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

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP  http://www.cromwelltower.org

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

fullsizeoutput_1a0f
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: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/housing/Documents/barbican-estate-fire-safety.pdf
    •  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.

      IMG_0409
      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) (john@johnandpaula.com)
Mike Bristow
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 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:

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)
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
Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk
  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:
https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/housing/Documents/barbican-estate-fire-safety.pdf

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: www.CromwellTower.org
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)  www.CromwellTower.org

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 Jane@JaneNorthcote.com 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 publicprotection@cityoflondon.gov.uk.
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 (Jane@JaneNorthcote.com). 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.

OTHER BUSINESS

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.

fullsizeoutput_1954

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.

http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=188&MId=19004&Ver=4

http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s83540/lease%20enforcements%20V%202.pdf

  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 http://www.CromwellTower.org. 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 . 

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 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