Minutes 17 February 2016

Minutes of the Meeting of Kennington Park Estate Tenants’ Association held on

17 February 2016 at Kennington Park Estate Community Centre

 Present:          20 tenants and leaseholders of Kennington Park Estate: Joan Twelves in the chair

In attendance:           Tony O’Connell, Hyde London Region Estate Services Contracts Manager, Christina Edoja, HSH Housing Officer, Cllr Claire Holland

  1. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from, Nigel Walker, HSH Resident Services Manager, Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Cllr Jack Hopkins, Alex Reuben, Jennifer Gore

  1. Minutes of last meeting of the Tenants’ Association held on 18 November 2015

The minutes of the 18 November 2015 meeting of the Tenants’ Association were approved as a correct record of that meeting.

  1. Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting

The Housing and Planning Bill was the main subject for discussion at the last meeting.  It was confirmed that KPETA had written to the Chair and Chief Executive of the Hyde Group to make the point that the pay to stay provision of the Bill was voluntary for housing associations and Hyde was free to opt not to impose this unprecedented burden on tenants.  The response from the Hyde Group made it clear that pay to stay had not been ruled out.  Residents were encouraged to support the march against the Housing and Planning Bill on 13 March 2016.  Cllr Holland confirmed there was a petition against the Housing and Planning Bill promoted by Labour Councillors.

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

Tenants and leaseholders reported housing management and estate management issues as follows:

  • Abel House residents expressed concern about parking enforcement. It was noted that if parking bays were identified with line marking on the ground, it might encourage more responsible parking behaviour.
  • Internal damp and mould was reported as a serious problem in Abel House
  • A resident of Blades House also reported a long standing mould and damp issue
  • The communal light at the Pegasus Place entrance to Sherwin House was out of order

In the case of leaking/flooding from another flat causing damage, it was confirmed that Hyde expected residents to have contents insurance against which to claim for such damage.  It was noted with great concern that tenants were now instructed to report damp and mould through the call centre as opposed to reporting direct to the Housing Office.  Call centre operatives were required by Hyde to inform tenants that Hyde is not responsible and tenants have to claim on their insurance.

  1. Briefing on new cleaning and grounds maintenance contract

Tony O’Connell, Hyde Estate Services Contracts Manager, explained that procurement of new cleaning and grounds maintenance contracts was in progress across London.

  • There were four contract areas for London. HSH was in the Lambeth area
  • The aim was to reduce the number of contractors using a common contract specification with local variations
  • The specifications were available on the Hyde website. The general needs specification applied to KPE
  • Major, well known contractors were interested in competing for the contracts
  • Seven contractors were likely to bid for the Lambeth contract
  • Mini competitions were to be held
  • Local consultation events were to be held ensuring adequate time and opportunity for resident involvement
  • S20 notices were to be issued in March
  • The contract required a local labour initiative and the London living wage
  • There was to be an eight week mobilisation period from the end of June to ensure a high standard of performance from day one

Residents questioned the current standard of performance in relation to cleaning specifically and expressed dissatisfaction at the inability of HSH management to enforce the current contract specification.  Residents were also concerned to learn that the current contractor was considered eligible to bid for the new contract.  In response to a comment about the only too obvious lack of up to date, appropriate and effective cleaning equipment in current circumstances, Tony agreed to make a point of incorporating in the process the requirement for deployment of effective cleaning equipment.

Concern was also expressed about the major challenge to the new contractor to raise the condition of KPE to an acceptable standard in the first place so that it could then be maintained to the standard required by the contract.

  1. Report from Executive Committee of the Tenants’ Association

6.1       KPETA work on scrutiny of Service Charges

Steph Reid, as TA Deputy Chair, confirmed the TA pressed on with the detailed work of scrutinising service charges on behalf of residents of Kennington Park Estate.  Steph presented a written report on her impressions, as a newly appointed TA officer, of recent meetings with Hyde senior staff about service charges.

  • The report identified enquiries and problems outstanding for lengthy periods
  • Feeble attempts to correct errors that should not have been made in the first place
  • Miscalculation of service charges
  • Lack of enforcement by HSH management of contract requirements meaning payment is made for a service not received then the costs passed onto residents
  • Failure of the repairs service leading to further deterioration in the structure of KPE properties
  • Failure to respond openly and honestly to complaints

Steph’s report concluded by stating: If contracts were properly managed and contract specifications effectively enforced, and if management in general were more responsive and efficient, many of the issues of estate maintenance would be resolved

6.3       Proposal from Hyde to redevelop the site of the Kennington Park Estate Community Centre

It was confirmed, as per information presented at the last meeting, that Hyde’s plans were still in abeyance while negotiations were held with TfL about the potential to make deliveries from Harleyford Street to the proposed ground floor retail unit.  No further information had been received other than that the Community Centre was to remain open and in use until the end of 2016.

6.4       Redevelopment of Gasholder Site

As previously reported, the gasholders had been decommissioned and the Council was working with Berkeley Homes on a potential master plan for the site.  Further consultation about the proposed master plan was to be undertaken in April.

6.5       Changes to Key and Blythe court yards in response to anti-social activities

Work on changes to the Key and Blythe courtyards was scheduled to begin at the end of February.  Some changes had been made already to deal with anti-social activities in the area.  After years of pressure from the TA, the communal lighting was also scheduled for repair.  The TA had made it clear to management that it had taken much too long to undertake this work, some of which should be part of regular day to day maintenance and should not have to wait for specially planned attention.

6.6       Report from Recent Estate Inspections

It was reported that recent inspections with the Housing Officer focussed on safety issues including balcony clearance, also cleaning, hard surface weeding, bulk refuse removal and removal of abandoned vehicles.

  1. Report from HSH Resident Forum

The Forum, consisting of reps from all HSH Tenants’ Associations, including KPE, continued to meet on a quarterly basis even though Hyde/HSH management had withdrawn support.  The next meeting was scheduled for the end of the month.  The Resident Forum discussed the same concerns with Hyde management as raised by KPETA and made every effort, along with local Councillors, to hold Hyde/HSH to account.

  1. Report from HSH Resident Assurance Committee and HSH Board

The HSH Board (now subsumed into the centralised GHSB) was regularly requested to report to residents as it was the body which controlled the finances of Hyde Southbank Homes.  A briefing from GHSB was rarely received.

  1. Any Other Business

None raised.

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

The next meeting was scheduled for 1900, 27 April 2016, (Meeting to organise next meeting 1830, Monday 4 April 2016 at 1A Lockwood House.)  Meetings of the Tenants’ Association thereafter, 20 July, 21 September (AGM), and 23 November 2016.                                                 (20160217 TAMins)




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