Committee Meeting 27th June 2017 MINUTES

Here are the Minutes  of our Committee Meeting 27th June 2017 as a downloadable pdf document:

MINUTES for CTHG (27 June 2017)Version 2

Here are the minutes as a webpage with pictures:

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

MINUTES for Committee meeting 27 June 2017

19:00 in the Podium Room

Committee Members:

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

Barbican Estate Officer:
Luke Barton
Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed those present. Mike Bristow, Cromwell resident, joined the meeting as a potential new Committee member.

The Committee noted that there was much to discuss concerning Fire Risk, Fire Precautions and actions to be taken in the event of Fire. Accordingly, we agreed to convene an additional CTHG Committee meeting to focus on this important topic. This meeting was held the following day: 28 June 2017, and the Minutes of this additional meeting are on this link.

2.    Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Christopher Gorman-Evans.

3.    Minutes of the previous committee meeting

The minutes of April 20th 2017 were approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting 20 April 2017

4.    Threat Alarm

See Minutes of meeting on Fire Safety.

5.    Fire Risk Assessment

See Minutes of meeting on Fire Safety.

6.    Bicycle Parking

Christopher Gorman-Evans had noticed cycles fastened to the railings next to the music shop, obstructing the stairs. Although there are cycle stands nearby, these are quickly used up. So cycles get fastened to railings.

Christopher is in contact Albert Cheung, citytransportation@cityoflondon.gov.uk, with a view to asking for more cycle parking in the area.

7.    Information about the House Group

To inform residents about the work of the house group, John Tomlinson suggested that notices be put up in the lifts listing items under discussion, meeting dates and committee members’ names. Luke has drafted a notice. Committee members were keen that the existing useful information in the lifts was included in this notice (contact information for the House Officer, the Porters, and the Repairs Line).

Action: John to review Luke’s draft

8.    New Porters

Kalpesh Patel and Abdi Harouma have joined our existing porters Flo and Andrew to make our team of four porters in Cromwell Tower. Abdi joined recently. A notice will appear in the lifts to introduce him. Please say hello to our new porters.

9.    Void Space

There is a planning application to transform the Void space at the base of Cromwell Tower into a residential dwelling. This is awaiting Landlord’s approval. This new residence will have its entrance at Mezzanine level.

10.Cromwell Tower House Group Online

These minutes and other documents, including the Fire Risk Assessment are now online at https://cromwelltower.wordpress.com.

Action: Jane to continue to develop this website, and acquire the domain
http://www.CromwellTower.org
DONE: This domain now acquired and in operation

11.Art in the 01 Lobby

Alan Budgen reports that the Van Gogh exhibition of art by Guildhall Students was very well received by residents. It will be taken down within the next few weeks. The next exhibition will be by a local photographer.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

12. Licence application by The Brewery

The Brewery on Chiswell Street has applied for a licence to supply alcohol and entertainment in a property on the North side of Chiswell Street, nos. 41-46. They apply to do this until midnight on Mon and Tues, 1am on Wednesday, and 2am Thursday to Saturday, 11pm on Sunday. The noise inside the venue won’t be a problem as it is underground. The problem is rowdy partygoers leaving in the small hours, plus associated mini-cab noise. Many residents will remember the problems with “Parker MacMillan” in the same location. Individual residents have submitted objections. In addition, the Committee agreed that we should submit an objection as a registered tenants association.

Action: Jane to draft and submit an objection by the deadline, which is 28th June.
DONE: Here is the objection as a downloadable document:
CTHG Objection to 41-46 Chiswell St(pdf)

13. Jugged Hare patrons obstructing the pavement

Drinkers at the Jugged Hare pub tend to block the pavement on the Chiswell Street side. Passers-by are then obliged to walk in the roadway, which is dangerous. Following a request from John Tomlinson and others, pub staff now encourage drinkers to stay close to the pub and not obstruct the pavement. Drinkers are not allowed to use the pavement on the Silk Street side as this creates noise disturbance.

14. Car parking Charges increase

The City of London made proposals for a large increase in Car Parking charges. Following representations from residents and elected representatives, the proposal has been withdrawn for the time being. It is now subject of a Working Party under the Barbican Residential Committee (BRC). John Tomlinson is a member of the Working Party.

16. Electric Car Charging points

Prototype Electric Car charging points will be introduced into Car Parks around the Barbican. There will be some in Cromwell Car parks. They will be in place within a few months, September 2017.

17. Rubbish in the Car Parks

There is rubbish on the floor of the Car Park – crisp packets, rubbish bags and other waste. This is surprising, as the Car Parks should be being cleaned daily.

