Month: April 2007

Anti-social behaviour

Thanks to everyone who came to the Annual General Meeting on Thursday night. It was a very constructive session. We will publish a summary of the discussion in the next couple of weeks and welcome further comments.

A number of residents were very concerned by the behaviour of a group of young men congregating at the corner of Grantully Road and Ashworth Road. If you notice any anti-social behaviour, please call the Safer Neigbourhoods Team on 07920 233950. The more calls they get, the harder they will work to improve everyone’s quality of life.

Of course, if you see a crime is in progress, you should call 999.

Summary of March 2007 Board Meeting

Caretakers report

The decorating contractors have neglected to re-hang the fire extinguishers. It was agreed that they would be asked to do this on their return but that the fire protection undertake the testing.

Some residents have asked that some moss be removed from the brickwork on th>Grantully Road side. This work is best undertaken professionally the next time the building is scaffolded. It was agreed this was not a caretaker job, but that the general cleaning of entranceways, paths etc should be considered. It was agreed that the Daron obtain hoses and fitments and to hire a jet wash to try this once the weather had improved. 

A new brand of light bulbs is to be used in the common parts following an unusual number of failures. Daron continues to monitor the situation.

Company business

The annual accounts for the year ending September 2006 were approved. The auditors have agreed that, following the introduction of a long term maintenance plan and a reserve fund, that the reserves built up within the main service charge account and central heating account can be released. Consequently, only a relatively small amount (£8000 in total) needs to be demanded from flat owners to cover the deficit in 2005/6. Note that this is the total amount which will be apportioned among the 105 flats. It was agreed that a detailed explanation of the service charge accounts be made available before the AGM in April.

The managing agents have produced a schedule of flat owners to be checked against the share register kept by the Company Secretary. This shows some discrepancies which it was agreed to resolve.

One flat owner has settled leaving three with outstanding debts. The relevant actions are in train to recover the monies.

Internal redecorations

The contractor has returned to site to re-fix all of the roof void access ladders, re-aligning/re-fix window ironmongery, door thresholds and battery smoke detectors. It was agreed to pay a small additional fee to the contractor to cover repairing damage caused by residents since the decorations were completed. The project manager will be asked to re-inspect to ensure the work is carried out satisfactorily. The board is satisfied with the carpets and it was agreed to release payment to the carpet contractor.

Mains water

There was much discussion of the forthcoming mains water supply works. Three flat owners responded to the consultation and each has received a reply from the managing agents. It was agreed that a professional firm be engaged to take acoustic readings from the boiler room to ascertain whether the installation of pumps increases the overall volume of noise. It was agreed to approach a specialist water consultant with knowledge of the local area and of high rise blocks for advice. It was also agreed to approach Thames Water to ascertain whether Ashworth Mansions would qualify for a grant toward the cost of pumps.

A professional firm has carried out an inspection of the existing water tanks that are situated above the main entrance of each block. The report indicates that the water quality is good but that the tanks, themselves, need work. It was agreed to obtain quotes for the remedial work.

Central Heating

The central heating system has been subject to an unusual number of engineering call-outs this winter. The system was thoroughly de-scaled in March and the managing agents are investigating whether we are benefiting from the services of the best contractor available. Meanwhile, the gas supply contract (which terminates the summer) will be re-tendered.


Following the formal consultation to flat owners on the asbestos removals, no further comments were forthcoming and the board agreed to obtain estimates for the work. One resident asked whether her flat could be included in the planning for the remediation work and the board agreed that it should be so. It was agreed that residents of the block affected (block 3) be kept fully informed.

Repairs and maintenance

One stack pipe repair is still outstanding. The usual contractor has been late in quoting for the job.

It is thought that one flat in block 3 has connected a WC to the drainage system without permission. Investigations are continuing.

The new bicycle racks have been installed but the contractor has not yet made the agreed alterations to the doors. It was agreed not to pay the contractor until the job was fully complete.

It is suspected that unauthorised building works may have taken place in one flat owned by a commercial landlord. The managing agents have asked for a meeting with the flat owner to discuss this and other issues.

The owner of a ground floor flat is complaining of damp. It was agreed to make a professional inspection to ascertain what work, if any, was necessary. Damp has also been a problem at another ground floor flat, where the board is waiting for a second quote before authorising the work.

The board agreed to internal alterations proposed by one flat owner with the exception of the wooden flooring which was refused.

The board authorised another flat owner to install a flue-less air vent on the Grantully Road side.

Two contractors have been asked to quote for pollarding the plane trees on the Elgin Avenue side. Only one has replied and this estimate is incomplete. The managing agents will chase.

The board is still waiting for the specialist report on the drainage issues causing unpleasant smells for two flat owners.

One flat owner has reported cracking and it was agreed to send a specialist to investigate.

The managing agents confirmed that flat owners undertaking building work were being asked to make a refundable deposit against damage to the common parts.

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