each pillar along the front façade. The Landlord has no budget for this. They cost £1200-£1500 for each small planter, that is about £12-15 per typical flat, per planter.

Do we want one planter in front of each pillar?

Action:The Committee will ask the AGM if House Group Members should be balloted to see if they are willing to pay for this via the service charge.

Action:Luke will ask the Open Spaces team to confirm that they would water and maintain such planters bought by residents.

11.Art in the 01 Lobby

Thank you to Alan Budgen, who organises this programme of art displays. After the current exhibition by Neelu Patel, there will be an exhibition of photographs from a local photographer.

12.Freeview problems

Problems with the TV service provided by VFM were reported at our previous meeting. VFM has now engaged a different sub-contractor for customer service. Residents should no longer be asked for credit card details when they report a problem.

13.Committee Members

If the four potential new Committee Members listed above wish to stand, they will be proposed for election at the AGM.


14.Membership Lists and Registered Tenants Association return to the City of London

Cromwell Tower House Group is a Recognised Tenants Associations (RTA). This recognition gives us the ability to make representations to the City of London, our landlord.

Cromwell has an opt-in membership system: people join the House Group. Many other House Groups in the Barbican have an opt-out membership system: residents and long-leaseholders are deemed to be members unless they state otherwise.

After a discussion, the Committee reached a consensus that we should consider moving to an opt-out system, and also take the opportunity to modernise the constitution of the House Group. Such a change needs approval from a general meeting of the membership of the House Group.

Secretary’s note: Members of the Committee looked in detail at this issue after the Committee Meeting. It will be discussed at a future Committee Meeting, and then specific changes proposed to a Special General Meeting of the House Group Members. 21 days’ notice will given of this Special General Meeting and all House Group members will be invited.

15.Light Pollution

A house group member wrote to John Tomlinson asking the house group to take up the issue of light pollution around the Barbican in the evening and overnight. John has asked the member to email Luke with his concerns, also Jonathan Poyner in the Barbican Centre. The City of London has also recently issued a Lighting Strategy, which includes measures to address light pollution.

16.Ongoing concrete repairs and people appearing unannounced on the balcony

Lift notice about concrete works (click to enlarge)

The notified time-window for concrete works has long passed. But people are still arriving on the balconies without notice.  The work appears to be ongoing.

We asked Luke to note and feedback the following comments:

  1. Can we please have an updated timetable of works: when will they end?
  2. It is unacceptable for people to appear unannounced on the balcony. This is a security problem and an invasion of privacy. For all future works, and for the remainder of this contract, we asked Luke to ensure that operatives buzz up before appearing outside our windows.

17.Health – do we want a defibrillator in the Tower?

defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest (“heart attack”). The British Heart Foundation website says:

There are many defibrillators available in public places such as train stations, shopping centres, airport and leisure centres. These defibrillators are often known as public access defibrillators (PAD) as anyone can use them in an emergency.

There may be a case for keeping such a device in Cromwell.

We understand that there is a defibrillator in Lauderdale Tower.

Action:We will ask Lauderdale Tower about the arrangement, and consider consulting the London Ambulance Service if this is a good idea. A volunteer is needed to take this action forward.

18.Security and the lift lobby doors

Inner door to lift lobby: do we want to replace it with an automatic door?

The inner door from the main entrance to the lift lobby is locked when a temporary porter is on duty. This heavy door is hard to manage for those in wheelchairs or with push chairs, although the porter often helps. So there is a suggestion that we could consider a fob-operated automatic door. There is one in Shakespeare. The cost of such a door, and its ongoing maintenance, wouldbe borne by Long Leaseholders via the service charge.

Action:The Committee agreed to raise this at the AGM and see what the level of interest is, before taking any further steps. The cost for the Shakespeare door was around £8000 or about £80 per typical flat, although this figure needs to be confirmed.

There is a bell to call the porter if you are in the lift lobby and need help to move the door.

19.Noise from Finsbury Square and elsewhere

Alan Budgen has identified a source of noise which has disturbed residents in the Tower. It comes from the roof terrace of the Montcalm on the North side of Finsbury Square.  Islington Public Protection team will investigate. If you are disturbed by noise from the Finsbury Square area, please contact Islington: 020 7527 7272.

If the noise comes from the Jugged Hare, the Brewery or other local venues in the City and their patrons, the people to call are the City Environmental Health team. Their number is 020 7606 3030, staffed 24 hours. After the event, email

The greater the number of residents that complain about a noise disturbance, the more likely it is that the local authorities will take action.


