Download the Minutes here: Silchester RA Meeting minutes 13.12.16
Silchester Residents’ Association
General Meeting Tuesday 13 December 6.30pm
Present: Derek White (Chair) Nahid Ashby (Vice-Chair), Eman Yosry (Treasurer), Carlos Ramalho-Aguiar, J. Haley, M. Payne, P. O’Sullivan, Helen Irwin, Ira Irwin, M. Parvet, Mrs. Riat, Mr. I. Abdan, Mr. Swara Bayezidi, Baban Karwui, Dona Chitolie, Norma Buddle, Lina Lens, Maria Sanchez, Elias Joubrael, Rosa Diaz, Agnes Ferguson, Piers Thompson, Maureen Franklin, F. Fernandez, Lorraine Wallington, Sheelan Bayeziai
- Welcome and Introductions
Derek (Chair) introduced Nicola Bartholomew (TMO), Ruth Angel (RBKC), Siddiqa Islam (RBKC) and Helen Redd (PPCR)
- Apologies for absence: Brenda Mercer, Steph Perkin, Councillor Judith Blakeman
- Regeneration Update
a) Update from the RA ChairIt has been a busy summer, with three refurbishment workshops. Derek, Nahid and Sharon were on the panel to appoint an ITLA (Independent Tenant, Leaseholder and Freeholder Advisor) Also on the panel were Janet Edwards from the TMO and two officers from the Council. Four organisations were interviewed and PPCR came out top.
b) Update from RBKC Project Manager
Ruth Angel explained that the Council is continuing to look at a number of options. There has been quite a lot of discussion around redevelopment options, and four are moving forward. The Council is now also looking at refurbishment and infill options, i.e. looking at the opportunities to build around existing blocks to provide funding for refurbishments. Construction consultancy Baily Garner has been appointed to develop the proposals for refurbishment. They have a lot of experience and are due to complete the work in late February. Three sessions were held to ask residents their views. Baily Garner will be working up two sets of proposals, higher and lower. The tower blocks came up with more issues, and common themes were lifts and security. TMO recognise that lifts are reaching the end of their lives and they should be replaced in the not too distant future. Windows in tower blocks are also faulty. In the low rise blocks, residents were mainly happy, with security (door entry) and lighting the common theme. The feedback from the workshops has been given to the consultants.
Ruth re-iterated that up until September 2017 the Council is just looking at the options.
A resident raised an issue that the porches being made of wood on Darfield Way has not had an adequate response. Darfield Way properties need individual boilers. Nicola Bartholomew responded that the TMO already have it on the maintenance plan so it’s not a refurbishment item.
Ruth clarified that all of the tower blocks would have the same improvements. Lina raised condensation issues, and whilst Ruth maintained that few other people have mentioned it. Eman said that there is condensation and dampness, cleaning with bleach not a solution. Maureen in Bramley House said that they should have new windows.
Consultants are working on it and next step is to get proposals in late February. Format to be discussed for a drop-in in March.
Siddiqa Islam, the new RBKC Senior Project Manager, Housing Regeneration, introduced herself.
Helen Redd from PPCR. Independent, Tenant, Leaseholder and Freeholder Advisor. (ITLA) introduced herself. She will:
– start to work with all residents on this estate, for example to explain documents and what they mean for us.
– work with the Council to make sure that what is coming out is clear, understandable and makes sense
– work with Derek to create residents groups and forums on the estate, in order to help us ask questions in a way that is informed.
She will be around September, working on options and questions. We can contact PPCR her via a freephone number and email address, and Helen will be main contact. She will also do face-to-face meetings and drop in sessions. Sometimes impact will be different for leaseholders and tenants, so may do different sessions for different types of tenure. Piers asked question about whether Helen aware of decant policy – Helen talked about the work that PPCR had done in Lambeth on tenancy agreements. Ruth Angel confirmed that the intention is that all the council owned property will continue to be owned by the council and that therefore secure tenancies will continue. Mary clarified that the role for a ITLA is to advise and support us, and that the company have only been recruited until September as that is when the Cabinet meeting is. If after then we still need an ITLA then they will have to re-apply.
The RA will be agreeing a brief with the ITLA and will be reporting back in meetings and in various ways. We will need a project group to help us with the ITLA liaison. Derek encouraged people to get involved block by block, and there will be a meeting in the New Year to have a chat with Helen about how best to get involved. Piers asked a question about whether Helen will be advising Housing Associations, and Ruth confirmed that whilst the ITLA will get slightly different brief for Housing Association tenants, Helen will advise them. Helen had already raised a question about the tenants of non resident leaseholders and Ruth will get back to us on those.
Ira asked a question about getting the Mayor of London involved. The Mayor of London has issued document “Homes for Londoners” which gives a summary of what the Mayor expects to see in Regeneration schemes. The RA did write to the Mayor in July, but the response was that Mayor doesn’t get involved until it goes to planning. Derek has also been involved, with other RAs in talking to Dominic Curran, one of the Mayor’s officials, to input into the feedback on the Homes for Londoners document and so we are having input with that. We are involved with his office. Sian Berry (Green) is very interested in our estate regeneration.
Piers asked a question about whether the Council will be reporting back next month on the result of conversations with third party landowners. Ruth said that the council will be reporting back.
- Previous meeting of 10th March 2016: The minutes from 10th March were approved, and no issues were raised.
- Estate Management Update
Nicola Bartholomew, our new Neighbourhood Management Team Leader introduced herself. The TMO have restructured their services. Nicola was just covering Lancaster West, and now she also covers Silchester and Henry Dickens. There is a new office, based next to the playground next to Grenfell Tower, and that is where she is based. Also there is a Customer Service advisor and our new Estate Housing Officer Janice Jones. Nicola wants to make things as pleasant and comfortable as she can whilst the estate is going through these difficult times. Office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and they are trying to be more responsive, and to do things like communicating when a communal repair has been reported with a job number and contact number. Comments from residents:
- Derek raised issue that the communication is not good enough.
- Ira raised that there are teenagers in the Waynflete Square playground with motorbikes and that the playground should be locked at night.
Action: Nicola to speak to Neighbourhood police and about locking gate.
- Lina wanted to know how long the response should be when both lifts are not working.
Action: Nicola will come back to us.
- Mary raised communication issue that no-one knew about the new office. Nicola responded that the plan is to send out letter with all contact details and that this information will go out in Link.
- Issue raised about estate cleaning, that deep cleans were not happening and that the TMO never call you back. Also, rubbish still continues to be thrown out of tower blocks. Nicola responded that even though people shouldn’t be doing this, the estate caretaker and cleaner should still be on to these things. If Nicola knows about it, she will take action.
- Too many OCS vans are parking at the base at Markland House. London Fire Brigade will be doing a fire safety assessment on Frinstead so it wold be good if they added Markland to this, as access could be a problem with the number of vans parking there.
- Update from the Chair
- Derek explained that we have worked hard to get the parking issues sorting out at the base of Frinstead, eventually resulting in the TMO putting a gate in to stop parking as a temporary measure while a permanent Parking Order is raised.
- We have been doing an opinion survey and having a website – we will need to do some fundraising. We hope that Helen can help us look at different ways of fundraising for general running costs for the RA. Derek explained about the different funds that we have so far. Filming on the estate can give us a donation.
- We also need to think about the constitution.
- We have also been working hard on trying to get the Residents’ Rooms fit for use, and are negotiating with the TMO for Residents’ use
- Any Other Business
There was no other business.
It was agreed that Nicola would get back to us on dates for estate inspections, and that we needed to discuss with Helen and Siddiqa the timetable for the next steps of the process before making other dates for meetings.
The Meeting finished at 20:30