CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)
Minutes for the Committee meeting 21st June 2016
19:30 in the Podium Room
John Tomlinson (Chairman)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer)
|Barbican Estate Office:
Luke Barton (House Officer)
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to notify them after the event.
Also please email John Tomlinson: email@example.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.
27 Sept 19:00 Committee Meeting
1st December 19:00 AGM and Christmas Party
31st January 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting