Minutes from October 2011 at bottom of this page onwards to most recent at the top.
Continued from “Minutes 1” page
which has minutes from March 2009 right up to September 2011
NOTE: Panel meeting are bi-monthly – as of May 2012.
We hold our meetings at Gooch House, on the corner of Kenninghall Road and Powell Road
just off the Lea Bridge Road roundabout.
If you have any queries or requests
or if you wish to attend as a TRA representative or as a resident observer
please contact us first as there are limited spaces
David White (Secretary) or Mavis McGee (Chair)
or use the form at the bottom of every page and I will get back to you.
Dates of future meetings are on the HOME page and on the panel’s page
of the Hackney Homes website:
(Meetings are on the second Tue of the month)
MINUTES of the Clapton Neighbourhood Panel Meeting
Held at Gooch House, Kenninghall Road
on Tuesday 8th Jan 2012 at 1900hrs
PANEL OFFICERS Mavis McGee (Landfield) Chairman George McGee (Landfield) Vice Chair David White (Beecholme) Secretary
MEMBERS Stan Cohen (Keir Hardie) Imelda Messenger (Street Properties Forum) Maureen Devine (Seaton Point) Helen Williams (Lea View House) Carol Baines (Nightingale) Tracy Hickey (Wrens Park House) Linda Wilson (Tower Gardens)
INVITED OFFICERS Clive Tabor HH
1. Welcome and Apologies: Phillip Resnick, Sade Etti, Michael Shore, Sue Borgys, Brenda Townsend.
2: Matters arising and actions from last meeting:
action 1: sec to post out Nov minutes to Brenda and Linda – sec confirmed both sent out: Brenda confirmed receipt but Linda did not get them.
Action 2: Ian Clark to arrange meeting for Sue Borghys with Les Staines re communal heating. Sec reported Ian had confirmed by email that the meeting had taken place. (03:34) • Haven’t heard from Alice re Bins policy. • Meeting Mavis & David with Coralie re: Estate Reps yet to take place – in hand. • Imelda noted she was not a Hunsden rep or Street Property Forum rep, but was on the SPF committee and would ask about formal representation at the forum meeting next week. (04:45)
3. H. Homes Area Manager Clive Tabor – Clive noted that following phase 1 of the re-structure (top tier managers) in Nov 2011, he was appointed Area Manager for the NE Neighbourhood within Tenancy & Leasehold Services (T&LS) and has been getting to grips with the issues since then. Phase II restructure of team leaders & Ems in progress now,. T&LS now covers just “estate management” and “resident communications”, no longer has rent arrears or ASB as part of remit but will liaise with them and others on behalf of residents.
• Want EMs to be pro-active in responding to issues on estates and be on estates more so want more estate management staff with smaller patches, expecting a greater depth of service from EMs, eg follow up on communal repair problems until issue all resolved. (09:34) EMs job remit is changing so EMs will need to demonstrate they are capable of doing the job in tests and interviews. If not up to the job, all agree should not be in post. If just lack of training, it will be given but in final analysis must be able to do the job.
• Customer services at Clock Hse also being “beefed up’ eg expect behind counter staff to deal with all queries and expect approx. 80% to be resolved then and there, with staff making phone calls to other depts. as needed on your behalf. (13:36) • Phase II restructuring starting now with consulting to end of Feb, hoping to have the new strategy in place for April. Will be a transitional period, so could be some difficulties, so ask you to bear with us. (15:27)
• New tenancy agreement (proposed for new tenants) delayed slightly due to need to consult with TMOs, expected to be in effect in May. It should bring better enforcement of ASB and cover a range of areas, leading a better quality of life on estates. (16:35) • Winter weather – huge stockpile of salt in place. (17:20) • Olympics & car parking – Clapton is in “Olympic Parking Authority” protection zone, so will have temporary permit control on streets that currently have none. Permits will be issued free, but for street parking residents have to go online to get one to display. Temp parking enforcement also include estates without control now, without consultation. Double yellow lines will be painted on access ways. HHomes will also issue temp permits (for estates) but they will be available from Clock Hse. Information will be made available in due course. If an estate wanted to keep the enforcement after the games, let HH know, otherwise it will just end after the 3 months of the games. (21:11)
Neighbourhood Performance Report. Clive circulated a report and asked members what subjects they wanted on reports. Currently: performance, rent arrears, voids, initial tenancy visits, tenancy audits, ASB, complaints and members enquiries. Will continue with tenancy info & complaints/members enquiries as we directly manage those. Can give other stats like rent arrears and voids but not sure if all useful. Clive also asked if ASB info was useful as currently noted and if all 3 columns of info as given now useful or needed (tot collection %age & NE rank, tot arrears actual & NE rank, aver debt per property & NE rank). (22:42) Would like agreement between Clapton & Stamford Hill so can do one report. Clive asked if ASB section info now as wanted and suggested more descriptive info might be better eg was issue resolved. Mavis and David agreed, as did others. David noted we couldn’t tell if one of the ASB items listed had been going on for 5 years or all new. Mavis noted we agreed with Ian Clark to have the report every 3 months. (24:51) Clive noted Ian (Clapton) and Loula (Stamford Hill) may issues report later but he wanted to get a uniform approach established first. Clive commented that 3 monthly report would be better and mean a picture could be given rather than dry stats. (26:30)
• George asked was tenancy audits down to 6%? Clive noted target was 10% a year and have done nearly 7% so just below target, however, expect to be on target by end of year. • George asked who does the tenancy audits? Clive answered EMs (will stay with EMs) Key area as scale of people sub-letting unknown across London and more and more coming to light. Some can be contentious and take a lot of time. Clive suggested report has how many repossessed (28:23) and just give a flavour of rent arrears and voids as not managed by him. Tenancy agreement (proposed new one currently in consultation) George asked if the same rules would apply to leaseholders and freeholders? Clive noted leaseholders governed by what’s in their lease, with essentially the same for freeholders. Tenants are covered by the tenancy agreement but we couldn’t standardize both at the same time simply due to the timescales and practicalities and the fact to change the lease is a much more substantial process and more complex. However, we will use the tenancy agreement terms and expect rules about communal areas to be adhered to by leaseholders. (33:05) In the longer term HHomes is looking to standardize the leases
• George commented there is no control over sub-lets by leaseholders. Clive agreed it is a key problem as some leaseholders move out and don’t care who moves in as long as they get the rent. (34:50) Some have refused access to do repair affecting other flats., however we do feel there is room to take action within the lease and expect to do so. (35:30)
• Imelda commented she was shocked and offended at the proscriptive nature of the new agreement and the way it painted a picture of tenants as being completely inconsiderate of their neighbours. In addition it was creating 2 tiers with leaseholders and tenants with 2 sets of rules. (36:16) It will be divisive and will cause tensions eg a leaseholder child breaks a window and nothing is done but a tenants child upstairs breaks a window and it’s a criminal offense and the family is threatened with eviction. (36:33) Currently tenants are in the main well behave and tenants and leaseholders get on together very well eg this panel, so think it’s very wrong. Both the Stoke Newington panel and the Street Property Forum are very unhappy about it and have written to Elliot. It’s micro-management and one of the most upsetting things was the was HHomes wants to proscribe how tenants must behave across the whole borough. (37:30) The chartered Institute of Housing say it is inappropriate for HHomes to take on these powers and responsibility – ie taking into account tenants behaviour anywhere in the borough, away from their own estates. It gives the impression tenants are committing ASB all over the boro. Imelda asked “how does HHomes intend to monitor our behaviour around the borough and can you tell me when the consultation ends?” (39:19) Clive answered consultation period to end of Feb. The nature of agreements – will be proscriptive ie it will say “you must not do x, you must do y”. With legal agreement they tend to be be a lot on what you must not do. In the tenancy agreement there is a lot on what we (HHomes) must do and our responsibilities and has tenants rights – which people do not pick up on. (40:08) The reason we’ve had to be proscriptive is because that is what residents asked for, ie for enforcement ability to be introduced into the tenancy agreement. Under the old tenancy agreement we can’t take action unless a complaint is made, which puts the onus on neighbours – under the new one we can take action directly against obviously disruptive or anti-social tenants. George asked if HHomes would do same for leaseholders & freeholders? Clive said they would attempt to use same conditions in tenancy agreement for leaseholders, and although some leases may make it difficult, once the conditions are set, the courts, we are advised, will must likely agree it reasonable that all residents adhere to the same rules – ie even though the lease will not say anything about, for example, how many animals you can keep. (43:23) Imelda asked how HHomes would monitor tenants across the boro? Clive noted they’d thought carefully about this and had had over 1,000 people respond with most in favour. If the consultation and a large number are concerned then the clause may be altered. Will know at end of consultation. (45:16)
• Linda asked if anyone would have to give up their dogs? Clive said anyone with dogs now and for some time will automatically be able to keep them. We will ask you to register them so we know you do have dogs and how many. If you wanted more in the future you would then have to ask permission and we would take a view “is it reasonable?”, we will ask things like, how big is your flat, has there been a history of dog noise nuisance or attacks etc and take a common sense approach. Obviously blind dogs and companion dogs will be exempt, but we’d still like you to register them with us so we know you have them. (47:21)
Imelda: how do HHomes plan to monitor tenants across the borough? ..and are you going to advertise the consultation more eg newspapers, home page of website, leaflets, newsletters etc? …and finally, was this idea about monitoring behaviour brought in after the riots? (48:57) Clive answered: If we became aware of ASB committed away from the tenant’s estate, largely through criminal prosecutions, we could invoke that clause, however we would most likely need criminal evidence. It wasn’t directly introduced by the riots as it was going in before but after the riots we were asked to consider extending what was going to be “neighbourhood wide” to “borough wide”. (50:56) If the clause stays as is will depend on the result of the consultation. I don’t have the end date of the consultation to hand but will check and email David (panel secretary). (51:54)
Mavis said she felt she was being labelled as a second class citizen now and my neighbours are “above” me because they are freeholders and not characterized the same way – and they can do whatever they like and get away with it and I think the leaseholders and freeholders should have been done in parallel. (53:28) Clive noted this most contentious clause (about behaviour away from your estate) may be amended after the consultation. Imelda noted the clause says if you commit a “nuisance or inconvenience” in any part of the borough you can lose your home. (54:40) The criminal justice system should deal with this, not tenancy agreement.
Clive noted the consultation had been one of the most thorough he’d been involved with every single address mailed to, drop in sessions at local library, gone to panels, on the website and more and the 10% response (so far) is very good and shows people generally are aware. Imelda noted for the transfer ballot they were inundated with meetings, leaflets, pork pies etc etc and in comparison had greater depth. Clive commented it was for a few estates and not borough wide, so not really comparable.(59:59) and in this climate we can’t spend money on refreshments, however, we still send out over a 30 page document to everyone and gave the opportunity to answer questions on all clauses either on paper or online.
David asked if Clive could take back that we would like to see more publicity eg adverts in Gazette and Hackney Today ie, if consultation period is being extended. George asked about Housing Association properties on estates. Clive said most Housing Associations already had tenancy agreements very similar to the proposed new HHomes one. Many of the clauses were in fact taken from other Housing Associations, having been shown to work. (pt2-03:11). Their lease will also cover communal areas. We will endeavour to enforce everything that’s in the tenancy agreement with everyone on an estate, both tenants and leaseholders (incl. HAs). (pt2 04:44) David asked when HH leases will be brought in line with the new tenancy agreement? Clive answered it will be a long legal process, possibly 18 months plus, however, the lease does allow us to enforce on communal areas and we will use the tenancy agreement (TA) rules we want to justify to a leaseholder “you can’t do that”. Maureen commented that the proposed TA will add to an already divisive situation with tenants against leaseholder over the EIB and 184 already. However, more enforcement is badly needed. If you look at minutes from 5 years ago you will see the same issues we have today.
Maureen noted some clauses may need work and for example noticed that SORN cars were not allowed on estates. Maureen also said the response of 1,000 plus was very good and many consultations had far less. She had asked for a copy of the TA and had one posted to her within 3 days. (pt2 07:45) Maureen asked if photos would be kept of dogs when being registered? Clive answered HHomes are encouraging people to get their dogs micro-chipped and would take note of the breed, trying to be able to control what is a growing nuisance, not just dogs but all animals. (pt2 08:32)
BREAK (to pt2 16:02)
Maureen asked when the Olympic parking permit control was coming in as there’s not much time. Clive noted the period was from July, August and September because there are the para-olympics afterwards. Maureen was concerned about elderly residents who would need permits but didn’t have Internet access and thought it should be looked at. (pt2 16:53). Clive said it (street parking permits) was from the council and not HHomes so not in his remit. Maureen asked for more info about double yellow lines going on estates. Clive noted that on some estates without enforcement it’s not clearly marked out where parking spaces are so lines would be painted to keep access ways clear and anywhere you don’t want people parking eg in front of bins. (pt2 18:48). You could then park anywhere else on the rest of the estate with a permit showing.
Maureen asked who was paying for the lines to be painted and the permits issued and who is doing the enforcement? Clive answered the housing revenue account will pay but the overall cost is not great. We are trying to keep it to a minimum, for example the temp signs going up on estates will be corrugated plastic ones. When the cost is known a decision will be taken but it is hoped that it will be able to absorb it, so there may not be any re-charging needed. (pt2 21:10)
Parking enforcement will be done by the councils parking enforcement services, who currently enforce on streets and on estates with a policy in place eg Landfield. Maureen asked when would the signs go up and the painting of lines be done? Clive said just before the period, with marking out starting in from Feb to June – because we’re not marking out individual bays, just where the double yellow lines are going it will be quite straight forward and we’re confident it can be done in a relatively short period. (pt2 22:20) Maureen asked about street permit funding. Clive said it was funded by the Olympics
Maureen asked why they weren’t funding it on estates. Clive noted HHomes did ask and they were told no because the estates are deemed as private areas. (pt2 24:20) Maureen asked about residents in flats parking on the street and if they’d get permits. Clive said yes, they would have to apply online for the permit to retain their normal parking. Maureen asked which areas in Clapton were in the parking zone.
ACTION Clive said he had an electronic map on a spreadsheet, which he’d send to David to then send out the link by email and as a pdf and print out, and post to Maureen, Linda and Tracy (as asked). (Pt2 27:38)
Linda asked for more info about the role of Estate Managers in respect of communal repairs. Clive said Ems will get much more involved with communal repair issues, to do all any follow up where needed – more of a client role, liaising with property services and taking a more pro-active role in inspecting and checking quality of work done. (pt2 31:00) Patches are being reduced so managers will be able to take care of their estates. If an EM has difficulty getting the work done, they should take it to their team leader or to Clive so it can be dealt with. Residents should not have to chase communal repairs.
Tracy noted that, speaking of communal repairs, on Wren’s Park we reported 25 defective porch lights on October 15th last year and was told by the EM the call centre would only take a max of 3 jobs. It has been on-going since then. Yesterday I was told new wiring was needed but there are other fluorescent light and streetlights with wiring all the same and they don’t need replacing. (pt2 35:17)
ACTION Clive said he’d take the matter up and get back to Tracy asap. Tracy also noted that when she called repairs herself the call centre told her that the EM should be reporting the matter but the EM doesn’t do walkabout at night so couldn’t check the lights. Clive noted there was an issue with the call centre and will and is being addressed. Clive noted he would take up this particular issue at Wren’s Park personal, (pt2 38.10) also commenting that the cleaners are responsible for replacing some bulbs. (pt2 39:30) Helen if everyone was getting new fire doors and risk assessment.
Clive and Mavis confirmed everyone was getting new fire doors and smoke alarms. Helen noted they’d just had new doors.
ACTION: Clive said he’d check to ensure doors weren’t replaced that didn’t need to be ie get the internal fire doors at Lea View Hse re-assessed. (pt2 43:51) Clive said that due to the fire in Southwark that spread through a block with fatal results London boroughs are taking these fire prevention measures. A company Norfolk Property Services (NPS) have been doing the fire safety assessments.
Tracy said the first floor fire door blows open at 86-110 Wren’s Park when there’s any wind due to the louvers.
ACTION: Clive said he’d get it checked by NPS. (pt2 45: 57). Maureen asked about jobs not being done being escalated might be dealt with differently. Clive said there’s now a communal repairs manager for each neighbourhood so there’s a nominated, named person responsible for communal repairs. We now have a person we can deal with a dedicated communal repairs service within Property Services rather than having to call the call centre to log a repair. (pt2 50:43) So if our advocacy is stronger and we have a person to go to it should make a difference.
Maureen asked what about cleaning? Clive said they did have area managers to go to, so can get the cleaning looked at if needed. There are estate supervisors and area managers, in our case Michelle Menzies and if there’s a substantial issue I will deal with it directly and get it resolved – not on week one but if the issue continues will do so. (pt2 53:52)
BREAK 9pm – 9.15pm
4. Chairs report
• Next meeting: HHomes have yet to finish the restructuring so little point having officers here. Meeting agreed a panel meeting with just members.
• Training: Need to arrange date for training with Lockhart. Mavis asked if members wanted it to be on Saturday or weekday. David suggested we contact Lockhart and find out when he’s available and whether an hour or two in the evening would be enough or if a morning and afternoon on a Saturday was needed as last year. Mavis said she’d find out if Lockhart was available for the next panel meeting.
• Panel meal: Mavis asked everyone to come up with suggestions for the venue and date for the panel meal (pt3 05:23)
5. AOB: Mavis would supply flowers/card for Brenda & Sue. Maureen requested copy of Alice’s Ombudsman’s Localism Bill presentation ACTION: David to send. (pt3 07:02)
Date next meeting: Tue 14th Feb 2012
• • • • • •
MINUTES of the Clapton Neighbourhood Panel Meeting
Held at Gooch House, Kenninghall Road on Tuesday 8th Nov 2011 at 1900hrs
Mavis McGee (MM) (Landfield) ChairmanGeorge McGee (GM) (Landfield) Vice ChairDavid White (DW) (Beecholme) Secretary Susan Borghys (SB) (Tower Gardens) Treasurer
Stan Cohen (Keir Hardie)
Nicholas Corbett (Street Properties Forum)
Helen Williams (Lea View Hse)
Brenda Townsend (Keir Hardie)
Carol Baines (Nightingale)
Tracy Hickey (Wren’s Park)
Mel Cameron (HHomes)
Coralie Francis (HHomes RPO)
Alice Burke (Nightingale + HH Board)
Ian Clarke (HHomes)
1. Welcome and Apologies: Linda Wilson, Jim Patterson, Monika Hazleton, and Michael Shore.
2. Approval of Minutes of the last meeting: approved.
ACTION: sec: to post minutes to Sue Borghys & Brenda Townsend.
3. Matters arising and actions:
(2.4 + 2.5) Neharra advised repair centre do always review history so duplicate jobs are not raised. Neharra has reminded staff to check and look for repeat jobs over time.
(3.6) Aerials removal: Ian noted Tower Gdns was installed 2-3 years ago but existing dishes were not taken down as at that time many didn’t want them down and HH procedures had not been formulated. Sarah Chapman (HH lead officer) has confirmed that Brigiford & Inglethorpe will now deal with (removed) on a case by case basis at no extra charge – original agreement will be honoured.
• Alice noted lots complaints about misleading “extra box” with services for £25 extra, but is not sky dish, just freeview, now want £75/room for sky. Alice noted the board suggest £25/room and are negotiating now, so “watch this space”.
(3.9) extra work was needed but leaseholders should have been notified before work commenced. As they were not HH have decided to limit charge to original notified, so leaseholder has got refund for extra work charged. Letters gone to all leaseholders and all accounts credited.
(3.12) Tower Gdns fire damage work/graffiti authorized by Peter Swain work no 00702199, completion due date 9/12/2011. Sue noted Gary Lane had authorized job some time ago and work should have been completed by mid November. Ian said Gary approved it but it went to Peter Swain for authorization and work order yesterday.
(3.14 – 3.15) Tower Gds communal heating. Martin Weaver’s response: re: Briggeford Close/Inglethorpe Hse system – has been problems of water penetration from boilerhouse into 2 specfic flats, now resolved by moving pipe route. Controls need upgrading and could be added to next year’s Major Boiler House programme, with possible upgrading of radiators. Ian: HH not in a position to decommission block heating yet. Maintenance carried out and leaks addressed though. Planned maintenance want to upgrade thermostats in each flat and supply new radiators but not going to de-commission yet. Sue responded the whole system is useless – all rads need flushing through (incl. piping) so new rads will not solve problem and throwing good money after bad- one resident has had 7 leaks in last 12 mths alone with 5 insurance claims active!! She’s having problems getting paid because the insurance co is not sure which fault/leak caused what damage because the problems and faults are continuous – with leaks going back 8 years!!. Residents are having to put up with this on a daily basis. Our residents go without heating in the middle of the winter because the system is just so poor. We are fed up with one excuse after another with short term stop-gap measures that solve nothing. Ian responded it is on next year’s boiler plan (Les Staines planned maintenance) to replace the boiler and suggest Sue invite Les Staines to next ETRA and have a proper dialogue, explaining the situation to him.
Ian said the thermostats radiators and boiler will then have been replaced.
Sue commented that much of the system will still be decades old – the main point being that NO-ONE wants a communal system that is either on 24 hrs a day or not working at all, or if working, leaking within walls. We’ve been paying for boiler work every year for the last 15 years for a system nearly 40 years old. Sec suggested Sue ask for planned maintenance projected total costs and ask for cost to scrap system and install stand alone individual flat hot water/heating. Sue noted many leaseholders have already gone over to standard in-flat dual heating, so wouldn’t be that many to do.
ACTION: Sue asked Ian to arrange for separate meeting with Les Staines in early Jan 2012 about heating as AGM tom and party next week. Alice: will phone Les Staines for Sue tom. (17.46)
(4.1 to 4.12 for Michelle) Chair read from Michelle’s emailed response and noted following:
• Landfield seems to be going well now however, there’s a long way to go as recent walkabout with Alice uncovered shocking state in some areas. • Lea View – Michelle contacted Monika. Helen noted there had been no improvement in last few days. • Wren’s Park: Brenda noted same as before = 1 good cleaner, 1 bad. Chair asked Tracy (and all members) to report back to Michelle (as requested) if no improvement.
Brenda said cleaning had a blitz but last 2 days nothing = no improvement. • Seaton Pt: Maureen not here. • Gooch: no rep.
Nick said no cleaning done internally, external cleaning good. Chair noted now have door fob for building so will inspect.
Stan asked Michelle about one who was bad and seldom seen had no answer. Brenda said was a blitz 2 days ago, so now good, however, this fits usual pattern of complain-work done-then forgotten. Chair asked Brenda to keep a tab on cleaning and report to Michelle if things do fall back and cleaning not done when/as should be.
• Mt Pleasant lane: chair reported very good except windows needed cleaning. (22:18)
Ian Clarck handed out a 7 page Enquiry Form with ten actions from Oct meeting with responses from property services (details below).
(5.4) H.Homes ppt structure chart emailed and shown at meeting.
(5.11) Concierge services: Ian Clark answered: apologies from Carlisle Securities, who manage concierge service – concierge control room does make daily contact with concierge duty officers at least every hour. (22:17) and should a desk be unmanned for any period a supervisor will get involved. If you need to, contact Ian Clark or concierge supervisor Kwasi Boateng on 020 8356 3380 or 07795 013 279 – issues feeding into review carried out by David Saxon. Alice noted David Saxon would be keeping her informed. (26:40)
(6.24) re: EIB catalogue: neither chair or sec could download from HH site (11mb). Sec. noted Ian C. had sent an optimized (smaller file size of 1.8mb) of the catalogue, which was available on the Clapton Panel website home page and EIB page.
(7.5+7.6) re: no wheely bins on Landfield. Told current policy is can get own bins but refuse collection will take no responsibility for damage.
ACTION: Alice has already talked to Glen Whitby about changing policy. Glen will talk to superiors with Alice will get back to panel within a month. Alice will speak to Mayor.
Chair noted rats endemic, with foxes causing litter to be strewn everywhere as black bags easily accessible = bins urgently needed on Environ Health grounds alone.
Brenda noted paladin bins at Kier Hardy often overflowing and EH issue. Alice suggested more frequent collections or more bins needed. TRA should speak to refuse collections about it.
Brenda asked about Gerda door security cage issue – freephone no 4. Neighbourhood management report (Ian Clark):
Adis not returning as manager – being replaced by Clive Tabor.
Ian Clarke asked what the panel wanted on the “Neighbourhood report” esp. as departments changing.
ACTION: SUBJECTS for REPORT (Ian):
Cleaning inspection results and other inspection results, rents, audits, voids as well as usual ASB etc. evictions, vulnerable resident visits, rehousing, correspondence timescales, complaints (Mayor’s/upheld), call-centre figures.
Sue asked that inspection results include reason for result where possible.