The AGM and Christmas Party are in the Podium Room on:

29thNovember 2018 starting at 7pm

The next Committee Meeting is 26thMarch 2019, at 7pm in the Podium Room.

Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 MINUTES

To download  the Minutes  of our Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 as a printable pdf document, click this link: Minutes for CTHG 5 March 2018 version 3 (pdf)

Below are the minutes as a webpage with pictures:

Date for your diary: Cromwell Tower House Group Summer Party

June 26th 2018 – 8pm – Podium Room

All residents invited.  


Committee meeting 5th March 19:00 in the Podium Room, Minutes of meeting

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (apologies received, he was at the RCC)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer) (apologies received)
Mike Bristow (apologies received)
Alan Budgen
Frances Calman (apologies received)
Christopher Gorman-Evans
Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton

1.  Welcome

In John Tomlinson’s absence, Christopher Gorman-Evans agreed to chair this meeting. We welcomed David Candy, a resident of the Tower, as a potential new Committee member.

2.  Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Mike Bristow, John Tomlinson, Frances Calman. Laurance Jones had hoped to join us, but was in hospital. We send him our good wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery.

3.  Minutes of the last committee meeting: 27th Sept 2017

The minutes of our 27th Sept 2017 meeting were approved as accurate, and signed by Julian Hale who was acting Chairman at that meeting.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting

27th Sept 2017

4.  Fire Safety

Luke gave us an update on the current position and answered our questions. His answers are below.
a) What is the Fire resistance of our front doors? Will our flat front doors, and surrounding area, be replaced or not?

Answer: A front door section from Shakespeare is being sent away for destruction testing. Once the results have been received, along with the Fire Risk Assessments, reports will go to the Barbican Estate Residents Consultation Committee (RCC) and Barbican Residential Committee (BRC).

b) Are sprinklers going to be installed in the Tower?

Answer: It’s highly unlikely that sprinklers will be installed in the Towers at this time.

c) What about the Fire Extinguishers?

Answer: The advice of the London Fire Brigade is that the Fire Extinguishers should be removed from all the common parts areas on the Estate. In the event of a Fire, people should prioritise calling the Fire Brigade and getting to safety as needed. All the Fire Extinguishers will be removed, including those in the Car Parks at the same time.

d) There was a London Fire Brigade Training exercise in Cromwell Tower on 14 Feb. What did we learn?

Answer: The Training exercise was very useful to both the London Fire Brigade and the Barbican Estate Office (BEO). The firefighters were able to test new equipment and had very positive feedback for the provisions put in place by the BEO. The test showed that the Fire Brigade can easily access and use the Fire Service Information that is held in the Tower. The porter(s) are well briefed and able to direct them to the various areas of the Tower as required. The exercise confirmed that the “stay put” policy is correct: firefighters use the fire stairs for access and for their equipment, which constricts access along the stairwell. Anyone trying to exit past them while they are ‘firefighting’ will find it very difficult to pass them on the stairs. Further to this the lobbies that are used to set up become very constricted so unless you are directly affected by smoke or fire the advice to remain in your property still stands.

Here are some pictures from the exercise:

e) Fire Risk Assessment – has it been done for this Tower?

Answer: The Fire Risk Assessor (Carl Dennis of Frankhams) has visited the Tower and visited a number of flats. He still has some common part areas of the Estate to visit before completing his report which will be reviewed and then made available on the COL website.

It worth is noting that some of the flats we visited still didn’t have smoke alarms. You can still arrange to get smoke alarms installed by the London Fire Brigade by contacting them on 0800 028 44 28


5.  Art in the 01 Lobby

There’s a new exhibition in the lobby! Thank you Alan.

6.  Electric Car Charging points

Luke reported that there will be Electric Car Park points in the 02 or 03 levels of the Car Park under Cromwell. The wiring is in place. This prototype was due to start November or December 2017. This start date is now delayed until May 2018 because there is a problem that in order to connect the system, it looks as though UK Power Networks will need to interrupt the local power supply.

7.  Rubbish in the Car Parks

Luke reported back. He told us:

‘The cleaners have and should be removing obvious rubbish from the Car Parks regularly. The Estate Services Manager has confirmed that we can start to remove anything from parking bays that should not be there. If you have anything in your parking bay that is not a car you should be prepared to remove it or it will be cleared away (eg oil cans trolleys and toys etc). Initially these items will be stickered with a date after which time they will be disposed of.’

