Juniper Repairs Action Group Minutes
Thursday 7.30pm. 28/5/2015. Brimtonroy Hall, Culmore Road. SE15 2RQ
Present. Jacki Wilford. Claire Phillips. Coralie Allison. Tim Burrow (minutes). Nick Cattermole. Maureen Ismay. Rob Kenyon. Cynthia Wheeler. Frankie Alum. Sandra Rhule (LBS) (temporay chair). Dave Lee (LBS). Brendan Gillen (LBS)
Apologies. Serena Simon. Karl Bollingbroke. Kirsten Dunham.
BALCONIES (Private rear balconies only): Sections of steel do not have expansion joints to allow for differential movement. 4 Balconies have been tested. 3 sets of results are in and DL (LBS) is awaiting the final set.
DL (LBS) confirmed that balconies are deemed as part of the structure so cost will be split equally across the block irrespective of whether the flats have balconies or not. DL (LBS) was working under the assumption that all the problematic balconies were currently scaffolded however Residents pointed out that they had concerns about their own balconies which were not scaffolded. JW (flat 14) has a gap between the front wall of the balcony and the main balcony structure.
Doubts over the completeness of the initial survey.
• CHIMNEY: There is loose lead on the chimney. DL (LBS) to inspect.
• ROOF: DL (LBS) have inspected and signed off works to install Ubiflex to replace stolen lead. NC (flat 71) said that he did not believe that the problem has been fully resolved as he still experiences extreme dampness in his internal walls. Technical officer has tested walls and claimed this is condensation but this is disputed due to the severity. Roof can be accessed near flat 24.
TB said that LBS answered a Freedom of Information request to say that there had not been a claim on the buildings insurance for Juniper House.
• GLAZING IN FRONT OF STAIR CORES: Residents raised concerns over the condition of the glazing at the front of the block. Has this ever been maintained? DL and SR (LBS) said that they would check when windows were up for cyclical works. TB pointed out that these were not standard windows serving individual flats – does such a non-standard item come under cyclical works?
• ASPHALT ON WALKWAYS: Residents pointed out that this was disintegrating and causing water ingress to some flats. DL and SR (LBS) to check when this is up for cyclical renewal.
• CONDITION SURVEY: Justin Hall (LBS) had previously suggested that there would be a full condition survey. DL (LBS) said he was not aware of any such survey being arranged – to be confirmed.
• DRAINS: LBS have organised for the drains near flat 53 to be jetted. Residents requested that this was extended to all drains as the problem is block-wide.
AUDITING REQUIREMENTS: TRAs do need to be audited but this can be done by SGTO free.
• BENEFITS: £1200/yr minimum funding for TRAs. MI said that she had visited another TRA who had been very successful in securing significant funding for various projects.
• COOP ACCOUNT: The residents wished to know if the remaining funds from the Juniper House Cooperative Account could be transferred to the TRA. BG (LBS) to check how this might work.
• INITIAL TRA MEETING AND VOTE: It was unanimously agreed that we would proceed with the plan to call the initial meeting on 25th June 2015 at 7:30pm.
10 attendees will be required for the meeting to be quorate. Plus there would need to be people willing to fill the 4 core positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.
Brendan Gillen (LBS) will post promotional material to all the residents.
• VENUE: BG (LBS) will talk to the Brimtonroy TRA to see if they will support another TRA by offering their facilities free.
TB has applied to LBS to have bicycle lockers installed within the grounds of Juniper House. A few potential locations have been identified. These will be discussed with the Neighbourhood Officer and then sent to the block residents in the form of a consultation letter. Residents will be able to vote on the proposal and also put their name down for a locker should they want one.
Juniper House Cooperative Signage
TB suggested that it might be a good idea to replace the Juniper House Cooperative signs with normal Southwark signs. This was generally supported although it was asked that the bespoke deigned JHC signs are kept for posterity. This is something that the TRA can pick up once formed.
The tree near to flat 55 needs to be pruned as it is growing too close to the building.
SOCIAL IDEAS FOR THE SUMMER: CA would like to organise a summer activity day for the children in the block – perhaps with tents in the back garden. This was supported. It was mentioned that CB (not present at the meeting) was hoping to organise a BBQ for all residents. This was also supported.
Juniper Repairs Action Group. Thursday 7.30pm. April 19. Brimtonroy Hall, Culmore Road. SE15 2RQ
Fay Roberts, Karl Bolingbroke, Maureen Ismay, Tim Robbins.
Jackie Wilford, Coralie Alison, Kirsten Dunham, Nick Cattermole, Sandra Rhule.
3. Approval of Minutes
Minutes of last meeting approved as a true record.
Matters Arising from Minutes
Block walkaround proposed to compile a database of repairs and reports, especially on the top and ground floors to monitor problems with the roof and drains.
Karl, Maureen and Fay to conduct survey. Rob to provide forms.
4. Roof and Repairs update
Tim has made four Freedom of Information Requests. The first has been answered with information on the following:
1. The number of reports of leaks related to the building structure (not burst pipes etc.) made to the repairs department over the last 3 years and also the dates on which these reports were made.
*List of reports provided
2. Information on the decision taken by the council on whether to fix the communal roof at Juniper House, what the proscribed repair entails, when this decision was taken and when this repair is due to be carried out by?
* No decision taken
We are waiting for information on the following requests:
• ‘Please can you provide information as to whether London Borough of Southwark made a claim on the building insurance policy for Juniper House related to the theft of lead from the roof? This may have happened at any time starting from 2007/2008 up to the present day.’
• ‘Please can you tell me when the roof at Juniper House was last replaced?’
• ‘Please could you explain why Juniper House, Pomeroy Street, SE14 5BY was not selected for inclusion in the Warm Dry Safe programme of works in London Borough of Southwark? What criteria did properties need to meet? On what grounds did Juniper House not meet these criteria?’
Sandra Rhule has also put in a member enquiry on the repair to the roof.
Tim plans to put in a further request for repair reports relating to a longer period to get back to the source of the issue. We should also collect other types of reports made other than those made through the repairs team (emails, letters, etc).
LBS (Gary Glover) have arranged for a full survey of the block.
LBS (Justin Hall) also state that they repaired the roof in May 2014 – replacing the missing lead with a synthetic alternative called UBIFLEX, They point to the fact that there has been no report of leaks on their repairs software (iworld) since Feb 2014 and therefore they believe the issue is solved.
If residents are still suffering from leaks they are advised to contact the repairs department – they may also like to let the residents group know.
Prompt and persistent reporting of faults by all effected residents was important.
Presumably the problems with the drains will be exposed by the imminent survey. But LBS does need to be reminded that there has been no signigifant maintenance of the drains for many years, in spite of repeated complaints.
Both the forecourt junctions and the downpipes must need urgent attention, since the forecourt floods during heavy rain, and drainage regularly backs up from the blockages into sinks and baths as high as the 2nd floor.
Karl to photograph cracks and leaks near drains.
6. Access to stores and flat 1 for recovery of co-op property and mail.
LBS still refuses to allow us to recover Juniper property from flat 1, or help us with storage of archives and equipment.
Further enquiries to be made.
7. Treasurer Report
Permission was sought to employ CW Tax ltd as accountants for the years 2013/14-2014/15. Expenditure authorised.
Further quotes to be sought for future work.
8. TRA feedback
TRA status was felt to be desirable, and that clarification be sought as soon as possible as to the way forward.
11. Other Business
12. Next Meeting
The next meeting was set for May 8th. (see note)
After consultation, the meeting will now be held on 28th May.
Juniper House Community Repairs Action Group. Brimmington Tenants’ Hall. 7.30pm 22/1/2014.
Coralie Allison, Tim Burrow, Kirsten Dunham, Maureen Ismay, Rob Kenyon (treasurer), Fay Roberts, Jaki Wilford.
Julian Adams (book keeper), Brendan Gillen (Capacity and Partnerships Officer, LBS), Sandra Rhule (Ward Councillor)
1. Introductory Discussion and Chairing
LBS representatives were informed of the general level of involvement at Juniper and what might be realistic targets to aim for.
On behalf of LBS, Brendan Gillen expressed the hope that we would become a Tenants and Residents Assocation, and that his department would do all they could to help if that was the decision of the residents.
Rob Kenyon was elected chair for the meeting.
2. Repairs Issues
• Tim expressed the opinion that the block was in need of a full survey of its physical condition, with a view to costing works.
• Sandra took the opportunity to inform the meeting that LBS budget for Juniper repairs had been in limbo since the end of the TMO a year ago.
Clarification was requested as soon as possible.
• Sandra also offered to chase up a list of chronic repairs issues, or reports of possibly serious problems which residents might spot at an early stage.
• The meeting was invited to provide an initial list of urgent issues, which included:
the state of the drains; the continuing damp from the roof; the lack of action on the numerous cracks to balconies and walls; the purpose of the scaffolding and its planned use/removal; the need for various trees to be reduced as soon as possble; and the problem of absentee landlords who cause flooding to flats below.
Further additions to follow as reported.
• Sandra also reported that the roof, balcony cracks and scaffolding were discussed at LBS management level, and will return with their decision.