Nick asked for breakdown of ASB into street and estate based. Chair, sec and Ian confirmed it was not possible as reports are not listed as either street or estate, just an address given, therefore, to find out which it is, someone would have to look through every single report and make a note as to whether it was street or estate. (34:42) Nick said there’d be a database of each, so IT search should be able to identify. Alice noted current unfinished state of Universal Housing modules means no tie-in between asb and rents module, but hope all modules will be live by 1st April 2012, but will be another 18 months before pinpointing possible and all sorted out. Sec. noted modules on different servers. (37:05)
Chair asked for quarterly reports to continue, meeting concurred and Ian agreed. (47:47)
4. RPO Report: Coralie Francis
• Coralie handed out report to members (50:23). Gabs had enough people to hold AGM, due to low numbers has “members” with no “officers” as such, so looking to constitute with point members rather than usual chair etc. So GABS do have a committee.
• Ickburgh have held their second AGM so are up and running again.
• Resident training is starting again – times of workshops will be decided once residents register an interest. Good attendance to last series of training workshops. (53:44)
• Nick asked what to do re TRA as in new build with hall but no TRA yet. Coralie suggested use nearest TRA for time being.
• Estate Reps: Sec. commented that as officers of the panel, knowing what a difference resident involvement makes to an estate, are keen to see TRAs in all estates. However, where there are insufficient numbers interested (1 to 4), we’d like the panel to concider “Estate Representatives”. ERs will hopefully be a stepping stone to TRAs being formed as people are drawn in via the compulsory consultation the ER will have to do. That will give more estates access to EIB and 184 and allow them to send ERs to the panel. ERs would also be eligible for levy funding for expenses.
Coralie handed out Stamford Hill’s “Key (estate) rep” form with covering letter to panel to consider as a draft for Clapton’s version, noting the panel needs to decide who has voting rights and who is an observer etc. (56:55)
Coralie noted some TMOs have block reps as well as will be looking at that later and bringing info to panel to enable panel to decide how it wants to get representation at the panel while getting more estates RPO support.
RE: Key (estate) reps: to access funds, panel and support need registration system and policy for reps to consult their residents and minimum requirements and powers they have and what training is available. Example minimum requirements: min 1 general meeting/year, perhaps around EIB or 184 – attend walkabout – report communal repairs – make themselves known to residents – actively work with residents and reflect their views – have 2 way communication with EM, panel and RPO. (59:12) Also suggest introductory note/letter from Key Reps to residents.
Sec though intro letter critical and should be mandatory, as should letter of intention to spend EIB at both pre and post quote stages. Decisions must be seen to be approved by the majority of residents so consultation at all stages essential. (01:01)
Chair asked how would Key Reps be funded? Thru bank acct? Coralie answered: KRs will not have a bank acct so possibly access levy, EIB and 184 thru associate TRA, although no system for this established yet (one of the policy issues we need to draft). Any expenses associated with going to panel (ie travel and possibly ink & paper etc) would be accessed/funded thru panel (panel to apply for as usual).
Sue asked where KRs fit into scheme of things and if would be a first choice, along with TRA formation for new estates.
Coralie (chair & sec concurring) noted TRA formation will always be the first and best option. KRs only used where insufficient numbers interested and even then, the system will be set up to help & encourage KRs to form a TRA. (01:02:44)
• Nick asked what can be done to help new built estates which don’t have a hall or meeting place, but which do have residents interested in setting up a TRA? Coralie commented that if Nick wanted to set up a TRA for his new block, as it is in Landfield, use the Landfield hall. Otherwise new builds would use the nearest hall available. (01:06)
ACTION: Chair & sec to liaise with Coralie on draft of Key (estate) Rep form, policy and system, to work on over the next few weeks so a draft is ready to put to the panel at Jan 2012 meeting. (01:07). Coralie will also look at TMO “block rep” system to see if any useful sections and to compare with Stamford Hill system. Coralie asked for members to comment once this info is disseminated, to help advise first draft of panel’s version.
Sec asked how many KRs likely to step forward? Answer around half dozen, some already working with HH, some interested.
• Chair asked for confirmation Imelda recognised as street property panel rep, now that she had left Hunsden (Hunsden has 2 TRA reps, one replacement for Imelda). Coralie confirmed Imelda as street property forum rep to panel. (01:08:23)
• Coralie noted there are no panel reps on current yearly review of the Tenants Compact, so if anyone is interested to contact her. NB Susan agreed to be the panel rep for the Compact review – contact Coralie.
• Coralie noted members will be getting info about the Scrutiny Panel (of HH services) thru doors soon, asking for people to be involved in quarterly meetings.
• Winter warmer event on 16th Nov 2011 at the Round Chapel, must register. (01:11:14)
5. Alice Burke (H.Homes board): Localism bill will have big impact on housing (now law, comes into effect 1st April 2012), esp. for new tenants – copy of Ombudsman’s presentation available from Panel sec.
Alice meets with David Saxon monthly about customer relations and had words recently regarding terrible customer relations at front desk of more than one neighbourhood office – the welcome at these should be better now, but if not let Alice know. (01:22:40)
6. Chair’s report: New “Tenancy review” out 14th Nov emailed to members, please respond if wish to. Estate Manager patch changes handed out and emailed – as below:
Sukhy Boothe: Jack Watts, Radley Sq & Southwold, Wren’s Park.
Natalie Johnson: Bakers Hill, Kier Hardie, The Mount, Hunsdon, Moreton Close, Mt Pleasant Lane, Nelson Mandela.
Marcia Campbell: Nightingale, Lea View, Powell Hse (GABS), Goldcrest Mews.
Esther Ojimba: Beecholme, Casimr, Gooch Hse, Ickburgh, Melford Ct, Pond Farm, Narford Rd.
Tony Williams: Landfield, The Beckers, Tower Gardens, Dunnock Mews.
• 184 list of jobs emailed to all. If there are any queries or changes call Jo Evans.
NOTE: “Climate & Energy” are the only official energy efficiency co. that Hackney Homes deal with. Disregard letters or emails from other companies and especially any notes through the door saying you missed a call and phone them back as the call is to a premium rate charge and can cost hundreds of pounds.
• Active residents awards open again this year, do send nominations in.
(Sue commented the big estates tend to get the awards, esp. the big estates local to the Town Hall, as final vote taken there: being local more people from those estates attend.)
• Nick Corbett has moved to new property, so can no longer attend the panel as a street property forum rep and so can no longer be the panel’s deputy levy rep. (pt2 04:36)
• Chair asked for volunteer as second (deputy) levy rep (with Sue): levy meets every 6 weeks, approx. hour and half, start 6pm usu. at Town Hall. Possibly needed for Jan 2012 meeting (Sue can make Dec 2011 meeting), chair asked members to let her know if they wanted to act as deputy for levy board asap. (pt2 07:01).
• Have to report Adis no longer Neighbourhood Manager. Clive Tabor is replacing Adis. At this time we don’t know if Adis is remaining with Hackney Homes.
• Christmas do at 13th Dec meeting.
Panel members meal before Christmas, possibly early Dec. and Christmas meal soon after Christmas day – Chair asked for ideas for venue. (pt2 15:05)
ACTION: Sue to get food for panel Dec meeting. Alice offered to help with transport.
ACTION: Sec. to order Christmas cards & Stationary pack & diary for members. (pt2 18:13)
• Panel training date early in the New Year so will speak to Lockhart. Topic Localism Bill as it affects housing. (pt2 19:06)
• Sadly have to report Georgie Haines (Wren’s Park) passed away – went to funeral with Coralie. (pt2 19:39)
8. Report from Treasurer: Sue handed out spreadsheets of Q2 actual spend and 2011/12 forecast and went over details with members.
Have applied for Q 1 & 2. (pt2 21:33), which are being processed now. Have to put aside £1k already agreed for Rising Tide. (pt2 26.03).
Sec. recommended the panel supply Mavis with a laptop or tablet (and printer if needed), essential to function as chair, noting that the forecast IT spend has not yet been spent. Panel agreed. Sue noted that panel equipment will soon need to be itemized, accounted for and contract drawn up with user. In addition amount spend should be sensible ie. keep VFM in mind. (29:11)
9. AOB: Subject for day training with Lockhart – probably Localism Bill.
ACTION: sec to order cards and stationary packs for members. (pt2 40:30)
Next meeting 13th December at 6.30pm. Panel get-together with officers 7pm.
Minutes: David White (Sec.)