Action: Luke to check the cleaning schedule and inspect to ensure the Car Parks cleanliness is up to the required standard.

18. Cables going into the basement

Thick orange cables lead from the Barbican Centre into the basement of Cromwell, over the entrance of the 02 Car Park. At first they looked temporary. Now they are more substantial and have been there a number of months. What are they?

Action: Luke to discover what they are and how we can know they are safe.

19. Planters in Cromwell Place

The newly planted and colourful flowers in the tubs outside the front door of Cromwell are the work of Helen Likierman and Julian Hale. We thank them for their initiative and energy and for funding the planting. Julian said that if the BEO would provide further planters, for example one in front of each pillar, then he and Helen would stock them with plants. The minutes of our meeting on 21st June 2016 state that Luke will put in a strong case for additional planters in the year 2017/18.

20. Changes to the Committee

Lesley Bradshaw announced her intention not to stand for re-election at the next AGM. The Chairman thanked Lesley for her contribution to the work of the House Group and to the Tower in general. Lesley’s heartfelt representations concerning the lobby redevelopment meant that the implemented design was better for everyone.

DATES

Next Committee meeting: 7pm Monday September 25th 2017

AGM and Christmas Party: Wednesday November 29th 2017

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. 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.

CTHG Minutes 24 January 2017

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes of Committee Meeting 24 January 2017

19:00 in the Podium Room

These minutes are VERSION 3 – edited after comment from Luke Barton, 2o April. 

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer) (absent)

Lesley Bradshaw (absent)

Alan Budgen (absent)

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

Our Chairman John Tomlinson opened the meeting and welcomed those present.

2.    Apologies for absence

We received apologies for absence from Laurance Jones, Alan Budgen, and Lesley Bradshaw. We understand that Lesley is unwell, and send best wishes for a speedy recovery.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting 27th Sept were approved by those present as a correct record and signed by Julian Hale, acting chairman for that meeting.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting

27th Sept 2016

4.    Carpets (Item 4)

Carpets in the lift lobbies on the 7th and 34th floor were replaced on the 3rd and

4th January 2017. Another two will be replaced during the year starting April 2017, and two more each year thereafter until further notice.

5.    U-turns and bollards (Item 5, and also item 5 of AGM)

Bollards have been installed across the entrance to Cromwell Place to deter traffic from making dangerous U-turns in this pedestrian area. The porters report that they are effective.

6.    Threat Alarm (Item 6, and Item 10 of the AGM minutes)

(a) In previous years there have been problems with the intercom connecting the porter’s desk to the flats (essentially the doorbell for the flat). Luke is monitoring the on-going maintenance cost of repairs to this intercom. The costs occur as this system is different other Towers and can’t be maintained by the Resident Engineers

(b)The Threat Alarm uses elements of the intercom system. This alarm only requires the annual testing (which last took place November 2016).

(c) There are no fire alarms in the communal parts of the building (apart from the car park).

7.    Procedure in the event of Fire (Item 7, and Item 11 of the AGM Minutes)

In September 2016 there was an Independent Fire Risk Assessment of the Barbican and Golden Lane Estates. Luke had expected to deliver to us a report. This is still awaited.

Luke confirmed that the doors of the flats are fire-proof for at least 30 minutes, which is compliant with standards prevailing at the time when the estate was built.

Recent new cabling via the rubbish lockers in the Tower provide a potential route for smoke to travel upwards, and there will be a programme of work to “fire‑stop” the cable holes to prevent smoke penetration.

Action: John Tomlinson to write to Paul Murtagh, Barbican Estate Office, to chase up the Fire Risk Assessment report. As residents, we need up-to-date information on actions to be taken in the event of fire.

8.    Additional Planters for Cromwell Place (Item 8)

Luke will put strong case for plants and planters in Cromwell Place in the financial year 2017/8.

9.    Visitor Parking (Item 9)

There are eight bays available for visitors in the 01 ground level car park, accessed from Cromwell Place. The porters have a list of the bay numbers. These are for short-term use.

Parking in Cromwell Place is limited to 20 minutes, and must not obstruct emergency vehicle routes or the rubbish collection lorries.

10. Parking on the North side of Chiswell Street (Item 10)

Chiswell Street 24 Feb 2107
People walking in the street outside Sundial Court

Vehicles park on the North side of Chiswell Street, opposite the Brewery, where the foot-way and kerbstone disappear. This means people have to walk in the road. That side of the street is in Islington. John has approached Islington Council to ask for a continuous footway, so that pedestrians have a safe route. Chiswell Street is a designated “quietway”, marked with a “Q” on the road. We don’t know the significance of this. It doesn’t seem very quiet at the moment. Walking on the road is still unsafe for pedestrians. 

