Minutes of the Meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ & Residents’ Association held on 29 November 2017 at Kennington Park Community Centre
Present: 15 tenants and leaseholders of Kennington Park Estate: Joan Twelves in the chair.
In attendance: Kate Hoey, Member of Parliament for Vauxhall Constituency, Greg Terefenko, Hyde Property Team Manager, Colin Harnor, Hyde Head of Stock Investment, David Gray, Hyde Special Projects Manager, Katerina Birkeland, Hyde Home Ownership Manager, Carla Franklin, Hyde Resident Services Manager, Dean Byerley, Stockwell HSH resident, Jon Surtees, SCCC, Mark Brown, SCCC
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked residents and guests for attending on a very cold, unpleasant evening. Special guests included Kate Hoey MP and senior managers from Hyde attended to discuss Hyde’s proposals in relation to CCTV at Kennington Park Estate. Guests introduced themselves.
- Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cllr Jack Hopkins and Cllr Claire Holland, Jennifer Gore, Lynne Philips, Madeline Erhlich, Bernard Jennings, Philip Normal, Salah Faissal.
- Minutes of last meeting of the Tenants’ & Residents’ Association held on 12 July 2017
The minutes of the 12 July 2017 meeting of the Tenants’ & Residents’ 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. The Chair noted that the Annual General meeting of the Tenants’ Association had been held on 27 September 2017. Minutes of that meeting were available and would be offered for formal approval at the 2018 Annual General Meeting as per custom and practice.
- Proposals from Hyde with reference to the CCTV service at Kennington Park Estate
The Chair opened the discussion noting that residents of Kennington Park Estate had been subject to a hugely disproportionate service charge for the CCTV service over a period of nine years as the apportionment was based on rateable values. This method of charge calculation resulted in residents of KPE paying over 25% of the full annual cost of the CCTV service serving Stockwell and KPE, whereas there were just 15 cameras to be monitored and serviced at KPE but 200 cameras in Stockwell. A fair, proportionate charge would have been in the region of 7% for KPE. The eight hours a day monitoring contract with Elizabethan Security Limited had been terminated in July 2016, under pressure from KPETRA, clearly demonstrating that a 24/7 staffed monitoring service was not essential.
The Chair also reminded Hyde representatives that in 2016, the Hyde Director of Core Services made a commitment to inclusion of an option of no CCTV in the CCTV service review and, in the event of retention of a CCTV service, separation of the CCTV service on KPE from the service in Stockwell to ensure KPE would not continue unfairly to subsidise the service to Stockwell properties.
Katerina Birkeland gave a briefing on consultation undertaken by Hyde so far. She referred to the letter from Hyde dated 29 August 2017 in which all responses to the Hyde consultation from residents had been reproduced. Hyde had contacted local authorities to establish the nature of CCTV services available from those organisations. A detailed discussion and debate followed with residents challenging the proposal from Hyde in relation to value for money, justification for a costly, new service, lack of statistical and security impact assessments, compliance with OJEU rules, resident engagement, fair apportionment of charges, management of the service, etc.
All residents, supported by Kate Hoey, expressed the most profound concern about lack of any indication at all of the likely cost of the installation, along with monitoring and servicing of a state of the art CCTV system, and/or the cost to residents of commissioning an outside organisation to provide a service. As the cost was the key criterion on which residents would base a decision, consultation so far had been misleading as residents had not been informed of the potential significant year on year increase in service charges for such a service.
In summary, the issues of most concern to residents were as follows:
- It is out of the question to ask residents to give full consideration to a proposal for a new system, involving either a major change or even a minor change, without costings.
- Hyde correspondence claimed that outsourcing will provide value for money, (Outsourcing will achieve much lower set up costs as Hyde would seek a provider with their own existing control room. S20 Notice: 29 August 2017). However, if Hyde can confidently predict this to be the case, Hyde must already have an indication of the likely cost of the proposed new service.