• • • • •
Officers responses to queries made at the October meeting
(see minutes below):
Clapton Panel Enquiries made at Oct 2011 meeting
|Min Ref||Location||Issue/Enquiry||Lead Officer||Response|
|2.1||EIB & 184 budget expenditure||Leaseholders are not aware that they are recharged for works paid for by these budgets. Please confirm that leaseholders will be notified.||Property Services:Judith Morrison||Please see confirmation from NW under item 6.21, and from JE under item 6.10 of the minutes.Many thanks.Ian Clark|
|2.3||Responsive Repairs||The Call Centre are not reviewing the job history when raising new repairs, leading to multiple jobs for the same issue. Leaseholders are being recharged for this.Can you give an undertaking that staff will be checking vigorously and chasing up jobs previously raised to help reduce the recharges to leaseholders.||Property Services: Humara Qayyum||I have been advised by the Repairs Contact Centre that prior to raising job tickets for repairs that the history is always reviewed to ensure that duplicate jobs are not raised. This is regardless of who raises the issues.I am sorry if this has not happened in the cases you have witnessed. I have passed your comments onto the Repairs Contact Centre to ensure that this practice is continued and staff are reminded. This should resolve the issues raised.|
|3.12||Tower Gardens repainting||Fire damage requires repainting.||Peter Swain, Dave Mordey, Humara Qayyum||Peter Swain has authorized the works instruction Number 00702199. Completion due date 9/12/2011.1 TO 36 Inglethorpe House – This block is on the Asset Management List which we base our Yearly Programmes on.This block has been put on the 2013/14 External Planned Maintenance Programme|
|3.6||Avonline/digital aerial installation.Tower Gardens estate.||The digital aerial was installed 2-3 years ago, but the existing personal satellite dishes were not taken down. We also request that all of the dishes are now taken down at no further cost to residents.||Property Services:Sarah Chapman||The dishes currently erected on Tower gardens which are not under the current Avonline programme for removal, will be managed on a case-by-case basis.Background emailSubject: RE: Clapton Panel – follow up Satellite Dishes/Aerials
Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 20:06:50 +0100
To: Neehara.Wijeyesekera@Hackneyhomes.org.uk; Martin.Weaver@Hackneyhomes.org.uk; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.orgMavis,I have been requested to respond to the question raised by Maureen Devine; at the Clapton Panel meeting, in relation to why satellite dishes are not removed immediately and that there must be an additional cost, for Avonline coming back, at a later date to remove them.I believe that this question has been raised before at the Clapton Panel, but I will clarify the issue, as below.It was appreciated and it was recognised, prior to the IRS installation programme commencing, that not every resident would welcome the works, some residents would have concerns over paying the service charge / lump sum leaseholders payment, already having their own satellite dish / TV aerial or not having a TV set, etc. As a consequence, there would inevitably be residents, who would delay having the system installed. To reduce resident dissatisfaction, during the installation period, we planned to be very flexible and to delay any final TV aerial and satellite dish removals, to a later date, if that was necessary.We originally decided that we would have an all inclusive IRS installation contract. This contract would include all the different, variable and potential cost elements, which was to ensure that there would not be any additional costs creeping in, over the 3 year time-frame of the contract, apart from the annual RPI inflation index.This overall basis of the tenders’ documents, which were sent out to prospective companies, was on the basis of a unit cost price, per installation, to each dwelling. This included the following criteria:
- Individual site surveys & assessments
- Health & Safety Risk assessments
- Construction Design and Management (CDM)
- Staff & apprentice recruitment and training programmes
- Necessary Planning Approvals
- Internal and external block installation methods, including flat & pitched roof master site locations
- Scaffolding, abseiling, hoist vehicles and ladder methods, to carry-out the installations to individual homes
- All materials; inclusive of cables, cable & junction boxes, satellite dishes, TV & radio aerials, mounting plates, electrical power installations, etc.
- Provision of technical advice, assistance & solutions
- Recruitment and management of Resident Liaison staff
- Operation of a National Call Centre, for residents to make IRS installation appointments and customer care service calls, following installations.
- All letter deliveries to residents homes
- Attendance at resident drop-in sessions, where requested
- Attendance at all Client / Contractor meetings
- Installations and testing of individual installed systems, in residents homes
- Removal of all external redundant TV aerials and satellite dishes
- 12 month works guarantee
The final tender approval was on that basis; therefore, in answer to the question of additional cost, there would be none, as all costs are included within the above tender document criteria.
I hope to be able to attend, the next Panel meeting, should there be any further questions,
Head of Business Development & Projects,
Tenancy & Leasehold Services Division,
Hackney Homes Ltd
Christopher Addison House
72 Wilton Way
London E8 1BJ
Tel: 0208 356 5033
Web-site: http://www.hackneyhomes.org.uk3.15Tower Gardens Communal heating systemWe are not happy with the explanation that it is Hackney Homes policy to reduce the carbon footprint, as a reason why the current communal system must be retained. New build developments do not have communal systems so this is contradictory.We therefore formally request that you begin the consultation process with residents to decommission the communal system and install individual heating systems into resident homes.Property Services: Les StainesWe have been asked to keep communal systems on line as this allows the possibility of measures such as combined heat and power, saves on maintenance costs and so on.Decisions about new build blocks will be taken by others on their merit but there are undoubtedly some advantages of communal systems. In any case the considerations are somewhat different if starting from scratch rather than for the removal and replacement of something existing.We believe that the reference is in fact to Briggeford Close communal boiler house system which also supplies 1-36 Inglethorpe House. There have been some problems in the past. One being water penetration from the boiler house into 2 specific flats below. This has now been resolved by altering the route of the drain pipe from the catchments area in the boiler.There seem to be very few individual systems currently and the fact that the boiler plant feeds another block increases the cost of any change to individual systems.It seems clear to me that the controls need to be upgraded and this work could be added to next years Major Boiler House programme when we can install new controls in the flats with a possible upgrading of the heating in Briggeford Close i.e. additional radiators.3.3Lea View Estate inspectionsPlease confirm dates for forthcoming inspections to TRA.Marcia CampbellA letter of confirmation was sent on Friday 3/11/2011.3.7 & 3.9Avonline/digital aerial installation Service charge estimatesThe service charge bills estimated the recharges at £318. We have now received actuals showing £511. Also the administrative charges have increase from £26 to £44 Why have the costs increased to over 60%.Is the due to poor management of the contract? Please provide an explanation.Property Services: Judith MorrisonThe increased costs were caused by the fact that it did not prove possible to carry out the work externally, as had been planned, and additional expenditure was incurred because of the need for drilling and trunking to install internally. Ideally, the probability that additional costs would be incurred should have been notified to leaseholders before the work was carried out. In the event this did not happen, and it was therefore decided to reduce leaseholders’ charges to the originally notified estimated costs. Letters have been sent to all leaseholders concerned, and their accounts credited.Should you have any further queries, please contact the Major Works Team Leader Madeline Mezmin, on 020 8356 2506.5.8Concierge Service reviewInclude representative from the Beckers in the residents review panel.David SaxonThe representative from the Beckers attended the recent the review panel co-ordinated by David Saxon.6.23 – 6.24EIB catalogueRe-send the catalogue to all TRA’s, and Tenant participation officers to circulate at ETRA meetings.Faisal Pirbhai.The EIB Catalogue is available to download on our main Hackney Homes website. Please go to the following address, and under “What types of works can be requested under the EIB?” you will see highlighted text – please click and the catalogue will download.http://www.hackneyhomes.org.uk/hhs-estate-improvement-budget.htm5.11Concierge ServiceResidents feel that the service has gone down hill.Carlisle Security: Ian ClarkConcierge regular checksWe are sorry to hear that residents feel that the service has gone down hill. I can confirm that the concierge Central Control room makes contact the Concierge duty officers at least once every hour, and should the desk be unmanned for a length of time, temporary arrangements can be put in place very quickly by the Control room team and Supervisor.Reports can be made directly to the Supervisor Kwasi Boateng on 020 8356 3380, or 07795 013279.Alternatively you can also contact your HHousing Housing manager directly at the Neighbourhood office.
MINUTES of meeting
Clapton Neighbourhood Sub Committee Panel
Held at Gooch House, Kenninghall Road
Tuesday 11th October 2011
Mavis McGee (MM) Chair (Landfield)
David White (DW), Secretary (Beecholme
Susan Borghys (SB), Treas. (Tower Gdns)
Stan Cohen (SC) – Kier Hardie
Bimba Kasturiratne (BK) – The Beckers
Imelda Messenger (IM) – Street properties
Gulay Yllmaz (GY) – Maury Rd
Maureen Devine (MD) – Nightingale
Monika Hazleton (MH) – Lea View
Linda Wilson (LW) – Hogan Way
Helen Williams (HW) – Lea View
Nicholas Corbett (NC) – Street Properties
Tracy Hickey (TH) – Wren’s Park
Marlon Trotman (admin), Brenda Townsend (BT), Robert Perrett (RP), George McGee: Vice-chair (GM), Alan Geffen (AG), Michael Shore (MS).