Action: John Tomlinson will meet Islington Councillor Jenny Kay on the site, on 15th Feb 2017, to find out what’s happening.

11.Bicycle Parking (Item 14)

Christopher Gorman-Evans had noticed cycles fastened to the railings next to the music shop, obstructing the stairs. Although there are cycle stands nearby, these are quickly used up by Guildhall School students and visitors to the Barbican Centre and local businesses. So cycles get fastened to railings.

Luke gave us the contact information for the City officer responsible for cycling. He is: Albert Cheung, citytransportation@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Action: Christopher will contact Mr Cheung, with a view to asking for more cycle parking in the area.

Matters Arising from AGM 1st Dec 2016

Noted above.

Thank you to Alan Budgen for organising the current exhibition of pictures in the 01 Lift Lobby.

12. Replacement for Peter Finch (Item 14 of AGM Minutes)

On 31st August 2016 our lobby porter Peter Finch retired due to ill-health. The Barbican Estate office are currently holding interviews to fill the vacancy.

Any other business

13. Low Emission Neighbourhood – charging points for electric cars in Barbican Car Parks.

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). The project manager is Ben Kennedy, Ben.Kennedy@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

One measure is to install electric charging points in Barbican Car Parks, as a trial, to encourage the use of electric vehicles. John Tomlinson is Deputy Chairman of the Electric Vehicle Working Party. He reports that spaces have already been identified, including some in the 02 level Car Park in Cromwell. Action is proceeding quickly and we can look forward to having charging points installed with the next few months.

14. Information about the House Group

To inform residents about the work of the house group, John Tomlinson suggested that notices be put up in the lifts listing items under discussion, meeting dates and committee members’ names. 

Action: Luke undertook to draft a notice.

15. Thank you

Committee members applauded the flowering branches currently in the ground floor lobby vases. We thanked Christopher Gorman-Evans for these and the other flower displays he has provided in this public area.

16.DATES

20th April 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

At this meeting we will allocate tasks for the summer party.

Luke is away 17th April to 8th May. Sarah Styles from the BEO is one of the people covering for him in his absence, and she will attend our meeting.

27th June 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

27th June 2017 20:00 SUMMER PARTY, following the Committee Meeting

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm.

 

CTHG Minutes 27th Sept 2016

 

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes for the Committee meeting 27th September 2016

19:00 in the Podium Room

 

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (absent)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans (absent)

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Office (BEO):

Luke Barton (House Officer)

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

Julian Hale opened the meeting and welcomed resident Tessa Harfield, who wished to make some specific contributions to this meeting.

All Committee Members listed above were present except Christopher Gorman-Evans and John Tomlinson. Alan Budgen arrived later.

2.    Apologies for absence

Our House Group Chairman John Tomlinson was absent due to illness, so Julian Hale kindly volunteered to chair this meeting.

Christopher Gorman-Evans was unable to be present and sent his apologies.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the CTHG on 21st June 2016 were signed by Julian Hale, acting Chairman, as an accurate record.

Matters from previous meetingS

4.    Carpet renewal – lift lobbies

Two carpets will shortly be replaced. Two carpets will be replaced each year until further notice.

5.    Beech St./Silk St. junction.

We have requested that the vehicle entrance to Cromwell Place be reduced in width so as to discourage taxis and lorries making dangerous U turns. This work will be funded by the City of London.

Luke reported that bollards will be installed within two weeks from the date of this meeting. The bollards will discourage fast U-turns in Cromwell Place. Waste collection and other large vehicles will still be able to enter. Two of the bollards will be removable, to accommodate exceptionally large vehicles. The porters will have the keys to remove the bollards.

6.    Threat alarm and intercom

Our tower intercom, uniquely in the Barbican, has a “threat alarm” originally installed for alerting residents if a bomb alert was received. There are a number of difficulties with this combined threat alarm system and intercom. It is supplied and maintained by Antron, a private firm.

  • The Threat Alarm has been tested but John Tomlinson and Laurance Jones did not hear it.
  • There are intermittent problems with the intercom, which have caused considerable inconvenience to several residents. Antron have been called out a number of times, at a cost to leaseholders, last year, of some £6000 for the block.

 

This special Cromwell system could potentially be replaced by the simpler system used by the other Towers. This simpler system does not include the threat alarm. In this case the maintenance would be done by Resident Engineers which is cheaper and quicker than Antron.

