CTHG Minutes 20th April 2017

Date for your diary:
CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP SUMMER PARTY
8pm Tuesday 27TH June, Podium Room, Cromwell Tower
All welcome: £5 entry, children free of charge.

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)
MINUTES for Committee meeting 20 April 2017 (V2)
19:00 in the Podium Room 

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer) (absent)
Lesley Bradshaw (absent)
Alan Budgen
Frances Calman
Christopher Gorman-Evans (absent)
Julian Hale (absent)

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton (absent)

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

 

Sarah Styles of the Barbican Estate Office attended this meeting in Luke’s absence.

1.    Welcome

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed those present. He thanked Sarah Styles for standing in for Luke Barton. The meeting asked Sarah to convey our congratulations and good wishes to Luke on his marriage.

2.    Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Luke Barton (BEO), Laurance Jones, Lesley Bradshaw, Christopher Gorman-Evans and Julian Hale.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

The minutes of 24th January were reviewed. On behalf of Luke Barton, Sarah Styles requested a change to point 6 about the Threat Alarm. Luke wrote:

“It may be easier to break it down into 3 (sub) points a, b, c. with part a being the main part of point 6.
a; Intercom this is the connection to the flats in Cromwell (essentially your doorbell). It is the on-going maintenance cost of repairs to this which I am monitoring. The costs occur as this system is different other Towers and can’t be maintained by the Resident Engineers.
b; Threat Alarm, while this uses elements of the intercom system this only requires the annual testing (which last took place November 2016).
c; Fire Alarms, there are no fire alarms in the communal parts of the building (apart from the car park).”

There were no other requests for changes. The secretary made the requested change after the meeting, and the revised Minutes (V3) were then signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising from previous Committee meeting  24th January 2017

4.    Threat Alarm

The Threat alarm was triggered accidentally on 10th Feb 2017 at 4:45pm
On that occasion many people thought it was a fire alarm.
There are no fire alarms in the public spaces of the Tower except the Car Parks.
Sarah Styles recommended that residents re-read the laminated sheet which has been recently distributed.

5.    Fire Risk Assessment

In November 2016 there was an independent Fire Risk Assessment of the Barbican and Golden Lane Estates.

Here is a link to the document: FireRiskAssessment 18 Nov 2016

We are pleased to note that the Fire Risk Assessment for Cromwell Tower was excellent, and low-risk in almost all aspects.
There were no areas of high risk.
The only two areas of medium risk were:

  • “in some instances residents use escape routes for storage purposes” and
  • “in some instances service risers and similar are used for storage purposes” (this refers to the lockers outside our front doors)

In both cases the recommendation was to “implement robust arrangements to ensure such areas are maintained clear of storage”.

One low-priority action area was “consideration should be given to replacing or upgrading all flat doors so they provide a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance”. This seemed to be in contradiction to comments made elsewhere in the report, and it’s not clear to which doors this refers.

Action: Sarah Styles to get clarification on this point.

6.    Parking on the North side of Chiswell Street (resolved)

IMG_0482 (small)
Yellow line on the North side of Chiswell Street

There is now a yellow line on the North side of Chiswell Street, preventing parking outside Sundial Court, and enabling safe pedestrian passage.
Thank you to Islington Council, and to John for maintaining the dialogue with them.

7.    Bicycle Parking

Christopher Gorman-Evans had noticed cycles fastened to the railings next to the music shop, obstructing the stairs. Although there are cycle stands nearby, these are quickly used up. So cycles get fastened to railings.
Luke gave us the contact information for the City officer responsible for cycling. He is: Albert Cheung, citytransportation@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Action: Christopher will contact Mr Cheung, with a view to asking for more cycle parking in the area.

8.    Information about the House Group

To inform residents about the work of the house group, John Tomlinson suggested that notices be put up in the lifts listing items under discussion, meeting dates and committee members’ names. Luke has drafted a notice. Committee members were keen that the existing useful information in the lifts was included in this notice (contact information for the House Officer, the Porters, and the Repairs Line).
Action: John to review Luke’s draft.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

9.    New Porters

Sarah Styles gave us an email announcing the arrival of two new permanent lobby porters for Cromwell Tower. Kalpesh Patel joins us from Lauderdale and will start training with Vic on April 25th. The other candidate is Abdi Harouma, an external candidate who is currently going though the usual checks and will start with us within two months. Sarah will draft a notice for the lifts.

10. Void Space

Action: Sarah will find out what the current state is with the development of the Void Space and use of the Mezzanine.

11.Cromwell Tower House Group Online

Jane offered to upload these minutes to an online archive/blog for easy access by residents via a website. Various other useful documents, such as the Fire Assessment Report, could also be put online.

Action: John and Jane will discuss options

12. Art in the 01 Lobby

The Committee thanked Alan Budgen for arranging the Van Gogh exhibition of art by Guildhall Students.

DATES

27th June 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting
27th June 2017 20:00 SUMMER PARTY, following the Committee Meeting
September Meeting: date proposal –  25th Sept.

CTHG Minutes 24 January 2017

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes of Committee Meeting 24 January 2017

19:00 in the Podium Room

These minutes are VERSION 3 – edited after comment from Luke Barton, 2o April. 

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer) (absent)

Lesley Bradshaw (absent)

Alan Budgen (absent)

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

Our Chairman John Tomlinson opened the meeting and welcomed those present.

2.    Apologies for absence

We received apologies for absence from Laurance Jones, Alan Budgen, and Lesley Bradshaw. We understand that Lesley is unwell, and send best wishes for a speedy recovery.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting 27th Sept were approved by those present as a correct record and signed by Julian Hale, acting chairman for that meeting.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting

27th Sept 2016

4.    Carpets (Item 4)

Carpets in the lift lobbies on the 7th and 34th floor were replaced on the 3rd and

4th January 2017. Another two will be replaced during the year starting April 2017, and two more each year thereafter until further notice.

5.    U-turns and bollards (Item 5, and also item 5 of AGM)

Bollards have been installed across the entrance to Cromwell Place to deter traffic from making dangerous U-turns in this pedestrian area. The porters report that they are effective.

6.    Threat Alarm (Item 6, and Item 10 of the AGM minutes)

(a) In previous years there have been problems with the intercom connecting the porter’s desk to the flats (essentially the doorbell for the flat). Luke is monitoring the on-going maintenance cost of repairs to this intercom. The costs occur as this system is different other Towers and can’t be maintained by the Resident Engineers

(b)The Threat Alarm uses elements of the intercom system. This alarm only requires the annual testing (which last took place November 2016).

(c) There are no fire alarms in the communal parts of the building (apart from the car park).

7.    Procedure in the event of Fire (Item 7, and Item 11 of the AGM Minutes)

In September 2016 there was an Independent Fire Risk Assessment of the Barbican and Golden Lane Estates. Luke had expected to deliver to us a report. This is still awaited.

Luke confirmed that the doors of the flats are fire-proof for at least 30 minutes, which is compliant with standards prevailing at the time when the estate was built.

Recent new cabling via the rubbish lockers in the Tower provide a potential route for smoke to travel upwards, and there will be a programme of work to “fire‑stop” the cable holes to prevent smoke penetration.

Action: John Tomlinson to write to Paul Murtagh, Barbican Estate Office, to chase up the Fire Risk Assessment report. As residents, we need up-to-date information on actions to be taken in the event of fire.

8.    Additional Planters for Cromwell Place (Item 8)

Luke will put strong case for plants and planters in Cromwell Place in the financial year 2017/8.

9.    Visitor Parking (Item 9)

There are eight bays available for visitors in the 01 ground level car park, accessed from Cromwell Place. The porters have a list of the bay numbers. These are for short-term use.

Parking in Cromwell Place is limited to 20 minutes, and must not obstruct emergency vehicle routes or the rubbish collection lorries.

10. Parking on the North side of Chiswell Street (Item 10)

Chiswell Street 24 Feb 2107
People walking in the street outside Sundial Court

Vehicles park on the North side of Chiswell Street, opposite the Brewery, where the foot-way and kerbstone disappear. This means people have to walk in the road. That side of the street is in Islington. John has approached Islington Council to ask for a continuous footway, so that pedestrians have a safe route. Chiswell Street is a designated “quietway”, marked with a “Q” on the road. We don’t know the significance of this. It doesn’t seem very quiet at the moment. Walking on the road is still unsafe for pedestrians. 

Action: John Tomlinson will meet Islington Councillor Jenny Kay on the site, on 15th Feb 2017, to find out what’s happening.

11.Bicycle Parking (Item 14)

Christopher Gorman-Evans had noticed cycles fastened to the railings next to the music shop, obstructing the stairs. Although there are cycle stands nearby, these are quickly used up by Guildhall School students and visitors to the Barbican Centre and local businesses. So cycles get fastened to railings.

