Here are the Minutes of our Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 as a downloadable pdf document:
Here 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
John Tomlinson (Chairman) (apologies received, he was at the RCC)
|Barbican Estate Officer:
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
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
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.
Tuesday 26th June 2018, 7pm Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th June 2018, 8pm Summer Party
The acting Chairman closed the meeting at 20:15.