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.  

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

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

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

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

Or http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/HomeFireSafetyVisit.asp

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 (Jane@JaneNorthcote.com).

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

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

IMG_2524
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.

 

Minutes of AGM December 1st 2016

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP

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: Ben.Kennedy@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

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) (john@johnandpaula.com)

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman (membership secretary, fcalman@doctors.org.uk)

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Jane Northcote (Secretary, Jane@JaneNorthcote.com)

 

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

CTHG Minutes 21st June 2016

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes for the Committee meeting 21st June 2016

19:30 in the Podium Room

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Office:

Luke Barton (House Officer)

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

2.    Apologies for absence – All members present.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the CTHG on 14th March were signed by the Chairman as an accurate record.

Matters from previous meetingS

4.    Carpet renewal – issue now resolved

The two carpets on floors 30 and 3 have been replaced. These carpets cost £3372 each, which is recharged to the whole block. This will appear as an addition of about £70 to the Service Charge of a typical flat. Luke proposed a replacement schedule of two carpets per year, and the committee accepted this proposal. The replacement schedule will be reviewed in future years if needed.

5.    Void space development – use of mezzanine

Planning permission has been granted to transform the Void space at ground, podium and mezzanine levels into a flat. There is no start date yet agreed for the building work. When the Void space is developed, the Mezzanine will provide access to the new flat, and so will need to be clear.

As the Mezzanine level lobby is currently used informally as a storage space for items awaiting recycling. Luke is currently investigating options.

6.    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 is seeking approval from the Planning department of the City. He is awaiting a meeting to agree the plans and funding.

It is now 12 months since the initial request.

John will talk to the relevant City department with the intention to expedite matters.

7.    Threat alarm and intercom

There are a number of difficulties with the combined threat alarm system and intercom. This 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.

The Cromwell system is different from that in the other towers. It could potentially be replaced by the simpler system used by the other Towers. This simpler system does not include the alarm. In this case the maintenance would be done by Resident Engineers which is cheaper and quicker than Antron.

Action: Luke to

(1) Find out about Fire Safety and Fire Alarms: do we need a Fire Alarm? What do the other Towers do?

(2) Investigate the long-term plan for security and visitor entry to the Towers.

(3) Discover the date for the next test of the Threat Alarm, ideally in September.

(4) Investigate options for replacing the intercom, with or without the alarm.

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.

Actions:

Luke – will put in a strong case for large planters for Cromwell Place for the 2017/8 year.

John – will ask the Gardens Advisory Group to ensure steps are taken to improve the quality of planting in Cromwell Place planters and island.

9.    Concrete Repairs

(a) Major Concrete repairs done in August 2013:

There is an ongoing dispute between the Barbican Association, representing residents, and the City as landlord, regarding who should pay for concrete repairs and remedial work done in August 2013. John Tomlinson reported that experts commissioned by the City have now delivered technical answers to queries. The City lawyers are now initiating proceedings against anyone who has withheld payment. The Barbican Association is considering options.

(b) Repairs to concrete in internal exposed areas: e.g. on inside of balconies

Some residents have noticed that the concrete has flaked off the inside of balcony walls, exposing rusting steel re-inforcement bars.

Luke reported that repairs will start in the next 6 months. The contract will go out to tender in the next 3 months. The cost will come through on the Service Charge. The City surveyor advises that the rusty steel bars will not deteriorate markedly before the repairs occur.

10.Visitor parking.

The former visitor parking spaces in 01 ground level car park are now in use to provide disabled parking. Porters now send visitors to spare spaces in 02 or 03 car parks. This means that visitors must be given garage entry keys.

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

Luke reported that so far no more spaces have become available in the 01 car park, and that as soon as spaces are released they will be retained for Cromwell visitors.

11.Noise issues – Brewery.

