Here are the Minutes of our Committee Meeting 25th September 2017 as a downloadable pdf document:
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
John Tomlinson (Chairman) (absent)
|Barbican Estate Officer:
Julian Hale opened the meeting. Mike Bristow joined us as a potential new Committee Member (see item 24 below).
- 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.
- 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)
Cromwell Tower and Shakespeare Tower House Group Chairmen wrote a letter to Andrew Carter, City of London Director of Community and Children’s Services, requesting a meeting and a full risk assessment of the Towers to cover both fire and other threats. This meeting took place on 26th Sept. Andrew Carter said that further Fire Risk Assessments will take place in Dec 2017 to Jan 2018. In parallel there are studies to assess sprinklers, fire alarms, and enhanced front doors to the flats. A further meeting will be scheduled.
The City of London maintains a list of Questions and Answers on Fire Safety. See this link:
We requested that an official from the City of London be present at our AGM 29th November to report on actions taken and to answer questions.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Art in the 01 Lobby (AB)
The Committee thanked Alan for arranging the art exhibition in the 01 Lobby. Further exhibitions are planned.
- 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 email@example.com.
If there is a persistent problem, please let a House Group Committee member know, so we can co-ordinate a joint response.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The advice says:
“The key is there so that the door can be checked. Keys are available to sign out Redecoration Letter17 Aug 2017from BEO reception. Should you have any problems opening this door (which you may if the door has not been opened for a long time) then please contact your House Officer who will have an order raised for this door to be opened by our contractors for you.”
In practice, the key is tricky to operate, and may not work atall. The Committee asked Luke to review the information given to the BEO Reception staff who dispense the keys, so that they can advise residents of the correct procedure.
Most of these fire doors give exits via the balconies and fire stairs. Certain flats need to exit via neighbouring flats. Luke will take action to help residents test these non-standard escape routes.
CTHG response to Mike Saunders’ proposal for internal redecoration (JN)
Residents received a letter from Mike Saunders dated 17th August proposing to go ahead with internal redecoration of Cromwell Tower. Most of this is repainting the woodwork on and around the front doors of our flats. Since there is a study in progress to evaluate the possibility of replacing all this woodwork and upgrading its fire resistance, it didn’t make sense to repaint it right now. Jane wrote a letter on behalf of the House Group to ask that this redecoration be delayed until the result of the fire-resistance study is known. Then the schedule can be adjusted. The Committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the internal redecoration programme, without too much of a gap, and Luke confirmed that the redecoration will simply be delayed, and certainly not missed out altogether.
- 18. Huge puddles on Cromwell Highwalk (again)
There is a huge puddle on the Podium, by the steps next to the disused Exhibition Hall entrance. This looks bad, is inconvenient for pedestrians, and degrades the tiling. Luke said that the Beech Street Gardens work was planned to be continued towards Cromwell, and that the drains would be fixed as part of this work.
Action: Luke – report on when the drains problem will be fixed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 .