Welcome And Apologies For Absence
Chair welcomed everyone, and asked for round table introductions. Apologies taken as noted above.
MD noted (correction: mentioned at Sept & July meeting) that most leaseholders were not aware that EIB & 184 works form part of their charges, further that leaseholders were unaware decisions are made by TRAs.
MD also commented that TRAs & HH treat this money (EIB & 184) as “theirs” to spend or loose and can therefore rush the decision or spend it unnecessarily.
(Note: excerpt Sept mins: In reply to MD Mel Cameron noted residents can comment when 184 paperwork with jobs goes to TRAs. Note: Sec. 184 works should be posted in noticeboards & online.)
MD noted Concierges “telephone happy”.
MD noted concierges also call repairs without looking at the history of the repair needed & feeding that info to EM – consequently neither the repair section or EM familiar with repeat repairs (sometimes over years) so do not find alternative long term solution.
ACTION: NW to inform Judith Morrison.
(2.3) SC reported wall now repaired and aerials have been removed as per notices.
Chair: remaining matters arising covered as agenda items.
(3.3) Estate walkabouts – chair asked NW for clarification. NW approx. 3 months ago had written to chairs of panels noting delay to intro of new system so Estate walkabouts to continue as usual until further notice (probably next 2 months).
Separately shortlisting from interviews for Estate Inspection Team – will let all panels and TRAs know when in place.
Sec. noted Beecholme EM told TRA chair estate walkabouts had been cancelled and in consequence missed current one. HW noted same for Lea View. SB said they were told “inspections” started so walkabout cancelled too, however when they told EM that massage to panel was walkabouts to continue, it was reinstated. Chair noted Landfield had walkabout as usu.
NW apologized for those that were missed and asked IC to write to TRA chairs and re-schedule walkabouts missed if needed.
(3.9) re: Inglethorpe Hse satellite dish erected next to new system: IC said it was their understanding that if resident wanted special (eg international) channel would need to get extra box added and pay more. Some residents opinion is that they’ve had their own dish for xx years, have never told me to move it and pay subscription to Virgin (or Sky) so don’t see why have to move to new system – can be confrontational. H.Homes is working with them and are telling them they will need planning permission to keep it up. IC: If individuals are putting them back up after Avonline have taken them down, H.Homes will deal on case-to-case basis. At Tower Gdns and Inglethorpe have 16 dishes and unusual because not put up under Avonline contract, but old agreement in which there was no agreement to make good. Have since asked Avonline for a quote to get work done. If problems with residents, will deal, as elsewhere on case basis.
SB asked what is the 81p/week and £300+ for if not for that (ie complete satellite works per building) – as you’re saying the old contract didn’t include making good so Avonline will quote for it (and presumably pass charge to us) = all Hackney pays same, but ours is different and will be charged more, ie we understood “making good” was budgeted for Hackney as a whole – why now some not included?
NW responded: reason because of Avonline procurement and not part of their original costs – costs related to specific scheme (estates) which did not include “removal” (NOTE: did include removal of old communal and “making good” building. Sec.).
NW: However, that is not to say we will charge extra if we do get removal included. We will have to go back and see whether in fact individual charges will have to be made or done as a separate exercise – cost is purely related to the entirety of the scheme..
SB: There were seven original sub-contractors, are you saying some had “removals” and some didn’t? …surely if they are all doing the same job as per the original contract, all under the umbrella of Avonline and Avonline put our up, so why are we different?
ACTION: NW: I can’t answer right now because I don’t have the original contract to hand but I will take this back and find out.
HW & MH: I have now got my bill (as leaseholder at Lea View) from Avonline. The original estimate (HW one bed flat) was £318 but total charge now £511 = over 60% increase. Admin charges alone have gone from £26 to £44.
I want to know why.
In a letter from the Mayor he says the “contract was let on an all-inclusive per flat basis”, so why is the estimate 60% under the actual charge?
• At what point did the project go over by 60%?
• At what point did it become no longer a per installation cost?
• Why am I getting this bill now? (ie: job not completed. Sec.)
• Where is the failure? …or was the Mayor lied to?
LW: at the original meeting we had about this we were told the existing aerials would be removed by the contractors, and now you’re saying it isn’t in the contract when we were originally told it was (rhetoric).
MH: Let me read this to you: “To leaseholders, the cost to each leaseholder will be approximately £360”.
How far can you stretch “approx.”? Mine is nearly twice, so nowhere near approximate.
Chair asked NW if can come back with answers?
ACTION: NW: will follow this up and get IC to make sure it’s logged as a complaint and ask IC to look into it in more detail.
Chair: Thank you. Both tenants and leaseholders were going to be charged exactly the same.
JE noted Denice Hill manager of electrical section should be kept in loop.
MD: “where there’s a small block and they don’t have to do much work and you’ve got a huge estate with say 80 properties then that’s where it becomes a “package”, so if the aerials are not down in one block, we shouldn’t be charged until the job is done – ie whole package (contract) is done, as per Mayor’s reply”.
“We shouldn’t being paying until the job is complete” – ie until all new aerials in and working and old aerials down.”
NW noted there are sometimes access issues that delay installation or refuse access for removal of old, however, doesn’t explain previous Q’s.
(4.2) Chair: NC wanted ASB to be broken down into street properties and estates. IC reported that it was not easily possible – Elsie Sharples, head of ASB noted that it would have to be done manually, ie go through every report individually.
(4.6) MD: Adis did respond. (rec 24.35)
(4.8) SB reported fire damage at Tower Gdns needed repainting for 2 walkabouts).
IC: apologies to TRA – seen email from Gary Lane, (incl’s graffiti), who referred to surveyors to put on appropriate budget eg planned painting.
SB: should be insurance claim – have crime ref no & know perp’s.
ACTION: IC: ins only covers fire damage but will check and give you (SB) update.
(4.9) (Tower Gdns asked for individual heating as communal heating expensive – previously raised with Dave Morday – no response – AP to update).
SB: got email from AP saying because of carbon footprint all estates keeping communal heating. SB replied in email: they why don’t new blocks/estates have communal heating? – no response.
SB commented this is just another excuse to say no. We just found out a resident (Inglethorpe) has had leaking ceiling from boiler room and put up with it for years. Only found out now because husband died.
Sick and tired of this boiler room causing so many problems. (boiler house in Brickford Close). A lot (leaseholders) have gone over to individual systems themselves.
Communal is either boiling hot or freezing cold. Communal flat in Inglethorpe Hse heating can’t be turned off!! Complained for years and years about this old, inefficient decrepit system. We get regular flood damage to flats: lady upstairs has put in 3 or 4 ins claims in last 8 yrs or so.
Chair asked IC if will respond.
ACTION: IC confirmed residents want communal system de-commissioned and individual heating installed. Will check and respond.
Sec commented 30 yr old communal system probably far less energy efficient with much larger carbon footprint than modern individual heaters.
NW noted one factor is HH buy fuel in bulk at commercial rates. (34:35)
SB: communal heating on ALL year round, 24 hrs day so very wasteful.
LW noted HH spend so much money on repairs with alarms going off = classic false economy.
4. Estate Environment Services (Michelle Menzies)
Will do walkabout on Maury & Benthall – have done Landfield and made changes to staff.
GY said there was no schedule up.
ACTION: MMz said will put on walls if no notice boards and replace schedules as needed.
MMz noted new cleaner at: Dunnock & Goldcrest (2 new blocks), also new cleaner at Heatherly Ct at Landfield, and new cleaner at Seaton Point, so hope for improvements. (36:06)
MMz other possible issue: cleaners at work and relationship with residents. Happy that most cleaners have good relationship with residents, however, request residents do not approach cleaners directly with any complaints or to direct their work – there have been isolated problems resulting. All complaints or issues should go to the area supervisor (noted on the schedule).
Chair said “gangs” definitely not working – most cleaning very poor. MMz: aware and moving to “patch” based system, where individual cleaners have responsibility for an estate. However, move to patch has fallen by the wayside over last few months but should be in place by Feb 2012.
Cleaners work now on gang based bonus – currently negotiating for change over – prefer to negotiate bonus out.
Chair: want to emphasise urgency of changeover – residents really are being very badly let down. (40:30)
HW commented “I am shocked – it’s simple: there’s a job to do – do the job – have you done the job? – yes fine – no, do something about it”.