If any resident is disturbed by noise from the Brewery please tell them, and report the time of the noise:

24-hour Manned Reception (Brewery) 0207 065 5700

Brewery Duty Manager Mobile 07920 203 823

It would also be helpful if you could tell the City’s Pollution Control team:

Call 020 7606 3030 to report noise and request immediate action or

email publicprotection@cityoflondon.gov.uk to notify them after the event.

Also please email John Tomlinson: john@johnandpaula.com. This is so we can take an informed view of the size of the problem and use data to make a case for action.

12.Bright lights from St Paul’s area – issue now resolved

Flats on the South of the Tower have been flooded by light intended to illuminate St Paul’s. Christopher has been in correspondence with the City of London Environmental Health Officer, Rachel Sambells. These lights will now be turned off. LED lights will be installed which can be more accurately directed. We are optimistic that this will solve the problem.

13. Service Charges Working party

The first meeting of the Service Charges Working party will be on 27th June. Jane will be participating. The broad aim is to ensure that processes are in place to manage, control and forecast service charges so that costs to leaseholders are contained and predictable, and service quality are maintained.

14. 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 request an update

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

On some floors there are glue lines, straight or wavy, each side of the utility doors in the lift lobbies. These were made by contractors who secured protective sheeting to the utility doors with glue. On the 23 Feb 2016 Laurance Jones raised this issue with Steve Murray, Property Services Team Manager,

City of London Corporation. Luke reported Steve Murray’s view that removing the glue lines would make the cleaned area paler. This would be unsightly.

We decided to take no further action to clean existing lines.

Action: Luke will alert fellow House Officers to this problem. If plans for renovations include asbestos removal, House Officers will include in the Planning Approval an instruction not to stick sheeting to visible areas of concrete.

16. Lobby door banging on Ground Floor – issue resolved

On 24 Feb 2016 Luke noted that the front door was banging. The brake on the door has failed, so the door closed violently, possibly endangering the glass.

Luke says this has now been fixed and is awaiting redecoration.

17. Broken tiles and Chewing Gum on Cromwell Place – issue resolved

Broken tiles have been mended. Removing chewing gum is now a routine part of the cleaning services actions.

18. Items left in Lobbies

On certain floors, there are bicycles, shoes and other items in the lift lobbies. This is in contravention of the lease, and a fire hazard. Over recent months Luke has taken action to enforce fire regulations and get items removed from lobbies.

Action: Luke to continue enforcement action.

19. Water hammer noise on higher floors

There has been intrusive noise from water hammer on upper floors.

Luke reported that this problem has now been solved. It took a very long time to resolve, and Luke assured us that lessons have been learned.

MATTERS ARISING SINCE THE LAST MEETING

20. Doors coming off the parcels cupboard under the porter’s desk

This seems to happen repeatedly.

Luke to discover from Metwin (contractor) why the repair does not work.

21. Stop-cock on the 20th Floor

A resident reported a very long wait for a stop-cock replacement.

Luke reports that this has now been replaced.

22. Notice Board

The Notice Board on Level 01 is for use by Cromwell residents only. The best way to advertise services to Barbican residents is to use Barbicantalk. http://www.barbicantalk.com

23.Damage to public areas by contractors

Thomson Bros undertook to repaint the ceiling of the B lift, which they damaged during a recent renovation. They have not done this yet. More renovations are expected this summer.

Action: Luke to repeat the request to Thomson Bros.

Action: Luke will photograph lifts and lobbies so that we have a record of the state of public areas. Contractors who damage public areas will be asked to make good at their expense.

24. Côte Restaurant variation of licence – no action needed

Côte have applied for a change to their alcohol licence so they can offer a home delivery service which includes delivery of alcoholic drinks. Certain blocks are considering objecting to this. The CTHG Committee decided that this variation of the licence will not make a difference to us and we will not object.

 

FORTHCOMING DATES

27 Sept 19:00 Committee Meeting

1st December 19:00 AGM and Christmas Party

31st January 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting