Committee Meeting 27th June 2017 AGENDA

Here is the agenda as a downloadable PDF document:

AGENDA for CTHG (27 June 2017)

Here is the same Agenda in web-readable form below. Fire Risk and actions to improve Fire Safety were discussed at our previous meeting and will be reviewed again in our meeting 27th June.

AGENDA
CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)
AGENDA for Committee meeting 27 June 2017
19:00 in the Podium Room

Committee Members:

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

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton
Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

 

 

1.    Welcome

A potential new committee member, Mike Bristow, will join us for this meeting.

2.    Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from …(no-one as of 22 June)

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

The minutes of April 20th …review…sign by Chairman if approved.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting  20th April 2017

4.    Threat Alarm

No further action? (The original issue was to do with its reliability and cost of maintenance. Luke is now monitoring costs – any change?)

5.    Fire Risk Assessment

Our previous minutes said:

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

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.

FURTHER POINTS on this:

  • why is the “nominal” fire resistance of the doors regarded as “low risk”?
  • Luke’s note – date when items will be removed (lobbies, balconies, cupboards?car park?)
  • Any learnings, points from the Cripplegate Ward meeting 26 June

6.    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.

7.    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

8.    New Porters

Kalpesh Patel has joined the team.

The other candidate is Abdi Harouma, – any update?

9.    Void Space

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

10.Cromwell Tower House Group Online

These minutes and other documents, including the Fire Risk Assessment are now online at https://cromwelltower.wordpress.com.

Feedback? Next action: obtain a domain name (CromwellTower.org perhaps)

11.Art in the 01 Lobby

Alan Budgen arranged the Van Gogh exhibition of art by Guildhall Students. Next exhibition?

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

12. Licence application by The Brewery

Do we need to do anything as a House Group?

13.Anything else?

DATES – we need more dates.

September Meeting: date proposed – 25th Sept.

AGM and Christmas Party?

 

 

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 21st June 2016

CROMWELL TOWER HOUSE GROUP (CTHG)

Minutes for the Committee meeting 21st June 2016

19:30 in the Podium Room

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)

Jane Northcote (Secretary)

Laurance Jones (Treasurer)

Lesley Bradshaw

Alan Budgen

Frances Calman

Christopher Gorman-Evans

Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Office:

Luke Barton (House Officer)

Luke.Barton@cityoflondon.gov.uk

1.    Welcome

2.    Apologies for absence – All members present.

3.    Minutes of the last committee meeting

Minutes of the CTHG on 14th March were signed by the Chairman as an accurate record.

Matters from previous meetingS

4.    Carpet renewal – issue now resolved

The two carpets on floors 30 and 3 have been replaced. These carpets cost £3372 each, which is recharged to the whole block. This will appear as an addition of about £70 to the Service Charge of a typical flat. Luke proposed a replacement schedule of two carpets per year, and the committee accepted this proposal. The replacement schedule will be reviewed in future years if needed.

5.    Void space development – use of mezzanine

Planning permission has been granted to transform the Void space at ground, podium and mezzanine levels into a flat. There is no start date yet agreed for the building work. When the Void space is developed, the Mezzanine will provide access to the new flat, and so will need to be clear.

As the Mezzanine level lobby is currently used informally as a storage space for items awaiting recycling. Luke is currently investigating options.

6.    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 is seeking approval from the Planning department of the City. He is awaiting a meeting to agree the plans and funding.

It is now 12 months since the initial request.

John will talk to the relevant City department with the intention to expedite matters.

7.    Threat alarm and intercom

There are a number of difficulties with the combined threat alarm system and intercom. This 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.

The Cromwell system is different from that in the other towers. It could potentially be replaced by the simpler system used by the other Towers. This simpler system does not include the alarm. In this case the maintenance would be done by Resident Engineers which is cheaper and quicker than Antron.

Action: Luke to

(1) Find out about Fire Safety and Fire Alarms: do we need a Fire Alarm? What do the other Towers do?

(2) Investigate the long-term plan for security and visitor entry to the Towers.

(3) Discover the date for the next test of the Threat Alarm, ideally in September.

(4) Investigate options for replacing the intercom, with or without the alarm.

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.

Actions:

Luke – will put in a strong case for large planters for Cromwell Place for the 2017/8 year.

John – will ask the Gardens Advisory Group to ensure steps are taken to improve the quality of planting in Cromwell Place planters and island.

9.    Concrete Repairs

(a) Major Concrete repairs done in August 2013:

There is an ongoing dispute between the Barbican Association, representing residents, and the City as landlord, regarding who should pay for concrete repairs and remedial work done in August 2013. John Tomlinson reported that experts commissioned by the City have now delivered technical answers to queries. The City lawyers are now initiating proceedings against anyone who has withheld payment. The Barbican Association is considering options.

