Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association held on 23 September 2015 at the Kennington Park Estate Community Centre
Present: 26 Tenants and Leaseholders of Kennington Park Estate. Joan Twelves in the chair
In attendance: Sergeant Jones, Oval Police Safe Neighbourhood Team, Nigel Walker, Resident Services Manager, Hyde Southbank Homes, Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Oval Ward Councillor.
The Chair welcomed everyone to the 2015 Annual General Meeting and introduced guests.
- Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cllr Claire Holland, Oval Ward Councillors, and from Lynn Philips, resident, and Tamara Williams-Harding of HSH Resident Engagement
- Minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting held on 24 September 2014: For formal approval
The minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting were approved as a correct record of that meeting by those in attendance on that occasion.
- Matters arising from the minutes of the 2014 Annual General Meeting
It was confirmed that the majority of the matters arising from the minutes of the 2014 AGM were referred to in the Annual Report from the Tenants’ Association for 2014/2015. It was noted that it was a matter of concern and disappointment that there were many issues which remained outstanding from this time last year and on which very little tangible progress had been made by HSH/Hyde management.
Some residents criticised KPETA officers for perceived failures in terms of ensuring accountability from HSH/Hyde. The Chair acknowledged the criticism and invited residents to contact her and other members of the KPETA Executive Committee to discuss the issues, to become more closely involved in the work of the TA and to attend the regular meetings of the Executive Committee.
- 2014/2015 Annual Report from the Kennington Park Estate Tenants Association
The written Annual Report had been circulated to all in attendance. The Secretary spoke to the report as follows:
Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association had undertaken the following activities, among others, on behalf of all tenants and leaseholders during the 12 month period since the TA AGM in September 2014:
- Representations to the Chair and Chief Executive of the Hyde Group on behalf of all Hyde Southbank Homes residents: At a meeting arranged on behalf of residents by Kate Hoey MP, it was made clear to the Chair and the CE that residents agreed to a transfer of ownership from the local authority for a better, more responsive, local service, not the poorer, more remote and less responsive service now endured. From the start the intention of both the London Borough of Lambeth and Hyde was a tenant led, autonomous and local structure. This was the principle on which the proposal to transfer to Hyde was firmly based and on which consultation with residents was conducted.
- Service charge scrutiny and review: The TA was engaged in challenging the staggering increase in service charges for the 2015/16 financial year. For some residents the charges had doubled. Questioning revealed that Hyde had added three additional charges with no warning or consultation and little explanation. Further work had been undertaken in relation to communal electricity charges.
- Challenge to the inappropriate extension of the contract for the CCTV monitoring service including the disproportionate service charge to KPE: The TA felt it necessary to submit a complaint to Hyde about the year on year extension of the CCTV monitoring service. Hyde management conceded that ad hoc yearly extension of this contract since 2007 represented poor practice not in line with recognised procurement requirements.
- Negotiations with Hyde management about the proposed redevelopment of the Community Centre site: The TA undertook a careful and detailed assessment of the plans as presented by Hyde (in September 2014) and raised serious objections in response to the plans because of the unacceptable effects on residents and on Kennington Park Estate
- Engagement with the Council and Berkeley Homes on the plan for the redevelopment of the gas holder site: It was confirmed that redevelopment of this site would have a major impact on the Estate, particularly Read, Brockwell and Grace Houses which directly overlook it and the TA had been attending meetings to represent KPE residents’ interests.
- Scrutiny of the new cleaning and grounds maintenance contract specification: Procurement of the new contract for cleaning and grounds maintenance was in progress. A major element of our service charge bills relates to cleaning and gardening and these services are of critical importance to our environment so the TA was doing everything possible to influence the process in the best interests of KPE. The contract specification had just been released to the TA and many questions, omissions and anomalies had been raised with the Contract Manager.
The Annual Report from the Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association was formally received and approved.
- 2014/2015 Finance Report from the Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association
It was reported that total expenditure from October 2014 to September 2015 was £657.77. (Leaflet printing and delivery: £279.78. Website maintenance: £107.99. Chartered Institute of Housing training course: £270.) Resulting in a balance of £1,090.23 against the budget for the year of £1,748.00. The Finance Report was formally received and approved.
- Report from Oval Ward Councillors
Councillor Edbrooke reported on the work undertaken by Oval Ward Councillors in collaboration with the Kennington Park Estate Tenants Association and the work of Councillors representing the interests of the people of Oval Ward. Cllr Edbrooke referred to the gas holder site and the potential for new housing at social rent, provision for youth employment, as well as a new local library and community hub. She also reported that Councillors were concerned about the many issues raised by HSH residents in relation to the poor, unresponsive service from Hyde.
- Elections and Nominations
7.1 Election of block representatives to the Tenants’ Association Executive Committee
Cllr Edbrooke was invited to take the chair to conduct the elections. She confirmed that the TA Executive Committee held regular meetings in advance of full meetings of the Tenants’ Association in order to organise TA meetings and conduct other TA business. Membership of the Executive Committee represented an opportunity to influence and support the work of the TA. Nominations were invited and agreed as follows:
Abel: A Figueras
Alverstone: S Reid
Blades: J Twelves, Stephanie Reid
Blythe: B Jennings
Brockwell: J Gore
Grace: J Gore
Hornby: K Young, M Evers
Key: No nomination
Lockwood: J Mahoney
Lohmann: C Gibson
Read: No nomination
Sherwin: R Matas Moreno
7.2 Nominations to Tenants Association Officer Positions
The Chair invited nominations to officer positions. It was confirmed that the nominations agreed by the AGM were to be formally recommended to the Executive Committee as per the process set out in the KPETA terms of reference and constitution.
The following nominations were agreed:
Chair: Joan Twelves
Deputy chair: Steph Reid
Community Activities Officer: Kerry Young
Youth Officer: Chris O’Mahoney
Secretary: M Evers
Treasurer: M Evers
- 2014/15 Report from HSH Board, HSH Resident Assurance Committee and HSH Resident Forum
It was reported that a report from the HSH Board had been requested from Hyde Head Office on the basis that the HSH Board should be accountable to HSH residents and should demonstrate that accountability. Similarly, the Resident Assurance Committee which was represented as the local body purportedly acting on behalf of residents. A response was awaited. As it was the HSH Board (as part of the Group Housing Services Board) which considered and approved the annual budget for Hyde Southbank Homes it was of critical importance that the HSH Board made itself accountable to HSH residents for those decisions and accountable for the use of the income derived from HSH residents in Kennington and Stockwell.
It was confirmed that HSH residents in Stockwell had concerns very similar to the concerns of residents of Kennington Park Estate, for example, an unnecessarily protracted process in terms of parking policy and parking enforcement arrangements, poor management and monitoring of cleaning and grounds maintenance, difficulty with accessing services through the call centre, inaccuracy of service charges, etc.
- Any Other Business
Dates for meetings of KPETA in 2016 were confirmed as follows: 17 February, 27 April, 20 July, 21 September (AGM), 23 November 2016.
- Date of next meeting of the Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association
The next meeting of the Tenants’ Association was scheduled for 7.00 pm on Wednesday 20 November 2015. Tenants’ Association Executive Committee pre-meeting scheduled for 1830 on 4 November 2015.