MMz appreciated situation, commenting is historic and working to correct.
HW: “for 8 weeks we’ve had no cleaning, eventually found out he had broken his wrist and the supervisor is off – but we’ve been charged for cleaning for that period.” “Question: can I get a refund for that period of 8 weeks when I know for a fact there was no cleaning done?” Did walkabout today and still not clean – and still paying.
ACTION: MMz ans: can’t tell you now but will look into it. (42:07)
LW asked if MMz checked with TRA if schedules were up on the noticeboards? Ans: no.
LW noted Twr Gdns schedule keeps disappearing + cleaning at Tower Gdns was very up and down with cleaner disappearing. However, the cleaner is always present when there’s a walkabout – same with grounds ie. magically turn up (several other members agreed same).
MMz: am aware and trying hard to get away from tit. Patch based system should alleviate problem.
SC commented they have one good cleaner and one very bad one. (45:35)
MMz said they were aware of this and were dealing with particular issue.
GY said she’d attended various meetings and had complained at all of them but the Maury Rd agency cleaner always finds ways not to do his job properly – only time does job is after a complaint and don’t want to have to continually complain just to get cleaning done.
MMz noted Maury Rd walkabout due soon and will deal with cleaner then.
Chair reiterated urgency and need for equally good cleaning throughout Hackney.
It’s blatantly clear some estates are sparkling clean while others are most definitely not and get a very poor service.
MMz: Yes we do agree it’s not on, appreciate urgency and will try and move things along as quickly as possible.
Going through new recruitment in next 2 weeks to replace agency staff with permanent staff as part of changes to improve service. (47.28)
MD asked if all get training for each block? Ans: Not training at block but super takes them around and shows what they have to do. MD: new cleaner used type cleaning agent (for first time) and lobby looks bad and has done do for last 2 weeks – may be caused by new chemical cleaner.
ACTION: MMz will look into it.
Sec. asked if delay in moving from gangs to patches was caused by unions. Ans: no, mainly due to HH admin changes and changes in personnel and position – several restructurings at management level in last 3 years.
Chair noted lack of water point (taps) issue on some blocks. MMz : aware of issue, in hand – worse in south of borough.
MH noted cleaners have used equipment missing/broken as excuse for no cleaning for 2 or 3 weeks while new equip ordered, but still paying for cleaning during that period! ACTION: (51:46). MMz: surprised that long, shouldn’t be – will look into that.
5. Estate Management Structure: Neehara Wijcyeschera (NW)
NW: Cleaning was picked up at the RLG – same issues: patches/taps and leaves blown from one side street to other.
New vulnerability home-check for people over 85 yrs.
ACTION: Will circulate Update of EM structure.
Now have dedicated team leader for Clapton: Ian Clark.
Estate & neighbourhood now all internal and now just one “neighbourhood service”. For last 6 months deciding re-structure. Long difficult process, approx. 3 months, but couldn’t keep service as it was – from resident feedback unsatisfactory.
• Phase I re-structure: started with top 10 senior mgmt. positions & from 14 managers (from mgmt. co’s & HH) selected 10, each to do external 2 day assessment to see if they have the skills for the new structure with 5 senior posts: Head of Neighbourhoods, Central Housing Service, Leasehold & RTB, Income collection, TMOs. Hope to appoint all in next 2 weeks. Those unsuccessful go to re-deployment pool. (57:41)
• Phase II: consult all 150 staff & reduce EM patch size from current Hackney wide 800+ average to approx. 500.
EM’s will have increased responsibility (incl. vulnerability checks) so will mean assessment and testing, incl. how they deal with people. Will mean changes in staff & bringing in new people to new posts. Have already made some changes, result improvement in service. NW commented he appreciated change can be difficult but improvements must happen.
ACTION: Will circulate PowerPoint (high level) mgmt. structure presentation.
Chair thanked NW and asked for questions.
Sec.: very encouraged by use of assessment & skill tests for posts.
Chair noted 6 mths+ since Pinnacle left, had previous 6 mths to plan for change so seems extremely slow process in light of extreme & urgent need for change: good EM’s, good cleaners and good workmanship. (1:03:32)
NW: I take than onboard – is your service. One hold-up, couldn’t start process until everyone was in-house, didn’t know who would come over. Currently 45 extra staff borough wide.
MD noted NW said starting at top and working down, so will same no. of agency staff be employed? In last restructure agency staff were brought in. Appreciate this time staff will be assessed but with cleaners you won’t know how reliable or well they do the job until they’ve been in the job for a while – how do you test/assess? Will redundancy payments be made? (1:06:05)
Ans: Agree, we’ve had both good and not do good staff, some of who have been unable to improve so are no longer working for the organisation. We are not shying away from assessing staff – evident needed to be done (performance magmt). During transition will use agency staff with plan to reduce over the 3 months as posts filled. If current agency staff successful they will be invited to stay as perm staff. Subsequently, the only agency staff will be to fill in for long-term sickness. (1:08:50)
Chair asked who will manage concierge contract? Ans: Carlisle was sub-contractor employed by the management companies (Pinnacle, Mouchel etc) and in line with procurement procedures we have continued with them but are reviewing the arrangement with the council (David Saxon); will be a 12 month process. Currently manager looking just at concierge service, has been problems – brought to attn. of Carlisle regional manager. Standards have to improve – review should address.
BK asked when will residents be consulted about concierge service? Ans: Consultation of residents will be part of process but don’t know exactly when. (1:13:02)
MD asked for conformation that concierge contract would not go out to tender again and that Carlisle would continue in place until 1st April next year, when service would come in-house to HH? Ans: Yes.
MD noted that after ea complaint is made, concierge is at post & doing rounds, (& cleaning done) however, there is still no supervision. Four mths ago these issues were supposed to have been dealt with heard nothing since – series of complaints from residents is causing animosity – service has gone down hill dramatically. Every morning lights left on for example – action only taken when complaint made, so residents effectively having to manage service even though pay mgmt. fee.
NW: Absolutely understand; have got to get hold of this, sorry you didn’t get feedback. Will get someone to come round.
ACTION: IC: Can deal with this, and speak to Carlisle.
MD: Is matter of lack of mgmt. – why can’t HH mgmt. supervise & do checks? Don’t want bad atmosphere, want to be able to talk to concierge.
NW: do understand, have manager who lives outside borough and does 2am phone call checks (in own time at own initiative) & discovered one concierge not at post 2 weeks ago. (1:17:31)
NW: It is EM’s function to supervise and agreed service not good enough and asked for MD to call with any concierge complaints.
Chair thanked NW.
6. 184 update (Johanna Evans: Estate Communal Works Manager):
Previous meeting handed out files with spreadsheet and photos of 184 works.
ACTION: will email updated 184 spreadsheet (taking into acct how you wanted work prioritised) to Sec. in next 2 weeks as well, to forward to members – let me know if you want any changes (1:18:13)
Re: our re-structure (from 2 to 7 permanent staff) – I’ve been made ECW Manager. We’re half way through interviews – large no of responses, many very good candidates.
Have shortlisted 11, interviewed 6 (selected from15 applicants) with 5 to go and will be done by 27th Oct. By end November the NE will have new officer dealing with communal repairs, making dept of 7 people, but currently only 2 (so for eg .184 notices not up in all notice boards yet).
For normal (urgent) communal repairs till to go through RCC – if problem, then go to NE Neighbourhood Office, they can also answer all planned maintenance questions, not just 184 & EIB (everything except aerials: JE responsible for program) and officer will go to some TRA meetings esp when large maintenance program due for eg. JE noted that TRAs could invite new NE officer to meetings. (1:20:29)
Under new procurement rules, 184 works need new forms 4a and 4b leaseholder permission to get work done – 4b has gone to council so should see work done bit by bit. Have 3 big contractors and guaranteed all done by 31st March on a rolling program.
JE noted they are working on the communal repairs policy (bringing grounds maintenance buying in as most cost-effective for some things) as some 184 work should be done on reactive repairs budget – will have steering group, scrutiny group, so things should improve – had a lot of complaints about communal repairs. Residents that had Decent Homes internals done now want external environ to be as attractive. (1:23:54)
NOTE: If there are any further changes to your 184 as listed on spreadsheet, must be in by end next week so there’s time to change 4b.
Trying to keep 184 resident directed estate communal improvements, not repairs.
EIB has historic underspend and agreed at RLG will go to 184 so may be extra work done next year – EIB this years deadline pushed back to 31st Oct.