8.  CTHG response to Mike Saunders’ proposal for internal redecoration

On 17th August 2017 residents received a letter from Mike Saunders proposing internal redecoration of Cromwell Tower. Most of this is repainting the woodwork on and around the front doors of our flats. Since there is a study in progress, Item 4 above, to evaluate the possibility of replacing all this woodwork and upgrading its fire resistance, it didn’t make sense to repaint it at that point. Jane wrote a letter on behalf of the House Group to ask that this redecoration be delayed until the result of the fire-resistance study is known. Then the schedule can be adjusted. The House Group Committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the internal redecoration programme, without too much of a gap. Luke confirmed that the redecoration will simply be delayed, and certainly not missed out altogether. As noted above, we are still awaiting the results of the test on the fire resistance of the door from Shakespeare, so the redecoration is on hold.

9.  Huge puddles on Cromwell Highwalk

IMG_3094 (1)There is a huge puddle on the Podium, by the steps next to the disused Exhibition Hall entrance. This is inconvenient for pedestrians, and degrades the tiling. Beech Street Gardens work is planned to be continued towards Cromwell, and the drains would be fixed as part of this work. The work is currently scheduled for Autumn 2019. There is so far no decision on whether the Exhibition Hall entrance (“Yellow Corridor”) will be removed as part of this work.


10.         General Data Protection Regulation – Advice for House Groups (Barbican Association General Council meeting 21 Sept 2017)

The regulation will apply from 25th May 2018. It may apply to CTHG because our membership secretary holds a list of members, as required by the Registered Tenants Association rules.

Action: Christopher will write to Jane Smith at the Barbican Association (BA) to ask for specific advice.

11.         Update on Barbican lease enforcement issues, specifically: Pets, Wooden Floors, Short-term holiday lets

The lease specifies that living areas are to be carpeted, pets are not allowed and short-term holiday lets (‘AirBnB’) are also not permitted. Barbican Estate officers want guidance on how to respond to lease infringements. They prepared a paper which was discussed in the Barbican Estate Residents Consultation Committee (RCC) meeting, Dec 11th 2017.  The resulting protocol, which sets out the procedure for the BEO to follow, was passed by the RCC meeting 5th March 2018 and is awaiting approval by the Barbican Residential Committee (BRC) meeting 19th March 2018.

On short-term holiday lets, Luke reported that the BEO have been taking enforcement action, and this has been effective. If anyone sees that a flat is used for short-term holiday let, please let Luke know.

12.         Noise from kitchen vent in the Jugged Hare

A committee member had been contacted in Sept 2017 by a resident whose family is disturbed by a very noisy ventilator fan from the kitchen at the Jugged Hare.

This ventilator is not only noisy, it also emits kitchen smells. The problem is greater in summer.

Action: Luke to follow up with the resident, and let the House Group Committee know if the problem persists. We can then take it up with the Jugged Hare.

Matters Arising from The AGM Nov 28th 2017

13.         Jugged Hare drinkers blocking the pavement

After the November 2017 AGM minutes were issued, the problem with Jugged Hare patrons blocking the pavement has recurred. A house group member sent Jane a picture of Jugged Hare patrons blocking the pavement on 10 Jan 2018 at 7pm. Jane wrote to the Jugged Hare and they responded. Their CCTV showed that this obstruction occurred during a 15 minute period and was soon cleared. They said that they were taking the matter seriously and were working to prevent recurrances. We will continue to try to resolve this issue by maintaining a dialogue with the Jugged Hare. There have been no recent problems but the weather has been very cold.  If anyone sees the pavement blocked, forcing passers-by into the road, please send a photograph to Jane (


14.         Carpets in the Lift Lobbies

A house group member queried how the carpet replacement programme worked, since the carpet on his floor was fine and didn’t need replacing.

Luke gave us an update. Four carpets will be replaced in the next two months. These are carpets in poor condition on the 5th, 11th, 17th, 18th floors.  After this, there remain 12 which have not yet been replaced as part of the current programme. Some of these are in good condition. Luke does an inspection and manages the replacement programme. The ones in poorest condition are replaced first, regardless of age. Sometimes a carpet is damaged by use or by leakage onto the carpet from rubbish bags. We are currently replacing two per year. This will be reviewed once all the carpets in a bad state have been replaced. The cost of this is shared by all flats in the Tower and goes on the service charge.