Luke gave us the contact information for the City officer responsible for cycling. He is: Albert Cheung, citytransportation@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Action: Christopher will contact Mr Cheung, with a view to asking for more cycle parking in the area.

Matters Arising from AGM 1st Dec 2016

Noted above.

Thank you to Alan Budgen for organising the current exhibition of pictures in the 01 Lift Lobby.

12. Replacement for Peter Finch (Item 14 of AGM Minutes)

On 31st August 2016 our lobby porter Peter Finch retired due to ill-health. The Barbican Estate office are currently holding interviews to fill the vacancy.

Any other business

13. Low Emission Neighbourhood – charging points for electric cars in Barbican Car Parks.

The City of London, together with the Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority (GLA), is funding and supporting measures to make the Barbican area a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN). The project manager is Ben Kennedy, Ben.Kennedy@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

One measure is to install electric charging points in Barbican Car Parks, as a trial, to encourage the use of electric vehicles. John Tomlinson is Deputy Chairman of the Electric Vehicle Working Party. He reports that spaces have already been identified, including some in the 02 level Car Park in Cromwell. Action is proceeding quickly and we can look forward to having charging points installed with the next few months.

14. Information about the House Group

To inform residents about the work of the house group, John Tomlinson suggested that notices be put up in the lifts listing items under discussion, meeting dates and committee members’ names. 

Action: Luke undertook to draft a notice.

15. Thank you

Committee members applauded the flowering branches currently in the ground floor lobby vases. We thanked Christopher Gorman-Evans for these and the other flower displays he has provided in this public area.

16.DATES

20th April 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

At this meeting we will allocate tasks for the summer party.

Luke is away 17th April to 8th May. Sarah Styles from the BEO is one of the people covering for him in his absence, and she will attend our meeting.

27th June 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

27th June 2017 20:00 SUMMER PARTY, following the Committee Meeting

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm.

 

CTHG Minutes 27th Sept 2016

 

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes for the Committee meeting 27th September 2016

19:00 in the Podium Room

 

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (absent)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans (absent)

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Office (BEO):

Luke Barton (House Officer)

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

Julian Hale opened the meeting and welcomed resident Tessa Harfield, who wished to make some specific contributions to this meeting.

All Committee Members listed above were present except Christopher Gorman-Evans and John Tomlinson. Alan Budgen arrived later.

2.    Apologies for absence

Our House Group Chairman John Tomlinson was absent due to illness, so Julian Hale kindly volunteered to chair this meeting.

Christopher Gorman-Evans was unable to be present and sent his apologies.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the CTHG on 21st June 2016 were signed by Julian Hale, acting Chairman, as an accurate record.

Matters from previous meetingS

4.    Carpet renewal – lift lobbies

Two carpets will shortly be replaced. Two carpets will be replaced each year until further notice.

5.    Beech St./Silk St. junction.

We have requested that the vehicle entrance to Cromwell Place be reduced in width so as to discourage taxis and lorries making dangerous U turns. This work will be funded by the City of London.

Luke reported that bollards will be installed within two weeks from the date of this meeting. The bollards will discourage fast U-turns in Cromwell Place. Waste collection and other large vehicles will still be able to enter. Two of the bollards will be removable, to accommodate exceptionally large vehicles. The porters will have the keys to remove the bollards.

6.    Threat alarm and intercom

Our tower intercom, uniquely in the Barbican, has a “threat alarm” originally installed for alerting residents if a bomb alert was received. There are a number of difficulties with this combined threat alarm system and intercom. It is supplied and maintained by Antron, a private firm.

  • The Threat Alarm has been tested but John Tomlinson and Laurance Jones did not hear it.
  • There are intermittent problems with the intercom, which have caused considerable inconvenience to several residents. Antron have been called out a number of times, at a cost to leaseholders, last year, of some £6000 for the block.

 

This special Cromwell system could potentially be replaced by the simpler system used by the other Towers. This simpler system does not include the threat alarm. In this case the maintenance would be done by Resident Engineers which is cheaper and quicker than Antron.

However, replacement might be overtaken by an estate-wide project. There is a long-term plan to replace the current key-entry system. Keys have not been changed for over a decade. The RCC (Residents Consultative Committee) are investigating proposals.