3. Information on LBS Tenant & Resident Association Scheme
Brendan distributed information on the scheme, and reasserted its benefits, stating that funding was available for projects by individuals as well as organisations. Juniper could choose to become a TRA, which would provide formal recognition.
• Coralie and Jackie stated that they were also interested in creating a community as well as increasing the efficiency of LBS repairs system. And that if residents were able to organise informally at a basic level, then the prospects of generating enough interest in becoming a TRA would be improved.
It was felt that with a little freedom to act on its own initiative with the resoucres available, tangible results might be produced which demonstrated the benefits of community action.
• Julian suggested that a core initial group would be enough to begin the process of starting a TRA.
• Kirsten expressed the opinion that many residents were deterred by LBS structures, and previous experience with LBS. And that management-led organisations had not been the best way to organise in the past.
• Julian pointed out that TRA’s were ruled by general meetings, not a central committee.
• The meeting was informed of the fact that when the TMO was dissolved, officers of LBS attended and provided full information on TRA’s, and that the option was rejected at the time.
• The meeting was agreed that new ways should be found to encourage involvement. With Maureen stressing the need to achieve recognition by LBS as soon as possible.
• Rob observed that simple, achievable projects would be a practical way to start building involvement.
• To clarify the attitude of LBS, Sandra was asked if there would be any objections to residents planting some herbs in the now bare ground behind flat 1, and indicated that she had none.
4. Next meeting
Called for March 19th 2015 at Brimmington Hall
Tim agreed to collect and circulate an e-mail list of all present.
General Meeting of Juniper House Co-operative Ltd. Brimmington Tenants’ Hall. 7.30pm 4/12/2014.
Julian Adams (book keeper), Coralie Allison, Karl Bolingbroke, Tim Burrow, Nick Cattermole (chair), Kirsten Dunham, Maureen Ismay
Rob Kenyon (treasurer), Saffi Koroma, Uvi Orogumu, Greg Robbins (‘We Support Housing’), Fay Roberts, Jaki Wilford.
Apologies: Sirena Simon, Minnie, Doris.
1. New circumstances and general update.
Juniper requires a new accountant, more appropriate to our new status. Nick Cattermole and Jaki Wilford offered to consult their own accountants for quotes. On arrival, Greg referred back to the available Southwark Group of Tents Organisations advice.
Jaki and Rob are new cheque signatories. Fay Roberts also agreed to become a third. [action Rob K]. Four signatories is customary.
2. Future of the block.
• Some residents had serious concerns about LBS intentions for Juniper House, given their record of sometimes preferring demolition to renovation, and the general pressures of the housing market. Genuine clarification from LBS was felt necessary.
• Residents also thought it important that in future, the level of individual involvement should be sustainable, that people should know what they were getting involved in and be able to participate on their own terms, and in areas which best shared their interests and skills.
• It was felt that the primary role of any residents organisation should be to work to hold LBS to its agreement on all counts. But it was also felt that it should also try to encourage a contact and co-operation between residents, and enable residents to use their imaginations and creativity for the communal benefit. Thereby helping create the level of involvement needed to fulfil the primary role.
• Karl, Tim, Jaki and Faye agreed to help distribute information and to talk to residents about whether they would like to share their experiences, and work with others. All volunteers welcome.
3. Change of title and status.
The meeting was informed by Julian that there was no administrative need to change status unless advised by accountant. We may, though, like to consider a shift of image or identity.
The possibility was again raised of becoming a fully-fledged Tenants & Residents Association, but this was felt to be impractical at this stage.
4. Proposals for action, and use of Juniper Surplus
Specific attention was drawn to the urgent action required on the roof. After some discussion a proposal was agreed to the following effect:
That a Repair Action Meeting be held in the 3rd week of January for all residents to report concerns over repairs, and to begin efforts to improve overall service.
Date to be confirmed after consultation with LBS officials and councillors.
• The idea was also raised of establishing a permanent core group which could act with the authority of the Residents in dealing with LBS officers; to provide constant monitoring of all maintenance issues; and to help get domestic repairs done faster and to a higher standard.
5. Membership drive.
Saffi Koroma, Uvi Orogumu and Tim Burrows were accepted as members. Subscriptions paid to Julian with authorised documentation.
Any Other Business
• Opinions were expressed over possible ways of preventing anti-social behaviour on the block, and its causes. Future discussion between residents and LBS are clearly indicated, with a view to emphasising the residents’ responsibiities under the Tenancy/Leaseholder Agreement.
• Security concerns were raised in the light of recent break-ins and reports of drug paraphernalia on staircases. These issues clearly highlight why Juniper needs to liaise more closely and collectively with LBS and other bodies
• SUSTRAN were suggested as a source of funding for cycle storage. Which raised the issue of fundraising in general. A dedicated group might be possible, and definitely desirable.