(b) Repairs to concrete in internal exposed areas: e.g. on inside of balconies

Some residents have noticed that the concrete has flaked off the inside of balcony walls, exposing rusting steel re-inforcement bars.

Luke reported that repairs will start in the next 6 months. The contract will go out to tender in the next 3 months. The cost will come through on the Service Charge. The City surveyor advises that the rusty steel bars will not deteriorate markedly before the repairs occur.

10.Visitor parking.

The former visitor parking spaces in 01 ground level car park are now in use to provide disabled parking. Porters now send visitors to spare spaces in 02 or 03 car parks. This means that visitors must be given garage entry keys.

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

Luke reported that so far no more spaces have become available in the 01 car park, and that as soon as spaces are released they will be retained for Cromwell visitors.

11.Noise issues – Brewery.

If any resident is disturbed by noise from the Brewery please tell them, and report the time of the noise:

24-hour Manned Reception (Brewery) 0207 065 5700

Brewery Duty Manager Mobile 07920 203 823

It would also be helpful if you could tell the City’s Pollution Control team:

Call 020 7606 3030 to report noise and request immediate action or

email publicprotection@cityoflondon.gov.uk to notify them after the event.

Also please email John Tomlinson: john@johnandpaula.com. This is so we can take an informed view of the size of the problem and use data to make a case for action.

12.Bright lights from St Paul’s area – issue now resolved

Flats on the South of the Tower have been flooded by light intended to illuminate St Paul’s. Christopher has been in correspondence with the City of London Environmental Health Officer, Rachel Sambells. These lights will now be turned off. LED lights will be installed which can be more accurately directed. We are optimistic that this will solve the problem.

13. Service Charges Working party

The first meeting of the Service Charges Working party will be on 27th June. Jane will be participating. The broad aim is to ensure that processes are in place to manage, control and forecast service charges so that costs to leaseholders are contained and predictable, and service quality are maintained.

14. 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 request an update

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

On some floors there are glue lines, straight or wavy, each side of the utility doors in the lift lobbies. These were made by contractors who secured protective sheeting to the utility doors with glue. On the 23 Feb 2016 Laurance Jones raised this issue with Steve Murray, Property Services Team Manager,

City of London Corporation. Luke reported Steve Murray’s view that removing the glue lines would make the cleaned area paler. This would be unsightly.

We decided to take no further action to clean existing lines.

Action: Luke will alert fellow House Officers to this problem. If plans for renovations include asbestos removal, House Officers will include in the Planning Approval an instruction not to stick sheeting to visible areas of concrete.

16. Lobby door banging on Ground Floor – issue resolved

On 24 Feb 2016 Luke noted that the front door was banging. The brake on the door has failed, so the door closed violently, possibly endangering the glass.

Luke says this has now been fixed and is awaiting redecoration.

17. Broken tiles and Chewing Gum on Cromwell Place – issue resolved

Broken tiles have been mended. Removing chewing gum is now a routine part of the cleaning services actions.

18. Items left in Lobbies

On certain floors, there are bicycles, shoes and other items in the lift lobbies. This is in contravention of the lease, and a fire hazard. Over recent months Luke has taken action to enforce fire regulations and get items removed from lobbies.

Action: Luke to continue enforcement action.

19. Water hammer noise on higher floors

There has been intrusive noise from water hammer on upper floors.

Luke reported that this problem has now been solved. It took a very long time to resolve, and Luke assured us that lessons have been learned.

MATTERS ARISING SINCE THE LAST MEETING

20. Doors coming off the parcels cupboard under the porter’s desk

This seems to happen repeatedly.

Luke to discover from Metwin (contractor) why the repair does not work.

21. Stop-cock on the 20th Floor

A resident reported a very long wait for a stop-cock replacement.

Luke reports that this has now been replaced.

22. Notice Board

The Notice Board on Level 01 is for use by Cromwell residents only. The best way to advertise services to Barbican residents is to use Barbicantalk. http://www.barbicantalk.com

23.Damage to public areas by contractors

Thomson Bros undertook to repaint the ceiling of the B lift, which they damaged during a recent renovation. They have not done this yet. More renovations are expected this summer.

Action: Luke to repeat the request to Thomson Bros.

Action: Luke will photograph lifts and lobbies so that we have a record of the state of public areas. Contractors who damage public areas will be asked to make good at their expense.

24. Côte Restaurant variation of licence – no action needed

Côte have applied for a change to their alcohol licence so they can offer a home delivery service which includes delivery of alcoholic drinks. Certain blocks are considering objecting to this. The CTHG Committee decided that this variation of the licence will not make a difference to us and we will not object.

 

FORTHCOMING DATES

27 Sept 19:00 Committee Meeting

1st December 19:00 AGM and Christmas Party

31st January 2017 19:00 Committee Meeting