MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF KENNINGTON PARK ESTATE TENANTS’ & RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION HELD ON 16 MARCH 2022
Present: 10 tenants and leaseholders. Joan Twelves in the chair.
In attendance: Matt Hopkins, Hyde Property Manager for Kennington Park Estate: Scott Lawrence, Hyde Head of Property Charges: Richard Caley, Community Engagement Manager, Berkeley Homes, Oval Village Development
- Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Claire Holland, Cllr Hopkins, Cllr David Amos,
- Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of the Tenants’ Association held on
24 September 2019 and matters arising from the minutes
The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting of the Tenants’ Association held on 24 September 2019 were approved as a correct record of that meeting. There were no matters arising from those minutes.
- Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association Annual Report 2022
The 2022 Annual Report was available at the meeting and on the KPETRA website. The Tenants’ Association had undertaken the following activities on behalf of all tenants and leaseholders during the period since the last KPETRA AGM in 2019: (Meetings interrupted due to the pandemic).
Cleaning and grounds maintenance
KPETRA representatives continued to work very closely on Estate Inspections with the Property Manager and Cleanscapes, the cleaning contractor. Communal repairs still had to be reported several times. The performance of Mears, the repairs contractor was a cause for concern, locally and across the business. Hyde managers were well aware of the problem and action was in hand to improve the situation. Estate Inspections also focused on ensuring safety on communal balconies, ensuring that balconies were clear of personal possessions, bicycles, etc which present a safety hazard.
Electrical mains replacement programme
Key, Sherwin, Lockwood, Blades and Hornby Houses had electrical mains replaced over recent years. It was a noisy, disruptive process. Hyde informed residents the replacement work was required because:
- Existing electrical rising and lateral mains system obsolete. Cables, distribution boards and associated switchgear require replacement. Existing installation no longer complies with current regulations Spares for distribution boards and associated switchgear no longer available.
- It is necessary to install a new system of extended risers and trunking on the ceiling of the communal access balconies.
- Whilst undertaking these essential works, new communal and emergency lighting will be installed throughout the block.
The TA intervened when Hyde notified residents of Blades and Hornby of the cost of this work in these blocks. The charge to leaseholders was estimated at a figure greatly in excess of the work in Key and Sherwin. The TA immediately made representations to Hyde to challenge the basis on which the same work was anticipated to cost so much more. In response Hyde reviewed the contract figures and reduced the costs to Blades and Hornby. The work in Lockwood, Hornby and Blades could have been more effectively managed. Only when the TA pressed the point repeatedly with Hyde was the outstanding work completed. Though, ‘completed’ overstated the situation. The quality of the work left much to be desired.
Service charge scrutiny and review
When rent and service charges for 2022/23 were published and issued to residents, although the letters were dated 24 February 2022, some did not arrive until the second week of March. The Tenants’ Association was to seek clarification in relation to some charges which did not appear to apply to Kennington Park Estate.
Over several years the TA made strong representations to Hyde about the lack of an effective system of regular inspection and repair. The cleaning contractor was responsible for replacing failed bulbs in balcony lights. However, the new LED balcony lighting was to be maintained by specialist electrical contractors. The new LED light bulbs should last for years,
Kennington Park Estate Housing Office: Magee Street
It was reported that on 28 January 2022 Hyde announced on its website:
‘Due to the pandemic, all our receptions closed in March 2020. Following consultation with customers, we made the decision to permanently close receptions at the following offices: Stockwell, Oval, Chichester and Hillside’. The announcement claimed that residents will be able to access services on line. (You can access all our online forms and our traditional services through our Property Managers, Tenancy Officers and ASB Officers. Since closing our reception services, we introduced online parking services, which previously accounted for 36% of all reception visits. We’re also covering income enquiries, digitally or on the phone.’
There was no consultation specifically about closure of local offices and local representatives such as Tenants’ Associations were not consulted. KPETRA formally expressed concern, particularly as both Oval and Stockwell offices were closed.
Parking Management and Enforcement
In spring 2021 Hyde awarded the parking management and enforcement contract to UKCPM. However, throughout the remainder of 2021, there was still no parking management service on the Estate. Following several prompts/guidance from KPETRA the poor performance continued. The TA pointed out to Hyde head office the many failures in mobilisation of the parking management contract.
Hyde recently introduced a separate service charge for the pest control contract. TA Officers investigated the terms of the new contract and were reassured to some extent that charges to residents would be based on pest control work actually undertaken.
Hangars for secure bike storage
The Property Manager and the TA continued to press Hyde for more bike hangars on the Estate, particularly as it is a fire safety risk to store bicycles on balconies, it is, therefore, not permitted to store bikes and other items on balconies and in other communal areas where it impedes free movement, hampering potential means of escape.
Local Government Boundary Commission
Strong representations were made to the LGBC during the consultation process in terms of community identities and interests and convenient local government. The LGBC ignored its own priorities in the case of Kennington Park Estate. In the face of strong objections, the Boundary Commission divided Kennington Park Estate between two wards instead of keeping it united in the same ward. Ten blocks transferred into the new Kennington Ward, with Grace and Brockwell Houses remaining in Oval Ward.