However, replacement might be overtaken by an estate-wide project. There is a long-term plan to replace the current key-entry system. Keys have not been changed for over a decade. The RCC (Residents Consultative Committee) are investigating proposals.

Action: Luke to

  1. Investigate the long-term plan for security and visitor entry to the Towers.
  2. Discover the date for the next test of the Threat Alarm
  3. Investigate options for replacing the intercom, with or without the alarm.

7.    Does our block need a Fire Alarm?

This question arose at our previous meeting. There is no Fire Alarm in any of the Tower Blocks. The Estate Fire Officer, Terence Short, has told Luke that Fire Alarms are not needed. The flats are compliant with all regulations applying to fire risk in tower blocks, and there is a programme of inspection to check compliance. Lift lobbies on all floors must be clear to ensure compliance with Fire Regulations for everyone’s safety.

Luke reminded us that the advice to residents in the event of fire in the building is to remain in our flats and call the fire service.

Action: Luke

(a) to check with the Fire Officer about the fire resistance of the doors of the flats. How long are they resistant for?

(b) to check with the Fire Officer about the fire resistance of the rubbish lockers, both with the doors open and closed. Are they a means of transmission of the fire from floor to floor?

(c) to communicate more widely with residents about the instructions in the event of fire.

8.    Additional planters for Cromwell Place

There has been a long-standing request for additional planters following an incomplete replacement last year (2015). The plants in the containers just outside the doors are not in a good state, and the island in Cromwell Place needs attention.

Cromwell Tower residents Paula Tomlinson and Helen Hale were at a recent meeting with Helen Davinson, Resident Services Manager from the BEO, to discuss this. Helen Davinson told them that there is no funding for a major overhaul at this time. So no replanting will be done this year and there will be no new planters. She noted that any future works to waterproof the podium will include Cromwell Place as it is above a Car Park.

The House Group Committee confirmed to Luke that Tower residents do not intend to take over replanting or maintenance of the plants in Cromwell Place since this is the work of the Estate Office.

Actions: Luke will put in a strong case for plants and planters in Cromwell Place in the year 2017/8.

9.    Visitor parking.

Some bays in the 01 level Car Park have now become available for use by visitors. The porters will direct visitors to these locations.

The Committee asked that the BEO reserve at least four places in the 01 level for visitor parking and as a contingency for future disabled use.

New resident places will be allocated in the 02 and 03 car parks.

10.Parking on the North side of Chiswell Street

A better footway arrangement will be built on North side of Chiswell St outside Sundial Court to protect pedestrians as part of Islington’s “Quietways” programme. We hope that this improvement will be made in 2016.

Action: John to continue to pursue this matter with Islington Councillors.

11.Glue Lines on each side of Utility doors – issue closed

On some floors there are indelible glue lines, straight or wavy, each side of the utility doors in the lift lobbies. This damage was done by contractors who secured protective sheeting to the utility doors with glue.

Planning Approval letters now include an instruction not to deface the concrete. Luke showed us such a paragraph in a recent letter.

12. Rubbish bags left in Lift Lobbies

Residents have complained to Luke about rubbish bags left in the lobbies. Action: Luke to circulate an instruction to remind residents to use the rubbish lockers rather than leaving rubbish bags on the carpet, and also to tell porters to remind cleaners of this procedure when they hand over the keys.

13.Damage to public areas by contractors

Thomson Bros have repainted the ceiling of the B lift, which they damaged during a recent renovation.

Luke has photographed the public areas around the lifts and confirmed that contractors or residents who damage public areas will be asked to make good at their expense.

MATTERS ARISING SINCE THE PREVIOUS MEETING

14. Bicycle Parking

Christopher noticed bicycles locked to the railings of Cromwell Place. He photographed a cycle on the railings next to the Music Shop, partially blocking the steps. This is unsightly, dangerous to pedestrians, and risks damage to the bike wheel. It happens because the cycle racks nearby are full.

Actions:

Luke to discover the name of the person in the City Transport department responsible for cycle facilities.

Jane (cyclist) and Christopher (non-cyclist) to approach this officer and ask for more cycle parking or other solution to this problem.

15. Peter Finch’s collection and card

Many residents contributed to a collection for Peter Finch, our porter, who retired due to ill-health on 31st August 2016. Barry Ashton of the Barbican Estate Office gave the card and cheque to Peter.

FORTHCOMING DATES –

1st December 19:00 AGM and Christmas Party

31st January 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

20th April 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

Luke is away during this period. He will extend the invitation to our April meeting to Helen Davinson or to the person covering for him in his absence.

27th June 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

The Summer Party 2017 will be scheduled in the January meeting