6. Date of Next Meeting.
Repairs Action Group for late January to be announced as soon as possible. The meeting was advised by Julian that an Annual General Meeting was not urgently required.
JUNIPER HOUSE CO-OPERATIVE LTD
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting Held at Brimmington TRA Hall
Reconvened on Monday 31st March 2014 at 7pm
Present: Kirsten Dunham, Rob Kenyon, John Carty.
In Attendance: Greg Robbins (Chair), Julian Adams (Book keeper), Sue Enfield
Apologies: Jackie Sleaford
The meeting reconvened after the AGM planned for 24th March 2014, which had been inquorate. As sufficient members for a quorum had not arrived by 7:30pm, those members present, in accordance with the rules of Juniper HC, were deemed to constitute a quorum.
1) Election of Chair for the Meeting
As no member of the co-op wished to chair the meeting, it was agreed that the meeting would be chaired by Greg Robbins.
2) Welcome and Apologies
The chair welcomed members to the AGM.
The chair explained the causes of the delay in holding an AGM which centred largely on the production of the accounts. Members noted that Rob Kenyon was not a member of the co-operative and discussed whether he would make a useful member of the co-op in the future and would support the aims of the co-op and the wishes of the community.
Agreed: Rob Kenyon paid his £1 and was accepted into membership of Juniper House Co-operative.
3) Minutes of the Last AGM (presented to the SGM on 30/10/13)
The meeting noted the amendments made to the minutes which had been approved and signed at the SGM on 30th October 2013, the date that had been originally planned for the AGM.
4) Presentation of the Accounts
Copies of the accounts had been available to members electronically, were tabled and also presented on a projector. The book keeper presented the key points, including the corrections that had been made to the designation of surpluses and provisions.
Agreed: The audited accounts were approved.
5) Appointment of Auditors
It had previously been agreed to seek quotes from alternative auditors and in future to seek independent examination of books rather than a full audit, which will save thousands of pounds each year.
Agreed: This approach was endorsed and alternative quotes for a reduced audit/review process will be sought.
6) Update on the Closure of the Contract with LB Southwark
LB Southwark have refused to discuss settling the contract until the audited accounts have been signed. This has taken a long time, but accounts are now ready. There are still, however, other issues which require resolution, as otherwise a contingency would need to be retained. These include the costs of the landlord’s electricity supply and staffing where Juniper HC continues to incur expenses on behalf of LB Southwark. These costs will be deducted from the final reconciliation figure with LB Southwark. There are also contracts, such as for legal and employment advice, that will need to be ended.
A breakdown of what should be paid to the council and what should be retained by the co-operative was presented.
Agreed: Greg Robbins and Julian Adams were delegated authority to liaise with LB Southwark over all aspects of ending the management agreement.
Agreed: Greg Robbins was delegated authority to end contracts, including contracts of employment, to conclude the obligations under the management agreement with LB Southwark and any services that related to that.
Action: Cheque signatories will sign cheques for expenses incurred on behalf of LB Southwark, including if necessary a settlement agreement.
Action: Greg Robbins will sign the authorisations for cheques if needed.
7) Future Governance
The meeting discussed whether they felt the needs of the community would best be addressed by an organisation run by committee or by general meeting. There was a feeling that a general meeting model would be more inclusive for an organisation with a diminished role and that members might not yet be ready to stand for election to a committee
Agreed: Juniper House Co-op will in future be managed by General Meeting, not Committee.
Some members had previously expressed a willingness to stand for office and to help the co-op through this difficult time.
The following were elected to office:
Chair: Nick Cattermole
Secretary: Paul Dixon
Treasurer: Rob Kenyon
These three members were authorised by the AGM to sign and return the audited accounts, annual returns and associated paperwork.
The chair expressed a concern that if members of the co-operative and the wider community do not decide which direction they wish to go in in the future, that he would shortly be supporting the membership to vote on who the co-op’s surplus should be given to, as without participation the organisation would become dormant and the bank would be left with the co-op’s funds. The meeting felt, however, that putting such a message to the membership would not galvanise them, but rather would be a very negative message. They felt that once the ties to the management agreement were severed, residents would be much more positive, so there should be further chances for members to participate. Future meetings should also be closer to Juniper House.
The meeting felt that there were three options – to close the co-op and give the money away, continue as a group or to spend the money on one major project that benefitted residents.
Agreed: Rob Kenyon will call a general meeting in 2-3 months at which possibilities for the future may be discussed. The format will be informal.
10) Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be called by Rob Kenyon, who was given authority to do so.
The meeting closed at 8:30pm.