Development of the gas holder and Tesco sites (Oval Village) by Berkeley Homes
TA representatives attended the Berkeley Homes regular community liaison meetings to keep up to date with progress on demolition and construction on the sites. The TA raised specific concerns in relation to the opening and decontamination of the main gas holder located next to Read and Kilner Houses. Berkeley Homes committed to distribute door to door information to Read, Brockwell and Kilner to ensure residents were made aware of the date on which the gas holder was to be opened to reveal the water, sludge, sediment, hydrocarbons etc, so that residents might be prepared for the noise and vibration of the cold cutting required to access the water and for the possibility of odours from the water and sludge which had been in situ for many years. Servicing of the construction site was undertaken via Vauxhall Street and Montford Place. The road surface in Montord Place had been destroyed by huge, heavy construction vehicles. The TA made many representations to the Council. The Council was reluctant to resurface the road until all construction work was complete (some six or seven years).
TfL site redevelopment, Montford Place
The site owned by Transport for London to be developed in partnership with Grainger plc. The planning application to build some 150 homes including 40% affordable, plus live/work light industrial space/studios was approved by the Council. Work on construction of the new development was due to start in 2023.
Surrey County Cricket Club (The Oval)
The TA representative at meetings with SCCC raised concern at the inconvenience to local people of closure of sections of Kennington Oval to road traffic and use as a construction site. Construction of the new hotel on the Oval House Theatre site was scheduled to start in 2022.
The Community Centre continued to offer free school holiday activities along with good food, funded by Lambeth Council and the Department for Education. Negotiation with Hyde with reference to extension of the Lease and Management Agreement were in hand.
The Annual Report was formally received.
- KPETRA Financial Report 2019 to 2022
The Financial Report covering 2019 to 2022 was presented. Expenditure amounted to £333 consisting of website maintenance, leaflet printing and leaflet distribution plus other expenses, resulting in a balance at March 2022 of £784
- Nominations to the Executive Committee of the Tenants’ Association
5.1 Nomination of Officers: Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
The elections for block representatives and nominations to the Executive Committee of the Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association were conducted. Nominations were invited for Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Tenants’ Association.
Joan Twelves was formally nominated to the position of Chair, Stephanie Poynts to the position of Treasurer, Ed Reid to the position of Deputy Chair, Marilyn Evers to the position of Secretary. There were no other nominations and the recommendations were formally approved for consideration at the next meeting of the Tenants’ Association Executive Committee.
5.2 Nomination of block representatives
Block representatives were nominated and elected as follows:
Abel: Bernard Jennings Alverstone: Alick Beale Blades: Joan Twelves
Blythe: Bernard Jennings Brockwell: No nomination Grace: Jennifer Gore
Hornby: Marilyn Evers Key: Bernard Jennings Lockwood: June O’Mahoney
Lohmann: Diane Beaumont Read: No nomination Sherwin: Joules Broderick
- Any Other business
The Annual General Meeting was followed by a general meeting as follows:
Richard Caley: Berkeley Homes
Richard Caley reported on the Berkeley Homes community engagement programme, including a significant contribution of volunteers and materials to the Kennington Park Estate Community Garden at Alverstone House. He referred to the potential for KPE blocks nearest to the Oval Village site to experience noise, vibration, dust etc as a result of demolition and construction. He apologised for the disturbance and confirmed that the work was continuously monitored and managed.
Scott Lawrence: Hyde Head of Property Charges
Scott was welcomed to the meeting and was thanked for attending to take questions with reference to service charges. Tenants and leaseholders raised a range of service charge issues with Scott, including slow responses to enquiries, accuracy of charges, controlled door entry charges, communal lighting etc. Scott confirmed that charges were sense checked with Property Managers. However, residents agreed that closer consultation and more accurate information was essential to ensure production of clearer, more realistic service charges.
Matt Hopkins, Property Manager, Kennington Park Estate
Matt reported on estate management issues as follows:
- He confirmed the new parking management and enforcement contract was with UKCPM. Parking permits to be issued by UKCPM. No more permits to be issued than the number of parking bays available in each block.
- Matt had secured a significant chunk of funding for greening the Estate. This included the community garden in Alverstone and use of the grass area outside Read House on Clayton Street as a garden/allotment. He arranged the Berkeley Homes volunteer day to get the project off to a good start.
- He had arranged an inspection by the London Fire Brigade to ensure residents were clear in relation to essential compliance with fire safety measures.
- He confirmed that no Section 20 process was involved in installation of a new up to date CCTV system across the Estate. Residents to be charged for maintenance but not the installation.
Residents expressed concern with reference to lack of consultation on installation of 100 CCTV cameras across the Estate, when there had been just 15 cameras previously.
In response to a question about the potential to install lifts, Matt explained capital costs of lifts would be prohibitive, a significant increase in maintenance service charges would be required plus it would be a problem to identify space for location of a lift in KPE blocks.
Matt was thanked for his support to Kennington Park Estate.
- Meetings of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association in 2022
To be confirmed.