15.         Beech Street Tunnel event (16th 17th 18th March)

The Barbican Centre will stage a classical music event in the Beech St Tunnel. This will close the tunnel for certain periods around the weekend of 18th March. Our House Group and other House Groups welcomed the partial closure of the tunnel to traffic, which will improve air quality, albeit temporarily, and we look forward to a world class event on our doorstep. With other House Groups we submitted an objection on the grounds that the event organisers had not sorted out access to Cromwell Place, noise containment, crowd dispersal and other issues.

By the time these minutes are distributed, residents should have received a communication from the Barbican Centre: two A4 printed sheets, including an access map. Access to Cromwell Place will be restricted.

16.         Rubbish outside the front door – 01 level – Cromwell Place

Bin store outside the front entrance of Cromwell Tower

a) Bin store – to the left of the door as you leave the building.

This bin store and the surrounding area are often a mess. There may be a problem that, with increased deliveries to the Tower in cardboard boxes, this storage area is no longer large enough for our needs.

Action: Luke to speak with our cleaner, Paul, and see what can be improved.

b) Storage of traffic cones, brown food bin, Waitrose trollies, cigarette butts, in this area

Currently there is the brown food bin, traffic cones, and a number of Waitrose trollies on Cromwell Place outside the bin store.

There is no Waitrose trolley “collection service” from Cromwell Tower.

Action: Luke will investigate further, with the aim of tidying up this area.

17.         Items left in lift lobbies

The Committee has heard concerns from House Group members about shopping trollies, rubbish bags and cardboard boxes being left in the lift lobbies over the weekend and during the day.

The Fire Exercise (Item 4 above) showed how important it is that lift lobbies are clear so that firefighters can manoeuvre their equipment.

Action: Luke will investigate and if needed, re-issue the notice about the procedure for rubbish disposal.

18.         DATES

Tuesday 26th June 2018, 7pm Committee Meeting

Tuesday 26th June 2018, 8pm Summer Party

The acting Chairman closed the meeting at 20:15.


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.

Committee Meeting 25th Sept 2017 MINUTES

Here are the Minutes  of our Committee Meeting 25th September 2017 as a downloadable pdf document:

MINUTES for CTHG (25 Sept 2017) Version 5 (PDF)

Here are the minutes as a webpage with pictures and embedded links to documents:

MINUTES for Committee meeting 25th Sept 2017
19:00 in the Podium Room

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (absent)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer)
Lesley Bradshaw (absent)
Alan Budgen
Frances Calman
Christopher Gorman-Evans
Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Officer:
Luke Barton
  1. Welcome 

Julian Hale opened the meeting. Mike Bristow joined us as a potential new Committee Member (see item 24 below).

  1. Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from John Tomlinson and Lesley Bradshaw.
In John Tomlinson’s absence, Julian Hale was our acting Chairman for this meeting.

  1. Minutes of the last committee meetings: 27th and 28th June

The minutes of the Committee Meeting on June 27th were approved by the Committee and signed by the acting Chairman.  The minutes of the meeting on June 28th (Fire Safety) were approved by the Committee and signed by Laurance Jones.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meetingS 
27th and 28th June 2017
(for details please see the minutes of these meetings on these links: 27th June Committee Meeting, 28th June Fire Safety Special Meeting)

  1. Fire Safety

Cromwell Tower and Shakespeare Tower House Group Chairmen wrote a letter to Andrew Carter, City of London Director of Community and Children’s Services, requesting a meeting and a full risk assessment of the Towers to cover both fire and other threats. This meeting took place on 26th Sept. Andrew Carter said that further Fire Risk Assessments will take place in Dec 2017 to Jan 2018. In parallel there are studies to assess sprinklers, fire alarms, and enhanced front doors to the flats. A further meeting will be scheduled.

The City of London maintains a list of Questions and Answers on Fire Safety. See this link:

We requested that an official from the City of London be present at our AGM 29th November to report on actions taken and to answer questions.
Action: Luke

  1. Bicycle Parking (CGE)


Visitors to nearby businesses increasingly arrive by bicycle. Sometimes the bike racks in Silk Street are full, and cycles are fastened to the railings round Cromwell Place. On occasions these bicycles have obstructed the stairs.
Christopher was in touch with Albert Cheung of the City of London Transportation Department. Mr Cheung says,
“We do appreciate at peak times demand can out strips supply. Therefore, we will closely monitor the cycle parking in Silk Street and review the need / feasibility for additional cycle parking.
We have recently undertaken a cycle parking audit of the Barbican and the outcomes have been shared with the Barbican Centre and the Barbican Estate (car parks) for their consideration and if appropriate to install new cycle parking facilities.”
We will monitor the situation and draw further problems to his attention. Item resolved for the time being.