Sec. asked for confirmation all work identified at walkabout before last would be done this financial year (on 184 or other appropriate budget) and asked when work identified at this year’s walkabout would be done?
JE answered some jobs have gone onto this financial years budget according to priority. Only pushed back things like washing lines to next financial year. If your TRA thinks something we’ve marked, as low priority on the spreadsheet needs to be done this year, let us know.
Sec. asked if decisions would come to the panel? JE: yes, TRA’s will make the decisions. (1:28:11)
We are going to be putting all work identified on the noticeboards and advertise what’s going to be done, with HH phone no. so residents and leaseholders know and can comment.
Sec. commented 184 noticed were to be up by end Oct latest. JE: delayed due to re-structure. In Stamford Hill the Ems put 184 notices up & give residents 4 weeks to respond; agree/disagree. (1:29:32)
JE: Want that across the borough but until new staff in neighbourhood office still just 2 of us. Still have to have schedule of rates and do work orders (as well as 4a & 4b) so leaseholders can be charged.
SB: Tower Gdns has not decided 184 needs yet as TRA not met with residents – can’t meet week deadline.
JE: Can still get work onto list towards end of year, its just changes to already identified on spreadsheet that needs to be highlighted now. In order for a job to be done by 31st March, it has to be on the contractors work spreadsheet, which you will be getting later.
SB noted TRA members were not on the walkabout, so HH officers alone identified work – can TRA add to it? Ans: Yes definitely and if you need or if there’s nothing identified so far I will always attend another walkabout with TRA. (1:33:33)
SB: put in EIB on 27th April but had no response, but deadline is end of month – also just found out that for last 2 yrs paid for winter plants to go in but had none. This year may go in as have complained but what about our EIB money for last year.
ACTION: JE: will take it up with Michael Brawn and find out.
Chair congratulated JE again for well-deserved, long overdue promotion and help. Sec. agreed. (1:35:04)
BK noted the communal carpet is in dis-repair and was marked for 184 replacement 5 years ago. JE answered the carpet was picked up on the quarterly walkabout, not the 184 or it would but now that it’s joined up with all communal repairs (estate inspections/reactive/184) a decision will be made. There are other budgets – if carpet in bad state may be H&S (trip hazard) or fire risk, in which case it’ll be removed and new flooring down.
BK noted the first they knew of car park resurfacing was two days before the event.
JE replied that she wanted all planned maintenance programme/works to be advertised & put in the noticeboards.
Sec. asked JE to confirm as long as TRA’s put projects in before end Oct, they would be done, whether or not they had heard anything to date. JE confirmed yes
Chair noted fire escape route from Gooch to Palace Pavilion so shouldn’t be gated off.
MD thought every leaseholder should be made aware of charges esp EIB, not just put on noticeboards. Also noted some planting has been done by EIB funds where they used to be done by grounds maintenance at no extra charge. I understand from David Mulligan the EIB is worked out at £25.25 per household but if the EIB keeps going on it could go higher and we will be paying those charges as well as grounds maintenance charges. (1:46:25)
MD commented RPO’s and other HH officers say they’ll do what residents want, but the residents (TRAs) don’t always get it right, esp. where there’s a disagreement between residents or between leaseholders or residents and leaseholders and HH should take responsibility and have the last say. There’s a lot more residents than leaseholders at meetings as well (so leaseholders aren’t aware what’s been decided for them). (1:47:00)
Sec. asked what percentages of EIB spending leaseholders are charged. MH said the amount is divided equally between the tenants and leaseholders – same for 184, (note sec: divided for works done but no set max budget as for EIB ie max £25.25/res/yr.)
NW noted split between tenants & leaseholder an on going issue. It is difficult for officers to step in in what is a resident led budget, in a small way, but we do agree committees don’t always represent both sides – no simple answers or one size fits all. There are 56 Ems across the borough as well as JE’s dept. of 7 and sometimes a dialogue is needed. No changes coming though better communication needed.
Chair commented Landfield had been lucky in that case because the TRA has spent a lot on improving the estate and the large no. of leaseholders hadn’t complained once. They’ve always welcomed it because it improves their estate and adds value to their homes. (1:51:38)
BK would help our EIB if we knew what our projects would cost. We’ve held back on some because we didn’t know if budget already allocated. Put in request for cost of notice boards for last 3 years and ended up losing £1.5k.
JE noted there is a booklet with prices of a vast no of the most popular items but it’s even got building works and fencing. It gives prices for freestanding external, locked and pin-board internal notice boards in several sizes and materials.
The booklet is available online now.
LW asked for one to be sent out, as did other members. (1:53:32)
ACTION: JE noted will ask Ems to take one to all ETRA meetings.
Sec. noted long delays with EIB grounds work and getting quotes at Beecholme and thought EIB grounds manager had too much to do.
SB commented that since new system for EIB had nothing but problems – why can’t go back to system we got quotes, decided what to do and progressed. Right now nothing is moving and in addition we don’t know how much it’s costing and just get told “you’re getting this”. The EIB is resident directed spending – it is not the place of a HH officer to tell us what we will get.
We get told if we don’t get projects in by a certain date we’ll lose it but we’ve put everything in early and had nothing for 3 years – and we’re a small estate with just £2k.
JE noted new shared program of communal repairs EIB and 184 will make decision as to which budget to use easier, rather than saying no, so make sure job does get done – now there is a dedicated officer for your area this shouldn’t happen – you will get quote at same time it goes to HH depts. (2:02:00)
Requesting something should not result in TRA being told “you’re getting this” – should be given quote for TRA to decide.
ACTION: Will take up with David Mulligan – not how process should work (2:03:09) NB: new officer Shazna Birkenshaw (note: sec.)
IC noted David Mulligan moved to south neighbourhoods. He had been overwhelmed with the amount of work and lack of responses to his requests for estimates. The new EIB support officer dealing with TRA enquiries for NE Neighbourhood is Shazna Birkenshaw. (2:06:40)
7. Chairs Report: Stamford Hill panel have decided to pull out of NIB (NE Investment Board [Decent Homes]) meetings & has started something new of their own. The NIB is the official body long term with George McGee as chair. Invited AB, our resident board member to confirm.
AB: have checked with Charlotte & Jonathon Oxlade and NIB is not disbanding. It remains the official body for Decent Homes & GM still chair. Clapton panel should continue to send reps. Can confirm there is no plans to disband – panels would have be consulted. Later this year Charlotte will look at the panels as part of a resident consultation. (2:07:48)
Chair thanked AB.
Chair asked AB to comment on suggestion that Gerda doors made by “safer city doors” can be sprung in 18 seconds. (2:09:23)
AB noted Gerda send a video person down to see the person who made the complaint to see the door and witness it being broken into – the complainant couldn’t break in. Gerda asked him why he didn’t use dead lock or top lock – ans: “didn’t want to”, and refused metal cage for letterbox.
AB noted there was a fault identified 4 years ago but those doors have been or are being changed. Gerda patented an additional mechanism in solving the problem. (2:11:15)
AB noted burglaries are down because of Gerda door and said if anyone has any type of issue with a Gerda door (incl. requesting a cage for the letterbox inside) can Freephone 0800 174 222, giving ref: FWP1.
AB noted both MD of Gerda and I (AB) want to know of any problems.
Chair said issue with rubbish at pick-up points in many estates (incl. Landfield) due to lack of wheelie bins. Landfield for example has 115 houses which have to use black rubbish bags for all household rubbish, whereas for garden rubbish have brown wheelie bins.
Doesn’t make sense and end up with rubbish everywhere – becoming environmental health issue (rats, foxes etc.) – already cleaning issue. (2:15:04)
Chair asked AB to take it to council and ask why estates don’t have wheelie bins for household rubbish as well as garden litter.
ACTION: will contact refuse dept. and forward response to chair.
Chair: for future ref: individual tenant and leaseholder issues cannot be dealt with at panel, for individual’s matters procedure is take to EM, then if needed team leader then Adis. (2:21:44)
ACTION: At training course identified things we need to do as a panel and we agreed in principal to send an up to date copy of the constitution to everyone followed with a training course on the subject which would include our aims and objectives. (2:22:25)
Recommend following AGM next March we introduce an induction course for all new members (in evening) give future members a “welcome pack” to include aims and objectives.
Chair commented training weekend was very good (panel members that went agreed), productive and team & confidence building and recommend to all.
Date of next meeting: Tue 8th November 2011
Please note the Dec meeting starts at 6.30pm for panel members.