Minutes 26 April 2017

Minutes of the Meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association held on 26 April 2017 at Kennington Park Community Centre

Present:                      15 tenants and leaseholders of Kennington Park Estate: Joan Twelves in the chair.

In attendance:           Christina Edoja, HSH Housing Officer.

  1. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cllr Jack Hopkins and Cllr Claire Holland, Alex Reuben, Bernard Jennings, Jennifer Gore, Kerry Young, Steph Reid.

  1. Minutes of last meeting of the Tenants’ Association held on 23 February 2017

The minutes of the 23 February 2017 meeting of the Tenants’ Association were approved as a correct record of that meeting.  There were no matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting other than those on the agenda for discussion at this meeting.

  1. Housing Management and estate management issues. Reports from tenants and leaseholders for the attention of HSH management

Tenants and leaseholders reported housing management and estate management issues for the attention of Christina Edoja, the Housing Officer.

Christina briefed residents on the new organisational structure to be implemented in September.  There will be Tenancy Advisors and Tenancy Officers but no Housing Officers.  Almost all communication will be through the free phone customer service call centre.

  1. Future of the Kennington Park Community Centre

The Chair gave a progress report on the situation with reference to the threat to the KPE Community Centre.  The TA was working with Hyde on a plan for keeping the Community Centre open and functioning effectively in the short term.  There were many issues to be considered in detail and the TA was preparing to assume responsibility in the middle of the year.  As the Community Centre remained the property of Hyde Southbank Homes, the responsibility for legal and compliance issues remained with Hyde.  The TA will continue to challenge the current plan to demolish the Centre with no replacement.   A report on progress was to be made to the next meeting of the TA.

  1. Report from the Executive Committee of the Tenants’ Association

5.1       Tenants’ Association work on scrutiny of Service Charges

The Chair reported that TA officers continued with detailed work on scrutiny of service charges.  The TA had submitted to Hyde a detailed report in autumn 2016 on an analysis of service charge invoices for KPE including queries requiring explanation and/or correction.  The response from Hyde in many cases remained unsatisfactory.

Estimates for the year 17/18 were received by residents at the beginning of March 2017.  It was immediately apparent that Hyde had not heeded correspondence from the TA, resulting in the incorrect inclusion of costs, for example charging residents for a CCTV contract terminated in July 2016.  The TA was involved in regular meetings with Helen Carter, Hyde Service Charge Manager.  Through these discussions, Hyde agreed to re-issue the statements with some of the issues resolved.  Residents received updated 17/18 estimates in April 2017.  The TA was still awaiting responses to issues raised in relation to the invoices for the “actuals” statements for 15/16, and it was noted that 15/16 actuals had not yet been issued by Hyde.  Hyde had recently appointed a Service Charge coordinator to focus on KPE, and the TA continued to seek clarification.

5.2       Report from recent Estate Inspections

Estate inspections were conducted on a regular basis and appropriate action taken to improve and maintain standards.  Residents were encouraged to ensure personal possessions were not stored on balconies, most importantly because such obstructions created a risk in terms of fire safety and made it difficult for the cleaning contractor to clean balconies in compliance with the contract specification.

  1. Report from Oval Ward Councillors including Gas holder site: Proposed Master Plan

In the absence of Oval Ward Councillors, TA Officers confirmed that the Berkeley Homes master plan for the development of the gas holder site had not received approval from the Council.  Berkeley Homes remained in discussion with the Council.

  1. Latest information about the Housing and Planning Act

As discussed at the last TA meeting the government appeared to be unclear about practical implementation of several aspects of the Housing and Planning Act.  Further details available on the KPETA website.

  1. Report on activities elsewhere in Hyde

As previously reported HSH residents in Stockwell regularly raised concerns similar to those raised by KPETA.  The major issue for Stockwell residents was Hyde’s proposal to outsource the management of the Stockwell Centre.  Also, to the knowledge of TA Officers, residents from across Hyde were deeply unimpressed that Hyde had rebranded at a, no doubt, significant cost, but at the same time claimed it was not in a financial position to maintain and manage community centres on behalf of its residents and the local community

  1. Any Other Business

None raised.

  1. Date of next meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association:

The next meeting was scheduled for 1900, Wednesday 12 July 2017, thereafter, 27 September (AGM), and 29 November 2017.

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