  1. Information about the House Group (JT/LB)

John Tomlinson was keen that information about the house group should be more visible to residents. Luke will draft a notice to go in the lift. This will mention the website:
Action: Luke

  1. Void Space (LB)

The owner of the Void space on the podium level has submitted plans to develop this as a residence. The plans are with the Barbican Estate Office awaiting Landlord’s approval.

  1. Cromwell Tower House Group Online (JN)

This site is now live, and contains the minutes of House Group Committee meetings and other public information about Cromwell Tower.
The Committee thanked Jane for her effort.
Please send comments and feedback to or click the comments button on a post or webpage on the site.

  1. Art in the 01 Lobby (AB)

The Committee thanked Alan for arranging the art exhibition in the 01 Lobby. Further exhibitions are planned.

  1. Licence application by The Brewery (JN)

The Brewery applied to open an establishment on the North side of Chiswell Street, with music and dancing to the small hours. CTHG submitted an objection. We received a letter from their solicitor advising that hours had been reduced and measures were in place to manage customers leaving the premises. We withdrew our objection. No further action.

If residents are disturbed by noise from the Brewery or its patrons, contact the City of London Environmental Health team. Call 020 7606 3030 to get action for noise now (24 hours), or after the event email
If there is a persistent problem, please let a House Group Committee member know, so we can co-ordinate a joint response.

  1. Jugged Hare patrons obstructing the pavement.

On sunny days, drinkers and smokers outside “The Jugged Hare” obstruct the narrow pavement on Chiswell Street. Passers-by then have to walk in the street. Managers in the Brewery, who run the Jugged Hare, have said that they will corral drinkers and keep them to one side of the footway. They don’t do this consistently and the footway is often blocked. This is dangerous and inconvenient, especially to those with pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Action: Please take photographs which show the problem. Send them to Jane ( When Jane has three photographs, she will compose a letter to the Jugged Hare to ask that they take more determined action.

13th Oct (2)

  1. Car parking Charges increase

The City wrote to residents proposing to make a large increase in Car Parking Charges as part of a policy to bring charges in line with market rates. There was opposition from residents and their elected representatives. The proposal was rejected by the Barbican Residential Committee (BRC). A Working Party was initiated by the BRC to look at Car Park revenue and costs, with the objective that Car Parks will generate reasonable income, to cover the costs, while not imposing an onerous burden on residents.  For the time being, the City have proposed a more moderate increase in line with the Consumer Price Index, in a letter 28th June 2017. 

  1. Electric Car Charging points (JT) 

Luke reported that there will be Electric Car Park points in the 02 or 03 levels of the Car Park under Cromwell. The wiring is in place. This prototype will start November or December 2017.

  1. Rubbish in the Car Parks (LB)

The cleaners have removed obvious rubbish from the Car Parks. However there are still items in the Car Parks which should not be there. Only cars should be stored in the Car Parks. Luke is expecting to receive approval from the City legal team to remove from the car parks such items as oil cans, trolleys and toys. These will be tagged, and notice will be given. Then these items will be taken away.

  1. Planters in Cromwell Place (JH/LB)

Julian has requested additional small planters for Cromwell Place, so we can have one in front of each pillar. The minutes of our meeting on 21st June 2016 state that Luke will put in a strong case for additional planters in the year 2016/17 which is this year. However Luke now reports that there is no money from the landlord for additional planters. None are available from elsewhere on the Estate. Therefore no more planters will be supplied.

  1. Key for Fire door (exit door from Dining Area) (JN) 

Advice on the City of London website says that we should test that we can open the fire doors which provide an exit route from the dining areas of our flats. There is a keyhole in this door.IMG_0409

The advice says:

“The key is there so that the door can be checked. Keys are available to sign out Redecoration Letter17 Aug 2017from BEO reception. Should you have any problems opening this door (which you may if the door has not been opened for a long time) then please contact your House Officer who will have an order raised for this door to be opened by our contractors for you.”

In practice, the key is tricky to operate, and may not work atall. The Committee asked Luke to review the information given to the BEO Reception staff who dispense the keys, so that they can advise residents of the correct procedure.