Action: Luke to

  1. Investigate the long-term plan for security and visitor entry to the Towers.
  2. Discover the date for the next test of the Threat Alarm
  3. Investigate options for replacing the intercom, with or without the alarm.

7.    Does our block need a Fire Alarm?

This question arose at our previous meeting. There is no Fire Alarm in any of the Tower Blocks. The Estate Fire Officer, Terence Short, has told Luke that Fire Alarms are not needed. The flats are compliant with all regulations applying to fire risk in tower blocks, and there is a programme of inspection to check compliance. Lift lobbies on all floors must be clear to ensure compliance with Fire Regulations for everyone’s safety.

Luke reminded us that the advice to residents in the event of fire in the building is to remain in our flats and call the fire service.

Action: Luke

(a) to check with the Fire Officer about the fire resistance of the doors of the flats. How long are they resistant for?

(b) to check with the Fire Officer about the fire resistance of the rubbish lockers, both with the doors open and closed. Are they a means of transmission of the fire from floor to floor?

(c) to communicate more widely with residents about the instructions in the event of fire.

8.    Additional planters for Cromwell Place

There has been a long-standing request for additional planters following an incomplete replacement last year (2015). The plants in the containers just outside the doors are not in a good state, and the island in Cromwell Place needs attention.

Cromwell Tower residents Paula Tomlinson and Helen Hale were at a recent meeting with Helen Davinson, Resident Services Manager from the BEO, to discuss this. Helen Davinson told them that there is no funding for a major overhaul at this time. So no replanting will be done this year and there will be no new planters. She noted that any future works to waterproof the podium will include Cromwell Place as it is above a Car Park.

The House Group Committee confirmed to Luke that Tower residents do not intend to take over replanting or maintenance of the plants in Cromwell Place since this is the work of the Estate Office.

Actions: Luke will put in a strong case for plants and planters in Cromwell Place in the year 2017/8.

9.    Visitor parking.

Some bays in the 01 level Car Park have now become available for use by visitors. The porters will direct visitors to these locations.

The Committee asked that the BEO reserve at least four places in the 01 level for visitor parking and as a contingency for future disabled use.

New resident places will be allocated in the 02 and 03 car parks.

10.Parking on the North side of Chiswell Street

A better footway arrangement will be built on North side of Chiswell St outside Sundial Court to protect pedestrians as part of Islington’s “Quietways” programme. We hope that this improvement will be made in 2016.

Action: John to continue to pursue this matter with Islington Councillors.

11.Glue Lines on each side of Utility doors – issue closed

On some floors there are indelible glue lines, straight or wavy, each side of the utility doors in the lift lobbies. This damage was done by contractors who secured protective sheeting to the utility doors with glue.

Planning Approval letters now include an instruction not to deface the concrete. Luke showed us such a paragraph in a recent letter.

12. Rubbish bags left in Lift Lobbies

Residents have complained to Luke about rubbish bags left in the lobbies. Action: Luke to circulate an instruction to remind residents to use the rubbish lockers rather than leaving rubbish bags on the carpet, and also to tell porters to remind cleaners of this procedure when they hand over the keys.

13.Damage to public areas by contractors

Thomson Bros have repainted the ceiling of the B lift, which they damaged during a recent renovation.

Luke has photographed the public areas around the lifts and confirmed that contractors or residents who damage public areas will be asked to make good at their expense.

MATTERS ARISING SINCE THE PREVIOUS MEETING

14. Bicycle Parking

Christopher noticed bicycles locked to the railings of Cromwell Place. He photographed a cycle on the railings next to the Music Shop, partially blocking the steps. This is unsightly, dangerous to pedestrians, and risks damage to the bike wheel. It happens because the cycle racks nearby are full.

Actions:

Luke to discover the name of the person in the City Transport department responsible for cycle facilities.

Jane (cyclist) and Christopher (non-cyclist) to approach this officer and ask for more cycle parking or other solution to this problem.

15. Peter Finch’s collection and card

Many residents contributed to a collection for Peter Finch, our porter, who retired due to ill-health on 31st August 2016. Barry Ashton of the Barbican Estate Office gave the card and cheque to Peter.

FORTHCOMING DATES –

1st December 19:00 AGM and Christmas Party

31st January 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

20th April 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

Luke is away during this period. He will extend the invitation to our April meeting to Helen Davinson or to the person covering for him in his absence.

27th June 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting

The Summer Party 2017 will be scheduled in the January meeting