Month: May 2007

Note of April 2007 Board Meeting

Porters report

Pigeons – these are increasing in numbers and irritating a growing number of residents. The pest control contractor is to be chased to re-instate the netting. It was agreed to approach a falconer to evaluate an alternative approach to pigeon control.

Bike shed – this is now complete. 14 bikes are in the shed leaving six places spare. It was agreed that Daron would identify bike owners and issue keys subject to a £10 deposit. 

Out of hours service – the board discussed various options and the issue was further discussed, at length, at the Annual General Meeting. 

Intruder – it was noted that one flat owner had reported an intruder in the garden. Daron was asked to keep a watch for strangers.

Gardens – it was noted that some residents had let off fireworks in the garden and that a dartboard had been discovered nailed to one of the trees. Daron was asked to remove the dart board and return it to its owners once they had been identified. It was agreed to circulate some guidelines for garden etiquette.

Jet wash – it was agreed that Daron should try out Michael Elliot’s jet washer.

Company business 

Two flat owners remain in substantial arrears. The matter is with the solicitors. The board discussed a valuation report on lease extensions and additional shares in Ashworth Mansions Ltd. The valuer had based his estimate on incorrect information and was asked to repeat the work.

Garden lighting

It was agreed to hold a public demonstration of possible options for the renewal of the garden lighting. The board felt that flat owners would be better informed in their responses to future consultation if they had the opportunity to see for themselves what might be involved.

Mains Water 

It was noted that the performance of the consulting surveyor had not been acceptable (too slow) and that he was unlikely to be re-engaged to project manage the installation. Tenders would be sent out in time for them to be evaluated at the June board meeting. The Chairman reported on his visit to a similar installation at another block of flats and confirmed that Thames Water would make no grants towards our costs. 

Asbestos

Reassurance air tests had been carried out in two more flats (above those initially affected) and had found no asbestos. A meeting is to be arranged with residents concerned (block 3) in May to discuss options for finishing the work. The managing agent confirmed that he had received no response from residents to his circular of 7 February.

Central Heating 

Following a winter of poor service, the heating contractor has agreed to reduce a number of outstanding invoices. Additionally, kfh is proceeding with a review of the gas supply contract and invoices paid. The two hot water generators have been de-scaled. 

Repairs

The board discussed an engineers’ report on two broken drains – at the back of blocks 2 and 6 – which are causing unpleasant smells and that sometimes overflow. It was agreed to have the drains repaired subject to the receipt of reasonable quotes from the contractors. 

The final account for the interior decorations is still awaited from the main contractors. Payment has been released to the carpet contractor.

A temporary repair to the high level stack pipe has been made.  

The new gas main supply to block 8 has been successfully installed by Transco and its scaffolding removed. 

It was agreed to delay the planting of the replacement Cherry tree until the Autumn, on the advice of the gardeners. It was agreed to pollard the Plane trees as soon as possible. 

Individual flats 

It was noted that a civil engineer had been engaged to monitor cracking in two flats in different blocks. No further action is required at this time.

After inspecting one flat and finding no unauthorised plumbing further investigations into other flats are planned. 

In one flat, owned by a property company, it is suspected that unauthorised building work may have taken place. Having been unable to gain access to the flat, the managing agent will involve solicitors.

Another ground floor flat is reporting damp and will be inspected. A second quote has been sought for damp proofing at another flat but it has not yet been possible to gain access for this.

One flat owner is undertaking major alterations. A license has been issued, and the flat owner has funded a deposit and a schedule of condition of the flat below. The heating system will need to be drained and residents will be notified.

One flat owner suffering from noise nuisance from above has been advised that Ashworth Mansions cannot take further action without a financial guarantee. It was agreed at the AGM that the board would circulate residents regarding the requirement to keep noise to a minimum. 

Ashworth Mansions Garden Party

The traditional summer party has been reinstated after a gap of several years. It will take place on Saturday 30 June from 14.00 in the communal garden. All residents are welcome. We are delighted that the party will be sponsored by local estate agents, Green & Co and by our managing agents, Kinleigh Folkard Hayward.

Natasha Keats has kindly offered to organise. If you’re able to help, please get in touch her directly at n_keats@hotmail.com.

One solution to the pigeon problem

John Sutcliffe and friend

Residents will be well aware that we have had an upsurge in interest from the pigeon community. In the interests of combating the pullastrine problem we had a very interesting demonstration from a falconer yesterday, who flew a Harris Hawk in the garden. It certainly gave an awful fright to a pair of nesting pigeons at the Biddulph Road end!

The board will be discussing quotes for pest control at its next meeting. 

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