Most of these fire doors give exits via the balconies and fire stairs. Certain flats need to exit via neighbouring flats. Luke will take action to help residents test these non-standard escape routes.


CTHG response to Mike Saunders’ proposal for internal redecoration (JN)

Residents received a letter from Mike Saunders dated 17th August proposing to go ahead with internal redecoration of Cromwell Tower. Most of this is repainting the woodwork on and around the front doors of our flats. Since there is a study in progress to evaluate the possibility of replacing all this woodwork and upgrading its fire resistance, it didn’t make sense to repaint it right now. Jane wrote a letter on behalf of the House Group to ask that this redecoration be delayed until the result of the fire-resistance study is known. Then the schedule can be adjusted. The Committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the internal redecoration programme, without too much of a gap, and Luke confirmed that the redecoration will simply be delayed, and certainly not missed out altogether.

  1. 18. Huge puddles on Cromwell Highwalk (again)

There is a huge puddle on the Podium, by the steps next to the disused Exhibition Hall entrance. This looks bad, is inconvenient for pedestrians, and degrades the tiling. Luke said that the Beech Street Gardens work was planned to be continued towards Cromwell, and that the drains would be fixed as part of this work.


Action: Luke – report on when the drains problem will be fixed.

  1. General Data Protection Regulation – Advice for House Groups (Barbican Association General Council meeting 21 Sept)

We are awaiting advice from the City of London and the Barbican Association.

  1. Update on Barbican lease enforcement issues, specifically: Pets, Wooden Floors, Short-term holiday lets

Currently, officers of the BEO sometimes take a hard line on lease enforcement issues, and sometimes not. A Barbican resident has engaged in legal action to get the City to enforce the lease condition which specifies that floors must be carpeted. Officers want guidance on how to respond to lease infringements. They have prepared a paper to be discussed in the next Barbican Residential Committee meeting, currently scheduled for December 11th 2017.

  1. Thank you to Luke for replacing the bollard on Cromwell Place

The Committee thanked Luke for replacing the bollard that had been damaged by a City of London refuse collection vehicle. Luke assured us that there is now a spare bollard, so future replacements will be quicker.

IMG_1459 (1)

  1. Noise from kitchen vent in the Jugged Hare

A committee member had been contacted by a resident whose family is disturbed by a very noisy ventilator fan from the kitchen at the Jugged Hare.

Action: Luke is going to contact the resident to find out more.

  1.  Electrical Recycling

Question: Now that the Mezzanine is not available, where do we put electrical items for recycling,  such as spent light bulbs, broken fan heaters etc?

Answer: There is an electrical recycling skip under Bunyan House. Go down the ramp from Fann Street, between Blake Tower and the Wildlife Garden, and into the Car Park. There is also clothes recycling there.

  1. Changes to the Committee

In a previous meeting, Lesley Bradshaw had advised us that she intended to step down from the Committee with effect as of the AGM on 29th November. Mike Bristow, a Cromwell Tower resident, had indicated that he would like to join the Committee and it was agreed that Mike would be officially proposed as a Committee Member at the AGM.

The Committee thanked Julian Hale for stepping in as temporary Chairman in John Tomlinson’s absence. Julian closed the meeting at 20:38.

  1. DATES

AGM and Christmas Party: Wednesday November 29th 2017, 7pm

Committee Meeting: Monday 5th March 2018, 7pm

Committee Meeting and Summer Party: Tuesday 26th June 2018, 7pm

What is the Cromwell Tower House Group? 

The Cromwell Tower House Group is the body recognised by the City of London and the Barbican Association as representing the residents of Cromwell Tower. 

All Cromwell residents are encouraged to join. To join the House Group at any time, please contact Frances Calman (flat 232). The joining fee is currently £5 per flat. This is a once-off payment. There is no annual fee. The Annual General Meeting is in November or December each year and is open to all members of the House Group. 

Between the Annual General Meetings, issues that arise are addressed by the Cromwell Tower House Group Committee, whose names are listed at the top of these minutes. This is a group of Cromwell residents, elected at the Annual General Meeting, who give their time to address issues affecting the Tower. We generally meet once a quarter. Minutes of these meetings are circulated to all flats in the Tower and are online at We also meet members of the Barbican Estate Office and other organisations, as needed, to represent the interests of Cromwell Tower residents. If you would like to raise an issue, or would like to participate in the resolution of any of the items described in these minutes, please contact the Chairman, John Tomlinson (flat 133), or any other Committee member .