- The obligation on the part of Hyde to implement the decision of the Hyde Stage Three Complaints Panel which upheld the complaint from KPE, including: All residents will be provided with clarity about the review of the CCTV contract. All residents will be given the opportunity to feedback their options, including not to have CCTV at all.
- Full consideration of the options discussed and agreed with the Director of Core Operations. Option 1: a completely separate system for KPE from the HSH Stockwell properties which would address the disproportionate charge imposed on KPE residents. Option 2: no CCTV at KPE.
- Statistical evidence of the impact of the proposed new system in terms of the safety and wellbeing of residents
- Had Hyde assessed the value for money of a new system?
- On what statistical evidence had Hyde based this proposal to provide costly new equipment, new premises and a new monitoring/servicing contract at an unknown, but potentially, onerous cost to residents in never ending annual service charges?
Hyde officers confirmed that Hyde had no intention of imposing a decision on residents, that they were there to listen and no decision had been made. Kate Hoey expressed great concern on behalf of residents and wished to be assured that the more appropriate course of action of continuing with the current system with minor, cost effective improvements had not been ruled out. Hyde agreed to share the contract specification with residents before it was issued. This gave rise to further concern about Hyde’s intention to issue a contract, a contract for what, covering what services? The meeting had just been assured that no decisions had been made. The Tenants’ & Residents’ Association in conjunction with Kate Hoey agreed to put on record in writing to Hyde the many remaining matters of concern to KPE residents.
- New organisational structure in relation to management of Hyde Housing including Kennington Park Estate
Greg Terefenko gave a briefing on the change to the housing management organisational structure. Housing Officers had been replaced by Tenancy Officers and Tenancy Advisers. Tenants were required to report tenancy matters (landlord services including tenancy management, transfer issues, rent and service charges, internal repairs, etc) by telephone through Customer Services or through the on-line reporting system. Such reporting was no longer possible via the housing office. Tenancy Advisors and Officers were not based at the Magee Street Office. The enquiry would be allocated to a Tenancy Officer who would then respond to the tenant.
Communal issues were the responsibility of Property Managers undertaking regular estate inspections. The Property Managers for Kennington Park Estate were Anna Blakeman (Lockwood House) and Laura Newey (all other blocks). Greg had been appointed to the position of Property Team Manager for London. The role of Property Managers was set out in detail on the Hyde website (monitoring service standards in communal areas, regular, detailed estate inspections, communal health and safety compliance, cleaning and grounds maintenance, pest control, fire safety and compliance, scrutiny/monitoring of charges to residents and close liaison with the service charge team). Greg was confident of a seamless transition between the previous arrangements and the new management arrangements. He also confirmed that the Magee Street Office was to remain open for the foreseeable future.
- Surrey County Cricket Club: Proposal for redevelopment of Lock/Laker Stand and increase in seating capacity
Jon Surtees and Mark Brown from the Oval attended to present the plans for the redevelopment of the cricket ground on the other side of Kennington Oval from Lockwood and Lohmann Houses, that is, the Lock, Laker stand. They confirmed that SCCC was in pre application discussions with Lambeth planning officers. The proposal was to increase conference, hospitality and seating capacity along with internal movement space. A video presentation was given to illustrate the appearance and design of the new buildings. The design incorporated a permeable, lightweight seating structure not exceeding the height of the adjacent KPE housing. Jon and Mark agreed to attend TRA meetings in future to discuss directly with residents plans for the cricket ground which affect Kennington Park Estate as one of its nearest neighbours.
- Any Other Business
Due to the lateness of the hour and as the majority of the time available for the meeting had been devoted to the detailed discussion about proposals for the CCTV service and the redevelopment of the spectator stands at the Oval, it was agreed to refer outstanding business to the next meeting scheduled for 21 February 2018
- Date of next meeting of the Tenants’ & Residents’ Association
The next meeting was scheduled for 1900, Wednesday, 21 February 2018, thereafter, 25 April, 11 July, 26 September (AGM), 28 November.2018.