Minutes of the Meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association held on 12 July 2017 at Kennington Park Estate Community Centre
Present: 14 tenants and leaseholders of Kennington Park Estate: Joan Twelves in the chair.
In attendance: Philip Normal, Salah Faissal
- Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cllr Jack Hopkins and Cllr Claire Holland, Jennifer Gore, Kerry Young, Christina Edoja (HSH Housing Officer).
- Minutes of last meeting of the Tenants’ Association held on 26 April 2017
The minutes of the 26 April 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.
- Future of the Kennington Park Estate Community Centre
The Chair announced that, at the beginning of July, the Tenants’ Association formally entered into a Licence to Occupy the Community Centre for a period of 12 months. Hyde, as the owner of the property, retained responsibility for legal and compliance issues. The Tenants’ Association’s officers had assumed the task of day to day management. The Chair gave a brief explanation of the many activities involved including ensuring the backlog of repairs was attended to. New publicity, advertising, booking and administrative procedures had to be produced, checked with the Hyde Foundation then placed on the new KPCC Oval website. It was essential to present a well organised, business like and professional image in order to attract and maintain interest from current and potential clients and to demonstrate financial viability. The Chair also explained that to achieve this result, intense, detailed negotiations had been conducted at a rapid pace during which progress reports were made to every meeting of the TA and posted on the TA website. However, she apologised if information was not reaching all residents as promptly as she would wish.
Residents unanimously welcomed and endorsed the news that the Community Centre was saved from closure for the time being. Residents wished to be kept informed of work to develop management of the Centre on behalf of Kennington Park Estate. Steph Reid, as Deputy Chair of the Tenants’ Association confirmed that the active campaign continued in order to resist loss of the Community Centre in Hyde’s proposals for development of the site. However, it was essential to work with the Hyde Foundation to ensure efficient management and retain control for as long as possible on behalf of the Estate and all residents.
The Chair issued an invitation to a community event to celebrate keeping the Community Centre open planned for Saturday 29 July with entertainment from the performing arts organisations now involved in our campaign.
- Fire Safety
Steph Reid, Deputy Chair, reported on the work in which the TA was engaged in terms of fire safety on the Estate. Before the Grenfell tragedy, TA officers had insisted on seeing the Fire Risk Assessments undertaken in relation to KPE. Residents pay for FRAs in their service charges and as part of scrutiny and review of service charges, TA officers deemed it necessary to look into the quality and value for money of those assessments. It was of great concern to find the FRA reports were, in some cases, based on inaccurate information and observation. TA officers were in discussion with head office staff responsible for FRAs and a detailed report would be made to the TA AGM in September. Residents were reminded of their responsibilities in terms of fire safety, for example, the requirement to keep balconies clear of all obstructions including personal possessions.
- Housing Management and estate management issues. Reports from tenants and leaseholders for the attention of HSH management
Residents were reminded of the forthcoming organisational restructure within the housing management service. The second hand information received so far was that there would no longer be a locally based housing officer for KPE and almost all transactions were to be conducted through the customer service call centre.
Residents raised concern about the vertical drainage stack clearance work in progress and the damage caused by the stack clearance machine in some cases. Hyde’s policy in relation to this damage left tenants to claim on their own insurance. Tenants with no home contents insurance had to cover clean up expenses themselves.
- Report from the Executive Committee of the Tenants’ Association
6.1 Proposals from Hyde on an HSH wide CCTV system
Residents were requested to write to Hyde to object to the proposal for installation of a new and costly CCTV system covering all HSH properties. The information on the history of the Stockwell and KPE properties on which the Hyde proposal was based was factually inaccurate and the Chair had written in detail to Hyde to point out on behalf of all KPE residents that the proposal was, therefore fundamentally illogical and unreasonable.
6.2 Tenants’ Association work on scrutiny of Service Charges
The Chair reported that TA officers continued with detailed work on scrutiny of service charges and had submitted formal objections to the latest incorrect 17/18 estimates from Hyde. The Income Services Department of Hyde was increasingly failing to respond to basic questions about the mistakes in calculation of service charges. See KPETA website for further detail.
- Any Other Business
The presence of police on KPE to contribute to the containment of low level anti-social behaviour was discussed with Philip Normal, Chair of the Oval Safer Neighbourhood Panel.
- Date of next meeting of the Tenants’ Association:
The Annual General Meeting was scheduled for 1900, Wednesday, 27 September 2017, thereafter, 29 November.